Curvy Pencil Skirt, Fabric, Sewing, Vogue Sewing Patterns, Wrap Dress

Sewing: Experimenting with different fabrics

IMG_1607I was driving through Kenilworth to a business meeting when I spotted a fabric shop that I had not been in – ooooh the excitement!  I’d make time to pop in on may way back of course.  They have some lovely fabrics, very nicely displayed – it drives me mad if shops have them all piled up and you can’t see what they have, not so at Karen Delahunty – all very nicely displayed and grouped together in fabric types.  My eyes whizzed round looking for bright colours and I found this fabulous piece of cotton spandex.   It has two of my favourite colours within in it – a cool pink and red – it’s slightly orange, but as it is not the main colour it still works for me.  I love the pattern – quite dramatic and abstract – I’m not so keen on definite florals, but I like this one.  Now what to make with it?  I had gone in with the idea of finding something to make a short-sleeved wrap dress, so I was really looking for jersey.  None of their jerseys worked for me, so I wondered whether this fabric might work as a wrap dress.  It has some stretch and it drapes well.  I checked with Karen and she thought it would work too, so I went for it.

As this fabric isn’t as drapey as jersey, I decided to take about an inch out of each side seam as the skirt of the Vogue V8379 has a pretty full skirt.  This cotton spandex fabric is much stiffer so I thought this would work better.

IMG_1630We were off for a weekend away last weekend, so I cut out the fabric and added all of marks for pleats and tailors marks – I used a washable felt-tip for speed, rather than tailors tacks.  I then made up the bodice in a couple of hours one evening and then finished off the skirt, attaching it to the bodice the next evening.  The finishing off isn’t great as I rushed to get it ready to take away with me – I didn’t actually end up wearing it, but I did put it on to show Nige and Gracie and they love it!

Its first outing was to the Cancer Research UK Charity Fashion Show arranged by my friend Ann Ballinger at the gorgeous Mallory Court.  Fashions were provided by Revolve – there were some gorgeous clothes and the models did a great job.  The only thing is, now I am making my own wardrobe, I only covet the complex designs that I don’t yet have the skills to make!  I loved many of the Joseph Ribkoff designs and there were some gorgeous sequinned evening dresses too.

Caroline and Lyn

Here I am with my lovely friend Caroline at the fashion show.

My second rush-job was another curvy pencil skirt.  I really wanted to wear my pussy-bow blouse to the First Impressions consultant’s spring forum.  The first curvy pencil skirt I made is now too warm to wear – it is in a wool mix and quite a heavy fabric.  I decided to make a navy skirt to go with a pair of wedge sandals now that the sun is shining and the temperature has heated up.

I bought some fabric in a tight weave, medium weight navy blue.  I whipped this up in two evenings too.  I cut it out and sewed the darts one evening and finished it off the next.  I didn’t line this one as it doesn’t really need it and of course, in the interest of speed, I didn’t really have time!

My jobs this weekend will be to go back and neaten up some of the seams, otherwise they might fray in the wash!  Sewing Bee speed it wasn’t, but quite quick for me as a novice!

I love the fact that I have pretty much made an entire new wardrobe and I wore something I made every day this week!  My next little challenge to myself is to make enough clothes that I have a total self-made mix and match wardrobe.  The thing that I could really do with adding right now is a light-weight coat – something to add as an extra layer when there is still a chill in the air, but it is not warm enough for a heavy coat.  My gorgeous Desigual mac has seen better days unfortunately, so that is going in the ‘up-cycle’ pile – I am sure I can make something new out of it as I absolutely love the fabric.  If you know of any patterns that would work, please let me know!  I am looking for a simple style that is fitted in at the waist and I will make it in an interesting fabric.

Happy weekend


Curvy Pencil Skirt, Fabrickated, Sewing

Sewing: Curvy Pencil Skirt

This week’s sewing challenge was set by Kate of Fabrickated.  She sent me a pattern for a curvy pencil skirt.  Regular pencil skirts work for women with a fairly straight body shape – minimal difference between waist and hip measurements.  The curvy pencil skirt was designed for women with a 12″ difference between waist and hips.  Apparently Marilyn Monroe had a 13″ difference, so we are in good company!

Kate sent me a self-drafted pattern that I printed out onto A4 paper.  I then had to cut it out and stick it all together before I could start.  I chose a wool mix fabric.  Here it is all ready to cut out.


The skirt was pretty easy to make.  I decided to line it – which I may have done last around 20 years ago!  The lining took me a little longer  than making the skirt itself as it is a bit fiddly – especially around the invisible zip.

IMG_1597I am really pleased with the final result and here I am wearing it with my last project – the pussy-bow blouse.  I am building up a nice new wardrobe of self-made clothes.  Since my first attempt in January, I have made 2 wrap dresses, a vintage-style circle dress, a circle skirt, two pairs of PJ bottoms, a denim skirt, a pussy-bow blouse and now this curvy pencil skirt.  My next project is a short-sleeved wrap dress.  It’s all cut out and ready to sew.  Then I am on to boring blinds for our conservatory next.  I am sure I will squeeze in a few clothes, otherwise I may loose heart and not complete the blinds!

IMG_1606Here is a close up view – the fit is pretty good.  After lining it is a little tight on the waist, so next time I will bear that in mind.  I won’t be able to wear it if I am going out for lunch!

Great pattern Kate, I shall be making this up again.