all joined up (dot to dot)

If you’re going to start making design changes on a skirt, please learn from my mistakes. Adding piping creates extra bulk. Don’t use a folded over waist band, do create a facing instead! this would have saved me so much aggravation. As it was, I had to hand stitch down the waist band to ensure it was even, and spent my teeth grinding minutes unpicking.

Also do pay attention to the instructions, even if you think its a piece of cake. Half way through this pattern I discovered why the waist band seemed too big. It had an overlapping section above the zip. By which time, you’ve guessed it, mine had been cut down to size. Happily this was more easily fixed, with a hook and eye. Don’t read pattern pieces when half asleep and working on multiple projects. You may discover you’ve cut off more then required of the hem (the lining has now merely been overlocked to spare it any further depredations!).

In short, a lot of this project was a learning experience, but it has turned out pretty nicely. Through necessity (my sister was on her sewing machine and I didn’t have access to anyone else’s) I did my first hand picked zipper. I know, hand stitching is not something I am a fan on but it worked quite well. I particularly love the silk polka dot lining. Very fun.

One last change,  the fabric didn’t create a very good pleat at the back. It “popped out” and looked ugly. On my sister’s wedding day I hand tacked it down, which meant I couldn’t take any large steps. After getting home I turned it in to a box pleat. Much better!








its finally time to sit down – the jacket has been finished

I’ve taken a little sewing siesta. After working flat out on getting my outfit finished for my sister’s wedding I have come back home and had a bit of a rest. However, its now time to post some photos to share the finished result. Suffice to say I am very proud, of both jacket and sister (who looked amazing in her self made wedding dress). I spent a very happy day smiling at all and sundry. So, here we are. Bound button holes, large print lining matched up and very fitted waist. I’ve even got my hair looking tamed for once!





a studied solution to pressing pleats

Recently I’ve had to be creative in discovering how to neatly press pleats. Here’s my take on how to make it easier. Take pleat to be pressed. Insert between two books of equal height. Place pressing cloth underneath fabric to protect book, and press!

Image Image

I think I’ve just dug myself out of a hole….

this evening has been spent practising bound button holes. As naturally being a novice in this area I wasn’t about to try this out on my jacket and ruin it. Its a good job I did, as it took several attempts before I finally understood the instructions from the coleterrie website. This is more likely me being tired at the end of the day and more of a 3d see it in person kind of learner then any fault of the instructions. 

After a number of duds I think I have a sample winner. So, the grand sum of one evenings work is…..





OK, no doubt this is hardly gripping reading, but given that this jacket really ideally has to be finished tomorrow, its pretty important!

time to button up this project

I’m rapidly running out of time. My flight to my sister’s wedding is Tuesday evening. I am working tomorrow and on Monday and Tuesday morning. In the mean time I have to hem a skirt, insert a zip, practice a bound button hole then two of them for real, then attach my jacket lining to the jacket.

Lets just I’m looking forward to when its all done. It’s taken two whole evenings just to cut out the silk armani lining because (perfectionist me) I wanted to get the large pattern on the fabric to look nice. Which meant cutting things out single layer, twice as much work. I think it has been worth it, but am determined to stick with something simpler for my next project!




I got the front to look pretty symmetrical and the back is looking fairly even as well. Its taken a lot of pressing as it wrinkled rather badly when I pre washed it. Its also a very dense weave and was hard work to pin.

this has driven me round the bend

I must confess, I am rather glad to see the Vogue 8543 skirt finished. The amount of steps to get this finished (and pressing) does not bear dwelling on. I also think this is a standing rather then sitting down skirt. As I sat down for 5 minutes after painstakingly pressing it and it creased instantly at the back. Sigh.

However its done, and I’ve even done some extra things – like add bias binding as a hem finishing, interfaced the pleats and modified it to fit (which it does thank goodness). A note to self, avoid side zips in the future, they are not flattering and if they must be used, go for the shortest one possible.

Well, here we are…….