Top 5 Hits 2014

Anyone who reads this blog regularly will know that I could easily have compiled a separate, top 5 skirts hits alone, but I’ve tried to add a little more variety in here than that. It’s not (always) all about the skirts 😉

First up had to be my Galloping Horses dress. This was probably the first dress I made that felt totally me and was pretty, well made. I’ve worn it lots and still feel very proud of it.

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Next up up had to be the Megan (Love At First Stitch, Tilly and the Buttons) that fitted! I felt like I’d truly mastered knits by this pattern. It’s super comfy and can be worn both casually and more dressed up, so versatile too.

Thirdly, the best thing that came out of my stash-diet: my tweed top. Another item that really does get worn lots and doesn’t feel home-made at all (I’m wondering if I’ll stop feeling like this at some point, I guess when my skills finally catch up to my enthusiasm).

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Well, I managed three before a skirt got a look in 😉 Not too bad for me! Fourthly, it had to be my navy blue, linen Ginger (Colette patterns), possibly my favourite me-make ever 🙂

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My surprise hit of the year had to be my 70s Clemence (Love At First Stitch, Tilly and the Buttons). I think it was feeling guilty for causing me such pain to make, but it’s been worn lots and lots. It’s easy to wear in both Summer and Winter, so maybe that’s why it’s become such a favourite. And it even gets compliments! Now, I never imagined that would happen :-). Lastly (and yes, I can count ), I’ve snook in my black, linen Delphine (Love At First Stitch, Tilly and the Buttons). This is the most magically slimming skirt ever (high, narrow waist combined with the colour black?), I’ve been asked many times whilst wearing it if I’ve lost weight, which of course never fails to make me smile. Although anyone of a similar height and build would know it’s pretty easy to ‘look’ like I’ve gone up or down a size, depending on how high my heels are and what I’m wearing, pretty much overnight…

I loved that my hits list took more deliberation than my misses! I must be getting somewhere. Or maybe the misses are more firmly ‘burnt’ in my mind…

Thanks again to Gillian of craftingrainbow.wordpress.com for hosting 🙂

 

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The 70s Clemence Skirt

I came across this fabric whilst browsing in a local charity shop. It’s a bit graphic and a bit 70s in a browny-rusty-orangey kind of way. It’s not my usual type of print, but I thought it might just be useful for something. And at the princely sum of just one British pound, I couldn’t leave it there for that! Had I known the grief it would cause me, I wouldn’t have paid one British penny for it…. Boy, did it make me curse and fume!

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I’ve been slowly working my way through Tilly’s ‘Love At First Stitch’ (starting with the Brigitte scarf, here, and then a couple of versions of the Delphine skirt, here and here), and this week it was the turn of the Clemence Skirt. My very expensive 70s fabric might prove a very wearable muslin (my very first attempt at one), or so I foolishly thought. The first new skill this skirt demanded was making a simple pattern. This was, as Tilly promised, really straight forward. Being rubbish at maths, Tilly’s worked sums really helped me work out my dimensions (did anyone else find this, even though it’s probably pretty basic?) The only paper in our house large enough to accommodate the pattern was a roll of last Christmas’ wrapping paper, that somehow escaped being put back in the garage in January. It worked reasonably enough, but it’s probably not that durable…

My bargain fabric was some kind of nylon-y horror, lacking, according to my husband, any kind of stretch whatsoever. Thus, even pinning my pattern pieces to the fabric proved problematic. I resorted to forcibly stabbing my pins into it. Possibly this should have been a hint to stop right there…

My machine hated, veritably loathed this fabric from the outset. The needle did not want to go through it. I changed to a new, slightly sharper needle, which helped a little, but not that much! I ended up having to sew each section of my French seams (a skill I’d only previously used on napkins) several times as there were big gaps that the needle just didn’t catch. Sewing the three rows of contrast colour that were to form the gathering, almost caused me to throw the blasted thing across the room. Time for an overnight break, and a whole lot of unpicking…

Turning up the speed the next day somehow seemed to help a little more, I guess it gave my poor machine more of a run at it? Another new skill involved in the making of this skirt was ‘stitching in the ditch’ which again, I had to do several times to stitch up the gaps, grrr…. I didn’t bother with any pattern matching as I figured the gathers would be kind in disguising any blips, although I did attempt to select an appropriate run of the pattern for the waistband, which kind of worked. Here’s a close up the 70s print in all its garishness…

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Overall making this skirt up was a royal pain in the backside, but only because of the fabric I used. The pattern itself is great, and I’m looking forward to getting my hands on some nice, ‘normal’ fabric to run one up in. Tilly’s instructions were clear at all stages, and the detailed ‘technique’ sections were especially helpful. Much though I hated the process of making this, it is actually very wearable. As with the Delphine, the wide waistband is really flattering. I’m only hoping, that despite all the pain it caused me, it will prove to be the most useful item in my wardrobe, here’s hoping…