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The Great British Sewing Bee Book Pencil Skirt

I don't know what it is about them, but I am in LOVE with Heavy Wool Fabrics at the moment! In the last few months I’ve somehow made four coats and my stash is filling up more and more with these types of fabrics. So of course when I saw this Wool Blend Fabric from Minerva I couldn’t resist! And have you seen all the colours! My favourites are the bottle green, the peach and of course the mustard. 
After making quite a few coats recently I wanted to see what else I could use a wool blend fabric for. The first thing I pictured was a pair of wide legged trousers, but, I’m not much of a wide leg trouser kind of person. So I wanted to make sure I made something that I’d get good wear out of, so for me that’s a skirt. I love a pencil skirt, and a wool pencil skirt is great for the colder months. I’ve had the Great British Sewing Bee book in my stash for ages and never really used any of the womenswear patterns from it so I thought this was the perfect chance to try out their pencil skirt pattern.
I can’t seem to make anything at the moment without adding some sort of twist to it, so this time I went for an exposed zip instead of an invisible one. I think it breaks the solid colour up really nicely and adds a unique touch. This make also really inspired me to join in the instagram hashtag #dresslikeacrayon. Have you seen it? It encourages you to dress all in one colour and looks super fun! It makes you think about your clothes in a completely different way! I really want to make some sort of matching top, so if anyone has pattern recommendations for a top that would work in this type of fabric let me know!
This fabric is so lovely to work with! It sews up really easy and I love the noise wool fabric makes when you cut into it. The fabric has a lovely feel and has a decent weight to it, but it doesn't feel too heavy when you’re wearing it. It would definitely make the perfect fabric for a coat. (I’d go with a pattern like the Clare Coat from Closet Case Patterns which looks super cosy!)
I’m pretty pleased with the end result, and the pattern was pretty simple to follow and uses less than 2m of fabric. With just three main pattern pieces and facing, and a few darts, its a pretty quick make too. I was however a little disappointed with the sizing in this book. The book says it covers UK sizes 8-18. In RTW clothes I’m normally a size 12 which does differ a little when making my own clothes, but according to the measurements in the book I was bordering on the largest size, which kind of annoyed me a little. Not in a confidence way, but because if a woman who was a ready to wear size 16/18 bought the book, I’m not sure the patterns would fit, which to me is a little misleading. So, I would recommend looking at patterns like the Sew Over It Ultimate Pencil Skirt (I’ve heard nothing but good things about this pattern!) or the McCall’s 3830 Easy Pencil Skirt.
Is it wrong that I’m hoping the cold weather sticks around so that I can wear this skirt more?!
If you want to follow along with any of my makes, find me on Instagram @lucyhannahmakes
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Sloth Print Stella's!

Sew… I have now filled another hole in my wardrobe that I’ve been wanting to fill for a while! After the “sew all the summer dresses” phase of my sewing journey I have now started to get in some serious sewing planning and fill the holes in my wardrobe. One giant hole is lounge wear. I don’t have any so when I get in from work or want a lazy weekend I end up wearing my pyjamas. There’s nothing wrong with this but sometimes I want to feel like I got dressed!

 

As soon as I got the Stretch book by Tilly and the Buttons I knew the Stella joggers would make the perfect lounging around trousers. I’ve made the Tilly and the Buttons Marigold trousers and to me the Stellas are the equivalent version in a stretchy fabric.

To make my first, and definitely not last, pair of Stellas I used this striped blue and creamy white Cotton Jersey Knit Fabric with randomly placed sloths! The fabric is nice and wide at 60 inches and has a 6% elastane content. It also comes in green and pink. I think I need a pair in all three colourways!

I went for a fun novelty print so that I only wear them around the house and therefore make an effort to get properly dressed when I go out!

Tillys instructions are brilliant so there’s no need to go into detail about the construction. The pattern requires elastic for the waistband and some stretch interfacing. I only had regular light weight interfacing which seemed to work fine. I didn’t see a need for the tie cord as there would already be elastic in the waistband. This also means you don’t need to do the buttonholes, yay!

I took the time to make sure I pattern matched the stripes but didn’t attempt to match up the sloths They are in a random pattern so would have used a lot of fabric and sometimes life is just too short, especially when they will only be worn around the house but I do always insist on stripe matching! I slightly changed the width of the waistband and cuffs so that when folded and attached the stripes remained nice and even.

The only other adjustment I made was to the length which I shortened by 3 inches.

The fabric washed really well and hardly needed any ironing. I made the Stellas mainly on the overlocker and it whizzed through just fine. Always do a test on a scrap of fabric before going straight in with your cut out fabric. The fabric was stable to sew with and didn’t slip or stretch out. You can definitely make a pair in less than a day and if you do some batch cutting in preparation you could easily get a few pairs made during a sewing day. You will want more than one pair!

I think I have just about enough left over scraps to make the Tilly and the Buttons Nora t-shirt. I will then have a matching pair to lounge around the house in! The fabric is definitely soft enough to wear both the Stellas and Nora as pyjamas. 

Thanks for reading,

Georgina @ Sew in the Garden

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Floral Georgette C&N Orchid Midi Dress

Well I don’t usually make “Summer Dresses” when the weather is this cold, but when I got the opportunity to get my hands on some of this Floral Crepe Fabric I’m afraid I didn’t care how cold and wintery the weather was! 

That should speak volumes, I just could not resist!

Now, I have had the pattern for the Chalk and Notch (C&N) Orchid Midi dress in my stash for a while and I’d been searching for the perfect fabric.

So, when I saw this, I just knew what it had to be.

I’m sure that anyone who follows me will know, I don’t usually wear overly feminine dresses, but this was just so darn pretty it was destined.

The C&N Orchid has a couple of different options, one of which are the sleeves. You can choose long sleeves with elastic in the cuffs, which I think will be perfect for an autumn or winter version. But also a flutter sleeve, which is actually four pieces for each sleeve, as it’s basically a front and back (both lined) which overlap, and because it’s cut in the round it is all  on the bias and the drape achieved in this floral crepe is just divine!

I chose to make this version with the short flutter sleeves for a couple of reasons.

1) This is predominantly going to be holiday wear for me, as I doubt in the normal English climate, I will get much wear out of it in the UK.

2) As this is 100% Polyester fabric, I did think that if it’s in a very hot and humid climate I might get too warm in the long-sleeved version.

Although I think this would be perfect for a summer wedding or christening! Or any other occasion for that matter!

As this is quite a delicate fabric it did try to slip over its self a little, in the cutting out stage. But I used plenty of pattern weights and a brand-new rotary cutter blade and it was fine in the end. When I started to sew it I did worry slightly, as I thought my sewing machine may “eat it” i.e. pull it down into the needle area where the feed dogs are.

But I used a fine point needle and it was no problem at all, as you can see from this picture. It’s just fine with my regular presser foot and not my walking foot.

 It did however start to fray quite a bit while handling.

So, I ran my rotary cutter around the edges after I had zig zagged to neaten them, its lovely and tidy now. Don’t you just love clothes being pretty on the inside too??

All in all, I absolutely love everything about this dress, it’s just perfect for some winter sun. These shots were captured on the gorgeous island of Sal in Cape Verde.

The fabric is so soft and drapey just look at those sleeves.

It has got two big roomy pockets too, which I love. So often ladies ready to wear has no pockets and that’s just ridiculous.

Thanks for reading I’m sure I’m going to love this dress. I hope you do too?

@chatterstitch x

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Cotton and Steel Rayon + Deer and Doe Melilot

Viscoses and rayons are one of my favourite types of fabric to work with. I love their drape and have used them a lot for summer dresses. They do vary widely though so I was particularly interested in how this premium Rayon from Cotton and Steel would behave. (I say premium because I would normally pay between £9-15 per metre for rayon and this one is £20.99 per metre, so all things are relative I guess!). I have admired this fabric a lot, having seen some beautiful Chalk and Notch Fringe dresses made with it, and wanted to see if it worked in a different type of garment.

The fabric itself definitely stands apart from some of the other rayons I have used. It really has that characteristic silky feel to it and is light weight whilst still having some substance to it. It does drape and press beautifully yet doesn’t crease much whilst you wear it at all (one of my rayon shirts creases just from being on the hanger!). I also love the range of prints that are available. I think this one in particular is quite seasonally versatile and I love the pops of colour that brighten up an outfit.

The only thing I didn’t note that I should have is that this is a narrower fabric than the widths I usually buy so I only just got a blouse out of 2m (and I would usually have left overs). If you are deciding between amounts to order, I’d go with the larger quantity just to make sure you have enough.

The pattern I used was the Deer and Doe Melilot Shirt. Version A has long sleeves, a rounded collar and a button placket whilst Version B has short sleeves and a collar stand. I chose Version A because I really need long sleeves right now and loved the small details that came with this. The sleeves on Version A are pleated into the cuff, which I think adds a more polished look to the overall shirt. The wrist placket did take a little time to get right and was a bit fiddly, but the diagrams in the pattern instructions are quite helpful. If I made this again I might look to shortening the length of the sleeves a little for a better fit.

I also think that the placket is a nice touch that again makes the finished garment look professional. This was really simple to construct….it was the buttons behind it that took forever! I will admit that the whole button stage fills me with dread because I’m worried the holes won’t turn out properly and it will take ages to sew on all those buttons. Luckily, with a placket any small errors with buttonholes won’t be on show like they would in most makes, and as it turned out they went well in this case. I didn’t put them in all the way to the collar, but you can do. I was also pleasantly surprised with the collar shape. Rounded collars don’t usually suit me and I did consider altering this, but I’m glad I went with the original shape because it lends a softer, more relaxed look to the shirt.

I have made a Closet Case Patterns Kalle shirt previously, and this does share a lot of similar features. However, the Melilot shirt doesn’t have a yoke, which makes it just that bit quicker to construct. I also found the Melilot hem easier to sew than the bias binding used on the Kalle, but I did use my narrow rolled hem foot to help things along there! In general, I found that the pattern pieces fitted well together which is what also helped with overall construction. The sleeves need a little bit of easing to match up but because they fit on to a dropped shoulder they don’t require gathering.

I’m really glad that I used both this fabric and this pattern. I would use either again on another project. The pattern comes together really easily and leads to a professional looking garment, whilst the fabric is so soft yet is also practical. I think everybody should try using Cotton and Steel rayon at least once because it’s so nice to wear; you just have to find your perfect print!

Thanks for reading,

Laura @ The Petite Passions

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The Perfect Cover Up - Waffle Knit Cardigan

Hello!
As the weather thinks about warming up and we consider our spring sewing makes, this Waffle Knit cardigan fills the void. It is the perfect cover up to just throw on when a coat is too much or you just need an extra layer to stay cozy inside. It also happens to be a quick make which leaves you lots of time to day dream about all the lovely things you can make with the pretty Knit Fabric from Minerva Crafts.
This cardigan can be made out of a variety of different Jersey knits but I chose this snuggly Charcoal colour Waffle Knit fabric from Minerva Crafts. It is a medium weight knit and comes in 7 other colour ways including a lush Rose Pink which I have my eye on too. The Waffle knit is wonderfully drapey, has a beautiful hand and is snuggly and warm.
The Simplicity 8740 Pattern comes in a variety of sizes from XS to XL. This pattern has a variety of different styles to choose from, with a hood or a neckband that runs the length of the cardigan, with a gathered tie waist or hanging loose, with long or short cuffs making the sleeves 3/4 length and with or without pockets.
My measurements are 32” bust which is between a XS & S. My waist is 26.5” and my hip is 35.5” both fit the S size. The pattern also recommends checking the amount of stretch in your fabric against their stretch guide on the pattern packet. My fabric did not stretch as much as required so to play it safe I cut a medium. Turns out this pattern has plenty of positive ease and I now have a very over sized cardigan! In future and I definitely plan on more, I would cut an XS and still have plenty room.
Where I live it rains a lot! So a hood in this fabric wouldn’t be much use, even thought I think it looks really cute. I decided to go with pattern option C with short cuffs, no waist tie and pockets of course!
With only 5 different pattern pieces and no tricky techniques it makes for a very straight forward sewing project. I used standard Gütterman thread and a jersey needle and did not encounter any difficulties even when sewing 4 layers of this Waffle Knit fabric together. The pocket shapes matched up easily to the shape of the front cardigan pieces. The back is joined at the center back seam. The back and front are joined at either side from sleeve to hem. There are no sleeves to set in, they are grown on and then have cuffs added. Lastly the neckband is joined and attached around the length of the cardigan. 
I have been looking for this style of cardigan for a while and discovered this one in a Minerva Crafts newsletter. I love that it can be made out of different weight jersey’s for different weather and I am very pleased with this. Although next time I’ll definitely cut an XS!
Happy Sewing!
Claire x
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Loose Knit Simplicity 8529 Jumper

I am so excited to have the opportunity to become a member of the Minerva Craft blogging team, so thank you very much for having me! With jumper session well and truly here I really wanted to make something which would keep me nice and warm in the house but also wasn’t so thick I couldn’t layer it under a coat.

I didn’t have any patterns in my stash that matched this criteria so I went on the hunt. With a stroke of luck I picked up Simplicity 8529 in a charity shop for the grand price of 99p! This pattern is for stretch fabrics and recommends fabric such as double knits, velour and sweater knit. This pattern has a lot of different options, which works out really good value for money! I feel in love with view A however I plan to make view B as soon as possible.

I then went on a hunt for the perfect fabric that was “not too thick” and was delighted with this stripe loose Knit Fabric from Minerva. It comes in three different colour ways, I selected the blush pink, however the other two (mint and lemon) are equally as lovely. I love the colour combination with the blush; one of those fabrics which you can wear with anything. I was really happy with the quality and weight when it arrived, perfect for layering. I found the fabric really easy to cut out, it wasn’t too slippery and my scissors went through rather easily.

 

An element of this pattern which I was looking forward to was the neckband. I have a love/ hate relationship with neckbands so the fact that this one looked so simple intrigued me. The neckband is cut out, attached to both the front and back pieces. All you do is sew from the shoulder edge to the top of the neckline on each side, folder it over and you have your neckband. I found this technique super simple. I love the result of a high neck which does not have too much height. View A has slits at the side seams, I think this adds interest to the top and I love them. 

I was worried that as the fabric is on the looser knit side would get chewed up by my machine. However I found this fabric really easy to work with and my machine seemed to like to too! As this is a stretch fabric pattern there is no need for any fastenings to be inserted which makes this a super quick and easy project!  

I found this a really simple and satisfying pattern to make, with only four pattern pieces it’s a sewers dream! This is a project which can easily be started and finished in a morning, with no stress. This fabric was the perfect fit for this pattern, I highly recommend both! I think I will get a lot of wear out of this garment and as stripes are a classic I think I will wear it for years to come.

Thanks for reading,

Vicki @itallstartedwithastitch

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Forget-Me-Not Hoodie

Spring is in the air – or that’s what I am telling myself as I am bundled up in front of my sewing machine with the heating cranked up high and 2 jumpers on! I have been sewing this gorgeous floral Jersey Fabric this week and it has got me in the mood for making all things floral and I refuse to let the weather hold me back!

This happy ditsy flowery jersey still caught my eye in the dead of winter and so the hunt for a kids transitional winter to spring pattern began. Not long into my search I came across Brindille and Twig which is a Denver based pattern company specialising in comfortable yet contemporary clothes. The range is all adorable and I quickly settled on the Hooded Raglan Sweatshirt which is one of their free patterns that you can instantly download from their website.

The fabric was just as pretty in real life as it was on the pictures on the Minerva Craft website. Being a nylon-based jersey it was more like a thin scuba and was lovely and stretchy but sprang back to shape really nicely. Cutting the fabric was a dream and there was no fraying or curling and I managed to get good crisp cuts and sharp corners and notches which I loved!

Because the fabric was thin and I really wanted the hoodie to be warm, I decided to underline the hoodie. I simply cut two of the front, back and sleeves and held sewed them while holding the two layers together as if they were one piece. The hood, pocket and cuffs were all either lined anyway or folded so didn’t need to add any thickness to these pieces. This did mean that I was working with four layers on most seams but although the fabric was a bit slippery, using lots of pins helped and I love that the inside of the hoodie is almost as pretty as the outside.

Although the pattern states that it is suitable for a sewing machine or an overlocker, the seam allowance is only 6mm which is tiny, especially when working with multiple layers of slippery fabric. Going slow and steady was the key. To stop the fabric fetting sucked down into the foot plate I found that sewing the seams from the middle to the end and turning the piece and sewing from the middle to the other end really helped. I used a narrow lightening bolt stretch stitch for all the seams and then did an overcast stitch to finish the edges since I don’t have an overlocker. This is a fairly new technique for me and it has helped me overcome my need for a serger. This was a bit time consuming but worked well and gave a much more professional finish than simply zigzagging the edges.

I am really happy with the finished hoodie. The fabric is perfect and I am glad I underlined it for this time of year. The pattern was easy to follow and very quick to make and could easily be modified. There are some lovely examples of it with contrasting hoods and pockets and bindings on the seams and I think when I make it again I will be a bit more adventurous.

I hope that you like this month’s project and are inspired to give it a try. Don’t be put off if you don’t have an overlocker – your sewing machine can do remarkable things with the right stitch and foot.

Thank you to Minerva for the beautiful fabric and inspiring me to make more.

Anna xx

@pearls_and_picots

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Monochrome Animal Print Saraste Top

If you walk into any high street clothes shop, it's hard to ignore the fact that animal print is everywhere. I'm of a generation that remembers Bet Lynch in Coronation Street, and while I think leopard print looks fabulously vintage on lots of beautiful ladies, I can't help feeling I look more like a poor version of Bet than Jane Russell. So I tend to steer clear.

But when I got the opportunity to try this luscious Crepe Fabric I couldn't say no.

Being monochrome, it's not your average animal print. I think it looks a bit more modern. And as I can't quite pull of the pin up look, it's a bit more me.

The fabric itself is beautifully soft and drapey, just what you'd expect from a crepe. It's light, floaty and a joy to wear in an air conditioned office where the temperature can be stifling at times.

In keeping with the more modern take on leopard print, I wanted to make a suitably modern top. And it doesn't get much more modern than the patterns you can find in the Named Clothing Book Breaking the Pattern.

This is the company that brought us the game changing Kielo wrap dress. So I was happy to pre-order the book without really knowing what was in it. And when it arrived I wasn't disappointed.

The patterns aren't really my normal style, but I'm keen to develop my personal style a bit, and this book will be a great addition.

I thought the Saraste top looked like it would be perfect for this fabric.

The pattern itself is pretty simple to pull together. The front and back are each made up of 2 main pieces, with the ruffle running from front to back on each side.

This requires pretty good gathering skills, especially in a light fabric like this. I'm not going to lie and say I'm at the top of my gathering game, you can clearly say that isn't the case.

But I'm happy enough with it to have worn the top to work already. There's always room for improvement, so I'll keep working on it. But whilst it's not perfect, I didn't want to unpick it and run the risk of damaging this delicate fabric.

This fabric would be perfect for French seams, but I didn't use them. And it's just as well as I had some fit issues I wouldn't have been easily able to rectify if I'd used French seams.

I made this top on a new sewing machine that I'm just getting used to. I'm not trying to make excuses for errors, but I can't ignore it. Hopefully as we bond, my finishes will improve.

The fabric is something I would definitely consider using again. It's only the third time I've used a light fabric like this, but I keep going back for more. So I must like it.

And I would make the top again. The only thing I would change would be to only put the ruffle on the front. Why? Well, despite pressing several times, the ruffles on the rear sit out slightly more than I feel comfortable with. The advantage is that I kind of feel like a stegasaurus. And who doesn't love dinosaurs?

Thanks for reading,

Karen @ Doris Does Dress Up

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A Sparkly Elliot Sweater

Today is my first ever blog post for the Minerva Crafts blog and I am so excited to be here! For those of you that don't know me yet, let me quickly introduce myself. I'm Sarah, and I've been sewing for most of my life having first picked up needle and thread over thirty years ago. I've been blogging over at Prairie Girl Knits since 2006 and I am pretty much obsessed with crafty pursuits whether it be sewing, knitting, spinning or playing with my newest crafty toy, a Silhouette Cameo cutting machine. Now that I've introduced myself, let's get on with more pressing matters and the reason you're here reading this today!

I live in rural Southeastern Manitoba, and admittedly we do have some brilliantly sunny days in the winter months. Unfortunately those days are often some of the coldest you could imagine. Days where the air hurts your lungs and face and exposed skin can freeze in moments. (Although disclaimer - as I sit typing this, the sun is shining and it's an oddly mild -2C outside, which is why I can be standing outside in a sweater in the snow in my photos!) All that wintery weather can all put a considerable damper on a person and make darn hard to feel cheerful. To that end, do you know what everyone needs to keep them going through the cold, often dark days of winter? A sparkly sweater that you can toss on whenever you're in the winter doldrums, that's what!

When I saw this gorgeous blue Jersey Fabric, with silver sparkles running through it, I knew I needed it in my life. My first thoughts were a festive cardigan. Something like a Helen's Blackwood Cardigan or maybe an Itch to Stitch Aveiro Cardigan. Paired with a little black cami and jeans it would be the perfect blend of comfort and glitz for any holiday festivities.

However, the postal system was not feeling generous of spirit and my beautiful fabric got tangled up in the rotating postal strikes for several weeks. Then I finally got the notice card in my post box saying a parcel was waiting for me. Unfortunately the postal counter had already closed for the day, so I couldn't get it right away and had to go back the next day. I got there first thing in the morning, excited to collect my fabric and get home right away to start creating the sparkly garment of my dreams but I was foiled again. I was informed the computer system was down and so they could not process my parcel. I would have to come back the next day. Seriously folks?!?!

Because life can never be simple and straight forward and also because I am nothing if not clumsy, between the Thursday that the post office computer was down and the Friday when I could go back and get my parcel, I managed to trip on the stairs by stepping on a stray balloon and broke my toe, not too mention bruised the rest of my foot (and my pride) quite spectacularly. I ended up spending the weekend feeling very sorry for myself, and trying to prop my foot up whenever I could to relieve the pain and swelling. Let me tell you... Fun times.

So doing all that sitting left me time for thinking about my fabric that my husband kindly had finally been able to spring from its postal mishap induced detention. In real life it's every bit as gorgeous with it's silver sparkles running through and it's got a beautiful texture to it with it's almost open weave look to it. Although it is a jersey, its quite stable and there is not a whole lot of stretch to it, but it is soft and snuggly on the inside. I started thinking that I maybe I didn't really want to use it for a cardigan that required a decent amount of stretch and then my mind wandered to the Helen's Closet Elliot Sweater. I'd made one earlier this fall and it's a loose boxy silhouette that would probably lend itself well to the minimal stretch my fabric had without a whole lot of need to adjust my pattern.

I didn't make many changes to the pattern or the size I chose to sew to accommodate the fabric and because this fabric is pretty stable this version has a more streamlined sleek look to it than my other one I had made out of very stretchy sweater knit, but in my books that is just fine! I'm loving the feel and the fit of this one every bit as much. After the photos were taken I went back in and continued to wear it for the rest of the afternoon until I decided it was a bit too nice to do the housework in (although if you want to scrub floors and toilets in silver sparkles go for it! Whatever makes you happy - you'll get no judgment from me!!)

One of the changes I made was to add a cuff to the sleeve. I did this with my other Elliot - it has nothing to do with the stretch factor of the pattern, and everything to do with personal preference... I just like the way it finishes off the sleeve edge so cleanly. Plus I seem to have what I have in the past referred to as "gorilla arms" and the 3/4 sleeves seemed to stop at an awkward place on me. I know it would have been easy enough to lengthen the pattern, but, well, I love a cuff. So cuff it was!

One thing I did do to accommodate the smaller percentage of stretch was to make the turtleneck piece just a half an inch wider than the pattern was drafted. The first attempt at the neck ended up puckered and barely able to go over my head, but re-cutting it with a half an inch extra made all the difference in the world. I was able to easily stretch the neck to fit the neckline and my head can go through with not difficulties at all.

I hope I've inspired you to get your sparkle on and make something fun to get you through the winter with a smile on your face or to those of you trying to beat the heat of summer in your part of the world, maybe you can start dreaming up your makes for when those cooler temps head your way!

See you next time!

Sarah @ Prairie Girl Knits

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The Cotton + Steel Lawley Skirt

Hi everyone and thanks for stopping by to read about my latest make.
Before I go on to to talk about what I’ve made this month let me start off with saying ALWAYS CHECK THE MEASUREMENTS! I had spotted this beautiful Cotton & Steel Rayon Fabric and eagerly placed my order for 2 meters.
Plenty I thought for the trousers I had planned on making with it.  What I had failed to notice was that the width of this fabric is 44 inch/111cm, so a narrower width dress making fabric.  No matter how hard I tried I just couldn’t squeeze out a pair of trousers.  Oh well onto to a plan B.  
So onto the fabric and let me just say it has the most beautiful drape to it.  It’s a really good weight for making all sorts of garments and would be perfect for trousers (had I ordered enough) but equally it would make lovely dresses, skirts or tops, basically anything that requires a nice drape to it.
Hopefully the photos’s show off the gorgeous colour which is classed as Eggplant (Is that what we class as an Aubergine in the UK?).  It’s more of a red/brown purple I suppose and then it has a beautiful peach and white flower print. I do really love this print!  
Talking of colour, just a word of warning.  I have heard from another fellow sewer over on Instagram that the colour ran when pre-washing.  Personally I didn’t have this problem, I washed mine on a standard 30 degree wash and it came out fine but just to be safe don’t throw it in with your whites!!!
Anyway onto what I actually did make.  I recently came across an Australian pattern company based in Perth called Elbe Textiles. There’s currently around ten or so patterns, including a couple for men and a few uni-sex patterns but it’s a great range that I will definitely be making more from.  And there’s a few free ones too, including this skirt!  This is called the Lawley Skirt.
It’s a gathered, knee length skirt that has an elasticated waistband and drawstring and of course pockets!
The pattern calls for 210cm for a 120cm width fabric, so ever so slightly more needed than I had but with some strategic pattern placement I managed to squeeze it on.  I just had to cut the waistband as two pieces rather than the one cut on the fold.  It just meant that instead of a centre back seam I had two sides seams, so no problem really.  This fabric is just the perfect weight for this style of skirt and it hangs beautifully.
It feels really swishy when wearing it hence me trying (and failing) to get an action shot mid swirl.
I’m sure you get the idea!
I love the style of pocket on this pattern, not sure what the term is for them.  They’re sort of scooped out on the side edge. They are very comfy and I hadn’t realised until looking back at the photo’s hubby had taken that I had my hands in the pocket in every photo I think!!!
The pocket edge is finished off with a strip of bias binding which is a lovely finishing touch.  I did stretch the pocket out slightly when sewing so it hangs a bit loose but it’s not noticeable, it’s just me being picky!!! Next time I’ll add a strip of interfacing to give it a little bit more stability  It just depends on the fabric really.
Size wise I followed my measurements and cut out a large at the waist and graded out to an extra-large at the hips although in fairness I could have sized down one at the waist and hips as obviously with it being pretty full there is a bit of room to play.
The waistband is constructed by joining the elastic and attaching the elastic to the waistband piece before attaching to the skirt.  It’s done by stretching out the elastic to be the same length as the waistband piece as you sew and sewing two rows of stitching to secure. You then attach the whole piece to the skirt.
At this point I wimped out regarding sizing as I knew I wouldn’t be able to adjust the elastic with this method so instead of following the instructions I just attached the waistband piece to the skirt, leaving a couple of inches gap.  I then fed the elastic through, checked for size and joined the ends of the elastic and closed up the gap.  I didn’t sew the two rows of stitching.  
I have a really bad habit of thinking something isn’t going to fit and at the last minute I change my mind and give the elastic a bit more room and that’s what I’ve done here, so the skirt is a little big.  But the beauty is there’s also a drawstring tie so actually you can just tug in the waist a bit more and secure the tie.  And it’s another lovely finishing touch too.
When I sewed up the tie belt it looked so pretty.  I do have a little square of fabric left so I’m hoping to squeeze out a length of bias binding.  Hopefully there will be enough for a neckline on something.
I suppose I had this skirt lined up for summer but I’ve actually worn it quite a few times already.  The beauty of the fabric being a dark base is it looks great with black tights and a black jumper.  Even my recently purchased purple boots go with it!!! 
Well thanks for reading folks, do go and check out this fabric and the pattern company, just remember to check the fabric width before you order!!!!
Vicky xx  

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