Colette

Colette Moneta Dress

main picHello Everyone! I’m writing today (Easter Sunday) while eating some Fererro Rocher easter egg with a big mug of tea so it can’t get any better than this! Today I’ll be talking about the Colette Moneta dress. Believe it or not I’ve had the pattern and fabric since the #monetaparty event that was happening on Instagram a couple of months ago. I had everything ready and then I didn’t manage to take part that weekend so I’m only getting round to blogging about it now. I guess I’m fashionably late to the party! ๐Ÿ™‚

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I really enjoyed sewing this pattern. It was easy to sew, the instructions were very simple to follow and excellent illustrations were provided. I chose version 3 which had three quarter length sleeves and a lovely rounded neckline. I’m actually wearing the dress backwards. The neckline was lower at the back and I prefer a high neckline at the back and slightly lower at the front. It feels right and fits nicely so I think I’ll carry on wearing it this way!

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Apologies for the creases! I took this pictures after my Sunday dinner and had been sitting for quite a while!

The fabric I used was a lovely thick ponte roma from Minerva Crafts. I think it cost around ยฃ8 per meter and the fabric is a beautiful weight and will be nice as a winter dress with thick tights and a cardi as well as a spring dress. I chose a lovely blush pink colour as it’s nice and fresh and spring like. Lots of sewists on Instagram chose amazing prints for their Moneta dress. I chose a plain fabric as I have so much pattern in my wardrobe that I need to introduce some plain clothes. It’s a very comfortable fabric to wear, very cosy.

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I’m delighted with the fit of my Moneta. I cut the bodice a size small grading into a medium waist. I started grading out into the medium just under my bust and it work out perfectly as I had just winged it and hoped for the best! I chopped a couple of inches off the hem as normal but other than that, I did no other adjustments. Whenever I make another Moneta (once I get through my long, long list of other garments to sew) the only thing I’ll change is I’ll add an inch or inch and a half to the length of the bodice. My natural waist is slightly lower than where the waistline of the dress sits so lowering the waistline slightly should do the trick.

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My local craft shop didn’t have any clear elastic (they had never heard of it!) so I had to improvise and use normal elastic for the skirt and it worked perfectly. I’m not sure what the difference is with clear elastic. Maybe it just looks better? If you can’t get your hands on clear elastic, using plain, old, normal elastic does the job.

I finished the neckline and hems with my twin needle for stretch fabric. As I’ve stated in previous posts I’m madly in love with using twin needles and the finish that it gives, so professional! The neckline turned out especially lovely ๐Ÿ™‚

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Of course any amazing dress has pockets! I used some leftover Liberty tana lawn for my pockets. I wasn’t sure how the ponte roma and the cotton would work together sewn up but the Liberty fabric works great as pockets! I love my little secret pockets and you can spy the lovely floral fabric peeking out. This is me sneaking in some pattern into a plain dress!

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So that’s my Moneta. It is a lovely pattern and very satisfactory to sew as it sews together quickly. It’s very comfy to wear and looks good dressed up or as a casual work dress. I’ve worn mine with my Doc Marten’s to work last week and it looks great!

I’d say this will be the last plain garment I’ll be sewing for quite some time. I’ve just come back from Paris were I visited the fabric shop Les Coupons and bought way too much fabric…. I had to post it home I bought so much! Needless to say I bought all bright patterned fabric and I love them all!

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about my Moneta and thanks for reading as always!

Char xx

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Megan Nielsen

Megan Neilsen Virginia Leggings

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Hello Everyone! As I’m writing this it is the most beautiful sunny day here in Donegal. Rumors are that it is hotter here than in the Mediterranean! I tried taking my laptop outside and writing out in the sun but I can’t see the screen ๐Ÿ˜ฆ So I’m indoors trying my best to write this blog post very efficiently (i.e. fast without too many mistakes!) so I can get out to my strawberry plants and veg patch!

Here is this months #sewmystyle: Megan Neilsen’s Virginia Leggings. Not a pattern I would have ever picked myself and not really something I am interested sewing to be honest but that’s why I like #sewmystyle. I’m sewing things that I never would have picked and it gets my brain thinking ‘Oh this might be one for the future!’.

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I had left March’s #sewmystyle very late in regards to buying fabric and getting my PDF pattern ready. However, getting this pattern ready was great! Two pattern pieces to cut so taping the PDF pages together was quick, cutting the fabric was quick and sewing the leggings was super quick! It took about 45 minutes to sew the leggings and that was with a bit of messing about, making tea, checking the radio and all that. The instructions were fantastic and very easy to follow.

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I don’t have a domestic overlocker just yet (I have an industrial overlocker in my Mum’s house as I have no room in our cottage) so I just whipped up the leggings with a zigzag stitch and it worked wonderfully well. The hem on both legs are finished with a stretch twin needle which I love using! It’s so satisfying to see the professional finish you can get with a twin needle. I thoroughly enjoyed sewing these leggings as I love seeing things come together sooner rather than later. Don’t we all?!

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So I’ll talk about fabric choice (a bad one!) which will lead onto the fit. As I mentioned above I had left buying fabric for this project very late. I did lots of research into 4 way stretch fabric and the likes but left it too late to order any online. So I had to drive to Shipquay fabrics in Derry, which is an hour and a half away, and their selection was quite limited. I ended up buying a lovely soft dark navy jersey. It is the softest jersey I have ever come across and would make a lovely Agnes top (I hope I have enough left!). Unfortunately, it wasn’t suitable for the leggings. A bit of lycra wouldn’t have gone amiss!

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So because the fabric choice was a little bit off the fit wasn’t perfect. My strategically posed pictures do not show the bad fit ๐Ÿ˜‰ I should mention that I wanted a pair of yoga pants, so that is why I picked a plain colour. I’m not a massive fan of patterned leggings. They look fantastic on others but just not my style. You could cut the leggings high waisted or low rise. I chose the high waisted pattern piece for more comfort. However, I should have added a couple of extra inches as the waistband doesn’t reach my bellybutton and I like a high waisted legging to sit above my bellybutton. The length of the leg was spot on! The style of the leggings were scrunched at the bottom but it was just the perfect length for me.

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Ignore my crazy face!

I debated putting the above picture in this blog post but there it is in all it’s glory….as you can see the front of the leggings are wile looking! Now, I took them in slightly on the inner thigh seam but I think more adjustment is needed on the outside hip seam to get rid of that extra fabric.

Once again bad fabric choice has foiled my attempt at a nice piece of clothing! I really need to just go with advice and get fabric ordered on time instead of thinking ‘ah sure it will be grand!’. When will I learn?!

Overall, despite my mistakes, I enjoyed sewing the Virginia Leggings. It was something different to anything I’ve every sewn before. The pattern and instructions were very clear and concise and it was a great introduction into the world of sewing trousers (which I am definitely going ย to try before then end of the year). It might be a while before I tackle this pattern again but I’ll keep and eye out for some lovely lycra with this pattern in mind.

Thanks for reading! I’m going to Paris next weekend so if you have any suggestions for fabric shops please let me know!

Char xx

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Tilly and the Buttons Patterns

Cleo Dungaree Dress

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Hello everyone! I finally got round to making a Tilly and the Buttons Cleo dungaree dress! Hence why this blog post is going to be very short and sweet – I’m probably the last person on the planet to make a Cleo ๐Ÿ™‚

I bought a lovely fuchsia pink needlecord fabric covered with stars from Minerva Crafts. I’m absolutely raving about Minerva Crafts at the moment. Such a selection of fabrics and they offer flat rate postage to Ireland. Winning all round! So back to the fabric. It was so so easy to work with. Everything went together like a dream. Unfortunately, the pattern of stars are quite small and aren’t really visible in the pictures but it is such a lovely pattern. I didn’t finish off the seams because the fabric didn’t fray while I was working with it. This decision was based on a mixture of laziness and excitement of finishing my Cleo!

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I don’t need to say much about the pattern and construction – simple and easy! Great pattern for beginners and a fun pattern to sew for everyone else. The only adjustment I will make on my next Cleo will be adding an inch or two to the length. Looking at the pictures it is a lot shorter than I thought. I sewed everything, hem included, according to the pattern but it may possibly be a bit too short for work. Not that it’s going to stop me wearing it to work, of course!

(Also, please excuse the AWFUL hair. I got it dyed at the weekend. It looks amazing wavy but absolutely dire straight!)

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This was the first time I used a twin needle. I used the twin needle that came with my machine and it was fun to use! Not hard at all and I was a bit apprehensive as to how it would turn out but I was delighted. Both needles are quite close together but I like the neat twin stitching that is sewn. I was very happy with the way the top pocket on my Cleo turned out – pretty damn perfect! I know self praise is no praise but I’m gonna take it when I can get it ๐Ÿ™‚

You can see from the close up picture that the needlecord was extra small and thin. Of course because it’s cord, it sticks like crazy to my tights! Agh! I seen on my Instagram feed that someone had made a Cleo with a lining which would amazing to try out. I can’t for the life of me remember who it was that came up with this ingenious idea!

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I’m from a small town and we have a lovely craft shop called Morna’s Patch. It’s a craft shop rather than a haberdashery. So when I called in on the off chance they stocked dungaree buckles I was so surprised when Morna had quite a selection! I chose a lovely plain buckle and button as my fabric was very patterned so I didn’t want too much going on.

I think that’s all I have to say on my Cleo. I’ve been so late to jump on this bandwagon I’ve nothing to say that hasn’t been said before!

To summarise, it’s a fun pattern and a lovely, quirky dress to wear!

Thanks for reading!

Char xxx

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Simplicity

Simplicity 1195

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Hello Everyone! This is my very first sponsored blog post and I’m so excited about it! The lovely Lucy from Sew Essential very kindly sponsored a pattern and fabric of my choice and asked me to blog about it. Needless to say I was absolutely chuffed!

I’ve had this dress finished for about a week now but good old storm Doris put a spanner in the works picture wise. I had to resort to taking all the pictures indoors which I’m not fond of doing. Finding a ‘picture wall’ is hard in our wee rented cottage.

The pattern I chose was Simplicity 1195. I chose this pattern because I wanted to challenge myself. Around a year ago I made a ‘going out’ dress and the fit was awful. I only wore it once. So I wanted to see how far I’ve come and test myself with this pattern. I chose view C which consisted of a bodice with princess seams and a skater skirt. I’d say I spent around 2 hours choosing a pattern there was so many to chose from!

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Had my daffodils inside away from Doris!
The fabric I chose was a beautiful John Kaldor fabric. I had heard a lot of talk about John Kaldor fabric and thought that I would try it out. I can tell you the hype is real!! Oh it’s a beautiful, luxurious fabric that drapes so so well! I’m in love with the print on the fabric also – it’s fabulous. It was a slippery old eel to work with but I soon got used to it. It’s mostly polyester with the slightest bit of stretch and is a medium weight which feels really nice on. I chose a black fabric as I have a lot of colour in my wardrobe and need some basic neutral colours. However, the print on this fabric makes it so much more than just a black dress. This fabric is also available in red which was very tempting!

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Construction was easy. Not a beginner pattern that’s for sure but the instructions were very clear and there were lots of them! I have made 2 or 3 Simplicity patterns at this stage and find that their instructions are much better than the likes of Vogue which can be a bit scarce with instructions. To be honest I was quite surprised at just how easy I found this pattern to sew. The invisible zip went in with out too much of a problem. There are a few lumpy bits near the end but they aren’t even visible in the pictures – test passed ๐Ÿ™‚

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You can see form the above picture that the dress is quite flattering! This leads onto the fit of the dress. This is something that I haven’t quite mastered just yet. There is a little bit of gaping from the back just above the zip (I’m not sure what that bit is called!) and where it fastens at the top of the neck. I based my pattern size by my waist measurement and cut the whole pattern that one size. This left the side seams just under the arms and the neck very loose. I took an inch off either side seam and tapered it to meet the waist. What I should have done on the pattern pieces was start with the smaller size for the shoulders and neck, then met with the larger waist size. Rookie mistake which I wasn’t happy about.

I made some adjustments to the princess seams and the front fits like a glove. The only place that there is any gaping is at the back. Wearing a cardigan or a jacket solves that problem! Other than that I’m really happy with the fit of the dress and am delighted at how much better it fits than the dress I made a year ago. I used black bias binding for the neck and arm holes which I think is a lovely contrast and gives the dress another dimension. I didn’t have enough to finish the hem with bias binding but I’m still happy ๐Ÿ™‚

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Over all I really enjoyed sewing this pattern and loved using the fabric kindly sponsored by Sew Essential. I was over the moon to be asked to write a blog post for Lucy and her team and I hope they will be as happy with outcome as I am ๐Ÿ™‚

While I was browsing through Sew Essential trying to chose a pattern and fabric I got a bit sidetracked…I’ve been contemplating buying a new sewing machine for a while now but still haven’t taken the plunge. I’ve actually used this particular Janome machine but not for any substantial length of time and I’ve been reading reviews on this Janome machine as well. The two are very different and I’m trying to see which is best for me! Recommendations welcome!

Thanks for reading as always!

Char xxx

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This hair is so last week!
Named

Named Saunio Cardigan

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Hello everyone! This is going to be a short and sweet blog post just like theย Named Saunio Cardigan. This is February’s #sewmystyle garment and wow what a quick, easy and fun pattern. Absolutely anyone can have a stab at this and have so much fun while doing so. I have to be up front and apologize for the pictures…they aren’t great! Awful lighting in our wee rented cottage.

So this is the first time I’ve ever used a pattern by Named and got on swimmingly! It’s such a simple pattern, only a few pattern pieces and it’s a lovely relaxed fit so no fitting needed. I made the small size. Going by my measurements I should have made the medium (ranging from UK10-14). I went by the actual finished garment measurements so I picked the small size. Thank god as my fabric choice was all wrong so in a medium it probably would have been unwearable (for myself of course, I could have always gifted it ๐Ÿ˜‰ ).

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Excuse the bikes!

So let’s talk fabric choice. I bought a woven stretch jacquard fabric from Minerva Crafts. The fabric itself is lovely – a nice intricate pattern in lovely caramel and beige colours and you can see the pattern quite well in the above picture. It was quite stiff (and cardboard-y??) so the cardigan didn’t drape very well. More boxy than I think is intended. To be honest, I thought it was a complete failure until I seen the pictures that were taken. It turned out not so bad at all! Definitely work wear material. Especially during the summer over a dress.

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This is my not impressed face…

You can see in the above picture how stiff the fabric is. I knew when I was ordering it, I was taking a bit of a risk. You can see the drop shoulders don’t really look fantastic either. I think I might make this cardigan in a ponte roma and see how it turns out.

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It is pretty evident from the side profile picture that it’s quite boxy. It sticks out and gapes both front and back.

Construction was very simple. Pattern pieces consisted of just a back, fronts x 2, back facing, front facings x 2 and sleeves. That’s it! I didn’t use any iron on fusable as my fabric was already stiff enough! Any more and I don’t think I would have been able to move in it. I loved the top stitching up the fronts and around the back as well. It really finished it off nicely – a real professional finish I though. I don’t have an over locker (yet…) and I didn’t finish the seams in a zigzag stitch. The fabric didn’t fray at all so I didn’t bother wasting time with it. When looking to the inside of the cardigan you don’t even noticed the unfinished seams – it all blends in quite nicely.

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That’s all I have to say about the Saunio Cardigan. A nice, simple sew and very satisfying to make. It’s a shame about my mistake in the fabric choice but you live and learn! Don’t get me wrong I still love the cardigan and will wear it when the weather gets much warmer.

So that’s February’s garment all done and dusted – overall I’m declaring it a partial success! I’m quite worried about March’s #sewmystyle as it is the Virginia leggings. I find it tough buying leggings in the shops and I’ve a feeling I’m not gonna have much luck!

I’ve got another blog post coming up in the next day or two. It’s quite exciting as it is my very first sponsored blog post courtesy of Sew Essential! Woo!

Thanks for reading ๐Ÿ™‚

Char xx

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I don’t normally take selfies… It can get addictive!!!

 

Sew House 7

Sew House 7 Toaster Sweater 2

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Hello everyone! Here is January’s #sewmystyle garment and it’s a Sew House Seven Toaster Sweater 2. This is my first time ever using a Sew House Seven pattern and it was extremely simple. It was also my first time using a PDF pattern and I have to say it worked out brilliantly! It’s a lot cheaper for me to buy a PDF pattern rather than a printed pattern with the cost of postage to Ireland. It didn’t take long to tape all the pages together and cut out the pattern. I didn’t even bother to print out the instructions, I just read them from my laptop. It’s definitely the way forward for me!

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So on to the actual pattern. It’s amazingly simple, fantastic for any beginner. The instructions couldn’t have been any more clearer especially with the mitered corners at the bottom of the jumper which could cause confusion for beginners – well not with this pattern! As for me, I loved sewing this jumper. Quick and easy to sew. Great for getting your sewing game back on track if you’ve lost your way a bit. I didn’t time myself but it only took about 3-4 hours to make up the PDF pattern, cut the fabric and sew the jumper. The results are instantaneous!

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Look at the colours!! Such a amazing pattern on the fabric!

I used a quilted stretch fabric from Minerva Crafts. It was a bit of a nightmare to cut. It is quite padded (quilted??) and sort of slip-slided everywhere, even when I pinned it together before cutting. It moved about a lot! On the other hand, sewing with this fabric was incredibly easy. It was a dream to sew with actually. Everything eased in nicely, the sleeves were easy to attach to the body, no pleats, no fuss! Hemming wasn’t a problem either. Iย thought that it was going to be a bit fiddly to sew as it wouldn’t stay still for me while cutting but I was wrong – it was fine!

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The style and fit of this pattern was good. The sleeve length was perfect and I always have to add a couple of inches to the length of the sleeve for my monkey arms. I had read that this pattern had quite long sleeves so I didn’t make any adjustments. However, I didn’t turn up the hem on the sleeves fully as in the pattern as it would have left them slightly too short.

The style is a cropped, boxy jumper and that is exactly what it is. If I were to go back in time and start again I would add 2-3 inches in length as I’d feel more comfortable with slightly longer length in the body. I love that the back is longer than the front – such a modern feature!The pattern came out exactly as described so I was delighted with that.

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The neck was a funnel neck and I love it. I wasn’t sure how the fabric would hold up, if it were stiff enough but it looks great. It has plenty of structure and holds itself nicely! I made my toaster sweater in a size small and it fits beautifully across my shoulder and bust and the sleeves fit nicely as I like a tight fitting sleeve. The only thing I would adjust would be an inch added to the length of the sleeve and 2-3 inches in length to the body.

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Overall, I love this jumper. Even though I’m not quite comfortable with the cropped style, I think I can sort that out by layering it with a nice white or cream shirt underneath. I didn’t have one for my pictures but I think with a lovely flow-y shirt underneath will suit it nicely. In my mind it screams elegance but in reality it may be a different story! ๐Ÿ™‚

So that is the first garment of the sewing group #sewmystyle. I thoroughly enjoyed making this pattern and am looking forward to seeing how everyone else got on. ย Bring on February’s garment!

Char xx

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Look at that face!
Butterick

Butterick B5466

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Hello and Happy New Year! This is my first blog post of 2017 and my first make of the year. So for my first make of the year I wanted something quick and easy to get my sewing mojo going and I thought this was a good place to start.ย This is a Butterick pattern that I got free with a sewing magazine that I can’t remember the name of. I normally like skirts very very mini (I’m giving myself till 30 then I’ll review the “age appropriate” length!) so I needed something for work that was longer than what I would wear outside of work. Looking at the picture above I could have done with an extra inch on the length but to hell with it I’m wearing it to work anyway.

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This was a very simple skirt pattern with five variations. I made variation B – a simple skirt with two pleats either side, back and front and a small waist band. The instructions were extremely easy to follow it didn’t take long at all to sew up. The skirt sits on my waist just as I like it. I made the size 14 which I thought might be slightly big in the hips but it gives great comfort to move about in.

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So the fabric I used was from Miss Matatabi (surprise, surprise!). It was a cotton fabric but quite stiff and canvas like. To be honest the fabric didn’t suit the pleats in the skirt at all. It isn’t noticeable in the pictures but at the back, the pleats make my butt look pointy. As weird as that sounds. The pleats stick out and don’t sit nicely at all. I think Sew Essential has a blog on how to make pleats sit nicely so I must look that up and see what it’s about.

Just a close up of some of the birdies which are very cute! Such lovely swirls and lines and I love grey and yellow as a combo ๐Ÿ™‚

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Quite a flattering shape from the front

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So the pattern for this skirt was for an unlined skirt but I wanted to make it lined as I didn’t want the fabric to stick to my tights. I had this beautiful satin viscose lining that I got from work (they were throwing it out so I grabbed it!) in a lovely camel colour. I cut the lining from the fabric pattern pieces and sewed the seams slightly bigger so the lining would fit snugly inside the skirt. I totally winged it and it came out pretty dam good even if I do say so myself. I took the skirt to work and (sneakily) finished the edge on the overlocker. God it’s so hard to beat seam/edge finished on an overlocker. I need to put this on my wish list for next Christmas and hint throughout the year to my boyfriend. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Coordinating nails is a must when sewing

There was some hand sewing to be done on the waist band. Now, I neither have the patience nor the skill for hand sewing. I detest it. But this is the year of “slowing down” and taking my time (ha!) so I have to say I was flipping delighted with my hand sewing even if it took alot longer than I would have liked it to. You can’t even see it!

So the concealed zip. Even though I sew for a living – any kind of zip is a no no in tweed. Or so I’ve been told. This was the first time I attempted an invisible zip since the workshop at the Knit & Stitch show in Dublin. I was happy enough with it. Not ecstatic but it wasn’t too bad. It actually looks awful in the above picture. Too much ease in the right side and the zip is ever so slightly showing near the top. The right hand picture is of the inside which I was happy with. Attaching the lining was so simple, first to the top edge of the skirt before the waistband was attached and then down either side of the skirt.

Overall, the skirt is definitely wearable. Looking back if I were to start again I would have chosen a different fabric perhaps satin. I would have also had another attempt at the zip to make sure it was perfect.ย Oh well as they say “practice makes perfect”!

Thanks for reading ๐Ÿ™‚

Char xx

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