Getting my priorities right!

Today was the first day of my Summer holidays. So did I tackle the great mound of ironing gathering dust in our spare room? Attempt to reinstall some sense of order to the chaos, otherwise known as my children’s bedrooms? Or start the multitude of small ‘jobs’ that desperately need doing around the house?

Nope, none of the above I’m afraid! Plenty of time for all of that later… My first priority today was to travel over to North Wales to pick up my mum and visit the shop my beloved sewing machine came from, for a much belated demonstration of what it can do 🙂

An hour or so later, I felt much more confident about buttonholes, sewing with knits and all the other skills I’ve been avoiding for far too long. I know I could have just followed the instruction manual that came with it, but I guess I’m more of a visual learner. Following written instructions? I wish I had the patience! It was so much easier actually watching someone else doing it!

The assistant’s final advice was just to be brave and experiment! I think she’s right, I just need to have a go and not get too bothered if it turns out wrong, back-to-front, or upside down, clearly placing the unpicker very close to hand… But I think my lack of bravery’s only part of the problem if I’m honest. When you only have an afternoon or a few hours to sew, then generally, and I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels this (fingers crossed), I don’t want to waste it with playing around with scraps of material and experimenting, I’d much rather actually just get on with the making and have a finished (or at least partly- finished) item by the end of my session. Mmmmm, maybe the little extra time over the holidays will allow me to do both: slow down and be braver. Here’s hoping…

Tilly’s Miette Skirt

I saw loads of lovely versions of this skirt during MMMay. I was going to go for the obligatory denim version (which I no doubt will in time), when I spied this eye-catching ikat print in the John Lewis sale. It’s not my normal style but thought it would make for a pleasant change. This pattern is designed with beginners in mind, with no fastenings. The pattern lived up to its beginner label and was pretty  easy to assemble. My fabric did cause me some confusion however, as I couldn’t for the life of me figure out which side was the right side and which was the wrong side. Eventually, I kind of decided that if I couldn’t tell close up, then hopefully no one else would be able to from a distance…

image image

Seeing as the print of my fabric was so busy, I opted to omit the patch pockets, cute though they were. I cut a size 2 as I did for the Delphine Skirt, which was perfect. And as for pattern matching? I decided not to even think about it 😉 The only part of the pattern I had problems with was attaching the waistband. I can’t wait until I get to the point in my sewing when there isn’t always something! Anyone know when this happens exactly? Anyway, this was the something causing me problems today! I think I was too conscious of matching my side seams to my waistband, because that didn’t quite happen on my Delphine. But somehow that meant that my waistband pieces with interfacing didn’t quite end up in the right place, but slightly off centre.

This was really lovely fabric to work with. Paying a little extra does seem to make a difference, and this was in the sale…

image image

Overall, I’m pretty pleased with this skirt. I’m not sure the design is quite as flattering on me as the high-waisted A-line Delphine (or that I’m tying it right, will have to have a play around with it), but it’s good to ring the changes and this is lovely and comfy to wear. I should think it will work just as well with flats (well, as flat as I ever go) for weekends, as it will with heels and a black jacket for work. Another functional skirt, thank you Tilly 🙂

Celebratory shopping :-)

image image

I finally finished this Summer’s marking over the weekend, all 676 of them! Phew!   I work for one of the big exam boards, and even though it’s really useful for my day-to-day teaching, it’s a pretty hard slog. So, to celebrate I went fabric shopping 🙂

There was a sale on in John Lewis, so I stocked up. On the fabric front, I got a lovely ‘Holly Hobby’ type print for my daughter, a striking print called ‘galloping horses’ for a simple A-line dress I have in mind and a lovely ikat print I’m thinking of completing Tilly and the Buttons’ Miette skirt in.

And I couldn’t resist adding these lovely, 60s style Burda patterns to my basket. Most of which are way beyond my present abilities, but how beautiful are they? And totally wearable too. Definitely something to aim for. I’ll add them to my very long list…