It’s a rainy winter’s day and therefore perfect for a blog update – or two. I’ve just finished making a skirt from Simplicity 1464 pattern and thought I’d do a review.
This skirt started out because I found a lightweight ruffled skirt at Vinnies (thrift store). The second hand skirt looked more like a slip than an outer skirt, but I liked the ruffles and colour. I’ve always had a thing for combining different textures and styles so I decided use the skirt as a lining to the Simplicity box pleat skirt pattern.
The fabric for the box pleat skirt is a poly/wool suiting and was great to work with. The pattern itself is easy to follow but runs HUGE. I have an 83cm (32.5 in) waist. I cut a size 18 (about half a size down from recommended), but I probably should have cut somewhere between 14-16. I trimmed probably another two inches off the waist to get it down to this size, and it’s still a fraction too big. I guess this will be my “going out to eat” skirt. If you’re going to do this pattern, trace the pattern and make a muslin waistband first to figure our your sizing – then continue as normal. Anyway, once I got the sizing right, the rest was easy.
The jury is out regarding my matching of the ruffles and box pleats. I like it, but a couple of trusted friends aren’t so sure. Then again, if I like it, this should be all that matters, right?
I love a cardi – the perfect garment for mid season. I was recently adding to my autumn wardrobe when I found the perfect cardi at a major department store chain in Sydney. Then I looked at the price – it was just a bit over $100. I was tempted, but then realised that the fabric was just basic Tshirt fabric and the pattern itself was quite simple. I’m very much a newby to knits, so ‘simple’ is a pre-requisite.
Pattern Jalie 2919 was very close to the original garment so I ordered it from the US. Sadly, Jalie patterns aren’t sold here. I found some lovely soft Tshirt fabric for $5 per metre at an Asian fabric store in Marrickville. Win!
I’m an Australian size 12-14 with a 102cm (42″) bust. So I chose size Y from the chart. It fitted me perfectly, but I wouldn’t have wanted it any smaller. Also, on the pattern picture, the cardi is shown worn open – this is accurate. If I wanted to pull it closed in the front, I would have to add a couple of inches to the front panels.
I did a lot of messing about with the pleats on the front. I did transfer markings to the fabric, but perhaps they came out a bit wonky? At any rate, I did unpick and re-sew a number of them. If I make it again, I will mark out the seam lines and also measure the gaps between the seams just to make sure. Call me pedantic, but it makes me happy.
I would highly recommend this pattern. I know I’ll be making another from it.
I decided that a pair of black, wide leg trousers was just what my wardrobe needed. I went pattern hunting in the post Christmas sales but all the best ones were gone and the closest I could find was Simplicity 1617. It was close enough to what I wanted but would need some variation. Particularly the gathered section above the belly. I have no idea why someone would choose to put gathering there, but at least it was fairly easy to alter and add darts instead.
When I was fabric hunting for this I was quite keen to find rayon. I just love the cool, breathable softness of rayon. As it turned out, I couldn’t find rayon but stumbled across bamboo fabric instead. It felt just as lovely as rayon and seems to have all the same properties – so I went with that instead. I’ll definitely be using bamboo in the future.
The pattern was very easy. I had a bit of trouble figuring out what size to make because according to the measurements, I would be an 18-20. Knowing that patterns tend to run big, I decided to go with a 12. I started with a mock-up, found the 12 was a little too tight and ended up making somewhere between a 14-16.
I was concerned that the legs of the trousers would be a bit short, so I added two inches to the length when cutting. And was very glad I did because I needed all that extra fabric for the hem. At 170cm (5’7″) tall, I’m no giant, but I am tall enough to be wary of short trouser legs. That being said, I never know where to hem wide trousers. Photos online show them skimming the ground – but I worry about how dirty and worn they’ll get. But making the hems higher can just look silly so I’ve tried to find a length which is ‘just long enough’. I’m not sure if this is their final length – will wear a few times and see how I feel.
The other change I made was to make the waist sit a little higher. Easy to adapt.
All in all, very happy with the end result – I think they’ll be getting loads of wear
Update: After a few wears, I found that this fabric stretches with wear – in a similar fashion to linen. I’ve added a sneaky bit of elastic to the waist to hold them up after they’ve been worn for a bit. And the hem was let down a bit too. Jan 22, 2015