Tag Archives: skirt

Vintage Fabric, New Skirt

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It’s been busy couple of weeks so this is coming a little later than I expected. However, I am resisting the urge to apologize because it’s my blog and that means I don’t have to apologise for not writing this sooner.

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My mum was having a clear out and I managed to score a load of fabrics and notions out of it. This fabric went top of the pile because the print is absolutely gorgeous. It’s I believe an 80’s cotton, and I thought it would make a lovely skirt.

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I traced a pattern from a mid length skirt from my wardrobe which I love- it was payment for helping out at a vintage sale a couple of years back and I think it was handmade for a theatre costume. To save time and tracing paper I used the same piece for front and back of the skirt. I wanted a centre back seam for the zip to be inserted into, so I simply drew that piece on the fold, adding seam allowance around the edges. I then added another line with seam allowance on the centre seam. Cut out one piece on the fold, and two with the extra seam allowance for the back.

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I really had to squeeze this skirt out of the fabric, as I didn’t have very much fabric. Pattern matching be damned! However, I managed to get all the pieces which was a relief, including one waistband piece. I added a couple of inches extra to the length, in order to create an overlap for a button fastening. This was a feature I really liked in my original skirt.

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I love this skirt, and it was so quick to make. I am anticipating at least another one of these in my future! I wear this style a lot all week long, because it’s a really versatile piece in my wardrobe. Plus, I have the pattern piece ready and waiting now…

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I wore this to the cat cafe in Manchester last weekend and the combination of new vintage skirt and cat stroking times became very exciting to me-

We went to a cat cafe today and I think we're still giddy about it 😺😻😺

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Plus, it’s nearly Me Made May time! Please do come over to Instagram to follow my pledge and join in the party. It’s such a lovely time for the sewing community to come together and celebrate the fact that we made our own clothes!

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A Zip After My Own Heart

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It’s March! I’m not always wearing gloves because I don’t need them!

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Spring is certainly on this way, and I am feeling the spring clean, new start kind of vibes right now. As you might guess from the boxes in some of these shots, we moved a couple of weeks ago. The new apartment is lovely, albeit with a bit of a life of its own, plus we have a spare room now which means I have a dedicated sewing space! I’m sure I don’t have to tell you guys how happy this makes me. I’ve got a gorgeous project on the go and I’m loving that I don’t have to allow tidying time into my sewing time. Just shut that mess away for the day, and pick it up tomorrow. Amazing.

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Ooh, attractive. I love a girl with a jumper for a face. I also have a brand new job which I wish I could tell you about because it’s awesome, but I really can’t right now. Come back in a couple of months and I might be able to spill the beans… in any case, I’m feeling in a good place right now.

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On the subject of spring cleaning, I got rid of a lot of stuff before our move. We were moving from the south to the north of the country (shout out to those who relocate frequently, you guys must be machines), and so I didn’t want to take anything all that way I didn’t care about. This required a rather brutal look at my sewing stash. Here’s roughly what I was dealing with-

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Now I’m sure this isn’t as much as other people function with very happily, but for me it made no sense to keep all of this mess. I was hoarding old shirts and things, thinking ‘I could do something with this’- there to die in the corners of the cupboard. Here’s the steps I always take when decluttering-

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  1. Work out exactly what you’re dealing with. Take everything out and put it where you can see it all. This often seems overwhelming but it’s kind of necessary to get a bit shocked by how much stuff there is.
  2. Pick up your favourite things. For me, the fabrics I love, the refashions I can’t wait to stick my teeth into. These will definitely stay.
  3. Pick out the essentials. The tools and materials you can’t be without.
  4. Right, now onto some decisions. I go through every item, thinking about how it makes me feel. Am I excited to use it, or does it feel like a responsibility? There is no joy in keeping stuff which makes you sad. Obvious, but sometimes it helps to hear it again.
  5. Donate what’s left, or in my case donate/ send to textile recycling. Let your unwanted items run free, live a new life!

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Thanks for reading this slightly meandering post, where I’ve interspersed it with photos of what I wore today. The top is a refashion from last year, and the skirt is a new to me vintage red cord. Red cord skirts everywhere, please!

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I suspect this might be a handmade skirt, judging by its insides. It has a slightly wonky zip insertion after my own heart. I’m a bit out of practice with outfit shots, I started a bit self conscious. To calm myself down I took a deep breath…

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Tablecloth Skirt Mark Two

I used to have long hair. It was determined to be straight and limp and boring, not matter how much I messed with it. I would curl it, it would deflate within the hour. I also had very little interest in doing anything cool with it. A bun was too complicated for me to work out. And so, during a period of being especially annoyed with it, I got it cut off, marking one of the best decisions of my life. No longer will my hair get in the way while eating, take forever to dry, and make me sad by hanging over like a wet blanket over my face. Best of all, it suited me. It turns out I was a short haired person stuck in a long haired person’s body. 

However, I’m sure none of you are surprised to hear I got some backlash from this decision. I remember being told to ensure I wore more flowery clothes, to offset the ‘masculine’ hair. Often I would be told ‘You suit short hair so much, it looks great! When are you going to grow it back?’, which is a weirdly paradoxical statement. I was also ‘warned’ that people would think I’m a lesbian, which is strange, as that isn’t an insult. Anyway, regardless of my sexual positioning, these strange stereotypes pursued me, despite the fact that reactions to my hair specifically were overwhelmingly positive. People have such messed up priorities sometimes.

I wanted to mention this little story from my life for a couple of reasons. Firstly, I got my haircut yesterday (after these pictures), and it got me thinking about how, to some people, my hair is something of a confusion to their prescribed view of what a woman should look like. Secondly, and rather more trivially, I made a long skirt into a short one, which also reminded me of this process.

This skirt was very originally a tablecloth, found in a charity shop. In my early days of sewing, I made this into a maxi circle skirt. It was a real ramshackle affair but I eventually made something wearable, at least for a few wears.

Like my long hair, I began to find the long skirt more trouble than it was worth. It kept tripping me up on the stairs, dragging in the dirt, and getting stained. I bundled it up into a bag for a bit, before using some of it for this Mimi blouse. The other week, I had a look at what was left of the skirt, and decided it would be perfect for a quick A-line skirt. I traced a shape directly from my Delphine skirt (I couldn’t be bothered to trace the proper pattern out again, as I said, I fancied a quick project), and cut as close to the grain as possible. I was considering going for pockets, but I went for a side zip so I didn’t fancy working those two things out together! The best bit was that I didn’t have to hem, as it already has these scalloped edges.The waistband is a bit of a mess and could do with being about an inch and a half smaller, but for a simple project I’m pleased with it. So pleased I took these photos outside when it was rather nippy.

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Happy Birthday Blog!

This post has taken me a long old time to write. Do you ever feel like you’ve been experiencing too much internet? I just felt smothered by it. So, I deleted all my social media apps from my phone, stopped refreshing the Guardian homepage every three minutes, and tried to spend more time doing other things. I’ve started learning the Ukulele again, having stopped after a very short burst about four years ago. My apartment is also now many bags of junk lighter, having gone through a donation spree. It’s felt good; necessary. Next, I’m going to clear out my fabric cupboard (yes, I know!), as it’s been making me feel more sad than excited. Sometimes a good cleanse can be useful for the creative soul.

Anyway, onto the purpose of this update, which is that my blog had its anniversary last week! Happy Birthday blog! Losori started a year ago now, and my goodness what a year. I am so glad I started this blog all that long year ago. Thank you to everyone who has supported me by reading, commenting or saying nice things in real life. There was a time that I didn’t feel confident telling people I liked to sew, or god forbid knit. I’m still not shouting it from the rooftops in the real world, but I’m feeling way more happy about my passions, and I do talk about them, both chatting to people and right here on this blog. One thing I didn’t anticipate is pride. I’ve been starting to feel good about making things and sharing them. Every new make is a little story of my process, and I actually get really excited about sharing that with the world.

Just to get vaguely personal, it’s been a rough year. I think it has for a lot of people. And this blog has actually been a bit of a rock for me, even if it might not look that way from the outside. I’ve been able to dip in over the year, adding to my writing, taking better photos, and each time feeling like I have achieved something, even in a small way.

I thought it would be nice to have a look at the hits and misses from my very first blog year, so I hope you enjoy.

Hits-

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First, the highlights. This year was pretty much the first one where I had both the time (sort of…) and the resources to sew, so I definitely saw my skills improve over the course of these 12 months. My favourite make this year, to no one’s surprise, has to be my space dress. Nothing has made me feel so proud and happy to wear. Do you ever put something on and it actually feels like it accurately represents you and who you are? Somehow, this dress does that. I’ve ordered a long invisible zip for this dress so soon it won’t take two people pulling to get this dress off…

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My Megan dress is again, not perfect, but I actually wear this to work and no one gasps ‘Gasooks, this woman is wearing an outfit made on her kitchen table. Cast her to the flames!’ They haven’t said that because I don’t work in a anachronistic medieval witch hunting club, but also because it legit looks like a well made item of clothing.

 

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I have knitted intermittently over the year, leading to my biggest project which was my owls jumper. I love this jumper, it’s so soft and chunky and lovely. The only thing with it is that it’s a little snug ‘round the neckline getting it on and off. Did I cast it off too tight? I’m not sure, but probably.

 

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And lastly, just a couple of other makes I’m especially pleased with. My America dress is just really cute and fun. I used to love this dress in its original form, and it’s great to still be able to wear it in a new way! Lastly, this nedroid costume was very easy but very effective. I liked being a bear and a potato.

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Misses and eh’s-

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I made this scalloped skirt as part of a facebook group’s challenge and whilst I enjoyed the process, I really can’t get along with the finished product. It doesn’t have a strong waistband so it sags over the course of a wear, plus the scallops always need ironing which just irritates me. These, combined with the fact the design causes so much upskirt with even the slightest breeze, makes it my top miss of the year. But, as a plus, it was my first time with buttonholes which was fun.

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This sleeveless Mimi blouse is a funny one, because I kind of like it, but am also not sure at the same time. The fabric choice isn’t really right for the pattern, and if you read back over my post about it, I was kind of cobbled together from a load of mistakes. But then it looks ok in these photos. I’m going to give it until next summer and see how it holds up with the rest of my wardrobe.

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One day I randomly got some pictures taken of me in a vintage inspired outfit, and thought it might be good to put on here. I then went on to do a couple of My Style posts, but to be honest I never felt altogether comfortable with this category. I think it shows in the photos. Compare my body language to in photos of my space dress, for example, and there’s a whole world of difference. I’m not going to get rid of them, as it seems dishonest, but they really aren’t my best work. 

And that’s been the year. Generally a successful one for makes! I’m very much looking forward to the next. Once again, thank you to you all, and I look forward to the next year of creativity!

Sew stylish- Dubrovnik

As promised, here are some snaps from my holiday in Dubrovnik. This isn’t a travel blog so I won’t bore you all with too many details about the place itself. Basically, if you like ice cream, blue seas and beautiful roofs, go to Dubrovnik like right away. It’s awesome.

This holiday was a great last swan song for a lot of my summer wardrobe for this year, & I think I saw them off well.

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Ha, look at my funny face. Here I am on the main street wearing my sorbetto top & a refashioned skirt. This skirt used to be a dress I got years ago from Primark. The pattern remained adorable, but the body grew. However, I just did the same thing as with this skirt, & a new outfit was made.

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Next, we’ve got this refashioned America dress. I love this outfit, it’s so fun to wear. Also, one day I will get a good full length picture of me wearing this dress, but this holiday was apparently not that time.

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You may well recognise this next outfit, as it’s the one from my last blog post here. We’ve got my sleeveless Mimi blouse paired with this refashioned liberty print skirt. It’s a real pastel fest here.

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Finally, I wore my space dress on the last day. I don’t have any full length pictures from this trip so go click that link if you want to marvel at that awesome print.

 

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We had a wonderful time & you should all go to Dubrovnik. Go to Mea Culpa, get a pizza bigger than your leg, & say hi from me.

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Refashion a Dress into a Skirt

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I found this lovely dress in a charity shop. The fabric is so cute & the style reminds me of an Emery dress which is great. I tried it on in the shop and the arms seemed a little tight but I thought I could deal with it. Fast forward to the next time I’m trying the dress on, & I fear I might have to cut myself out of it.

Having ripped the armhole in my escape, it’s clear I can’t wear this dress. Unless… it’s a skirt! This is a super easy refashion. The dress had a gathered skirt, and basically all I did was create a waistband out of the bodice.

First, work out how wide you want your waistband, then cut twice that length up from the skirt. I went for a couple of inches. I had to cut through the zip which extended into the bodice.

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Next, I used my zipper foot to sew down the edges of the zip. Check the zip still works fine!

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Then, I folded the waistband down onto the skirt, wrong sides together, tucking under the raw edges and pinning them in place.

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Lastly, I stitched in the ditch (sewed with the right side up onto the seam between the waistband and the skirt) and I was done!

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If you want a slightly more rigid and strong waistband, you can interface it before stitching it down. I wasn’t too bothered/ was too enthusiastic about how quick a project this was turning out to be!

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Now, let us all go forth and make dresses into skirts.

Liberty Skirt

I went to my ‘rents a couple of weeks ago where I got a trove of vintage fabrics. It was a good day. Among these was a really cool Liberty fabric with elastic on one of the edges. Basically you’d buy a length & the elastic has already created the gathered waist. I’ve never seen this already on the fabric, does anyone know if this still exists? This had already been made into a skirt, but it was pretty easy to resize. First, I put it on and worked out how much to take out.

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This is just for show. I ended up taking in way more than that, to compensate for the stretch of the elastic. Anyway, after that I sewed down as straight as I could be bothered, cut off the excess and a super speedy skirt is made.

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This isn’t a length I usually go for but I think it’s pretty cute.

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The fabric is so very lovely, it’s soft and light. Perfect summer styling, plus comfy enough that I can eat as much ice cream as I like. That’s the plan anyway…

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It’s nice to be back blogging, life’s been busy recently.

Me-Made-May ’16 Weekend’s 3 & 4

Apologies to anyone who saw this post before it had any words on it- I was trying to get to grips with the WordPress app on my phone and I pressed the wrong buttons. This weekend’s Me-Made-May weekend round up is a double whammy. Work and other projects have been taking up most of my energy at the moment.

Saturday 14th

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Eurovision day called for a red, white and blue theme. This is a darn comfy outfit. This skirt was made during a very low time of my life so it’s extra fun look means a lot to me every time I wear it. It’s made from a second hand baby duvet and a remnant I got from John Lewis years ago. I followed Annika Victoria’s 30 Minute Skirt Video Tutorial which is great for when you want to make something to wear, but want it quick and easy.

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… I saw a bird.

Skirt: Handmade (unblogged)

Top: Second hand

Cardigan: Second hand

Shoes: Docs

Sunday 15th

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This top is my first refashion. I bought it second hand, removed the sleeves, resized and got rid of a load of sequins. All by hand. Yeah, this was whilst I was in halls at uni and didn’t have my sewing machine with me. It has french seams and everything! Impressive work, past me.

Top: Handmade (unblogged)

Trousers (not pictured): H&M

Saturday 21st

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This outfit is basically the same as the first time I styled this skirt. Not sorry. Also, although this skirt is cute and it was fun to make, it did not do well in the winds the day threw at me. Also, those scallops would definitely benefit from an iron and I just do not want to do that.

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Hmm, looks like my hair didn’t do well in the wind either.

Skirt: Make Thrift Buy Community Challenge- Scallops

Top: H&M

Cardigan: John Lewis

Sunday 22nd

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This was a lovely day, so some outdoor photos! Man, photos look so much better outdoors. This dress was one I found in a charity shop and had to have because polka dots, and refashioned to fit. It isn’t a perfect fit (the bust is tight, as you can see in these photos), but I like it for now. If it ever gets too much, it’ll be pretty easy to make this into a skirt.

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Sometimes I think I should post nice photos, and sometimes I like not being perfect.

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Dress: Refashioned (unblogged)

Cardigan: White Stuff (which I changed the buttons of. I love doing that on cardigans, such an easy transformation)

Shoes: Docs

Bag: Second hand

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I hope you all have a good week. See you later!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Me-Made-May ’16: Weekend 2

This weekend was so summery, it caught me off guard. I felt like I needed some kind of official email or something in advance, telling me tights weren’t needed.

Saturday 7th

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On Saturday I took Michael on a surprise trip to see Matilda the Musical on a gloriously sunny day in London. I brought a cardigan and a jacket AND wore tights which was definitely overkill. This dress was the perfect level of whimsy for today, except for the moment when I went to order our food at a pub and my top button popped out which had no whimsy in it whatsoever.

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Dress: Refashioned America Dress

Bag: Cath Kidston

Sunday 8th

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Sunday was spent not wearing tights and celebrating my brother’s birthday. The grainy photos here were taken at the end of the day when it was dark. This kind of thing tends to happen at the end of the day. This skirt was perfect for the weather, floaty and light and ever so soft. What I am realising very quickly is that I really need to make more tops. I have a lot of me made skirts, but nothing to wear them with.

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Top: H&M

Skirt: Refashioned Peep Show Shirt

It was hot. See you all next week.

 

Refashioned Peep Show Shirt

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All of you who follow me on Instagram saw a sneak peek of this project, and I can now show you all the finished product! I really enjoyed this one.

This refashion starts with a man’s XL shirt I found on Ebay.

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I know, it’s a darn good look for me. I bought it with the idea of refashioning, but I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with it so I kept it in my wardrobe for like two years. During this time I did actually wear it as a kind of cardigan a couple of times. Then, one day whilst watching peep show, I made a startling discovery.

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Yep, that is David Mitchell in my shirt. Well, now I had to do something to make this shirt wearable. It’s like a piece of cultural history… or maybe just a fun print from Matalan.

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First, I tried on the shirt as a skirt to see how high I could leave it buttoned up whilst fitting across my hips and waist. This was to keep as much length in the skirt as I could. I then cut along this line. This was partly measuring, and partly eyeballing to cut across. IMG_1168

From the top section I cut the waistband pieces. I centered these from the button and buttonhole left on the top of the shirt as seen above. I had to go across the sleeve seams but that’s the price for trying to use as much of the shirt as possible. I cut the enough interfacing for the waistband, and also cut a little rectangle of extra fabric, as I had a panic that I hadn’t made it big enough. The lining fabric was cut from the wings of the Reginald costume I made for Halloween, so this skirt was entirely made from second use fabrics.

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After interfacing the outer waistband, I attached the pieces. At this stage I tried it around my waist and realised I was wrong to panic, I had the size pretty close to correct in the first place. Easily solved, I simply pinched the excess at the centre back, marked and sewed right sides together, then cut the leftover fabric.

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Now, before I create the shape for the skirt, I made the pockets. The sleeve pieces I still had attached to the main body of the skirt made perfect already made pockets. All I had to do was cut them away from the top of the skirt, because I didn’t want to get them caught in the waistband…

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… And sew the sleeves/ pockets shut rights sides together.IMG_1174

I gathered the skirt in the same way as with my Refashioned America Dress. It’s amazing how much neater I think I was this time, after only the second try, but it’s definitely a confidence boost to see your skills improving each time. As before, I pinned the waistband, matching up the centre fronts and back, which I had cut little notches into. It turns out I had to let the gathers out a lot so it’s a subtle gather, but the process helps it fit to the waistband correctly without loosing the fullness of the skirt.

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I attached the lining and waistband tops right sides together, then turned the lining onto the inside of the skirt. Tucking the raw edges under, I stitched along the line of the skirt to waistband seam. To keep this as invisible as possible, I sewed with the right side of the skirt facing up on my sewing machine, and taking it slow, whilst crossing my fingers that it was picking up the lining on the other side.

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Success, it did! There’s one bit where it didn’t but hey, a majority is a victory here. At the ends, to keep away from the already existing fastening, I tucked the ends of the lining in before the buttonhole, and hand stitched that and the exposed raw ends of the waistband down.

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A quick press, and this skirt is fit for any puke-point based party!IMG_1183

And here’s the back. You can see how the gathers aren’t too pronounced, yet the skirt manages to have an interesting silhouette, especially as the pockets create a slight tulip shape. IMG_1184

Here’s a close up of a pocket. I think it’s such a nifty way of utilising the original garment’s design for the new skirt.

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I don’t have any pictures of me wearing this currently, but I’m sure it will turn up during Me-Made-May ’16, so keep an eye out. TTFN!

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