This was an indulgent project. Not because the fabric was precious or special. But because it was totally decided upon on a whim.
This project leapt ahead of other projects that would have been more practical and actually filled a wardrobe gap. Just because I felt like sewing the three 1 metre lengths by 115 cm wide pieces of fabric left from an earlier project.
I have to admit that it was very satisfying to sew so organically and without a plan. When I overthink projects they sit uncut and unsewn. Yellow roses spring coat I’m talking about you!
There is some sentimentality associated with this fabric
Bought in Paris with Felicity
Cut out, for a previous project, at M of Nonsuch’s place on a rug, with Mr Bingley. There was still cat hair on these remnants five years later!
The remnants are also those bits of the fabric on which the pattern was printed a bit off grain. A whim with a sewing challenge. What more could I want!
I picked simple patterns – the Closet core’s Cielo for the top in a size 16 and a Burda pencil skirt made in my new larger size – 46 waist and 48 hips – Burdastyle 07/2012 #134. I didn’t add the hem darts but I angled the side seams in about half the amount to sort off get the same pegged effect.
There wasn’t enough of the alphabet fabric for a top and skirt, or of the stripey squares for either, so the top got a bit of both. In hindsight, stripey squares on the back might’ve been a better idea than using them on the front.
I surprised myself by not only having blue and orange shoes that worked with these new garments, but also having other me-mades that work – a blue and orange top, an orange coat and an orange shirt (not pictured). Of course plain black works too.
Who knew orange and blue were neutrals and could play so nicely in my wardrobe?
I’ve been admiring the collar on the Myosotis dress for some time. Then it dawned on me – there’ll be a BurdaStyle magazine pattern for that.
After a pleasant hour or so trawling through my Burda magazine collection I found just what I was looking for in the June 2009 issue – a long line loose shirt with this type of collar and bishop-ish sleeves. In my size range. Happy days!
I traced off a size 46 bust and waist and size 48 hips, petite-ed 1 cm above the bust and cut it out in a beautiful cotton linen blend shirting weight Japanese twill from The Drapery.
The fit is very loose through the waist. Since taking these photos I’ve added fisheye darts to the back for shaping and to remove 4 cm in total in width through the waist. Its still delightfully loose.
I used 2 layers of self fabric to ‘interface’ the front bands and cuffs and one for the collar band. Why? The fabric has a looser weave than cotton shirting I’d usually use so I was a bit concerned that the heavier weight iron on interfacing I had on hand would cause bubbling or puckering after repeated washing. I probably should just up my interfacing game…
I didn’t consult the instructions for the cuffs, and didn’t realise I should have left a considerable underlap past the slit to allow for two rows of buttons
I really like this feature, but its too late now! I have one button and a considerable underlap including the slit. Trying to make up for it with a button of contrasting colour and contrasting thread.
Another feature no-one else sees when its being worn is the fun bias finish to the hem. This fabric was a souvenir from Denver purchased in 2011. I used it as trim on an unsuccessful dress project in 2013. Now very happily used on this shirt. There’s a bit of a theme here isn’t there? Pattern from 11 years ago, bias from 9. Only the fabric was brand new – purchased only weeks before being sewn.
I love the colour, the rumply linen goodness of the fabric and all the features of this pattern. Looks great with jeans and leggings too.
I probably shouldn’t jinx it and make this pattern ever again.
I have thoroughly enjoyed the sewing journey with this skirt. Which is fortunate, because the end result was much less satisfying than the journey to get there.
But that’s fine. This fabric was such a delight to sew.
It is a silk, wool and cotton blend purchased from Linton Tweeds in Carlisle whilst on holiday in the UK in 2017. It was one of their 1 metre remnants at 5 pounds. Bargain! Especially when all the fabrics M of Nonsuch and I purchased that day were shipped to Australia for an incredibly low flat rate of 9 pounds. All of you paying normal prices subsidised this for me. Thanks!
The lining is a silky remnant, probably polyester, I picked up last year from a secondhand shop in Yankalilla, a local seaside holiday town. It’s the perfect match for the tweed. The leftovers were made into a scarf.
Lots of good holiday vibes in this garment.
I picked a pencil skirt pattern from my back collection of Burda magazines with added interest of the front darts rotated out to the sides: Burda 03/2010 #136
I interfaced the tweed with a very light iron-on interfacing I sourced from a local dressmaker – Tatiana Light. You can see the side darts drawn in on the interfacing in the photo above – an added bonus!
The combination of interfacing and tweed made a hand stitched hem very easy to do.
I need to do invisible stitching? Super easy!
This interfacing feels like adding butterfly wings but gives that essential extra bit of support to the tweed. Perhaps not quite enough to the waist facing, because that seems to have stretched out a bit by the time I went to stitch it on. This meant I had to take the waist in after construction (unpicking with that tweed? Uggh!). It is still a bit big.
The reality is that the delightful weave of winter white, orange, donkey grey and black threads turns into a muddy neutral grey brown at any normal viewing distance.
So I have a thick, long, pencil skirt that’s too big though the waist and in a boring colour. I feel a bit like I’m back in the 1940’s in an English village. Better weather though. And at least I know the fabric is special!
Colour coordination is a bit limited if I trying to match the colours woven into the skirt.
Orange and black are excellent but almost all my existing grey tops and fabrics are too grey and not brown-grey enough.
Except one mystery piece gifted to me by Jann of JannsFabrics. It’s the perfect match to the donkey grey in the tweed. I think it’s a silk cotton blend – it certainly feels like it.
I made up Itch to Stitch’s Seychelles top in this fabric in a size 14 out to a size 16 at the hips.
It’s the perfect colour coordinated outfit, but a lot duller overall in colour than is my preference. The scarf helps a bit.
The Seychelles top? I like it. I shortened it by about 8 cm because the proportions looked better untucked with this long skirt, but the standard length would be fine for knee length or shorter skirts. Next time I’ll do a forward shoulder adjustment and/or spread the sleeve gathers out over more of the sleeve cap – they are drafted to just be at the very top of the sleeve cap and when your shoulders roll forward the gathers mostly end up at the back.
Also next time I will either do a ‘proper’ sleeve placket or swap the cuff out for an elasticated cuff. The sleeve placket integrated with the sleeve seam is easy, but annoys me a bit by not being ‘proper’
Bottom line? I loved making this skirt. I’m glad this fabric has moved from too precious to sew to a garment in my wardrobe. Even if it only ever gets occasional wear.
Are you lucky enough to have a group of likeminded sewers, creative knitters, crocheting geniuses, embroidery queens and other crafty people to share your obsessions with?
I am. And they are fabulous.
My group has a very healthy emphasis on delicious food and wonderful conversation as well as endless cups of tea and craftiness. One of the crafty people is a coeliac, so gluten free food is the go.
This is what we enjoyed this week:
Zucchini fritters with smoked salmon
4 cups grated zucchini (about 3 small to medium sized zucchini)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 cup gluten free flour
oil and/or butter for shallow frying (we used a mixture of both)
Drain the zucchini in a strainer for 10 minutes then place in a clean dish towel and wrap up tightly and squeeze out as much liquid as possible. It’s amazingly green! Yay for chlorophyll! (mix the green juice with the left over lemon juice from the other things you’re cooking, drink it and feel like a super hero)
Add zucchini and the rest of the ingredients and mix well.
Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large frypan over medium heat. Drop and flatten slightly a spoonful of batter onto hot pan
4. Cook 2-3 minutes on each side or until browned. Even better, get He who Cooks to cook the fritters. If he is wearing his favourite old green jumper, even better, it looks great in the photos.
5. Place cooked fritters onto a plate lined with a paper towel then continue with the rest of the batter.
6. Enjoy immediately with sour cream and smoked salmon, garnished with coriander or refrigerate the leftovers and scoff the next day while you’re cooking dinner.
Makes 12. (I made 1.5 times the recipe because I had lots of zucchini. That’s why I had leftovers)
It’s winter in Australia. My sister in law is over run with lemons. I had to make a lemon slice! Lucky I love anything with citrus. Yes pity my poor family and friends.
5 T coconut oil
3 T maple syrup
2 cups shredded coconut
1 cup almond flour
1 pinch salt
2 egg whites (save the yolks for the lemon curd)
3 eggs + 2 egg yolks
6 T maple syrup( or if you run out like I did, 1 T maple sypup and 5 T honey)
1/3 cup lemon juice + 1 T zest (around 2 lemons)
1/3 cup almond flour
Preheat the oven to 170°C.
Melt coconut oil in a saucepan on low heat. Add maple syrup, shredded coconut, almond flour and salt. Stir around until everything is combined. Remove from the heat.
Crack two eggs, save the egg yolks for later and add the whites to the sauce pan while stirring. Keep stirring for about a minute. The mixture should be quite sticky now.
Line a 30×20 cm baking dish with baking paper and pour the coconut mixture into it. Use your hands, a spatula or the backside of a spoon to flatten it out. Press it down firmly so it becomes quite compact.
Bake for 10-12 minutes
Beat the eggs and the 2 egg yolks until frothy. Add the rest of the ingredients. Beat for two more minutes.
Pour the mixture over the baked crust in the baking dish. Bake for around 16-19 minutes or until edges are light brown and center is set. Let cool for at least 10-15 minutes before slicing up the bars.
Cut into roughly 3 x 3 cm rectangles. Dust with icing sugar.
This is my boiled orange almond cake that I make. All. The. Time. ( ask my long suffering family). This time I baked it in muffis cases and topped with He Who Cooks’ fabulous almond brittle: flaked almonds cooked in a pan with butter and sugar. Quantities? Don’t ask? He never measures).
Can I offer you a slice of sunshine? Moist orange and poppy seed goodness?
This recipe is from the September 2007 issue of Australian Good Taste, Page 114
125ml (1/2 cup) fresh orange juice (1 orange wasn’t enough, two oranges were plenty)
130g (1/2 cup) Greek-style natural yoghurt (that’s the secret of this cake’s moistness, methinks)
60g (1/4 cup) poppy seeds
270g (1 1/4 cups) caster sugar
2 tbs finely grated orange rind (about three oranges)
340g (2 1/4 cups) plain flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
Preheat oven to 160°C. Grease a 25cm (top measurement) kugelhopf pan.
Combine the orange juice, yoghurt and poppy seeds in a small bowl.
Cream butter, caster sugar and orange rind.
Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition until just combined.
Sift the flour and baking powder over the egg mixture and mix
Add the yoghurt mixture and mix in.
Bake in oven for 1 hour
150g (1 cup) pure icing sugar
1 tbs fresh orange juice
Zest the orange,
Combine the icing sugar and extra orange juice in a bowl until smooth.
Pour over the cake and sprinkle with the orange zest.
If you’re worried about the zest drying out, you could do what He who Cooks did (as always, he improves my cooking): combine a bit more orange juice and caster sugar in a saucepan and heat on low until the sugar is dissolved, add the zest to coat it in the sugar syrup and then add the zest on top of the icing.
It was delicious with a dollop of double cream flavored with Grand Marnier. Eating it on the lawn with the spring sunshine on my back might have helped..
Recipe from Australian Good Taste – September 2007 , Page 114
Instead of baking (and eating cake in the sun), I should have been sewing. These two garments are cut out and waiting for me…
Camel stretch cotton as this skirt (without the pockets): Burdastyle 08-2011-122
Patterned silk as this blouse (without the ruffles): BurdaStyle 07-2010-121