Hi Sew pals,
I hope you are enjoying the change of season, whatever hemisphere you are in.
I love autumn as it’s the return of football and when chestnuts are in season, two deep loves of mine. Also it’s time for jumpers and I recently finished knitting a cheeky Wool and the Gang russet number which I started knitting in March.
But for me autumn also means a style switch up. Laid back summer style equals ‘relaxed boho Bondi linen’ and jangly accessories, whereas to me laid back autumn can equal ‘cleaning out the attic’ in scruffy jumpers, trainers and jeans. So I wanted to whip up and few separates that would take me through the last few warm days and then into ‘official’ autumn not looking like I’m going to B&Q.
I looked at this Whistle skirt a couple of times…
I love Leopard print and it doesn’t take much convincing to get me on board with a ruffle. Animal print is all over to the high street right now and I saw this skirt in countless magazines and was doing some intense flirting. However at £99 it was a little rich for my blood.
A lot of people ask me if sewing my own clothes works out cheaper than buying them and my answer is ‘sometimes is does; sometimes it doesn’t’, but in this instance I was certain I could rustle a similar number for less than £99. I exercised my self control and didn’t buy it, instead exercising my sew control.
When I buy pricer clothes, more often than not, I can feel the better quality materials or see the more complex construction and workmanship, but for this simple flippy skirt, I thought the price was too high.
As a side note, both ‘Love to Sew’ and ‘Stitchers Brew’ podcasts have recently had episodes covering what it costs to have sewing as a hobby.
I’m lucky in that it’s one of my main hobbies and I have some disposable income I’m able to assign to it. At the moment, I still use what I’d consider mid level fabrics that sit in the £7-£12/m bracket, however as my skills improve and I want to produce items comparable to those I’d otherwise buy on the high street I can see myself reaching for higher quality supplies and will have to manage the increased costs and think about what value the process and my enjoyment add to my garments.
I had some leopard jersey in my stash that I picked up at the Cloth House warehouse sale earlier this year. I bought it with no idea what I’d make with it, but at £3/m I knew I’d be able make some leopard magic.
I checked out BHL’s tutorial to self draft a ruffle wrap skirt, which uses their circle skirt as a base, but I had seen another pattern.
When browsing the fabric online at Stoff & Stil, I wandered into their pattern section and saw this and thought I’d try out a new pattern company.
The patterns come in single sizes with the pattern pieces pre cut to size, from interface style fabric instead of paper. Each pattern piece is punched with holes to match with the markings on the instructions to ensure you have them the right way round. Having all the pieces pre-cut made this a really speedy make. I chose the Wrap Round Skirt with Flounce.
The instructions are pretty sparse and clearly translated from Danish- for the most part successfully, but there were a few instances where things were lost in translation.
In the hope to make this a transitional piece in my wardrobe, I decided to lengthen the skirt pieces so it would sit as a nearly maxi-midi, rather than a calf flashing midi-midi.
The pattern was intended for woven fabrics, but I decided to use this jersey anyway. To help limit the stretch, I used a tricot stitch to strengthen seams and when it came to the waistband and tie pieces I used non-stretch interfacing to stabilise.
The ruffles are created with curved circular pieces, which I think gives a softer twirlier movement then a gathered one. I can see myself using this pattern again as the fitting was good straight from the packet and it came together quickly. I can see this as a good match for ‘fun’ summer fabrics.
Here she is, styled with a black t-shirt and my favourite Superga sneaks. However this made me realise I don’t have the perfect black t-shirt, so a speedy make has only gone to increase my make list.
In retrospect, despite choosing to length, I might skim some of the hem, as the leopard ocean is quite expansive here. I am really pleased that my sewing skills are a a level where I can see a garment and then be able to confidently make my own version.