Longshaw Skirt

As I was going through all the patterns in A Beginner’s Guide To Sewing Knitted Fabrics there was one pattern that kept doing my head in every time that I looked at it, the Longshaw Skirt. I just couldn’t get my head around how it was constructed from looking at the drawing of the pattern pieces no matter how many times I looked at it or tried to read through the instructions. The front and back of the skirt are the same pattern piece so you cut 2 of the same but the piece had lots of curves to it and I couldn’t work out where the seam lines went or which was the top and bottom.

I trust Wendy Ward’s pattern so I figured she knew what she was doing with making this skirt, after finding some white printed fabric in my stash that I got from Zebra fabrics and not knowing what else I might do with it I dived in and tried this pattern. Once I had the skirt pattern pieces cut out the instructions started to become more clear in my head. This skirt has a centre front and centre back seam rather than side seams and a curved bottom hem line. I have nicknamed this my origami skirt due to way you fold the pocket pieces in on the sides. It is actually very cleverly constructed once your brain grasps the concept of it.

Referring to my tick list when making clothing

  • Comfort
  • Classic
  • Creative / Quirky
  • Natural Fibres

This skirt is actually really comfortable, the hem line of the skirt does come in a bit so it doesn’t flare out at the bottom but it isn’t restrictive. This is a very quirky skirt, as I mentioned above it is a bit of a brain twister. The knit fabric I used is a light weight cotton and is very soft and comfortable. I don’t think I would really call it a classic style unless a tulip style is considered a classic style of skirt.

Now I will be perfectly honest I’m not entirely convinced that I like this skirt although I have worn it multiple times to work because the pockets are amazing. Saying that as wonderful as the pockets are I think they make me look too side heavy/bulky/puffy. I don’t have that large of thighs but with the pockets flaring out right on the thigh area I just think it looks bulky. I’m not sure if in black fabric it would make it seem less wide.

Would I make this skirt again? I’m curious now how it would look in black. I do now have some black brush cotton in my stash which is a heavier knit that I might try another with but with it being a heavier knit it might not drape as well and will that result in the same bulky thigh feeling. I’ll think about it. It was good to try out this pattern and tick it off my list of patterns from the book. I used fabric from my stash too so that is always a good thing.



York Pinafore – Orange Peel

I have a slight obsession with the orange peel quilt block pattern. If you’re not familiar with the design it is basically like 4 elongated ovals that are set on point to form a circle with the points all touching. It is a very striking pattern when you see it repeated. A year or two ago I came across a black and white print of it at a discounted price so I brought some to at some point make something (back then I was probably thinking a skirt) After making my first York I came across the fabric in my stash and thought this would make a great York. The orange peel design gives the fabric a bit of interest but doesn’t look too hard on the eyes.The fabric isn’t a soft quilting cotton even after washing and ironing but it is perfect for me to use in the York as over the torso area where a crispy fabric would irritate me it is layered over the top you wear under it. In hindsight had I used this fabric in a skirt which was fitted around the waist area it would’ve been a garment I never wore as it would’ve been too crunchy and not soft against my skin. Around the waist and thigh area the fabric is comfortable in this pattern as it isn’t tight around the skin. I wore this last week on a rather warm summers day and it was very comfortable.

With this one I did add length to the bottom so it was the same length as the other version available in the pattern. In the pattern the version with the kangaroo pocket is a shorter length which is what I made my first one. It is just a fraction too short for me I think and to be honest I haven’t worn it a great deal even though it has that great pocket. To add the extra length I measured the difference between the 2 versions from the paper pdf I still had and used the original pattern I cut out from to tracing and toile just marking in the extra length at the bottom with tailors chalk directly onto the fabric before I cut it. Both versions are straight at the bottom so this was easier than retracing the entire pattern.

Once again I love the pocket on this. Originally I was wearing this over my work jumper but it just didn’t look right, it was like I wearing an apron. I started wearing this under my jumper but over a t-shirt to work and I get so much use out of it now. As it the longer length I end up wearing this on almost a weekly basis. It is a little more fitted in at the waist then my first one too by chance when I stitched it up. It is really easy to access the pocket under my jumper at the front.

So that is now 2 York’s made. I am still contemplating a denim one, I have seen many made of denim on social media and it looks very casual. A denim one I could wear with sneekers, I spend a lot of time in sneekers and don’t have a lot of clothing that I can wear with them.


To Sew List Jan 19

Back in August I did my clothing “To Sew” list with a plan to update it every 6 months so perfect time to post it on January 1. My list isn’t set in stone and if I don’t make everything or even anything on it I am not bothered, it is more of a reminder to myself of patterns I want to make when I think I want to sew myself something but what… To recap this was my list

  • Concord t-shirt
  • Springfield top
  • Turner dress
  • Cedar dolman top
  • Concord t-shirt dress
  • Scrundlewear
  • Calista curvy bra
  • York pinafore
  • Hollings Circle skirt
  • Rusholme A-Line skirt
  • Finsbury  Bubble skirt
  • Fallowfield  pencil skirt
  • Roehampton culottes
  • Brighton Front Opening skirt
  • Derwent Wide Leg trousers
  • Winnats tank
  • Monsal Lounge pants
  • Longshaw skirt

Well I am happy to say that I have gotten a lot of the pieces made including making 2 York’s as I really liked the pattern and I have made all the patterns from A Beginner’s Guide to Sewing Knitted Fabric. Some of the items do need tweaking just because of the fit and I am having issues with my curved shoulders (too much computer work) I was able to use up a lot of fabric from my stash making the different pieces which was good but saying that I kept adding to my stash at the same time!

This is my latest to sew list

  • Turner dress – Cashmerette
  • Appleton dress – Cashmerette
  • Pembroke dress – Cashmerette
  • Appleton dress – Cashmerette
  • Cedar dolman top – Cashmerette
  • Concord t-shirt dress – Cashmerette
  • Scrundlewear – Stitch Upon A Time
  • Bunzies – Stitch Upon A Time
  • Calista curvy bra – Stitch Upon A Time
  • Quicker knickers – Little Finch
  • Poppy bralette – House of Morrighan
  • Robbie pants – Tessuti
  • Black Winnats top – Wendy Ward
  • Black hoodie/cardigan/jacket (no pattern yet)
  • Hollings Circle skirt – Wendy Ward
  • Rusholme A-Line skirt – Wendy Ward
  • Finsbury  Bubble skirt – Wendy Ward
  • Fallowfield  pencil skirt – Wendy Ward
  • Roehampton culottes – Wendy Ward
  • Brighton Front Opening skirt – Wendy Ward

I still have the remaining skirts from A Beginner’s Guide To Making Skirts as I haven’t gotten to those yet. I now have 3 undie patterns that I want to try, I have so many knit scraps left that I really just want to use them up on undies. The Calista is still something I would like to try but I have also found another bra pattern which looks kind of easy so will try that too. The Appleton dress is what I want to make for Frocktails so I need to get in and start sewing that. The Robbie pants are just something I saw this past weekend, a friend has made them few times and she looks fabulous in them so I thought I would give them a try. Prior to the lasted Dr Who this year I was wanting a long hoodie/cardigan/jacket but after watching the series I have really fallen in love with her jacket. I want to make something similar but in black. In my mind I can see a long hoodie type cardigan that does up with a zip, I haven’t got a pattern yet but I haven’t seriously looked around for anything yet either.

As mentioned for the pieces from my last list I was able to use up a lot of fabric from my stash, particularly when making the pieces from A Beginner’s Guide To Knitted Fabrics where I used fabrics that I wasn’t sure how else I would use them such as white fabrics. Since my last list I have been adding to my stash. Over this past few days I have ordered another 6 metres of fabric alone, it was on sale and hopefully can be used for 2 of the items on my new list. Now I am a bit more picky on how much I buy and try to buy with a purpose in mind. I raided my stash to find fabric for my Appleton dress so I will use the black/white daisy fabric. The Sesame Street fabric is newly acquired, it will probably be another Turner skirt but with the faces only on the front and a plain black back. I wasn’t able to buy enough to make a full turner skirt so will team it up with black fabric from my stash.

There is no pressure on myself to get all my items made. I’m just going to make myself clothing when I am in the mood.


Sparkle Sparkle

I was thinking of making some Christmas skirts for 2019 just so I could wear them to work. In previous years I have been a little reluctant to make Christmas themed clothing as you only get to wear it at one time of year but in recent months I have been wearing me made items to work nearly every day so I thought ok I can justify making clothing for Christmas as I can get multiple wears out of them for that month.

On Sunday 9th December Rubyjam Fabrics posted on their Facebook page those magic words “Only 2 days left to get shipping before Christmas” They had some digital print glitter fabric which looked different and I wasn’t sure I would ever see something like that again. It is all the sparkles without the mess!! I decided to get both the green and red prints but didn’t put any pressure on myself to have them completed this year. There was indecision on how much fabric I should buy as I have a few skirt patterns that I could have used for this fabric and each required different lengths. I decided to go with 2m of each. The fabric arrived the Wednesday and was pre-washed that afternoon, the Friday I cut out the skirts and Saturday I was sewing them up. I don’t think I have ever had fabric that I have done that with.

The pattern I used was my Turner skirt. This is a pattern hack of the Cashmerette Turner dress, it is the skirt portion plus a self drafted waistband. I went with this pattern as I know that it is comfortable and it is easy to make. This would be my Tried and Tested knit skirt pattern. It does take just under 2m of fabric which is a lot for a skirt but it is really worth it. The skirt is also a very quick make, I had them both done in almost a morning.

Looking at my tick list when making clothing

  • Comfort
  • Classic
  • Creative / Quirky
  • Natural Fibres

This is without doubt ticking everything off my list. It is a cotton knit which makes them really comfortable and breathable. The shape of the skirt is really nice as it just floats of over the hips, I was given a lot of compliments when I posted pictures of them on social media which was lovely. As for quirky um hello GLITTER FABRIC I think that point is covered.

I love my skirts. They both got worn last week to work and were very comfortable. What I really like about this fabric is even though I have made them in Christmas colours I can also get wear out of them throughout the year as they pretty skirts and it is only when you get closer to them you notice the pattern print besides who says sparkles are just for December.

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas


York Pinafore – Black

To be honest when the York Pinafore by Helen’s Closet first came out I wasn’t one of the many people who instantly wanted to make it. After seeing many people on Instagram make it I became a convert and purchased the pattern.

After reading the pattern it did scare me a little, it is designed for a B cup and I am clearly not. There are instructions on how to adjust the upper front bodice to accommodate for the larger busts but I was a bit confused as my cup size varies in different bras. In the end I just took the plunge and tried out the pattern adding 2″ to the bodice and hoped for the best. After I traced out the pattern onto trace and toile I did actually pin the pattern together to check the fit, it seemed ok so I pinned the pattern to my fabric and cut away.

Ok so I was a little naughty and didn’t follow full instructions. I skipped the stay stitching bit around the neckline/armholes and made my pocket a little differently. I think the term is bagging it out – I cut the pocket a double thickness with right sides facing and stitched around the outside leaving a turning gap at the bottom then turned it out. This way I didn’t need to attach bias binding to the curves on the pocket, I just did some top stitching on them before stitching to pocket to the front. I also raised the pocket up higher than the pattern suggests.

To bind the edges of the neck and armholes I made my own continuous binding instead of cotton tape. I followed the tutorial from Missouri Star Quilt company. I marked out my strips 1.75″ wide. I had heaps of binding left over so I used it on the hem at bottom too. I didn’t want to lose much length at the bottom so this was a good solution.

So my points to consider for making clothes

  • Comfort
  • Classic
  • Creative / Quirky
  • Natural Fibres Χ

Ok so it only ticks half the points. It is certainly comfortable although a bit short, the style is classic I think. As for creative/quirky I think that point is a bit iffy, I certainly like the pocket which is what drew me to this pattern as it is very useful and holds a lot. The fabric I used was some suiting fabric I brought from Pitt Trading when it was on sale for about $5 or $10 per metre and is a synthetic but as it isn’t directly close fitting to the skin I can easily wear it.

You have 2 options with this pattern, I chose view B which is a bit shorter and has the kangaroo pocket. I have since made a 2nd pinafore with even more plans to make more so I am glad I decided to step outside my comfort zone and try the pattern. Sewing wise it was fairly quick to make, binding all the edges takes the most time but it isn’t tricky to do.



New Look 6287 – Basket Weave Fabric

I have been going through my fabric stash a lot lately trying to match up patterns and fabrics that I already have together. Until recently most of my fabric and pattern purchases have just been “for the stash” and I haven’t really had a purpose or project in mind for them.

On a fabric shopping trip I think at the start of last year or maybe it was even the year before I purchased some brown fabric that caught my eye due to unusual texture of it. It feels like chenille so it has a cozy feel to it but it is very light and drapey. It just went in my stash. I have patted it a few times but never really thought of making anything with it. Earlier this month I was wanting a really simple mindless sewing project so I pulled it out of my stash and thought I would make a cape out of it using Burda 7313 like I made for Frocktails this year. When I was washing my mind kept thinking I already have a couple of capes including a brown one which I am currently knitting.

In my pattern stash I came across New Look 6287. I originally brought this pattern to make view A as I have some other fabric which is perfect for it. Needless to say I still haven’t made that perfect skirt but I was reading the fabric suggestions for the other skirts in the pattern and decided that I would have enough fabric to make view B. This pattern calls for a woven fabric and not a knit. I liked the picture of view B as it had a nice flow to it and I thought it would sit well with the fabric. As it is a little longer I thought it would be a good winter skirt.

I have never made a New Look pattern so I wasn’t sure how their sizing is, I had heard they were on the smaller size of patterns. I did my measurements and went with the largest size as I needed it for my hips. Looking back now the waist is a little big so perhaps I should have graded down at the waist one size. I’m not too worried at how it looks with the largish waist, I never wear crop tops so you never see my waistband. It isn’t too big that it is falling off my either.


I was worried it may be a bit snug at the hips but it has enough ease in the pattern to swish comfortably around me and not feel tight. I love the feel of the fabric it feels squishy. Even though it is a synthetic it doesn’t feel hot but I couldn’t wear this in summer unless I was in air conditioning the entire time but spring, autumn, winter I should be fine.

Sewing wise it was a really simple sew. I made it in a day tracing and cutting it out in the morning and then sewing it in the afternoon. To be honest once I had cut it out I wasn’t sure if I was even in the mood for sewing it that day but it was a really relaxing make that didn’t have a lot of steps so I easily finished it. I decided to be a bit rebellious with the hem. I just overlocked the hem and didn’t turn it up. Because of the basket weave texture I think I can get away with something funky at the bottom and it doesn’t look odd. The skirt moved so fluid I was worried if I turned up the hem it might make it feel too structured. One extra thing I did different to the pattern was I had to piece my waistband as my fabric wasn’t wide enough to cut it in one piece.

So looking my tick list of things to consider when making clothes

  • Comfort
  • Classic
  • Creative / Quirky
  • Natural Fibres Χ

So it fails the natural fibre content but it ticks all the rest of the points. It is a simple skirt that is super comfortable and is made from an unusual fabric. By using the fabric in this skirt I know I will get more wear out of it rather than had I made a cape. I will wear a skirt most days to work in winter so I am in need of warmer ones if I don’t want to repeat my skirts in the same week.


Springfield Top – Mosaic Print

When I started my sewing frenzy in August / September the first item I made was this top as I had it cut and ready to go. I don’t wear woven tops so this was stepping out of my comfort zone. The fabric I used was a cotton I found at my small local fabric shop. I fell in love with this fabric straight away and thought it was perfect to play around with this top pattern for the first time.

I made a combination of View A and View B of the pattern. View A has a bottom band piece at the front and a plain back. View B has a plain front and pieced back. I made plain back and plain front. I was wanting to make it as simple as possible and let the fabric be the star.

I have a couple of fitting issues with this top. As mentioned in the Concord post I have the rounded shoulder issue. There is a lot of gapping at the back of this top. I started to make a draft version of this top at the Cashmerette retreat and due to me having a hollow chest we adjusted the pattern to take out some of the front neckline but we never did anything to the back. I dare say my rounded shoulders have gotten worse since the start of this year. I haven’t yet done the research on how to make the adjustment to correct patterns for it but it is something that when I get time I am going to learn. As you will see from the next photo there is a lot of fabric at the back!

This photo makes me laugh cause it looks so wrong. I can laugh at myself its ok. It looks like I am wearing one of those shoulder guards motor cyclists wear! Clearly too much excess fabric there. Stitching wise I stuffed up my darts. I’ve made them too pointy. Due to this print I can probably get away with it but next time I finish my darts I need to do them better, I think the trick is that you stitch back into the excess fabric you have just folded out.

The shape of the neckline I am happy with, it isn’t too wide although it doesn’t easily sit on any of my coat hangers when I hang it up. It isn’t too low cut either. I tried not stretch out the neckline when I stitched it but maybe I have a bit. I haven’t worn this yet so I will see how it sits when I do

This top has its faults (purely mine not the pattern) but it is still a wearable top. Once again I will wear a jacket or buttoned shirt over it and it will hide the mountain of fabric I have at the back and flatten my darts. As mentioned I haven’t worn it yet, I’m not sure why I think it cause I’m am so used to grabbing a knit t-shirt when I’m planning out my wardrobe and I forget that I now have this. I will try and remember to wear it over summer. Under my work jumper it will be nice due to it being sleeveless.

Back to my things to consider when making patterns

  • Comfort
  • Classic
  • Creative / Quirky
  • Natural Fibres

It is ticking all the points. I have used a cotton fabric in a classic style. Even though it is a woven top it is comfortable, I can move my arms easily and I don’t feel restricted. The print is certainly quirky. I will make this again. I have brought some lovely liberty fabric to make this top in but before I use that I might try another version first after I learn the rounded shoulder adjustment and learn how to do darts properly.