Spring Green – in Autumn??

Hello, Sewing friends, thank you so much for all the kind responses to my last blog. That purple Miette skirt has had so much wear this summer, it is definitely a happy skirt. Here in Cardiff, autumn is beginning to make its presence felt. But, like a stubborn toddler I am ignoring it, sticking my head in the sewing sand, making another summery skirt and resisting the lure of tights and boots. Let’s face it, ladies, we are going to be pulling on those 40 deniers for months to come, so whilst there is a glimmer of sun in the sky I am going to make the most of every bare-legged second.

So here is my latest season-defying skirt – it is New Look 6346. A simple button front, A-line skirt that comes in two lengths – 18” and 24”, and suits most woven fabrics. I used a beautiful, bright spring-green and white floral Moda cotton from TrixieLixie. It is quite a stiff cotton and I thought it would work well with the A-line shape. I decided to cut the 18” length, then fearing it would be a little short for my chubby knees, added an inch and a half, which sits almost at knee- length on me.

The skirt construction is perfectly straight forward, made up of two back pieces, two front and the four-piece waistband. The button bands are made by interfacing & folding over the front edges of the two skirt fronts. I had my usual nervous moment when it came to the buttonholes – after years of faking it with poppers or faux plackets (yes really!) I have worked out that although my trusty old Singer does do a four-step buttonhole, but she doesn’t like going 1,2,3,4, oh no, my old girl goes 2,3,4,1! Since we worked that out, we manage just fine!

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So far so good, but – and there always is a but – the one thing I struggle with, when it comes to mainstream patterns (commonly known as the Big 4 – Simplicity, New Look, McCalls and Butterick) is working out the correct size to cut. Quite an important thing to get right, I am sure you will agree. I know from talking to others that I am not alone with this problem. This certainly happened with this skirt. I looked at the garment size measurements on the back of the packet, and I looked at the finished garment measurements, usually found on the actual paper pattern – yes it really does say 10 ½” of ease!

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No wonder people get confused as to what size they should cut out. If a pattern has this much ease, then what size should you cut? My measurements put me just outside the size 8, but with that amount of ease, could I get away with it? I decided to cut the 10. After this initial dithering, the skirt came together quickly. My machine co-operated beautifully when it came to the buttonholes, and I sewed the hem, the inside of the waistband and the buttons by hand.

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When I finish a garment, I always ask myself, would I make it again. In this case, yes, I think a denim version would be nice. In the meantime, if you see someone inappropriately dressed for the Autumn, be kind – it could be me! Happy Sewing.

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You can follow Sara on instagram @saraknitsandsews

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Double trouble

I discovered a great couple on Instagram who I have been following for a few months called @bonponn511, they have a huge number of followers! Their tagline is

Couple | over60 | greyhair |fashion | coordinate

The theme is that they wear matching outfits! I just love them!

Some of you may know that I have secretly been trying to get MrTL to wear clothes that coordinate with mine, however he is not that keen, haha I wonder why??

I somehow managed to persuade him that he needed a new shirt for work and that I would happily make him another Colete Negroni, what I didn’t let on was that it would match the gorgeous gingham Deer and Doe Bleuet dress that I have just made for myself!

Imagine his surprise and delight, he even agreed to a visit to our local beach, can you guess where we are?                                                                                                                                                                      CNQR2027

I have made the Negroni shirt a few times and I think it is very straight forward and the instructions are easy to follow, sadly it is not available in pattern form anymore, only as a PDF from the Colette patterns website which is a real shame as I for one can’t stand sticking lots of sheets of A4 paper together, give me a proper pattern any day!!

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The Bleuet dress was also surprisingly easy, although the instructions assume you are a competent sewer so they are a bit minimal, thank goodness for automatic buttonholes and a machine that even sews on buttons (all 16 of them!).

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The fabric is a linen mix with a small navy gingham pattern, it can make your eyes go a bit funny if you look at it too hard! Its available form our website: TrixieLixie.co.uk

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Now, what matching outfits can I make for us next??

TrixieLixie Website