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A classic brown knee length Jenny Skirt

Today’s blog post is special, because I am trying my first pattern from the lovely Nicola and Susan at Homer and Howells.

Homer and Howells are an exciting new pattern company based in Scotland and as I write this post, there are two sewing patterns in their shop – the Jenny , and the Cissy. I know they have a few more patterns up their sleeves, so I can’t wait to see what comes next…

The Jenny is a classic skirt. Choose either midi length (with a front split), or keep it short like I did (I cut my length at where the top of the split is marked). Patch pockets on the front of the skirt are optional, and the centre front zip fly was really good fun to sew.

 

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I have chosen to make my version in a dark brown cotton drill. I can’t quite remember where I bought this fabric from – it might even have been something that I picked up in a fabric swap – but I had just enough to make the knee length version. Turns out that dark brown is REALLY hard to photograph, and despite two photo ‘sessions’ (one indoors and one outdoors), I don’t think we were able to really pick out the details of the skirt very well after all. Let’s hope you can get some sort of idea with the shots that we did get.

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Oh by the way, my top is the original Tessuti Fabrics Mandy Boat Tee (free pattern) using the ‘one size’ pattern before they introduced different sizes on this pattern, and the lilac acrylic scissors necklace is from my shop! x

I have kept the front of the skirt nice and simple by leaving off the patch pockets. I did however add some pockets to the back of the skirt (not part of this pattern), but more about that later!

I wanted the skirt to feel really casual, a bit like a denim skirt, so I went for the topstitching big time! I used a matching dark brown topstitching thread and used it on the waistband, the centre front and back seams, the curve of the fly zip, and the back pockets that I added.

It’s important to try and make that curved line of stitching on the outside of the fly zip as neat as possible as it is so visible, so to help me I used a tracing wheel and some dressmaking carbon paper to trace the stitching line onto my fabric. It takes all the guess work out of where to stitch, and you end up with it exactly where you want it.

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I have only put in a fly zip once before and that was a long time ago, so I did wonder how tricky it would be, but the instructions were really great – I followed them to the letter and everything just fell into place perfectly!

The curved waistband has a snug comfortable fit with no gaping at the back of course, and fastens above the zip with a hook and bar. I made a size 12 at the waist and graded out to a 14 at the hips by the way.

So finally, I wanted to add  ‘jeans’ pockets at the back seeing as how I wanted it to have a casual feel. I simply cut out two jeans pocket pieces and traced out the stitching design that I wanted using the tracing wheel and carbon paper again, stitched out that design onto the pocket with the topstitching thread again and placed it on the back of the skirt where I wanted them, again attaching with topstitching. Can you tell that I love topstitching things! Take a shot each time I say topstitching! Ha ha!

I must say that positioning the pockets was a lengthy process! Pinning and adjusting pockets on the back of a skirt by yourself is tricky, and having not made jeans before I’m not quite sure what the tricks are for the perfect pocket placements, but I don’t think they’ve ended up too bad.

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I’ve ended up with a really lovely skirt, and one that I know I will wear lots and lots. It fits well, I love the length and the neutral colour means that I can have fun wearing it with all my favourite coloured tights.

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Thank you so much to the girls at Homer and Howells, who very kindly gifted me this pattern with no obligations. I am happy to share with you though because I really like it and hope you do too!

What’s your ‘go-to’ simple skirt pattern? I’d love to know.

Take care, and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x

 

 

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A Spring inspired Selkie Patterns London Skirt

I love this skirt.

This is the first Selkie patterns  garment that I have made and it’s a good one. Selkie Patterns are an exciting independent pattern and fabric design company which was founded a couple of years ago by two wonderful empowering women – Alexandra Bruce and Caroline Akselson. Their passion is sewing and design, with a strong belief in sustainability.

The London  is a 3 in 1 pattern, and features a blouse, skirt or dress.

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Although I’m very much in love with the dress version, I’m going to wait until warmer weather arrives for that, so in the meantime, I got stuck into the skirt.

So the skirt in a nutshell is knee length and features stunning box pleats front and back, the most adorable shaped waistband feature and a centre back zip fastening. Box pleats are my absolute fave and this is what drew me to this pattern in the first place.

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It is super easy to make. Just two pattern pieces are used, how great is that? I did have to shorten the length (as always)! and I think I took out about 10cm at the shorten/lengthen marking on the pattern before cutting out. I’m 5’2″ , so this is quite a normal adjustment for me.

I also decided to omit the sweet little gathers that should sit at the top of each side seam where it meets the waistband. I felt I wanted to keep this simple so simply pinched the excess (what would have been gathered) and graded out the side seam accordingly

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I realise that this fabric is very fussy, so a little difficult to show you all the details. The fabric by the way is something that I picked up at a fabric swap a long time ago. I think it’s a quilting weight cotton, which I think is not normally the best choice for dressmaking, but for a skirt with box pleats I thought the extra structure that this type of fabric has would be fab. I also love the busy floral print which is bright and happy.

Sizing, by the way, was spot on. Using the size chart and the finished garment measurements I worked out what size I wanted and it fits like a dream.

The instructions are really good. Beautiful hand drawn illustrations (in the style of the pattern cover), accompany thorough written descriptions and there is a helpful zip guide at the back to walk you through the steps needed to insert a regular zip.

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The waistband has a flap which fastens with a hook and eye.

Let’s just have a minute to talk about the dipped waistband. It’s lovely isn’t it? Sadly covered up by a big old jumper when we took our outside shots for this skirt, it is worth taking your time to get that shape just right. I actually drew my stitching line on the fabric before sewing so that the finished curve would be accurate.

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I really enjoyed making this skirt and have loved wearing it too. I already have the fabric and zip for my next version, so expect to see lots more London’s to come!

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Take care, I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x

 

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A Papercut Patterns Sigma Skirt

The run up to Christmas this year has been particularly busy, which I’m so grateful for as a small business. But there’s always something in the back of my head which tells me that I still want to sew a new dress for Christmas day. I kind of ruled out the dress this year and decided that if I made a skirt it would be quicker to make and easier to fit, so a skirt is what I have gone for.

I don’t tend to go for novelty prints at Christmas, but may be inclined to make something a bit more dressy, or at least a garment made in festive colours, but this year I simply wanted to make something using fabric and a pattern from my stash, and something that I could enjoy wearing on any day of the year!

My fabric choice is a wonderful green floral cotton twill that I bought from Sew Me Sunshine  quite a while ago. I only had 1 metre, so it was always going to be a skirt – but I wasn’t sure if I wanted to go for another Tilly and the Buttons Delphine skirt, which would have been amazing in this fabric, or step away from that and make something different. I went for something different. This fabric might be out of stock by now, but if so, then I’m sure that Harriet has lots of pretty alternatives.

The pattern that I went for is the Sigma skirt/dress from Papercut Patterns. I have made this pattern once before, but made the dress version. I blogged about it here  and this was a blog post that I wrote for Minerva back in 2017. This pattern makes a skirt or a dress with optional skirt gathers

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The skirt was a breeze to make. I made a straighforward size medium with no adjustments other than to lengthen the skirt by 8cm (exactly what I had to do with the dress when I made it) – as it’s really quite a short skirt/dress. (I’m 5’2″ for reference).

Shaping for the skirt is provided by waist darts at the back, and sweet little gathers at either side at the front waist. This almost gives it a subtle tulip shape and this is one of my favourite silhouettes. Also it has pockets! This fabric has the perfect amount of weight/structure to show that gathered feature beautifully, and I used the same fabric for the pocket bags rather than opting for a lighter weight fabric and there is no bulk. Happy days.

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I love that this fabric has a little bit of two way stretch, which means that the fitted waistband is always comfortable and hopefully will accommodate lots of cheese and cracker eating on Christmas day!

It has a simple invisible/concealed zip at the back as you might expect.

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I’m looking forward to wearing this at Christmas and beyond. For the photos I kept it simple with a plain white long sleeved tee, but the vibrant colours work well with some of the brightly coloured jumpers and cardigans that I have in my wardrobe, which should make me reach for it lots.

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  • Mint green cotton reel necklace is from my shop.
  • White long sleeved tee is an old RTW
  • Trainers are Converse.

As we approach the end of the year, I would like to wish you all the best for the New Year. Happy Christmas if this is something that you celebrate, and thank you for sticking with me over here on the blog. I realise that I have posted a little less frequently whilst I have been concentrating on getting my jewellery business up and running, so thank you for your patience ( and for those of you that have kindly placed an order), and I look forward to seeing you here on the blog a little more regularly in the New Year!

Take care, and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x

 

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An Autumn inspired Brumby Skirt

I have a bit of a thing for knee length skirts at the moment. Whilst I love them in warmer temperatures with bare legs, I also adore styling them with thick coloured tights when there’s a nip in the air.

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My latest make for the Minerva Crafts Blogger Network is The Brumby Skirt from Megan Nielsen. It’s the prettiest gathered skirt, which you can make in different lengths and has wonderful deep pockets and the cutest exposed zip feature at the back.

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I won’t say too much on my blog here, as you can read the full review over at Minerva Crafts, but I enjoyed making this skirt, and I especially love this vibrant floral needlecord. Unfortunately, I understand that this fabric is now sold out, but I know that they have a great range of alternatives.

So for me today, it has been paired with some aubergine tights and I’m Autumn ready.

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Take care, and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x