Denim skirt – more embroidery, less cowgirl

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Wow, this month has been chaotic in the Wardrobe household. I’ve been scurrying around like a headless chicken for work, writing reams of copy for clients and our half-term trip to the Isle of Wight crept up on us.

I’ve also had a weird period of sewing since the summer: one or two makes haven’t turned out as planned; there are more WIPs and UFOs hanging around than usual; the darker evenings are swaying me towards knitting; and I’ve also fallen behind on my stash diet pledge to use up 12 or more cuts of fabric this year. The race is on to complete and blog four more makes before the end of the year!

Here’s something I have finished – another New Look 6346 skirt. I’ve already talked about the pattern and the fit, so I’ll stick to what’s different about this version.

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The fabric

This one’s been lurking in the stash for a while… I found the pink and red border print a bit country and western for my liking.

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The border print was pretty full-on. It’s even got little mirrors sewn into it!

But once I’d made the decision to chop that off, the remaining embroidery is fairly subtle, and I could also go back to using the lengthwise grain, rather than having to work on the cross grain to accommodate the border print. It’s a lighter weight fabric than my first red wool version, so the skirt has a slightly softer shape this time, which I prefer. Ultimately, though, I’m going to have to use something with more drape to get this pattern spot on – maybe a wool crepe?

I didn’t bother to line this version, which made things a lot easier – especially the stitching in the ditch to secure the waistband.

And since it’s denim, I couldn’t resist a bit of topstitching around the hem (just seen) – with a bright red thread to match the embroidery.

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Skirts feel like a good place to be at the moment (some poorly fitting trousers are one of my WIPs right now). And sooo quick, compared to fitting both halves of a dress! Do you have any skirt patterns you’d recommend for winter fabrics?

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Red alert: New Look 6346 skirt

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Autumn has definitely arrived in these parts.

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The Forest of Dean: canine heaven

I’ve had this gorgeous solid heavy red wool crepe in my stash for over two years, but as the trees began to turn, it felt like the right moment to finally cut into it and make something bright to wear on dull autumn days.

I used New Look 6346 – a really simple flared skirt pattern with two basic variations and a contoured waistband. I opted for view D, with the plain front and an invisible zip at the centre back. I also considered the Sewaholic Hollyburn pattern, but didn’t want the centre-front seam.

This pattern has so much hack potential – I’d like to try adding pockets or belt loops and a midi version would be great for work. On the down side, I think it comes up a bit large. I originally cut the size 18, based on my body measurements, but ended up downsizing to a 16 so that the skirt would sit neatly at the waist.

Because the heavy wool crepe fabric is a bit itchy, I opted to use a scrap of quilting cotton for the waistband facing, and also to add a contrasting lining. This tutorial helped me work out how to construct the skirt with the lining included.

And for a super-smart finish, I hand-stitched the skirt hem using a bias facing finish. There’s something about wool – I just can’t quite bring myself to machine the hems.

Looking at the results, I think I might end up removing some of the flare from the skirt in this heavy fabric – and I definitely need to put more thought into what to wear with it (long brown boots? chunky knitwear?). But to begin with, I’m just going to wear it around a bit and see how it feels.

Cosy, I hope.

What’s on my sewing table?

Although I’ve been quiet on the blog this month, there’s plenty of sewing going on. Some successful, some less so. Here’s what I’m up to this week:

Bridesmaid Betty

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I’ve just, just finished handstitching the enormous hem on this, and it’s all ready to photograph. I just have to decide whether to take my own pictures for the blog, or see if I might be allowed to use the professional ones from the wedding.

A short-sleeved Fairfield shirt

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This was originally intended as secret squirrel surprise sewing for Mr Wardrobe’s birthday last week. It’s almost finished: there’s just a bit of finishing on the collar to do, plus the hem, buttons and buttonholes. But there’s one small problem. When he tried it on, we both remembered why he doesn’t own any short-sleeved shirts – they actually don’t suit him. His arms look weirdly stick-like and this shirt really brings out the geek in him. So now I need to either abandon it, or find another Mr-Wardrobe-shaped owner for it. I might see if my Dad would like to try it on…

Returning to the scene of a previous blunder

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Now that 1990s patterns are pretty much vintage in the sewisphere, I dragged out the first pattern I ever attempted (with disastrous consequences, all the way back in 1992) and it’s starting to look quite appealing again now. Since I currently own exactly zero pairs of shorts, I thought this might be fun to try again. Only this time I’ll be making view C in a lightweight tawny linen, rather than View B in a rose-print rayon challis type. (SO not a good fabric choice for a first project – if only my teenage self had listenened to her Mum.)

Stepping up my skirt game

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Having worn out my favourite RTW denim skirt this year, my wardrobe definitely needs skirts. So I’m planning a few as we move into autumn. First up, this gorgeous red heavy wool crepe is going to become view D from New Look 6346 – a straightforward flared skirt pattern with a contoured waistband and invisible zip. I was eyeing the Sewaholic Hollyburn pattern orignally, but I already had this one, plus it’s more economical on fabric so that swung it for me.

Knitting plans

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It’s time for a new knitting project, so I’ve spent some time on Ravelry this week, trying to work out how best to use some yarn oddments I have stashed away. I have four different balls of double knit (one cotton, one alpaca, two merino/cashmere blend) lurking in my stash and absolutely no idea what to do with any of them.

So that’s the next few weeks taken care of, then. Do you keep several projects on the go at once, or do you limit yourself to just one UFO at a time?

 

 

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