Sunday, 28 February 2016

Learning to sew the perfect pencil skirt - Style 2888

I think I've made the perfect pencil skirt!

I've had the pattern (Style 2888) since 1998 and it was one of the first I made (not the first, that was a disaster and a story for another time).

My Mother made it for me first and between us I've had at least a dozen skirts made and I think my sister has had at least one.  There's nothing special about this pattern but it did teach me to sew darts (there are 6 if you don't line the skirt, if you do there's 12) and put zips in successfully - two things that I've never thought of as being challenging probably because of all the practice with this pattern.

I don't think I've made Style 2888 up for over 12 years but I came back to it as I bought a metre of fabric for £1 (a John Lewis sale bargain) and wanted to make something simple.  I was pleased to find that one version had been cut to a 14 so it was still big enough for me.  I had adapted it in the past to have a centre back seam but this time also used the bottom of the pegged and vented skirt from the dress I made for my sister's wedding (I'll write about that soon).

I lined the skirt and sewed the zip in by hand.

I wore it to a formal dinner at my old university college, over 18 years after arriving there with the original (lilac tweed) version in my suitcase.  The dress code said 'Lounge Suit' which I think is tricky for ladies but this seemed to fit the bill judging by what I could see of the other guests and students there - outfits were hidden beneath academic gowns for most of the evening.

So in conclusion:
  • This was a very cheap make - in fact the thread cost more than the fabric! Well under £10.
  • I'm ridiculously pleased with the finish on this skirt and will be making more.
  • If you are learning to sew my advice would be to buy a cheap pattern off ebay, not necessarily something super easy but not too complicated either, and repeat it over and over!  Practice makes perfect. 

Friday, 19 February 2016

Back again - Vogue 8847

So its been a while since I last posted.  I wasn't really in to what I sewed in 2015, I think I put too much pressure on myself making a bridesmaid's dress, trying to make the best dress ever to wear to my sister's wedding, taking the vintage pledge...
But I've missed writing about what I've made, 2016's sewing seems to be going well so far and looking back I actually made some pretty good stuff last year. So I'm going to try and get going with the blog again.

My first make of 2016 is a second version of Vogue 8847 (which seems now to be out of print).  I really liked the style of this but I've realised brown really isn't my colour so after being worn only once the first version has been donated to charity (along with a beige cardigan which made me look so ill I honestly started to feel a bit unwell whilst wearing it).

The fabric was an ebay purchase which I had very low expectations of as it was cheap and polyester but when it arrived it was so lovely.  The weight is good, it presses well but doesn't crease badly and the colours were exactly as shown in the listing (its still available).

via ebay
I love this version of the dress so much more and have been wearing it to work - had I thought about this in advance I would have made view B perhaps as it is slightly longer.

So there we are.  Back again.