I'm back! With a red skirt...

I'm back! With a red skirt...

Hullooooooo! Guess who's still alive?

Joking aside, I'm finally back with a post on my beloved, yet neglected blog, and I hope to be able to get back to posting at a more regular pace. Maybe not twice a week, but not disappearing for months on end either...

So, where have I been all this time?
Nowhere, really, it's just that real life has been extremely busy since... well, since last year. I just didn't have enough time, energy and motivation to spend on the blog.

The thing is, I started a professional pattern drafting class

 in February last year; I have to commute to attend, and I've been working two jobs to be able to afford it, AND my boyfriend and I have started remodeling his late grandma's house to eventually move in it together, so I've been pretty burn out in real life to entertain my virtual one.

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Pattern testing : Deer and Doe Anémone skirt

Size: 40 at the waist, 42 at the hips
Alterations: lengthened short version by about 2,5cm
Fabric: wool from my stash

Did you see the new pattern from Deer and Doe, released yesterday? After a couple of more casual designs, Chataigne and Plantain, Eléonore took the dressy route and gave us Anémone, an extremely cute skirt in two versions: short, with peplums, and longer, with decorative buttons.

Blouse: OVS
And really, what's not to like in this pattern?
The fitted high waist is incredibly flattering, and so is the gently flared shape; the peplums are incredibly stylish and, to my dismay, they not only help to minimize large hips, they also elongate the legs.
The longer version has a 40's vibe which, hello!, I adore and the buttons are the perfect little touch to complete the picture.

The construction is also a lovely process (an it's fast) and the instructions are detailed as ever.
The skirt is fully lined, so it's marked as intermediate, but a confident beginner might manage just fine (just know there's some hand sewing involved).

Leotard: OVS

I made these two versions as a tester for the pattern and I was, as always, very impressed by the fit. With Deer and Doe, I know I just have to pick my usual size (38 for the shoulders, 40 for the waist and 42 for the hips) and I know I won't need any alterations... Mind blowing!
I know that fit is extremely personal, and not everyone will be as lucky, but, hey, I can only vouch for myself, and I couldn't be more satisfied.

There are only two things I will change for my future versions:

Length: the short version of the pattern is a little too short for my comfort and the long version is a little too long (with my height, it only looks flattering if I'm wearing heels, which I don't very often). I'll draw my hemline between these two, so that the skirt hits me at my perfect spot, just above the knee.

Fabric: I used wool from my stash because I'm too cheap to I don't really like to go fabric shopping for test versions, because sometimes they're not wearable, but it's not in the recommended fabrics, and rightly so. Both fabrics I used were a little too bulky for this pattern (especially the check one), and just didn't have the correct drape. Just look how much better this skirt hangs when made in a beautiful printed cotton (by Sandra) or in a heavier, solid cotton (by Clotilde)!

What fabric would (or will) you use?

Taglia: 40 in vita, 42 per i fianchi
Modifiche: allungato la versione corta di circa 2,5cm
Tessuto: lana dalla mia collezione

Avete visto il nuovo modello di Deer and Doe, uscito ieri? Dopo un paio di design più casual, Chataigne e Plantain, Eléonore ha imboccato una strada più elegante e ci ha regalato Anémone, una gonna carinissima in due versioni: corta con pepli, e lunga con bottoni decorativi.

Camicetta: OVS
E cosa manca a questo modello? La vita molto alta ed aderente sta benissimo a praticamente tutte, così come la forma leggermente scampanata. I pepli sono estremamente stilosi, e contrariamente a quanto pensassi, non solo non allargano i fianchi, ma aiutano anche ad allungare le gambe. La versione più lunga ricorda un po' gli anni '40, che ovviamente adoro e ha dei bottoni decorativi, la perfetta ciliegina sulla torta.

Non solo portarla, ma anche cucirla è un piacere (e si fa in poche ore), grazie alle istruzioni dettagliate come sempre. La gonna è completamente foderata, perciò il modello è definito come intermedio, ma anche una novellina coraggiosa ce la potrebbe fare, secondo me (basta tenere presente che le rifinizioni richiedono un po' di punti a mano).

Body: OVS
Ho fatto queste due gonne come tester per il modello e, come sempre, sono rimasta sbalordita dalla vestibilità. Con Deer and Doe, ormai, mi basta tagliare le mie solite taglie (38 per le spalle, 40 per seno e vita, 42 per i fianchi) e non devo praticamente fare modifiche... Alleluja! So che la vestibilità è una questione estremamente personale, e quindi non tutte avranno questa fortuna, ma io non potrei essere più felice di questi modelli.

Per le mie versioni future, ci sono due cose da cambiare:

✄ Lunghezza: la versione corta del modello è un po' troppo corta per come sono abituata e la versione lunga è un po' troppo lunga per la mia altezza (perchè non mi tagli, la devo portare coi tacchi, cosa che faccio estremamente di rado). Ridisegnerò la mia linea per l'orlo esattamente tra le due lunghezze, in modo che cada appena sopra al ginocchio.

✄ Tessuto: ho usato della lana che avevo in casa perchè sono troppo tirchia non mi piace comprare stoffa per le versioni test, visto che a volte risultano importabili, ma non viene elencata nei tessuti consigliati, e a ragione. Quella che ho usato io (specialmente quella a quadretti) è troppo spessa e non ha il giusto peso per questo modello. Guardate com'è subito più bello questo modello se fatto con un bellissimo cotone stampato (da Sandra) o con un cotone più pesante a tinta unita (da Clotilde)!

E voi che stoffa user(s)te?

Navy Peggy skirt

Size: I cut a size 12, but then I removed some excess fabric at the waist, so the end result it's probably more similar to a size 10.
Alterations: removed almost 20cm (8") from the bottom (!)
Fabric: some navy blue wool with extremely subtle pinstripes (that you can barely see in these pictures) from my stash.

When Bluegingerdoll released the  Peggy skirt pattern, Abby (the creator) contacted me to know if I wanted to try it. It's extremely rare that I turn down free patterns (you know, being an addict and all), and this little skirt really intrigued me, so I said heck, yes. 

The Peggy skirt is designed for beginners and it's a flared high-waisted A-line skirt with front tucks. Three waistband options are included in the pattern; I chose view A, a straight waistband with cute buttoned tabs.

One thing I really regret about this project is not reading the instructions properly before starting to sew. The pockets are made in a slightly different way than I'm used to (there's a pocket fuse to reinforce the pocket edge and the pockets themselves hang free from the side seams of the skirt), so I ended up making a few mistakes in construction, but nothing major.

Speaking of the instructions, because this pattern is aimed at beginners, I was expecting a little more guidance from them. There are a couple generic steps, namely the lapped zipper insertion (which refers you to the Bluegingerdoll blog) and the waistband construction at the center back (it's not very clear where and how the two sides of the waistband overlap). Thankfully, Abby did a very extensive Peggy sewalong, which is a huge help to those who need more visual aid (although the waistband thing is still not explained clearly).

As I mentioned at the beginning of the post, I shortened this skirt by A LOT. Luckily, Abby included the finished skirt measurements on the pattern envelope, and the finished length is 68,5cm (27"), whereas I hem my skirts between 50 and 55cm (between 20" and 22") down my natural waist. Unless you're incredibly tall or you really want that vintage length, be aware of this!

Eek! Sorry about the wrinkled mess! Shouldn't have sat down before shooting!
I already mentioned the topic of my favorite skirt patterns for beginners here and here, and Peggy goes straight to join that list. I love that this skirt has more flare than an usual A-line, I like it much more on a pear-shape like myself. The pattern has also a very reasonable price, especially considering that it comes with three variations and free worldwide shipping!

Now, if you like this pattern, you have the chance to win one copy for yourself. Abby was kind enough to sponsor a giveaway for my readers!
The giveaway widget is below, you need to sign in with Facebook or with your name + email. You can enter four times; just follow the instructions, I promise it's very easy.
This is my first time trying out Rafflecopter, so fingers crossed everything works out!
You have one week to enter. Good luck, everyone!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

An old Beignet skirt and a new pair of glasses

Size: size 10.

Alterations: omitted the fabric belt.

Fabric: the same black cotton canvas I used for my first Kelly skirt and some flowery lining material , both from my stash.

Last week I found this UFO skirt under a pile of muslins and stuff to throw away in a corner of my room. I'm ashamed to say I didn't even remember of its existence. I'm not usually an UFO kind of girl: when I start a project, I always try to finish it before I start another one.

But the reason why this Beignet defeated me is because it features one of my greatest sewing enemies: buttonholes, and 12 of them nonetheless. Just the word "buttonholes" makes me instantly lazy. It's completely irrational, since I include them in my favorite projects (like my Bleuet dresses) and my machine even has a "memory" function for buttonholes that makes sewing multiple one much easier.

Sweater: ASOS - Shoes: Pimkie (old) - Glasses: c/o Bonlook
Anyway, when I found this skirt everything else was finished except for buttons and buttonholes, so I just sat down, grinned my teeth and half an hour later I had a perfectly wearable skirt.

The combination of black and Beignet means lots of wearability for me. I made this skirt two more times (appearances here and here) and they're still the most worn separates in my wardrobe. This skirt will join them soon.

I'm wearing the Peacock frame in Dark Chocolate.
And because I didn't have a lot to say about this skirt, I decided to kill two birds with one stone and show off my new glasses.
I was contacted by Bonlook a while ago to try one of their frames and to offer a pair to my readers, and as much as I try to keep this blog strictly sewing-related, I couldn't pass up the opportunity.
I mean, if I could afford it, I would probably own at least a dozen pairs of frames; I've been wearing glasses since I was 8 and have learnt to appreciate them as style accessories, so why deprive myself and one of you guys of this chance?
Moreover, Bonlook offers some awesome looking frames, and I had the pleasure to experience they are great quality and come with excellent customer service.

I hope you'll appreciate this giveaway even though it's not sewing related.

To win one pair of BonLook glasses of your choosing (prescription, non-prescription, sunglasses... anything!) valued at $99 (shipping is not included) just click here.
The giveaway is open to everyone for a week.

Good luck!

Last of my summer sewing : Denim Miette skirt

Pattern: Miette skirt by Tilly and the Buttons

Size: size 4

Alterations: shortened by about 5 cm

Fabric: a cheap lightweight denim I purchased locally. And when I say "cheap", I mean "cheap", not just inexpensive. Not my best fabric buy.

I touched the topic of the perfect pattern for beginners in my last post, and this one is another great contender!
The only long part in constructing this skirt are the waistband ties: sewing, trimming the seam allowances and handstitch or stitch in the ditch is the longest part, but other than that, it's another instant gratification project. And it doesn't require fitting! Also, the instructions are very well written, Tilly did a superb job.

This is an extremely "easy" skirt, because the style and the color allow me to pair it with basically everything in my wardrobe. And this skirt is not retiring anytime soon, I'll just add tights and a half slip and I can wear this all Autumn.
And there's also another Miette coming soonish to the blog...

I must admit I wore my Miette backwards most of the times, with the bow on the back and the panels overlapping in the front. This way, it's easier to avoid wrinkling the fabric when you sit down and you can wear tops with interest in the front (collars, bow ties, etc.) without redundancy.

Before I leave, can I ask you a favor? My Mae blouse (which I have yet to blog about) is competing on the Bluegingerdoll blog and if you could cast a vote for me, that would make me very happy.

See you soon with my last summer project!