Better Late Than Never

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Named Clothing Pulmu Pencil Skirt

Sometimes a project gets lost, forgotten about.  This is one of those.  It started out really well, it was last August (?) and the new Named Clothing collection was launched.  I immediately bought the Pulmu and Talvikki patterns, seeing daughters 1 & 2 in them.  Daughter no 1 bought black crepe for the skirt and we got cracking.  Two toiles were made, fitting sorted, no problem.  It all even went to Cornwall  for a week of seaside fun in September.  The plan was to finish it there because I was off to South Africa to look after my mum for 6 weeks and I knew the skirt would be needed while I was gone.

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I did finish it, but the hem was wrong, something was causing it to hang and droop in the middle.  But I was out of time to fix it so it languished until I returned.  But no sewing was done again until late January of this year, and the skirt was forgotten.  Daughter No 1 moved out in March, and still no skirt.  Eventually in July I found a bag of “fabric” that turned out to be items to be fixed or tweaked -and in there was the skirt!  As both daughters were visiting for a few days at the end of the month, it was a sign to get it sorted and given to her to finally be worn!

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So what was the problem?  Turns out that when I was cleverly shortening the pattern pieces I’d forgotten to remove an extra 1cm from the lining pieces, so they were longer than the shell.  Hence the drooping hem.  I unpicked the handstitched part of the hem and pulled the lining through the hole, marked a line perpendicular to the centre lines and folded up that rogue 1cm, stitching it down.  Then it all got pushed back and the hem restitched.  Volia!  Took all of about 30 minutes to do.  And almost a year to do it…

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When I first made the skirt, I did the loops and belt, but she didn’t like either.  The belt was dumped but I convinced her to keep the belt loops for now, she could use a thin silk scarf or a purchased belt instead.  She’s still not convinced about the belt loops though.

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But I love the skirt on her, it looks so totally different on her than on me!!  Obviously.  I love the pattern, it has fabulous shape and those side seams are great.

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I’d love to make one with different colours to emphasise the panel shapes, or use a stripe cut in different directions.  Now to make her a Talvikki to go with the Pulmu!  Hope it doesn’t take another year…

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Monochromatic

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Pulmu Pencil Skirt, Saunio Cardigan and Birgitte Tee

We’re slowly winding down on summer here in the Northern Hemisphere, not something I’m relishing.  I really miss those long southern summers and quick winters that were over just as soon as you were getting used to having to wear a jersey every day.  Of course, the end of July appearing doesn’t mean I am ready to show you the last of what I made in the month, I’ve barely scratched the surface, and still not finished what I got up to in June!

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But for today, I have an outfit I made for The Monthly Stitch, for Independent Pattern Month.  It’s the last week of the fling and the challenge was to sew an outfit of at least two items.  I’d already decided most definitely on one item, but it took a while to finalise the rest of the outfit.

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I started with the Named Clothing Pulmu Pencil Skirt.  In denim.  I know, the pattern clearly states a lightweight fabric, but I rather fancied the idea of making it in something sturdy.  I cut the 46 and after toiling it took in the side seams to remove the ease.  I wanted to use a denim with 2% stretch and wanted a fit a little more like a pair of jeans.  I also had to shorten it overall by 8cm.  I took out 2 between the waistline and hip, 3 between the hip and the knee and another 3 between the knee and the hem.

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Linen facings and zip guard on the Pulmu Skirt

In order to have a softer feel around the waist, the facings were cut from linen fabric from the scrap-box.  A zip guard was cut from the same fabric and it looks good with the dark denim of the skirt.  A decision was taken not to line the skirt.  I used the overlocker to neaten all the raw edges and I toyed with the idea of binding the hem and the allowances of the vent edges.  In the end I didn’t do it because it would mean using a third fabric and I didn’t like that idea.  The hems are mitered with an uneven mitre to avoid any edges showing.  They worked out really well.  I like the skirt, it’s the first one to live in my wardrobe for about 10 years!

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I decided against a woven for the top, going instead for a softer look with viscose jersey.  I had some lovely soft grey viscose jersey left over from a project completed earlier in the year and decided to make the Birgitte Basic Tee from Maria Denmark.  I can always do with more tee shirts!  Going with the v-neck, short sleeve version, I thought I’d need to do something a little “more” with it.  The morning I cut the tee out I’d needed to look out some sequin ribbons for a friend and I found a scrap of gold sequined fabric salvaged from a dress made ages ago.  I thought “I wonder if this is useful, what would it look like on the grey?”  and then, “ooo, I can put it on the shoulder!”  I picked the left shoulder because if any bags are going to be carried, they go on the right.

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Birgitte tee with sparkly shoulder

The Birgitte Tee is very quick and easy to make, so it was only a couple hours work.  I slightly stretched the jersey when I laid the sequined fabric on top so that it wouldn’t be pulling against the sequins once made up and being worn.  Then I pinned the scrap in place and tacked within the seam allowance.  I removed the larger sequins from the seam allowance and got sewing.  I quite like the finished result, understated and simple, but with a bit of bling/sparkle.

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To round off the outfit I actually bought a piece of fabric!  Clothspot have this gorgeous black and silver striped ponte for a pretty good price.  I had the Saunio Cardigan from Named Clothing in mind.  Originally I wanted to make it in a woven – I have a piece of black and cream silk that would look fabulous in the Saunio’s shape, but there wasn’t nearly enough of the fabric to make it work.  The pattern is so quick to make!  Even with making sure I had pins in every second stripe, it took a couple of hours in an afternoon to complete.

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Love it when the stripes play nicely and line up on the side seam!

I widened the sleeve because I have “sturdy” arms(!) and knew, from the measurements, that this ponte would never have enough stretch to make the sleeves comfortable.  I love the finished length of the sleeves, I usually push all my sleeves up, but these finish at the perfect spot!  This is a great addition to my wardrobe, the colours go perfectly with everything else and I love the boxy shape and cropped length.  I’m going to wear it loads with my Birkin jeans!

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Ta-da! All done for another year!

So there you have it, my outfit for the Indie Royalty category.  I will try to catch up on the remains of June’s makes and the July stuff that didn’t fall into the Indie Month categories as soon as possible.  I seem to really have got cracking with the sewing since getting my own sewing room, but the stash isn’t going down quite as quickly as I’d hoped.  Best I get a move on then, Mr Not Compulsive has been dropping hints about never getting anything made for him and I have a good stash of Paul Smith shirtings!

Impulse Buy

We all do it, something catches our attention and suddenly the basket has been filled and the “pay now” button pressed. Usually I’m a little cautions when it comes to buying PDF patterns, unless they’re from Thread Theory, then I just buy them.  It’s a guy thing, no-one else has patterns anything like theirs so I get them for making for the other half.  One day.

The slip this time came when I followed a link to the new Named Clothing collection.  I’ve admired their asthetic for a while, but never taken the plunge.  This time however, my finger slipped onto the “add to basket” button and I’d checked out before I could think!  So what made me part with my cash?  The Pulmu Pencil Skirt!

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Pulmu High Waisted Pencil Skirt. (image from Named Clothing)

I fell for the high waist, the seams from what would be a dart on the front and back down to a point at the side, the deep vents, the belt…  Seriously, I’m not sure if there’s anything I didn’t like about it!  So my first ever Named pattern was bought and sent off to my private printer to print the copy shop version asap!  The PDF is layered, you need only print the size(s) you need.  I got the other half to print the whole lot, I don’t want to be printing off different ones each time I want a different size!  Also helps if the person you’re making for is not one standard size.

I’m intending to make this pattern for three different people, and possibly more than one each, if they’ll let me!  Starting with one for Daughter No1, who’s working now and requiring smart clothing.  From her measurements, I decided to trace the UK 6 which looked like it might be a little baggy at the hip.  The first toile was run up in some yellow linen from the stash.  Yes, it was a little baggy over the hip, and actually a bit loose around the waist.  It was also far too long!!  I knew this would be an issue, just needed to know how much.

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First Pulmu toile.

Named Clothing patterns are designed for those of a certain stature, tall!  That’s one thing Daughter No1 is not.  At 1.62m, she’s about 10m shorter than the ideal person Named design for.  I chose to shorten the skirt at the hip and above the knee to avoid distorting the shape of the side seams.  I managed to eliminate 8cm from the length without messing around too much with the shaping of the seams and still having good proportions.  The hip line was smoothed out and the high waist reduced by 0.7cm on each seam which gives a much better fit.  The second toile looks great but I was concerned that it was still a bit too long.  Daughter No1 however, loves this length, so who am I to change it??  So now the pattern has been adjusted and is ready for the final fabric.

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Second Pulmu toile.

I chose a black crepe (polyester) from Croft Mill Fabric, and got round my self imposed fabric buying ban by getting Daughter No1 to buy it!  As it’s for her, I didn’t see why not!  The fabric should arrive any day now and I can’t wait to get it started.  This is going to be one fabulous skirt!