Red alert: New Look 6346 skirt

P1170737

Autumn has definitely arrived in these parts.

P1170726P1170706P1170703

P1170678
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.

Advertisements

The murky depths of my fabric stash…

After last year’s stash diet, I’m pleased to say that my fabric collection is back under control. I’ve set myself a rule, which is that I must not buy more fabric than I can manage to sew! I make an average of just over one garment a month, so I’ve restricted myself to buying just one new length of fabric a month. That leaves me some slack to work through my stash, and to do a bit of scrapbusting on the side.

Yesterday, I got the whole pile out and and tried to work out what’s been in there the longest. I pulled out three pieces that I’m calling the lurkers – fabric from the murky depths I’ve had for more than two years, and that I haven’t yet decided what to do with. I’m hoping you can help me with some suggestions!

Lurker number one

P1170385

This is my oldest piece – it’s from my Grannie’s stash, which I acquired in 2012, but she probably picked it up decades ago in a remnant sale at a woollen mill. It’s a heavy navy blue wool tweed, and astoundingly, it was even made in England. There’s not enough for a coat, so I’m wondering about a jacket of some kind?

Width: 140cm

Length: 1.46m

Lurker number two

P1170392

I bought this embroidered border denim in a pile-it-high fabric shop in Cheltenham two years ago, and it’s been there ever since. It’s not the best quality denim, but the main worry is that I’ve never worked with a border print/embroidered border before – how do I deal with the grainline? And how do I stop a garment made from this looking too, ummm… cowgirl?

With 150cm

Length: 1.5m

Lurker number three

P1170399

This one has definite possibilities. It’s a heavy-ish wool crepe (yup, I did the burn test) of some kind that I bought at the Worcester Resource Exchange. I’d originally planned to make a Hollyburn skirt, but I don’t think there’s quite enough for my favourite knee-length version. Can you recommend a less fabric-hungry skirt pattern?

Width 146cm

Length: 1.4m

So there they are. How would you use any of these? And what’s lurking in the Mariana Trench of your stash?

Red rush

The weather’s turned frosty here in the Midlands this week…

p1140680
Mr Wardrobe took this shot looking towards the Malvern Hills

…which means it must be time to psych myself up for Christmas.

I loved Christmas as a child. My birthday’s in early December, so Christmas kicked off straight after that, and it was a huge festival of family, friends, presents and parties topped off with a side order of chocolates, decorations and cracking TV.

As a carefree twenty-something, Christmas was always action-packed up until 24 December, and then I retreated home to my parents’ house for R&R. Even after three days of falling asleep on the sofa, there was always plenty of quality time for my hobbies (including sewing) before gearing up again for New Year’s Eve.

Since starting a family of my own, I’ll be honest: I don’t look forward to it quite as much. These days, December begins not with a birthday party so much as the purchase of a new anti-wrinkle cream. Then there’s a flurry of organising to be done: presents, cards, food, decorations, travel arrangements and social stuff – although sadly there aren’t usually any occasions that demand a fabulous dress. When Christmas finally arrives, I no longer get lie-ins or long afternoons to knit in front of The Wizard of Oz. And when NYE comes round, you’ll probably find me sloping off to bed at about 10:30, muttering that I’m ‘too old to stay up till midnight’.

So this year I need an injection of joy in my Christmas season. And that means red. I pulled these fabrics from my stash this afternoon and I’m trying to decide how I could combine them into a cheery Christmassy make that’ll get worn well into the New Year.

p1140689
Sorry, the elephants were meant to be in focus.

The solid is a wool crepe, probably just enough for a flared skirt. The two patterned fabrics are both quilting cottons, so they might be handy for facings or pocket linings. I’m thinking perhaps a Hollyburn skirt? If it gets made in time for Christmas Day that’ll be a small miracle, given the size of my queue. But if not, it should bring me some joy in the dark days of January and February, and it’ll probably get worn next Christmas instead. Bring it on!

Are you full of the joys of advent, or are you also feeling a teensy bit Bah Humbug this year?

And what will you sew between now and Christmas, especially if you’re not making a party dress?