As I mentioned in my pattern drafting post, drafting is pretty time consuming, and also brain power zapping, so in the middle of it all I took some breaks to make some easy projects. All of them happen to be patterns from Tilly And The Buttons, and I thought it would be a good idea to put them all into one post.
First of all is the Picnic Blanket Skirt. This is my third version (I have previously made one for me, and one for my sister). I made this at the end of July when the weather was really hot. The temperature was in the high 20s C, which I appreciate is lovely for most folks, but I struggle a bit in that heat, and it was lovely to have such a loose, cool skirt to wear.
I used some lovely light denim chambray from Calico Laine. This fabric is gorgeous, and I will definately be buying some more for next summer. I used some leftover fabric from my Belladolly dress for the waist band facing and pockets. The eagle-eyed amongst you may notice that I put the buttonholes on the right hand side of the placket instead of the left - I didn't notice for ages!
I love the brown wooden buttons that I got on ebay, and also my very neat triple-stitch topstitching, which I also did around the waistband. That cavalier use of thread lead to a problem with the last two buttonholes, as I was running out of thread fast! Naturally I wanted to finish my skirt right then, and didn't want to have to go and buy more thread, so I used cream thread in the bobbin, and it doesn't show through on the top at all. Result!
Next is the Margot pyjama bottoms from Love At First Stitch. I didn't buy this book when it came out because I have so many crafting books that I thought I didn't need another one. Turns out I was wrong! This book is brilliant, and I wish it had been around when I first started sewing. Also, all the patterns are lovely, and I want to make every one of them.
The pattern says to use a woven fabric, but I went all renegade and used a knit; it's some ponte roma that I bought on ebay. I had planned to make another Coco top with it (another Tilly pattern - I'm spotting a theme!), but I stupidly didn't read the listing properly, and thought the fabric was black and white. There was a very disappointed face when I opened the parcel and saw that the fabric was black and pink, because I'm not fond of pink. I said to Andrew, "this looks like jammies!", and he said, "well, made jammies with it then"...
I also added a pocket on the back, because why not! My Mum and Dad called at my house when I was taking these photos, and I happened to be wearing these jammie bottoms at the time. Mummy said they were lovely, and Daddy asked me when I was getting out of prison! Dad jokes: sigh!
Finally, I made the Clemence Skirt. There's isn't a pattern for this in the book, instead it tells you how to make the pattern from your measurements. It's really easy, one big rectangle for the front, two smaller ones for the back, and two waistbands. I didn't even bother making a paper pattern, I just marked it out on the fabric.
I used 2 metres of African wax cotton from ebay. This cotton is quite stiff, so makes the skirt sit well, I think it's going to crease easily though. All the instructions in the book are simple to follow, and I loved the tip on making the gathers. Instead of sewing the gathering stitches at the normal thread tension, you turn the tension down low. Now, maybe everybody else already knew this; but I didn't, and I tell you what, it was a revelation! See the pink thread loops in the photo below (sorry for the blurred photo), they are from the bobbin thread. This made forming the gathers the work of a moment;
and here's what the gathers looked like. Again, sorry for the blurred photo; I'll get the hang of using my camera one of these days! Once the waistband was attached it was really easy to pull the gathering stitches out. I love a gathered waistband, but have never loved unpicking the gathering stitches.
I also added some pockets in the side seams. I used this tutorial on making french seams with side seam pockets, and this tutorial on french seams below an invisible zip. Both worked perfectly.
In other news, Ruth from Core Couture contacted me to see if I would be interested in a Belfast crafting meet-up. Naturally I said yes - no dates have been arranged yet, but Ruth and I are both asking on our blogs if anybody would be interested in meeting. You don't have to be a blogger or a sewist, any kind of crafting is in. If you are interested, please email me - click on the About/Contact Me tab at the top for my email, or click on the email symbol at the top right. You can also contact Ruth through her blog here.
Have a great weekend,