Saturday, 19 November 2011

Winter Sun Makes - Part 1

I'm being rather optimistic in calling this Part 1.  I may never get as far as a Part 2 ...... you never know!

In a few short weeks I shall be away on my winter hols.  Sun, no sand (hate the gritty stick to everything stuff), and several gallons of alcoholic combinations a day.  Can't wait.  The only moot point is the fact that I have little in the summer clothes department.  The summer here this year was dreadful, and I never bought anything.  Therefore I'm left with a ratty selection of well worn old faithfuls, and a pile of lovely stuff that I will only be able to fit in if I shave 3 inches off each side of me (and suck my stomach in).

The only answer is to make a few things.  However simple; as long as I have something to pootle about from room to pool via dining room, I will be happy.  I have no dress-making patterns whatsoever.  The thought of unfolding that infernal tissue paper and cutting out, for the end result not to fit (does it ever?) puts me off even going to look for a suitable pattern.  Best try a bit of cobbling together then. 

I've been wondering what to do with this gorgeous bright fabric for ages.  It was sent to me as part of a rather wonderful surprise package by the designer Jennifer Paganelli - which many know as SisBoom on Twitter.  I'm a huge fan of her fabric designs and was blown away when I received my package.  This lovely paisley (oh - how I adore paisley - it's my perennial favourite of the fabric world) forms part of the current West Indies range.  If you want a pick-up on a dull, dismal day, just go and check out Jennifer's Sis Boom blog,  it will work wonders.

This has to be the quickest skirt ever!  If it wasn't for the fact I had to dismantle my machine half-way through and attempt running repairs (it worked - phew!), I would have finished this within the hour.

There is a shocking lack of design involved.  I couldn't be fussy and cut panels, as there wouldn't have been enough material to work it.  There was just enough length to make an above knee skirt, if I was skimpy with the hem.  It's not a proper hem as I'd have liked, but a quick run around with the pinking shears and a turn-up and stitch.  As it's intended as pool to bar wear, I don't think anyone will notice!

I've no idea how big the piece of fabric was to start with - measurements?  Pah!

I simply cut it in half length ways.  Then there was just enough leeway between the width of the fabric and the width of my hips to enable me to cut a slice off to pattern match the sides fairly well.  A quick whizz down the sides, and that the front and back done!  Did I say this skirt was very basic?

The waistband is just a turned-over channel threaded through with 1 inch wide elastic.  I've secured it at quarter points around the waistband by a few vertical stitches.  I do so hate it when elastic twists inside a waistband. 

As the skirt shape is just a tube, I knew I was going to have to introduce a bit of give in the hemline, or I'd be walking like a trussed up chicken.  But how?  The solution was staring me in the face, peeking out of the wire basket full of "pretties" above my desk.

A vintage lace crochet doily to the rescue!  I've got loads of them, as I can't resist picking them up when I see them sold for next to nothing.  I always feel so sad for them when I see them lying unloved in a box - all that work!  Of course, this means I now have a big basket of them - and no firm idea what to do with them.  My stash has just gone down by one............... back of the net!

I really was winging this.  I cut the doily into quarters, praying it would hold it's shape without unravelling just long enough to sew on.  A pin to hold in place at the top, I just folded it down so an edge met the end of the skirt.  Did the same both sides, then stitched as close to the edge as I dared.  Then I ran along the seam again with a very small zig-zag stitch to secure firmly, finally cutting out the small triangle of skirt fabric behind with my applique scissors. 

I'm rather taken by the end result.  The skirt now has four little kick pleats, that drape beautifully.

And do you know what?

It fits!

You'll have to take my work on this.... my knees only see the light of day on holiday

I've even got an idea for the next make!!!!
(shame it came to me at midnight, meaning I was up until half three this morning cutting and pinning.  What a mix-up this one is.... upcylcying to the nth degree)



  1. The wonder of all things handmade strikes again....and I'm sure it will become a skirt you will wear and wear. Very impressed that you were able to dismantle and reassemble your machine

  2. oh wow!!!! this is so lovely, I would buy this skirt!!!!! and what's more, id even wear it (and I don't wear skirts - EVER!!!) this is beautiful. I wish I could make such a thing. The material is divine too!!!! and like Redneedle, above... i'm impressed you could dismantle AND reassemble a sewing machine too!!!!!

  3. Love the addition of the lace doily at the hem!!


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