Back on the Blog, with TWO Finished Objects

 
Hello!

It's the first appearance of my face on the blog since July. Eek! That was a long time ago.

So here I am, modelling one of two recent makes - a Renfrew. Nothing new to say about how I made it since it's my third. I just added an inch to the length for a longer fitting top. The fabric is a John Kaldor remnant bought for £5 from Mandors when they had a load of John Kaldor jersey for sale back in April.
 
I bought it at the same time as I bought the fabric for my Juniper dress and to be honest I wasn't sure how much I actually liked it. Do you ever find that about fabric - you are attracted to it but aren't sure how much you actually love it? Anyway, I'd planned to make a maternity top with it but as I didn't get around to that and the fabric was still in my stash, I thought why not make a trusty Renfrew? So I just did. It's nice quality fabric and the colours go with loads of things I usually wear, I've decided that in the end, I do like it.

Second garment - a wrap skirt, which was actually the first thing I made post-pregnancy, which turned out to be a bit of a struggle!:

 
I was absolutely determined to make this skirt. I really wanted to prove to myself that I was still going to be able to keep sewing, and keep my hand in before I got out of the way of it and sewing became daunting. It was a few weeks in the gestation as I mulled over what I could make using my existing fabric stash and also what would be a forgiving fit. I wear skirts frequently but only a couple of them currently fit. The skirt was nearly scuppered by a couple of big mistakes but my desire to sew something and to have a new skirt to wear kept me stitching- I was going to make this bloody skirt, come what may.

My original intention was to make an A-Line wrap skirt, similar to the Miette skirt, but I would use the Sew What Skirts book to draft it using my own measurements. This is easy to do, and I've used the book before to make a wrap skirt. In my stash I had some lovely green wool which was intended for a pencil skirt from a 1950s pattern last Winter but was shelved once I became pregnant. Now not only have I no place to wear such a skirt, I think there are other shapes which would suit me better.
(bit of a crappy photo, but it shows the side view and wrapover, plus you can see some little legs on the changing table beside me!)

My first mistake was to follow the wrong set of instructions in the book to draft a straight skirt block instead of an A-Line block. I didn't notice this mistake until I'd already cut out the wool. Argh.

So, I decided to keep going and just go with a straight wrap skirt. Originally I was going to use silk to underline the skirt but as I wasn't sure I'd be happy with the final result I decided against it. I used some leftover green lining fabric which was a good match but I made another mistake in cutting it out. Double Argh. I wanted to use this lovely neat underlining method but I didn't cut large enough seam allowances so I had to do it the regular way. Again, I was determined to keep going.

I added a patch pocket with decorative button, using a pattern piece from a vintage men's dressing gown pattern. I'm pretty pleased with how this looks.

 Terrible quality, and rather self-conscious photo of the pocket in use!

One thing I was really chuffed about with the construction was finally using my blind hem foot to do a machine-worked blind hem. I had never tried this before as I was always a bit confused by how it worked, but spurred on by a Twitter conversation with Vicki Kate Makes I gave it a whirl. What a revelation! It really wasn't that complicated at all and I know it's a feature I'll use frequently as my hand sewn hems often come undone (plus I'm lazy about hemming too). Thanks for the inspiration Vicki Kate!

So how about the finished result? Well, I wouldn't normally wear a straight wool skirt for casual wear and I think the tie looks a little weird with the straight shape, though maybe that's just because it's not how I originally envisioned it. It's also not particularly practical to wear a wool skirt around a baby, as it was nearly pooed on and was thrown up on, on its first outing. The wool is also the perfect magnet for cat hair, of which there is a lot in my house, so I have to remove cat hair on each wear. Nevertheless it will certainly get worn fairly frequently since I'm relatively happy with it.

So what's next up on the sewing table? An A-Line denim skirt, then we'll see what other delights my stash holds

K x

27 comments:

  1. I think you look great in that skirt! And I'm so impressed that you are a) sewing at all and b) fitting into clothes that don't have stretch waistbands :-)

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    1. Thanks - the wrap skirt is perfect to accommodate a new waist size!

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  2. You're looking fantastic, you're back to your slinky figure so quickly! The top and skirt are both fabulous. x

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    1. Thanks Vix, I'm really pleased with how they both turned out

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  3. Wow it sounds like an assault course of bodily fluids in your house. Glad to see you looking so well and with two sewing successes under your belt

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    1. Ha ha, yeah there is definitely plenty of mess to clean up these days!

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  4. Lovely to see you! You look great, as do both garments! Great job!

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  5. Hey Kerry! You're looking fabulous and I love both the top and skirt. I'm glad the blind hem worked out as it makes that particular job a gazillion times faster and is a life saver if you're not in the mood to hand sew a hem! Nice to see some little feet too :)

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    1. Yep I'm a convert to the machine sewn blind hem now, so quick.

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  6. Looking good! :)
    I am SO impressed at your stick-at-it-ness in the face of Baby Brain. AND you got a wearable skirt out of the experience - double prizes!

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    1. I know, it was certainly a struggle. Feeling a bit clearer now...in general!

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  7. Great, that you are sticking to it! I find if you don't sew for a while, you do get less confident, but I've found it's best to just give it a go and then it all works out in the end :) Your makes look lovely!

    And I totally agree with the "I'm attracted to that fabric, but do actually like it?". Happens to me all the time. My fabric stash is full of this kind of fabric :)

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    1. I think there's fabric that I really like but isn't the kind of thing I'd wear, I've got to get more savvy at fabric purchasing.

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  8. Two nice makes. Glad you're back to sewing again.

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  9. Both look great. As do you!

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  10. Welcome back and can I just say, you look fabulous. How can you be so radiant and productive with a new baby? Well done. I really like both garments and they suit you well. I have the cat hair problem on wool too, but everyone who knows me knows I have a cat so they expect the fur :)
    Well done on the stashbusting too, I am currently trying to do that, all the new season stuff is in and tempting me. MUST.STAY.AWAY!!

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    1. Thanks Liz, I hope I haven't peaked too soon, it might be downhill from here!

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  11. You look really good. I love that renfrew. It is so bright. About sewing again, it will all come back. I find that i am always unsure of what i am doing after taking a sewing break.

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    1. Thanks Dibs, yes the Renfrew pattern is pretty dazzling, especially when you see it in so many photos one after the other!

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  12. YAY! Welcome back!!! Love the skirt...and hmm..blind hem foot...I must try that out!

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  13. Great wrap skirt!! I think you could wear a skirt like this no matter how your weight may fluctuate. Looks great on you! I'm sure baby loves it. :) And, I used my blind hem foot for the first time just yesterday when hemming a pair of culottes I made. It worked out great! There are a few spots where I didn't go completely straight and the stitches are a bit too wide, but otherwise, it was fast and did a fine job! Will be using it again, for sure.

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  14. Welcome back! It looks like you have some nice pieces to transition you back into the sewing world (:
    The wrap skirt is lovely. Although unintended, I quite like it as a straight skirt. Very flattering.

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  15. Your makes look great! And the skirt is perfect paired with some warm leggings.
    I'm like you, trying to dip my toes back into the sewing world. It's true what they say, there is no time in the day for yourself with a baby!! Oh, and love the cute wee legs poking into the photo, too :-D

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  16. These look great, I particularly like the renfrew as it looks cosy yet bright and cheerful. I am also super impressed by anyone who can juggle sewing with wrangling a tiny baby, so you should be very proud of both of these!

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Thanks for reading and commenting - I love to hear what you have to say