Liberty and London

Yes of course I did. Visited Liberty of London, that is.

Doesn’t everyone do that when they are in London on a 25th wedding anniversary weekend?

We went to the V&A museum too.

They have a great fashion exhibition. Lots and lots of other art and design too.

The coffee cups in the outdoor cafe:

Even the Museum shop has a sewing themed section: sewing patterns available to purchase (By Hand London patterns would have been even better…)

I bought some buttons in honour of William Morris

We did other non- sewing related things too…

Like visiting Buckingham Palace,

Parks close by (the spring flowers were so beautiful),

Thoroughly enjoyed Phantom of the Opera at Her Majesty’s Theatre,

Kings Cross (just missed the Hogwarts Express), and

The tower of London

Doesn’t he have a fabulous coat? Oops, back to sewing related stuff very quickly, aren’t I!.

And here’s the me-made content:

You’ve probably seen the skirt before on the blog, but the top is new. It’s my standard bateau neck t-shirt with a black and white stripe viscose knit (from Tessuti’s) spliced into a black ponte. The stripe was a gift from Melissa. Thanks Melissa!

I wore it with a leopard print scarf and grey tweed jacket. All that crazy print pattern (mis)matching seemed right for London, and especially the V&A.

We loved our London weekend!



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Glasgow fabrics and the Scottish Highlands

More tartans have made it into my suitcase.

Another wool tartan, dress weight this time, and a wool gauze.

I couldn’t leave without this fun knit either. It combines fashion with tartan. What better souvenir of a holiday to Scotland, London and Paris could there be??

And the floral rayon? No excuse or good reason why that come with me. Its was just so pretty and drapey. And border prints are hard to come by..

These fabrics came from Mandors Fabrics; an excellent fabric store in the centre of Glasgow. Again, thanks to Karen of Did You Make That? for her article in The Guardian on fabric shops in the UK.

It’s a well stocked store:


And now the scenery between the last fabric store and this one:

Near Inner Loch Torridon

Inner Loch Torridon, low tide

Not really a swimming beach. Forgot my swimming costume anyway. Perhaps one of those head to toe Victorian woollen costumes would have been the way to go!

The Torridon, our luxury accommodation

One of the other guests enjoying our view

Outer Loch Torridon

Boating looks like it would be fun; one of the many lochs through Glencoe.

Black Mountain. The cairn was in memory of mountaineers who lost their lives climbing these mountains. “They died in a place they loved.”

A starkly beautiful, wild and barren area. The Highlands are truly majestic, in many different ways.

I’ll remember them every time I fondle my fabric and dream about what I’m going to sew…



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Isle of Islay: more than whisky

We were on the Isle of Islay to visit the whisky distilleries. I did manage to steer us in the direction of textiles. It is good to be the navigator. “Lets explore down this road.. oh look, there’s a woollen mill here, can we stop darling?”

Islay Woollen Mill.

It’s a working mill using equipment from Victorian times.

There’s a small shop stuffed with scarves, knee rugs, throws and lots of clothing, all made from their tweeds. We visited when no-one else was there and were given a tour of the working part of the mill.

Up several flights of well worn wooden stairs were the bolts of fabrics.

I was tempted, but didn’t buy. Why? Two reasons: I don’t need a lot of woollen coats where I live, and the colours are very well suited for people with different complexions and hair colours than I. Like Scottish red heads.

Now if the tweeds had more hot pink in them, like the sheep, perhaps my suitcase would be heavier!


It was a cold and overcast day, with a bit of rain, but the island is beautiful. Lots of lovely sandy beaches. I wish we had more than one day here, but I’ve been wishing that everywhere we went in Scotland!

Kilnaughton Bay had an old cemetery with ruins of an even older chapel from the 1400s. Fascinating grave stones outside the chapel ruins, several old ones that were still legible: 1684, 1725 and 1733.

 The chapel itself was also packed with gravestones, and much older ones. The most interesting is a recumbent one with the effigy of a knight. He has a sheathed sword and what looks like an angel on his shoulder. Very medieval.


A wee dram was very welcome, especially after a visit to a cemetery.


Looks like a wee dram was required at Lagavullin too.

The tasting room at Lagavullin was particularly lovely.

Now back to sewing: I’ve been surprised how much I’ve worn my Simplicity 2603 merino wool wrap. You can see above how I wore it on Islay: over a light wool jumper (and under a raincoat outside). And it has been worn most other days too. Its light and warm, perhaps the perfect layer for travelling in early spring in Scotland. The waterfall front is silly and long, but wrapped around my waist and tied at the back it is smug and warm.

Whats next? More beautiful scenery through the Highlands (think James Bond and SkyFall).


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Isle of Skye buttons

I found these buttons in a shop in Portree: Skye Batiks. Their main line is in garments sewn by a group of Isle of Skye sewists from bright handwoven cotton from Sri Lanka. Not what you except in Scotland.

Their garments feature these buttons made by a local artist, David, and they are also available for sale. The shop is just around the corner from this delightful cove.


The Scottish Highlands are awe inspiringly magnificent. We’ve had a marvellous few days driving though gorgeous wild scenery like this. I haven’t been able to resist using my iPhone for photos. Imagine how much better this would look with a real camera!

And we’ve seen a castle or two

And a cow or three

These Scottish sheep seemed to think that the road side was an excellent stop for chewing the cud.

We’re in Fort William tonight and off to Glasgow tomorrow.

This is a flashback to Edinburgh , or is it a Harry Potter movie set?

Scotland is certainly a magical place.


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Edinburgh fabrics

The conference in Beaune went well. Now we’re in Edinburgh, on holiday. Yeah!

We did notice a difference in food between Beaune and Edinburgh.

Beaune supermarket:

Edinburgh cafe:


Now the holiday has started, I can do what everyone does; visit the local landmarks. Fabric shops are landmarks, aren’t they?

I went to Edinburgh Fabrics on the advice of Karen of Did you make That?  (

Edinburgh Fabrics has a good range selection of most fabrics, a lovely selection of Scottish and British wools and a small but fabulous selection of Harris tweeds, including hand woven ones in gorgeous colours. At 90 cm wide and £60 per metre I decided they didn’t need to travel with me so I just enjoyed them in the shop

My long suffering husband sent a text while I contemplating whether to buy this tartan or not. “Stuck in fabric shop, send help”.

Ken responded “my advice is not to struggle”. Ken has a wife who sews too…

I bought the tartan.

This cotton ‘tartan’ is coming back to Australia with me too

Old Town Edinburgh

Tailoring in progress upstairs. Lovely things to buy downstairs.

Amazing mossy stonework.

You’re wondering how warm Spring is in Scotland? The Woolly Mammoths would have felt at home.

(the scarf was knitted from wool bought last summer in Paris, the coat is the egg)

We are staying in Hotel Missoni (He who Cooks well understands my fascination with couture).

The Lobby

The Room

Its lovely!


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The last summer dress and drape-y overtop

It feels like autumn is coming, but I have one last summer outfit to show you. It’s perfect for hot days. Perhaps I’ll get to wear it one more time, before winter?? Yeah, I know, who do I think I’m kidding?! It was 31°C today but I think that’s the last of it.

It’s a simple pinafore style linen dress

with Style Arcs Clever Claire top as a drapey overlay

Here’s the top worn as a top. Note to self: I need to stop making things that drape and tie at my waist. It’s not the most flattering look for me!

Another way to wear the top as a top (although the neck is a bit choking like this)

Technical details


Pattern: Burdastyle top 06-2012-131, elongated into a dress

I made the top as a trial run before I stretched this pattern out as a dress. I don’t seem to have taken a photo of the top, even though I have worn it. It was made in the same fabric as the skirt above, with the budgie print fabric as the hem band. Since making it up and wearing it with the skirt (but not taking a photo), I’ve left the white skirt on white sheets of a hotel bed, and it has disappeared forever into the great laundry of all Adelaide hotels L.

Size: 34-44, I made a 42

Fabric: stretch linen from Gay Naffine, purchased this year (so only weeks or months in the stash rather than years).

I added a little pocket, and let it stretch out a little while sewing it on. I like its smiley shape!


Pattern: Style Arc Clever Claire

Size: Australian RTW 4-30, I made a 14.

Fabric: Silk cotton blend woven with a budgie print. Too cute not to be used! Look at them sitting across my back!

This is an interesting pattern to make. I like it better as a drape-y vest than a top.

As a top, the armscye seem to big and the need to tie it somewhere (neck, waist..) means it a bit constricting. It’s designed for a woven but I suspect it might work better, as a top, in a knit.

Of course its also good for pretending you are an angel

This will be the last post for a few weeks. He who Cooks and I are off to Europe . A wine conference in Burgundy and then two glorious weeks driving in Scotland, London and Paris. Happy 25th wedding anniversary to us!

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Not-a-designer-knock off green cardigan

It worked!

I have another cardigan to love to death. And a pattern for the next time I need to make one.

What I did

I traced off a pattern from my RTW cardigan for the front and back and used the sleeve pattern from a My Image cowl top (M1152). The armscye was very similar to that of the My Image cowl top except the front was about 1cm longer on my tracing. So I added 1 cm width to the My Image sleeve pattern between the apex of sleeve head and underarm seam.

I’m not sure what you would call the method I used for tracing off. I layered my tracing paper under carbon paper and then my garment on top, spread flat from hem to armscye (the rest scrunched up). I traced over the seams with a tracing wheel and the carbon paper transferred this dotted line through to the tracing paper below. Then I put weights down at the top of my tracing (salt and pepper shakers, glasses, anything handy!) and flattened out the top bodice piece then traced that the same way. I cut out my traced pattern and then compared it to the garment, and to other patterns. It looked like it would work, so off I went.

Back view:


I used a drapey slinky stretch viscose. This one has been in the stash since 2009 and was an early Gay Naffine purchase. I love this colour.

It has 70% stretch width wise and 50% stretch lengthwise. My pattern needs 1.6 m of 150 cm wide

How does it compare to the other two cardigans I made recently?

Well the pattern is quite different, as you’d expect. My green cardigan is long line and trapeze shaped, the other two both have waterfall fronts. You can see the trapeze shape a bit clearer in this photo

My pattern for the front with the neck and front band:

Style Arc’s Nina (I’ve folded out the fullness of the lower bodice and lower part of the neck band- they are both rectangles):

My pattern overlaid on Simplicity 2603 with the armsyce, shoulder and centre back neck lined up:

I’m very happy with how this turned out.

It’s a clone of my favourite cardigan but in better fabric!

And finally…

The fashion modelling of the red sack (BurdaStyle 02-2014-112)

It’s short

Its sack shape makes it great for dinners with lots of yummy food

and it has pockets!

It might get more wear than I originally thought. It will work with fancy tights and boots in cooler weather too.

I just need more occasions to take it out the wardrobe!

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The ongoing search for a cardigan/wrap

This is the RTW cardigan I need to clone. It came from a low end chain store, it’s basic, it’s boring in colour, and now it’s also pilled and a little stained. It’s also just the right length and shape for me.

I tried to replicate it back in 2010, unsuccessfully.

I can’t bear to throw it out because I have nothing to replace it with.

So I am trying to remedy that.

First attempt:

Hmm, not smiling yet, despite that happy and ridiculous psychedelic zebra skirt.

Pattern: Style Arc Nina

Size: 6-30, Australian RTW sizing. I made a 14 with no adjustments.

Fabric: mid weight ponti knit (67% Viscose 28% Nylon 5% Spandex) from Tessutis

This was the first Style Arc pattern I’ve used. The pattern is drafted beautifully and the instructions are sparse but logical. I was a bit surprised by Style Arc’s fabric estimate: only 140 cm for 148 cm wide fabric, even up to two sixes bigger than my size. I had 146 cm wide fabric and only just squeezed it in to 150 cm. If the pattern pieces were any wider (as they would be for a 16 or 18) there would be no way they could fit. There was certainly no fabric wastage!

Style Arc suggest a rolled hem finish on the front drape. I overlocked and turned under instead (I don’t know if my elderly Elna overlocker can do a rolled hem).

The back is nicely drafted. I didn’t make any alterations, even though I normally make a sway back adjustment. It has a little bit of pooling but that will be easy to fix with the next version.

Verdict: This is a nice almost-tailored jacket with a bit of quirkiness with the front drape and wonderfully comfortable to wear because its ponti. I like it but I’m not sure I will love it the same as I love the gray one..

Second attempt:

Pattern: Simplicity 2603. A Pattern Reviews Best Patterns for 2009.

Size: XXS – XL, I made a M

Fabric: Lightweight merino wool rib knit, lots of cross wise stretch, no lengthwise stretch. This fabric was a gift from a sewing friend and comes from a local manufacturer, Michell, (she ‘knows someone who knows someone’, the manufacturer is wholesale and export only).

Changes I made: I extended the sleeve rather than adding the cuff, and narrowed the sleeve down so that it was close fitting.

Verdict: Still not smiling. This is a lovely cardi wrap, but the front drapes are really too long; below knee length even when knotted!

Final verdict:

Neither of these are the same as the RTW cardigan that I really, really love.

Duuh. I knew that when I selected the patterns, but somehow I hoped they would be as loved even though they were different.

Time to draft a pattern from the gray one I think!

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Shirting or skirting?

My favorite long charcoal linen skirt is so well worn its needs to be reincarnated as cleaning rags.

The style of my favourite skirt is very similar to this one in an old issue of BurdaStyle Magazine. And I love that scarf. And all of the other styling for the patterns in this English landed gentry collection. (Yes, Downton Abbey fan here).

So, I was all set to recreate my skirt.

I didn’t have black or charcoal linen in my stash but I did have a lovely piece of Italian skirting in grey.

It was not time to go shopping. It was time to turn the shirting into skirting.

He who Cooks (aka The Photographer) thinks the fabric should have been pants, or the skirt shorter (he is not over fond of long skirts). I nodded and said he had a good point. I didn’t volunteer the information about it being mens shirting…

He also suggested that I had forgotten to give it the final pressing. I think he’s right, especially from the back view.

It’s a lovely long skirt with a bit of swishiness without being over the top.

And it has pockets!

Technical details

Pattern: BurdaStyle 10-2009-127

Size: 38-46, I made a 42 at the waist grading out to a 44 over the hips. Too much food at Christmas and not enough exercise! (and probably also too many birthdays). I also made my normal 1.5 cm sway back adjustment.

Fabric: Italian shirting cotton, purchased in 2010 in Turin


No lining and no fly front- an invisible zip in the back instead.

Double topstitching down the centre front, including the pleat, and on the pocket edges and hem.

Is that an arrow? Whoops, I think it might be.

Let’s just pretend its pointing to my happy smile!

The top is a shorter sleeve version of My Image M1152 made up in a gorgeous soft cotton jersey from Gorgeous Fabrics. I need more of these basics in my wardrobe.

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Picnic dress

Back to regular programming; fitted dresses!

(I will try to post a photo of the unfitted red dress on a real person soon, I just need to line up a few things…)

Technical details

Pattern: Vogue 8902

Size: 6-22, with A to D cup bodice pieces; I made a 14 with a B cup.

I wear a C cup, but Vogue said the difference between my high bust and bust put me into a B cup for this pattern. I’m not convinced this was right as the bodice is very fitted and firm, although not uncomfortable. Perhaps I should try again with the C cup bodice piece.

I also made my normal sway back adjustment, which is why the vertical stripes on the skirt don’t run down the centre back (but the hem line lines up with the horizontal stripes!).

I flat patterned measured for the hips but didn’t do the math correctly; I graded out to a ’15′ over the hips but should have gone out to the 16. Those wrinkles in the fabric tell the story! Lucky that Vogue has 5/8th inch seam allowance; I used it all.

Fabric: Both fabrics are cotton and the dress is fully lined in a cream cotton batiste. The red striped fabric on the sleeves and midriff inserts is a stretch cotton (Felicity has a skirt made out of this) and the cream and red window pane check is non stretch. The windowpane print is from IKEA and its a heavy weight. It’s probably meant for tablecloths and cushions.

Changes I made:

The short sleeves in this pattern are gathered at the neck while the long sleeves have a dart. The lining for both long and short sleeves has a dart. I thought the dart would work better with my fabric so that’s what I used.

My bodice pieces are not exactly on the bias. This is because the check is not square: 9.5 cm long and 10 wide. So I ‘redrew’ the bias through the corners of my ‘squares’. This put the bias off by a few degrees but meant the stripes matched up beautifully on the bodice.

I like this dress, but despite its name, it’s close fit means it’s not really suitable for picnic-ing.

Eating and lolling about? I need a ponte version for that!



There have been a few questions about how I did the plaid matching. I didn’t really explain. Now I don’t need to because the fabulous Oonaballoona from Kalkatroona has an excellent blog post about how she does it. I do it the same as her.

The ‘secret’? Pins and marker pens for your pattern pieces.

Go read Oona’s post, and drool over her lovely creations and enjoy her joyful (aka crazy but fun) writing.

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It is a red sack

Very nice fabric though!

Of course, the hanger shot accentuates its lack of shape.

There have been compliments when I’ve worn it. This might be something to do with the how short it is (about 40 cm from the waist) and it being Valentines Day….

Despite its sack-likeness, I like this dress. The fabric is delightful, the colour is vibrant and it’s a happy fun dress to wear. It’s been good to move out of my comfort zone of pencil skirts and fitted sheaths. And it has pockets!

Technical details

Pattern: BurdaStyle 02-2014-112

Size: 34-42, I made a 42

Fabric: Silk cotton metallic blend as the outer fabric, with a silk crepe facing and acetate lining, all from the most recent Gay Naffine fabric sale

Changes I made:

The length.

When I traced off the pattern, I didn’t pay enough attention. The dress is also in longer version without the hem band. So I traced off and cut out an almost knee length dress, then added another 20 cm or so with the bias hem band. It was very Pilgrim like in length… not hot date material at all.

The bias hem band was chopped off, and the bottom of the dress pinned up into a deep hem. He who Cooks liked the new length so the hem was sewn (by machine with a blind hem stitch- I was running out of time) .


My outer fabric has metallic content and past experience tells me it would be scratchy. I faced the neck with matching silk crepe and then used a pinstriped taupe acetate for the rest of the dress. My little tag on the back neck facing is the same taupe lining. For the sleeves, I cut out the sleeve pattern and added 5 cm. The lining ends around where the flounce starts once I hemmed it. I’ve left both the sleeve and skirt lining loose, and there was no peep through when I wore the dress, so it looks like tacking it down won’t be necessary. I did secure the neck facing down by stitching in the ditch in the lining just past the facing.

Lining and the extra layer of silk facing at the neck was needed with this fabric. Even with the lining there was a bit of scratchiness around the waist when I tried the dress with a belt. I can imagine how irritating the neck would be with a self facing, or even just with the one layer of acetate lining.

It’s a fun dress. I was inspired to make this after seeing Tany’s lovely version. Both Burda and Tany used boucle, but I thought that my crinkly silk cotton metallic blend might work too. I think it does.

Tany has now made a second version. She shortened both of her versions too and commented about its shapelessness. Her styling is, as always, marvelous and inspirational.

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Sizzling hot for Valentine’s Day

That would be the weather I’m talking about. Valentine’s Day is forecast to be least 31°C after another very hot week in the 30s and 40s.

This double knit top is just not going to make it out of the wardrobe.

Technical details

Pattern: Burdastyle 02-2009-108. An oldie but a goodie. Not in Pattern Reviews Best Patterns for 2009 for nothing! This one is version number 5 or 6; I’ve made a few since 2009!

The only thing I would change if I make it again would be to remove some of the height in the sleeve head. It’s a bit much.

Size: 36 – 44, I made a 42

Fabric: Rayon double knit from Gorgeous fabrics for the body and cotton stretch lace from Tessuti’s for the sleeves.

I cut the sleeves out with the selvedge as the cuff. No issue with that: the stretch is lengthwise and the selvedge is an okay edge. But, to keep the maximum options for the piece I had left of this fabric, I cut the sleeves out on opposite selvedges, not side by side. I remembered to flip the pattern, but didn’t think about the lace pattern. It’s one way, of course. I don’t think its obvious enough to be noticeable, but it’s a mistake, nevertheless.

The white skirt is a me-made too, modified from BurdaStyle 04-2010-125

This top will work with more wintery skirts too.

I should have added tights to this outfit but it was seriously hot for these photos ( see that long suffering face?). It was still over 35°C even after 7 PM in the evening; this summer has been HOT.

Suffering for fashion and my blog? Yes, but only so much!

The grey skirt is the same base pattern as the white one, but in a ponti knit, so no zip and elastic added to the waist. Easy sewing.

I used lightweight knit fusible tape for the hems of the top and skirt. I got mine from Sunni’s online shop but steam-a seam is similar. I love this stuff! I ‘baste’ it on when I overlock the bottom edge of the fabric, then fuse it when I press the hem allowance up. It  helps reduce bubbling with double needle hemming for almost all weights of knits I’ve been sewing recently.

Verdict: I like this top. The bateau neck is flattering and the lace sleeves add some interest.

But what about Valentines Day?

Let’s hope this dress, made in a red silk cotton metallic blend, gets out of the sewing room and into my wardrobe in time…

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Silver square neck top from 1992

The pattern is from 1992, the top is only a week or so old!

This was one of my favourite top patterns and I used it several times in the nineties. Felicity thinks it’s vintage. He he. (Hmm, I guess that means she thinks I’m even more ancient..)

It was made to go with the graphic print maxi skirt, but we both think it looks pretty good with the skirt from her Maggy London peplum suit too.

Technical details

Pattern: Vogue 8257 now OOP. Copyright 1992.

Size: This pattern came in 6-8-10 and 12-14-16. I had the 12-14-16 with the 12 cut out. I made a 12 for Felicity with a 3 cm FBA (this added an extra vertical tuck at the front and a horizontal bust dart). After she tried it on, I took in the side seam by a further 1 cm at the waist then back out to a 12 at the high hip and at the horizontal bust dart. I should probably have started with the size 10, but it’s a loose blousey style so we think it’s wearable.

The horizontal dart is a little high, so I will move it down 1 cm when and if I make another version

It’s a bit big through the back and the shoulders are a touch wide too. To be fair to the pattern, it is drafted for shoulder pads. Early 90′s. Duh, of course!

I love the buttons down the back. They were selected and purchased at a local store despite the poor customer service. Don’t get me started. We should have gone into the Button Bar in the city.

Fabric: Silver grey tencel (cupro and lyocell are its other names) from Gay Naffine. It’s a woven fabric similar to rayon with delicious drape, a lovely smooth silky feel with a shiny and a matte side. Its presses well. I have plenty more for a dress for me (Yay!).

Steph of Cake Patterns has an excellent blog post about this type of fabric if you’d like to know more.

Felicity can now confirm that tencel is lovely to wear, even on a warm day!


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Graphic print maxi skirt

This fabric had been earmarked for me even since I bought it. Clearly it spent too long in the stash, and it defected to Felicity…

The defection had a good ending, of course!

Technical details

Pattern: BurdaStyle 10-2013-120

Size: 34 -44, I made a 40. It was a bit roomy through the waist for Felicity and would be more a hipster look if I didn’t then remove about 4 cm overall through the waist and hip after I had sewn all the yoke pieces together…

Fabric: Cotton voile border print from Gay Naffine and navy cotton voile for lining


Maxi length rather than mini length, and with all pieces cut along rather than across the grain, because this was a border print. The final skirt is about 1 metre long. Felicity is 1.75 cm tall, and she has heels on in these photos.

The lining was also cut longer, to 60 cm, i.e. just on the knee for Felicity. The lining pieces are a continuation of the yoke so the lining is very straight fitting. Burda suggests leaving 12 cm slits in the side seams of the lining. That’s okay when you have a mini skirt, but not so good when the lining goes to the knee. So I slashed each lining pattern piece from the hem up to the yoke in three places to give 4 strips and then spread them out to 2 cm between each strip at the hem. This gave a flared gored skirt effect to the lining, and means that the floaty-ness of the cotton voile pleated skirt was maintained.

I moved the zip to the side seam. Burda has the zip only in the yoke but I was worried about that making the skirt a bit tight to squeeze over the lower hips. Cotton voile is not the strongest of fabrics! I didn’t want to have a center back seam in the pleated section so I moved the zip to the side seam.

Felicity is a leftie so I put the zip on the right side. She’s since told me not to do that … Teenagers!

Just in case she gets confused with RTW skirts, I added a tag to the back.

I need to get some ‘He Cooks… She Sews’ tags made…

The skirt seems to have been given the thumbs up.

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Psychedelic ‘zebra’ skirt and friends

That’s enough chatter from the fabrics. Let’s talk about the skirt!

It’s bright.

Sunnies on?

Right, let’s go for it.

Here shamelessly trying to convince Ann that’s it Jungle January worthy by adding a Toucan pendant. Of course she will be too discerning to be fooled by that!

Fully Busted’s version on Pattern Review of skirt 137 from the January 2011 issue of BurdaStyle was the starting point.

Look at the fashion photo of this skirt:

What’s not to love? A stylish woman in a kitchen with a chef or two.

This photo-shoot was just made for a blog called He Cooks…she Sews…


Pattern: BurdaStyle 01-2011-137

I left the top stitching around the hem off for my version. My fabric has enough going for it!

Size 44-52, I made a 44 with no adjustments. I usually make a sway back adjustment on a 42 waist and then grade out to a 44 at the hips. The flat pattern measures looked like a 44 might be okay (too much food over Christmas!) and those double darts at the back suggested a sway back adjustment wasn’t needed. So I rashly cut the fabric out without any changes. Silk Chiffon sniffed that this was clearly a toile, not a real garment, so perhaps using Ikea fabric wasn’t such a bad idea.

Fabric: Cotton Twill home dec fabric from Ikea lined with acetate.

The Ikea fabric has a huge pattern repeat and I only purchased 1.5 metres. So no chance of matching at the seams if I wanted to be symmetric across my bodies with those zigzags!

The back is almost acceptable,

but the side seams are not. Sad face indeed.

It has pockets!

And what about the top you ask? Why does it have Where’s Wally (Wheres Waldo) sleeves? You are wondering why I didn’t take notice of the sensible comment on the last post about matching this very loud skirt with a solid coloured top?

I really have no excuses, but this top is sort of fun with this skirt…maybe? And I wanted to give this pattern another try, and I had a striped remnant in my stash, and it was clamouring for some attention… I really do need to tell my fabrics to behave better, don’t I?


Pattern: BurdaStyle 02-2013-126

Size: 34-42, I made a 42

Fabric: White cotton spandex knit from Gorgeous Fabrics and red and white cotton knit from Gay Naffine. The white knit is much lighter and drapier than the stripe, but they are playing together nicely (although if nicely also means stylishly, then you could well disagree..).

Changes I made:

I shortened the top by 6 cm. It’s drafted ridiculously long. The length is now about where I like it, although the white is too thin to be worn out. But now I know.

I disregarded Burdas instructions on the length for the neck band and cut it 3 cm shorter than the neck opening. Ruth from CoreCouture recommends 5 cm but I was not that brave. I could probably have gone for 4 cm.

Verdict: Hmm. Its wearable, just. I still don’t like this top pattern any more with the second making than I did first time ’round. My shoulders don’t need this much emphasis. Time to put this pattern aside.

The skirt pattern, however, is a keeper. I like everything about it.

Fingers crossed that it’s good in something other than crazy Ikea fabric.

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