A Cranberry and Ice Delphine

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Despite the irony of it being three weeks into my Dry January and subscribing to a weekly, organic fruit and vegetable box for the same amount of time, I’ve been feeling more ill than I have done for years, the last few days. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ We’ve all been struck down with a horrible, wheezy-chesty-flu like bug. Still, much though I’ve barely ventured from the house I have managed to slowly sew up a Tilly and the Buttons Delphine. And I’m counting it as a drinks theme over at The Monthly Stitch, hence the title.

I’ve made a fair few of these in the past, so this was a nice, easy introduction into the New Year. The fabric was interesting though. It was a bargain find from a local, charity shop, presumably the off-cut from a Winter coat. I think it’s some kind of tweedy -wool-like fabric and it cost me the princely sum of ยฃ1.50 ๐Ÿ™‚ I thought its stiff texture would make a lovely Delphine because of its exaggerated A-one shape. I used Tilly’s online tutorial for adding a lining, essential I think with this rougher type fabric. Because I wasn’t up to venturing too far this week I made do with what I had in, hence the cream zip which isn’t quite perfect, but does the job. The lining I had in for a jacket and I’m hoping I’ve still got enough of it left…

And the cranberries? Well, it looked the right colour in the teabag…

And I couldn’t resist adding the ice because of the first bit of snow on the ground from yesterday. The monkeys made the best of it as they could with their baby snowman.

Jeans next… Gulp! #jeansjanuary

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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 ๐Ÿ˜‰

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 Meganย (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 ๐Ÿ˜‰ Not too bad for me! Fourthly, it had to be my navy blue, linen Gingerย (Colette patterns),ย possibly my favourite me-make ever ๐Ÿ™‚

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My surprise hit of the year had to be my 70s Clemenceย (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 Delphineย (Love At First Stitch, Tilly and the Buttons).ย 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 ๐Ÿ™‚

 

A Tweed Delphine

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I had such high hopes for this make and it’s ended up being a bit, well, average to be honest…

This is the last piece of fabric from my John Lewis sale splurge in the Summer. (Still using up…). It’s a beautiful, tweed fabric, labelled as ‘check boucle’ which is cream with shades of blue, lilac and black in it. The first half of this make went perfectly. Unlike my previous two Delphines (see here and here), which were both made from linen, I decided to line this one. There’s an online tutorial on Tilly’s website (Tilly and the Buttons) for guidance as to how to do this. And as usual, Tilly’s instructions were clear and informative. I was so proud of my progress that I even took mid-make photos…

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This was bizarrely the first time I’d inserted a ‘normal’ zip (really not sure why I selected this one and not an invisible one actually, but there you go). I consulted my ‘Sew, Step by Step’ manual and followed their instructions for inserting what they called a ‘centred zip’. I was really pleased with the result (above left). I was also really pleased with my lining (above right) which looked very professional once the inner waist-band was attached ๐Ÿ™‚

But then I attempted to hem…. Hmmmm, well, the outer skirt went fine. Deciding the fabric might be too bulky, I just folded under once and used some pretty ribbon (no photos sorry, but it looks mighty pretty, you can take my word for it). I’d seen many bloggers use this method and I was really pleased to try it out. Then I attempted to hem the lining. Oh dear! My first attempt was ridiculously wonky, far too wide and when I measured it against the outer skirt, also far too long: not a good look ๐Ÿ˜ฆ Out came the unpicker… I’m thinking maybe I should have used a finer needle on my machine to keep it more even? Second time around wasn’t too bad, but then over to the ironing board, and yes, you’ve guessed it: I’d forgotten to turn the heat down from pressing the outer skirt, grrrr….. Luckily I singed the inner, seamed side, so once attached to the outer skirt it wasn’t too noticeable, but still, mighty annoying…

I attached the lining to the top of the waist-band, as per Tilly’s instructions, but couldn’t fathom sewing around the zip at all. Maybe, by using a ‘normal’ zipper I’d made this an impossible task? I recalled doing this particular bit of my BHL Charlotte Skirts by hand, so I improvised and hand-sewed instead (after under stitching the top of the waist-band to keep it flat). Time-consuming, yes, but it worked well and my hand stitching is slowly getting neater…

Overall I was really, pretty pleased with this, despite a few hiccups. But then I tried it on and was just completely underwhelmed ๐Ÿ˜ฆ It’s kind of fine, ok, not bad… But I’m nowhere near loving it, as I thought I was going to! The fit’s really good. The high waist is still flattering, although the bulkier material is less forgiving than my Summer, linen versions ( maybe that’s more to do with the excess food and drink from our half-term holiday though?)

Ever found this? Maybe it’s not the skirt, but me. I’m just not really into it. I’m also feeling pretty exhausted from being back at school, even though we haven’t even done a whole week yet…. Not a good sign! Maybe I’ll force myself to try it again when I’m feeling more upbeat? I did manage to smile for the camera, but only because my son was taking the photos for me…

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