Just another circle skirt

Circle Skirt #3

This circle skirt is the last of the projects I started months ago. There’s nothing much to say except it’s a self-drafted pattern. Sadly the pattern is now a bit big for me so I cut the circle into fourths and sewed them back together using a quarter-inch seam allowance. That helped cinch the skirt in the waist. Huzzah!

Now, the only thing I currently have in my sewing queue is a couple of shirts for the men in the house. Must get those done so I can get back to sewing for me.me.me.

Happy Mother’s Day

It’s Mother’s Day here in the States. Because it’s my first I wanted to mark it with something special. I whipped up my first garment of the year (crazy, right?) and made Ollie a matching bow tie.


The fabric came from a lovely shop in Edinburgh during a meetup there. I was stuck with not knowing what to use it for. But recently it hit me: circle skirt. And it proved to be the best project to flex my sewing foot. Now I won’t be too nervous about approaching my other projects.

Happy Mother’s Day!


OWOP: Day 7 with Stripey Ginger

OWOP Cocktails!

Yesterday was the last day of OWOP. I really had a great time doing this challenge. It forced me to think outside of the jeans-and-t-shirt box and spruce up my look a bit. I definitely felt extra special every day because I knew I actually spent time deciding what to wear.

A group of us celebrated the end of the challenge with a few cocktails and friendly chatter. Meeting up with fellow stitchers never gets old. On the contrary. I look forward to meeting up more and more. It’s nice to chat about your hobby with someone who understands what you’re on about. Poor hubby just grins and nods when I explain what I’m trying to do with a garment. Bless.

A great night is always guaranteed when you mix three things together:

1. Alcohol

OWOP Cocktails!

2. Chocolate (Find my tutorial on how to make these lovely macarons/macaroons here).

Macaron tutorial

3. Great company.

OWOP Cocktails!
Stitch and Witter and House of Pinhiero

OWOP Cocktails!Pimp My Curtains

OWOP Cocktails!

Did You Make That, Auxetically and Lazy Stitching

OWOP Cocktails! Pimp My Curtains and Claire

OWOP Cocktails!

Tilly and the Buttons and Did You Make That

OWOP Cocktails!

What fun!

Thanks to Tilly for thinking up an awesome challenge that got my creative juices flowing. Thanks to Karen for organizing another fab meet-up. And thanks to y’all who humored me by listening to me go on and on about The Tube. I am obsessed with that show!

OWOP: Day 6 with Prince of Wales Ginger

Prince of Wales Colette Ginger Skirt

See those cute teal shoes above? Yeah, haven’t worn those since I lived in Texas and drove EVERYWHERE. I am not even going to pretend that those shoes will be worn today. I haven’t worn heels since I moved to London. My poor ankles aren’t suited for balancing over cobblestones and uneven pavements. All my heels are gathering dust in the closet. Maybe I’ll start using them just for picture purposes. But really, how do women in this city rock heels so well? My calves hurt just looking at them.

So…this is my first Ginger skirt. It fits a bit big now (hurrah!) but I don’t think I will go through the trouble of taking it in. I bought some wool Prince of Wales fabric and hope to replace this one next winter. When I made this skirt I used a pattern that I graded up to a size 20. I found the pattern a bit too roomy around the hips so I’ve since started using the 18 with a modified waist. I used the slash-and-pivot method to add some inches at the waist and keep the hips the same. I’m liking the new look and will soon retire this skirt. But it’s had a great run.

Prince of Wales Colette Ginger Skirt

Let me end this post with sending a MASSIVE congrats to Dibs and family. She and her husband welcomed Noah into the world late last night. Can’t wait to meet the little guy.

Jasmine+Madeleine=Happy Mela

From all the Victory Patterns it was the Madeleine pattern that I was most drawn to. I love how flirty flared skirts look. When it came to making Madeleine I was quite nervous. At the time I hadn’t made a lapped zip or top-stitched a garment so heavily. I actually experienced my first thread emergency. I ran out of top-stitching thread and had to run out to Rolls and Rems to pick up two more spools.

Sewing up the skirt was relatively easy. I graded the pattern up one size and cut off 3.5 inches from the hem. The only real issue that occurred was that my waistband still came out short. I had to improvise and make a loop to catch the button on the back. Worked pretty well, I think. The only other hiccup occurred when some of the top-stitching DISINTEGRATED on one of the pockets. I had to stitch it again by hand because the dress was already completed. Upon inspection you might notice the crooked stitches but I doubt anyone will be looking that closely.

The inspiration behind the fabric color is my upcoming 10 year (!!!) college reunion. Recently I purchased my plane ticket and I pictured wearing a green Madeleine on the flight. Our university colors are green and gold. Although I didn’t pick the right shade of green I much preferred the kelly green. I purchased the fabric from an eBay seller and I am really considering buying more to make a cropped pair of the Colette Clover. The cotton drill is so soft, has a bit of stretch and it worked beautifully.

Victory Patterns Madeleine Skirt

After I finished making Madeleine I knew a great compliment to it would be a Jasmine blouse. I used some navy floral fabric I picked up during Karen’s Fabric Fandango. Now that I look at the two together I’m not sold. I swear the look worked in my head. I am totally not on my way to a dairy farm or to sing in the hills of Austria.

Victory Patterns Madeleine Skirt

But I will admit. I LOVE the way the navy floral fabric compliments all the details in the skirt.

Victory Patterns Madeleine Skirt

Great roomy pockets to smuggle in candy into the movie theater (Muahahahahahaha). If I make the skirt again I definitely will trace two lines on the right side pockets instead of one. My second line came out a bit wonky without a line to follow.

Victory Patterns Madeleine Skirt

I bought these buttons from Totally Buttons and I love them. They are so so sweet.

Victory Patterns Madeleine Skirt

My improvised button loop. Can I just say that the lapped zipper might be the way to go? So pretty and easy.

Madeleine Skirt, Victory Patterns

I think I am going to sport the skirt with a simple t-shirt. The skirt is such a statement piece that it should not compete with a top.

Colette Jasmine Blouse

This is my second Jasmine. I made it especially for the skirt but have decided to wear it on its own. It’s a bit roomy and I am thinking I will take it in on the sides a bit. I don’t know why with dresses and blouses I under-fit or over-fit. It seems skirts are just my thang. Working on making them all my thang.

Loving coffee

After so much modeling I happily rewarded myself with a nice cup of coffee. Oh! Notice the headband? Skirt scraps I turned into a headband. Won’t be pairing that with the skirt in fear of looking too matchy matchy but I love the way it looks with the new Jasmine.

When it comes to Ginger, I’m a bit bias

Do you ever wonder what Past You was thinking when they bought a certain pattern/fabric/notion/gallon of ice cream? I do. Initially, I wasn’t too keen on the fabric I used for this project. I bought it about a year ago and when I got it out of the closet I instantly thought, “Red, white and blue? Really, Mela? Really?” But since making the skirt I have embraced the fabric and now I am calling it my “Go USA! Olympic Skirt”. Positive thinking, yay!

Because I love Colette’s Ginger skirt I decided one more couldn’t hurt. I’ve made it three times before (here, here, and here) but the fourth might be my favorite*.

Bias Cut Colette Ginger SkirtThis was my second attempt (the first being with the Negroni where the stripes almost matched perfectly by happy accident) at matching stripes.

Bias Cut Colette Ginger SkirtI almost earned an A+ until I stuttered a bit at the zipper. I re-did it three times but I couldn’t get the stripes along the zipper to match up.

Bias Cut Colette Ginger SkirtBut I’ll take it! Success!

I used ticking fabric and it played well. It cut easily, ironed well and has a nice denim weight. I added some bias tape to break up the waistband and skirt and I completely adore how it came out.

I can tell you now that this is not the end of Ginger. I can’t retire her. She makes me look good.

Colette Ginger Bias Skirt

*The Ginger skirt is my pattern of choice for Tilly’s One Pattern, One Week. I cannot wait to style those girls!

A spring in my step

Lately I am trying to be wise about my fabric purchases. I go out to buy the right amount of fabric for a specific pattern. But I used to randomly buy fabrics in hopes one of my patterns would do. In this case, I did a bit of both. I bought 3 meters of fabric with Darling (I swear I will stop talking about it soon…) in mind, not realizing the width wouldn’t do.

The fabric measures only a yard (91cm) wide, not leaving much for a dress. I was left having to find a a pattern that would use up most of the fabric. So I settled on making a skirt. Can you believe that I managed to use up almost all 3 meters with very little waste?

Enter one of my favorite quick, easy makes: Gertie’s Gathered Skirt. It requires a lot of fabric but not much width. Thankfully making it this time around I didn’t experience any horrible run-ins with the iron. No, this time I made a lovely skirt that I will be sporting this spring and well into the summer.

Gertie's gathered skirtI used the leftover fabric, cut away from the hem, to make myself an infinity scarf. Please forgive me for the bed head and sleepy eyes :) I woke up early so my husband could take my photo before he went off to work.

Infinity scarfIt’s so satisfying when there is little to no waste with a fabric purchase. I’m never so lucky with my other makes. I have two huge bags full of scraps. I’m determined to use them for something: quilting, crafting, baby wear. Waste not, I tell myself.

Are you, like myself, a scrap hoarder? Or are you ruthless and chuck it all out?

I’m so looking past you

20120111-044853 PM.jpg

My Hot Patterns skirt is currently being ignored by me. This pattern has been ready and waiting to go for a week. I got so far as to iron and lay out my wearable muslin. But for some reason I can’t seem to go the next step and cut the fabric pieces.

My lackluster reaction for it has to do with having read the tepid reviews on the pattern. The waistband seems to run small, an easy fix but still…There is something about this skirt that screams ‘more trouble than it’s worth.’ Maybe it’s just the state of mind I’m in. I want to make more fun, flirty things. So I am putting this aside for now and moving on to two other things.

The first is from the Sew Colette challenge, the Meringue skirt. The second is the Darling Ranges dress.

I’m determined to cutesify my wardrobe; no room for feeling uninspired. Ever feel that way and had to put aside a project? I feel like I’m being a bit harsh but realistic. I mean, the pattern isn’t going anywhere. I’ll come back to it one day.

Sew it right round, baby

I was debating drafting a circle skirt pattern but then I remembered I had bought one (Vogue 8749) ages ago. So I figured I should give that a try and save the drafting for my next circle skirt. This pattern is made up of two pattern pieces that you cut each twice, plus a waistband. Dead easy. So I thought.

I graded the pattern up a couple of sizes but somewhere I fudged my numbers and ended up having to take in the skirt five inches. Boo. Nothing sucks more royally than having to do more work when you think you’re done. But the work was worth it. I really love the way the skirt fits and looks.

circle skirt, tweed, wool

I love when a skirts sits on my natural waist

I experienced one of two firsts during this project. It was the first time I made pockets. You can’t ever go wrong with pockets in a skirt.

circle skirt, tweed, wool

Concealed zips have been the only ones I’ve inserted before. But I got to insert my first standard zip and it was a success. I promise it’s straight and not all curvy as it looks in the picture.

circle skirt, tweed, wool

Standard zip? Check.

I almost left the skirt unfinished because I just didn’t want to deal with the hem. While sulking on the couch I remembered a folding template that was shared on Pinterest (thank you whoever shared it!) and it saved my sanity. I successfully managed to do a curved hem without any puckers occurring. Wheee! That template will be my go-to from now on. It beats having to measure as you fold.

circle skirt, hem, tweed

Lined and hemmed. Oh yeah!

Winter has arrived and I finally have the wool skirt I’ve been wanting. It’s sassy, chic, and most importantly, warm.

tweed, wool, circle skirt

Happy lady in a tweed skirt