Tag Archives: clothkits skirt

Jackets

I was interviewing today, so I thought I’d wear a jacket, given that the interview candidates would all be wearing them.

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Jacket – charity shop
Brooch – Susan Sharpe on etsy
Top – Gap
Skirt – made by me from a Clothkits kit
Shoes – Arche

I’m undecided about jackets. I know they’re supposed to look more professional, and I wear them a lot in the winter because I really need an extra layer for warmth and I don’t really like how cardigans look with my jersey dresses, but come warmer weather I seem to abandon them almost completely in favour of cotton cardigans and shawls. And when I do wear jackets, I’m not sure they really do look any smarter!

Light therapy

I was planning to try to finish my skirt today, but the sun was out after a week of relentless greyness which has reduced me to a shambling, zombie-like exhaustion, so I thought maybe rather that sitting in my north-facing craft room I should get a bit of proper daylight. So I set myself up in the conservatory with my knitting for a couple of hours.

Sunday afternoon

I used the opportunity of knitting in really good light to make some progress on the second clue of the Woolly Wormhead Mystery Hat; I’m using Shilasdair Luxury DK in a purplish colour which is proving to be very difficult to knit in low light, partly because it’s very similar to the colour of my needles and partly because it’s quite fluffy and it’s not always easy to see the stitches clearly.

Mystery hat

I’ve also cast on for a jumper, ‘Quick Work in Thick Wool’ from A Stitch In Time 2. Given that I’ve knitted about five inches already it seems to be living up to its name!

Brown jumper

The yarn is Rowan Classic Cashsoft Aran. I had been planning to use it for Quintet, but when I finished the first ball after only a couple of inches of knitting I thought that I might not have enough yarn, and the jumper caught my eye on my first flick through the Stitch In Time book. I suspect I’ll get more wear out of it: Quintet is definitely a casual cardigan, whereas I’m rather hoping the jumper will work with skirts for the office.

By about two o’clock the sun was hidden behind next door’s garden foliage, so I managed to get some sewing in anyway, and have now done everything apart from the hems of my skirt, including some beautifully neat slip-stitching to attach the lining to the zip (we might gloss over the fact that I completely forgot there was supposed to be a seam allowance at the zip ends of the facings, sewed some very quick and dirty darts to make the facings and the skirt match up, and then had to fudge the edges I was slipstitching to allow for the fact that there was a seam allowance at the bottom but not the top. What the eye doesn’t see, the heart doesn’t grieve over). I am considering trying out my blind hem foot for the hems, but they can wait until next weekend, I think.

Making Monday: a start

I haven’t had much of a chance to use my craft room for actual crafting yet, but I did make a start on my Clothkits skirt yesterday, and incidentally discovered that my blocking mats double up very nicely as cutting mats.

Cutting out

I’ve cut all the pieces out and sewed the lining to the facings (learning in the process that when sewing a thin fabric to a thicker one it would be better to have the thin fabric on top to prevent it slipping away from under the thicker one; there’s not really much of a seam allowance on parts of it), but that was all I had time for, and as I’m in Glasgow this weekend the rest will have to wait.

(I was a bit annoyed to discover that the space on the sheet of corduroy has been filled up with pieces for a floppy hat. I don’t want a floppy corduroy hat, but some nice cord remnants wouldn’t have gone amiss. Anyone want the hat pieces? Shout in comments if you do.)

I’m definitely on the lookout for a nice simple dress pattern to try next. Any recommendations? I want something I can make in a wool or wool-mix fabric for winter work wear, possibly the same kind of shape as the vintage Crimplene dress I was wearing today:

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Shawl – Damson
Dress – vintage (from posh Oxfam in Bath)
T-shirt and tights – M&S
Shoes – Clarks

In other exciting news, my dressmaker’s dummy has arrived today! I still have to figure out adjusting her to match my measurements, but she’s assembled and standing in my craft room, and I have decided that her name is Mildred – no particular reason, she just looks like a Mildred to me.

(If you want to read more Making Monday posts, see Natalie’s post.)

Uninspired

I feel that my outfits have got a bit repetitive as summer draws on; I’m pretty sure that I’ve worn a variation of today’s several times already. Still, the year is turning; there was a real nip in the air this morning and the fruit on my next-door neighbour’s blackberry-and-apple tree* is very nearly ripe, and no doubt it won’t be long before I can start experimenting with more autumnal clothes.

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Cardigan, t-shirt and leggings – M&S
Necklace and skirt – made by me
Shoes – Jones Bootmaker

I also start my new job in a couple of weeks’ time, and I suspect I will need to dress a bit more smartly than I currently do (or, more likely, dress as smartly as I do on my smarter days all the time). This may well mean that I have to abandon my leggings, which is a shame as they’ve been a good solution on days when tights would look too wintery but it’s not really warm enough for bare legs. I don’t think they really look professional, though, or at any rate not with skirts; they might be OK under dresses, but I don’t think I’ll risk it until I have a bit more of a feel for the office. (I have, of course, already started worrying about what to wear on my first day!)

Meanwhile, I have another week off work coming up (it was a bit of a shock to realise that this means I only have four days left inmy old office; I’m going to miss my lovely colleagues a lot) so posting here will be a bit sparse again. Perhaps a week in jeans and sloppy linen trousers is just what I need to get me interested in my skirts and dresses again…

*It’s a Bramley apple which is completely choked by brambles, as is most of the garden, but in this case it does mean that you can pick all the filling for a blackberry and apple crumble in one go!

Making Monday: Mistakes and Sleeves

This weekend, I made a sleeve:

Sleeve

In fact, I made two sleeves, and finished off my Market Blouse.

Back view

I’m very pleased with how well the sleeves turned out. It’s just a shame about the rest of the top.

Front view

Side view

Yeah. I’m not going to be wearing this one to work any time soon. If it was a bit longer I might consider wearing it belted, but it’s too short for that to work, and tucked in it just blouses out in a rather unflattering way (although, admittedly, not quite as unflatting as the way it looks untucked).

I have learnt several lessons from this.

1. If I know that most patterns are designed for a B cup, and I also know that I’m a FF, expecting a top to be wearable without serious pattern adjustment is probably wildy overoptimistic. To put it mildly.

2. If boxy tops don’t fit me in shops, they probably aren’t going to fit any better just because I’ve made them.

3. I should pay attention to the drape of a fabric before deciding to make a garment from it; I don’t think this top would ever have been flattering but a soft, drapy cotton would have looked a heck of a lot better than this stiff fabric.

I think the top could work for me, if I made a size smaller (to eliminate the surplus fabric at the back) with a full bust adjustment (for obvious reasons) and a lot more waist shaping (which would probably also require adding a side zip so I could get it on and off) and used a softer fabric. Unfortunately, that’s a long way beyond my current sewing skills, so I think I’m going to have to wave goodbye to my dream of a rainbow of lovely simple-but-slightly-smarter-than-a-t-shirt cotton tops and concentrate on making skirts until I get a lot more confident.

Still, look at those sleeves. Those sleeves ROCK. Who would have thought someone who’s never sewn a sleeve in her life could make such fantastic sleeves?

Today I wore my Clothkits skirt, just to remind myself that I can make wearable garments.

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Necklace – Oxfam
Cardigan – clothes swap
T-shirt – M&S
Skirt – made by me
Shoes – Jones Bootmaker

(If you want to read more Making Monday posts, check out the links at The Yarn Yard!)

If the good Lord had intended us to walk, he would have given us sneakers

I am having a Shoe Crisis.

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Necklace – White Stuff
Cardian – M&S
Top – clothes swap
Skirt – made by me
Leggings – M&S
Shoes – M&S

I bought these shoes about three weeks ago, when my green Jones Bootmaker shoes died. And to start with, they were fairly comfortable; but then they started to rub, and I realised today that the lining of the heels has worn so much that it’s gone into strings and bobbles, which are what’s caused the rubbing. I have kept the receipt, so I will take them back tomorrow. I am Not Impressed.

Sadly, that leaves me a bit short of shoes. The purple Jones Bootmaker pair are on their way out. The new Jones Bootmaker pair are pretty good but the heels aren’t cushioned enough to take as much walking as my old shoes could. I have a cupboard full of other pairs of shoes, none of which are comfortable enough to wear more than once in a blue moon. I suppose really I should just bite the bullet and order a pair of handmade shoes from the people I got my lovely sandals from for next summer, and hope that it’s warm enough to wear sandals for the rest of this summer!

Everything in the garden’s lovely

I haven’t quite managed to work out the best set-up for taking photos in our spiffy new garden. The bird table makes a very good substitute for a tripod, but I’m not sure where to position it and myself for the best photos. Not quite where I tried today, I think, as that ended up with the sun just catching the top of my head meaning that (a) I was squinting a bit and (b) the camera has overcompensated by making the rest of the photo a bit darker than it should be.

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Necklace – made by Helen
Skirt – Clothkits
T-shirt and leggings – M&S
Shoes – Jones Bootmaker

Still, the garden looks fantastic – I’m hoping the weather is nice enough for us to sit out there this weekend!

After

Pretty good, eh? Especially if you know what it used to look like.

Before

Money well spent, I think.