Rapidly reaching the summer finish line

That feeling in the middle of August that you get when you realise summer is almost over (noooooo) and you really ought to be making more of an effort with the next season’s stuff, but still have a long list of summer things….  I’ve decided to trim that list right down to the stuff that will still work going into September -praying for an Indian sumer here- and will last into Autumn before the frosts come.  Or even after that, with the helpful additions of tights, boots and a warmer jumper.

leaves 4
Skirt 113 from BurdaStyle June 2019

Enter the skirt 113 from the June issue of Burda 2019.  Daughter No2 fell for it immediately, but we didn’t have a suitable 3m of stashed fabric, so it waited a bit, until we were in Fancy Silks in Birmingham about 3 weeks ago (on the heatwave day!) and she spotted the perfect fabric.  Cotton poplin, navy ground with yellow-orange anthirium leaf print.  It certainly has an eye-catching colour scheme, and she loved it.  We bought the last 3m on the roll at £5 a metre and it went into the washing machine as soon as I got home after being broiled alive on the train!

leaves 2
Perfect for twirling and swooshing in!

I made the 36, which is the smallest size.  Her waist measurement is actually closer to the 34, but with this style of skirt she’ll always be wearing something tucked in, and so wants a bit more room for comfort.  Making the skirt up is pretty easy, it consists of a back, cut on the fold, waistband, pockets (it has in-seam pockets) and the front pieces.  The reason for needing 3m is that the front piece is too wide to cut on folded fabric, you need to cut them seperately, which adds to the length required.  The waistband and buttonstand on the front skirt are interfaced for stability.  I made no changes to the pattern at all, apart from omitting the belt.

leaves 1

 

leaves 5
I need to move the button on the waistband over, it’s not in the right place, hence the draglines

 

Buttons are from the stash, the only dark blue ones of suitable size I had, thankfully.  The local haberdashery closed last year and the closest is 5 miles away, and doesn’t have an interesting supply of buttons.  There is enough fabric left to make a small top, something along the lines of an Ogden cami.  I have suggested that to her, but not making it full length.  I think a cropped Ogden will look pretty good with this skirt, all in the same fabric.

leaves 3
And the in-seam pockets are perfect!

 

 

 

Summer Wardrobe

Daughter No2 has a list of things for me to make her.  (This is the time to warn you that this post is photo heavy!) It’s updated and renewed every couple of months as she adds things from new Burda magazines and changes her mind depending on the current weather (season).  I’ve done fairly well, but I’ll never get them all done, mostly because we don’t have suitable fabric in the stash.  ( And the length of the list!)  So, I can get started on the projects for which we have fabric, but the others are either shelved or put on hold while we look, and don’t find exactly what she’s got in mind.  At a price we’re prepared to pay! 🙂

holidays 1
Burda skirt 117 A 02/2017

However, there was a skirt on her list from last autumn (!) that’s been on the list constantly, and a couple of weeks ago she decided it would be the perfect summer skirt.  I’d already traced it out, so I set to work making a toile.  I traced the 36 and the 38, going with the 36 around the waist, grading out to the 38 over the hips.  This is when I realised that the skirt had no pockets!!!  The pattern is 117A from February Burda 2017.  This has been a very productive magazine, with lots of useful patterns.  The style lines are rather nice, and it looks like it has pockets with flaps, yes?  Nope!  Just the flaps, inserted into the seam.

holidays 10

holidays 5

So I changed that!  I altered the shape of the side panel to include a facing, added pocket bags and now we have pockets, with decorative flaps!  Much more practical.  The toile was approved, even the length!  I was sure she’d ask for it to be made 3-5cm longer, but she was comfortable with it as it was.  Now to allocate fabric…  In the stash, she identified 6 possibilities.  One in dusty pink floral fabric please, one in pale blue Hawiian print fabric please, one in black embroidered linen fabric please, one in leaf print canvas please, one in rust coloured stretch denim please, and, finally – one in vintage floral fabric.  Please.  *take a deep breath*  OK…  this in addition to a couple of dresses, tops, shirts, etc.

holidays 6

So I told her to get her machine out and help!  There’s no way I can get all that done on my own, with the other things I need to do!  I did the cutting, she did the overlocking and started to sew.  We started with the pink cotton with floral circles.  Without the addition of the pockets, this is a quick and easy pattern to run up, although I have also changed the exposed zip in the back to a normal one.  We felt it wouldn’t look right on a cotton fabric.

holidays 11

I like this little number, and she’s right, it will look good in all the fabrics she’s chosen, and will be a very useful addition to her wardrobe, summer and winter!  There’s not really much to say about the pattern, or the fabric really.  The cotton print has been in the stash for rather a long time, so I’m very glad to be using it, although this didn’t take very much!  Although the blue Hawaiian print fabric was made into another skirt before she jetted off to Italy for a week, I hadn’t managed to get photos of it on, so that’ll wait till the next post.  Be prepared to see this skirt often…

holidays 8

The little sleeveless blouse was another item on the list, but it wasn’t originally!  When I came back from South Africa in May, I decided to finally use up some of the smaller stash pieces that had been hanging around for a while.  I had a piece of pale sage green cotton poplin (no idea when or why I bought it) that I paired up with a vintage Style pattern  (1958), and used that fabric to make a wearable toile.  Daughter No1 liked it, but it didn’t fit her well at all, and really didn’t suit her.  Enter Daughter No2, on whom it looked just right!  So she got the toile and I found another small bit of fabric (left over from the wavy back top) to use up.  This time, she did the making, and the cutting!  The pattern is vintage Style 544, dated 1956.

holidays 9

holidays 2

The pattern consists of a front, back, and two facing pieces.  The dart tucks at the waist give it a great shape, and eliminate bulk when tucking into skirts and trousers.  The high neck looks fabulous and really suits someone with a longer neck.  (that’s me out!)  She managed to make the blouse fairly quickly, only running out of time to choose buttons and finish that part off, before heading back home.  So I found a selection & sent her photos to choose from.  The vintage covered buttons were duly chosen and I made the buttonholes and sewed on the buttons.  This is another of those patterns I can see being used a number of times, especially as it needs so little fabric!  I love those.

holidays 3
Vintage covered buttons

holidays 7

Another quick make for the summer is a cami.  In this case, it was a couple of Ogden Camis – and the fabric came from the scrap box.  The first up is a pale blue soft linen.  There wasn’t quite enough for the full facing, and really, I should have shaped it or cut it higher (I still might do this) because it sits at an akward height and you can see it though the outer layer.  Honestly, if you couldn’t see it, I probably wouldn’t change it.  I love how quickly the pattern comes together, and I love that I managed to make something useful out of a small,odd shaped piece of left over fabric.

holidays 12

holidays 13

holidays 14

As you can see, all three of these tops go pretty well with the pink skirt!  I think this means this skirt is going to be well worn this summer, not just one of those summer flings.

Birds for the Summer

So, this post should have gone live last week, but it seems I’m unable to use the scheduling tool properly….

Burda skirt 106 5/2012

It’s another make for daughter No 2 to take to Madeira.  The pattern is Burdastyle, #106 from May 2012.  She’d put this pattern on her list of “wants” for this year.  Luckily she’d had a good wardrobe clear-out, helped by her sister, last summer.  So now, instead of me just making what I think she’ll like, I’m sticking to The List.

While routing through my fabric stash at the same time, she chose this grey bird print cotton for the skirt.  It was what was left over after making a gorgeous vintage dress I’d made a couple of years ago.  There is pretty much nothing left of that fabric now, so I’m chuffed that’s another piece properly used up!!

We love the high waist on this skirt, and the pockets have received the thumbs up as well!  The skirt consists of front and back panels, as well as side panels, all gored to provide a decent amount of fullness that ends below the knee.  The centre front consists of a concealed button stand, the instructions for which were a little odd – the next time I make this I’ll be doing it very differently.

 

The pockets are a doddle, the welts could provide for a design feature, using an alternative grain or fabric to emphasise them would look good.  Piping could also be inserted at the join.  I used black buttons from the stash for the majority of the (hidden) buttons, and two grey buttons for the visible buttons at the waist.

It’s all in the details

I took the waist in to make it similar to the culottes I’d just finished, but for some reason although that works just fine, on the skirt it’s a little on the tight side.  Of course, we only realised that after she’d taken the skirt away!  So when it comes home with her before she heads off back to Uni in September, I’ll let the waist out again.  I’d love to make another version of this pattern, that mustard in the original photograph is still lurking in the back of my brain…

 

I need to get on with photographing all my June makes, I’ve been quite happily wearing them all, but no photos just yet!  In the meantime, The Monthly Stitch will be kicking off Independent Pattern Month again in July and I’ve decided to take part again.  I’ll do anything to get through my stash faster!  Anyone else interested?

Panel Skirt patterns

From the search engine referrals, there seem to be a lot of requests for panelled skirt patterns.  I am guessing this is because of the skater skirt tutorial!  Please leave me a comment if you want a tutorial on how to do these, and how many panels you are after.  If there are other pattern cutting tutorials you want, please let me know, and I will do my best to get them online for you.

How to make a Skater Skirt

Two posts in a week!!  I think it is about time I did some catching up!  😀  Here are the instructions to make the pattern for a skater skirt, using the tailored skirt block from the previous tutorial.  This pattern will give you a 12 panelled skirt.

Skater Skirt

Step 1

Trace off the skirt block as one piece.  Move the side seam to the centre of the block.  Divide the block along the hip line into 6 equal parts and draw lines from the top to the bottom of the block to make the panels.  Make sure these are at right angles to the hip and hem line.  The red lines in the drawing are the original block lines, the blue ones are the new lines for the pattern.

Step 1

Step 2

Draw a dotted line parallel to the waist and hip line, 14cm down from the waistline.  Construct new darts on the panel lines to touch this line.  Ignore the old darts (the ones in red on this drawing).  The darts on the back panel lines are 2.5cm each, and the front darts are 1.5cm each.  Add 1cm to the back and front side seams and draw a new curved line to the hip point.

Step 2

Step 3

Decide where the skirt will sit at the waist, whether you are having a straight waistband, a shaped waistband or a facing.  Also decide on the finished length.  For this project I dropped the waist line by 2cm and made the skirt 40cm long overall.  Mark the length – don’t worry to add a hem allowance at this point, it is better to have the finished length when you toile it up.  Adjust the waistline accordingly.

Step 3

Step 4

Cut along the new waistline.  Number the panels and add grainlines perpendicular to the hipline on each panel.  Cut off the bottom at the new hemline.

Step 4

Step 5

Mark a facing 5cm deep on the pattern and trace this off, including the markings for the darts.  Cut the facing and close the darts to make a curved pattern shape.  Mark the centre front and back, and for a skirt with a side zip, label the centre lines as being placed on a fold.  You will need to add a seam allowance to the side seam of each facing piece, as well as to the top.  Standard seam allowance is 1.5cm.

Step 5

 Step 6

Cut up the panel lines of the skirt.  Stick paper down each side of the panels and add 3-5cm (or more if you want a really full skirt) to each side of each panel piece.  Add seam allowance to the top and sides of each panel, but leave the hem for now.  The pieces I show have had the fulness added from the dotted line that was 14 cm down from the waistline.  You could also use the hipline as the start point.  This would make the skirt more fitting to the hip, only flaring from there.  You need to decide where you would like the fullness to start.  I have shown a 4cm flare at the hemline.

Step 6

So that is your pattern.  For making up, it is easier to make the whole front and back, and then to attach them at the side seams.  Remember to leave the left side seam open to the hipline for a zip.  Sew the front and back facing together at the right side seam.  Attach the facing to the top edge of the skirt, clip and understitch.  Interface the facing.  At the toile stage you can finalise the finished length, then add the hem allowance to the paper pattern.  For this skirt 2cm should be sufficient.  The fuller the skirt the more difficult it will be to hem with a deep allowance.

I would love to see the skirts made using this tutorial, so please post them, either on Burdastyle or Pinterest, with a link back here.  Happy pattern cutting!

Drafting a Skirt Block

The straight skirt block is the basic skirt pattern,  from which pretty much all other skirt patterns are made.  This tutorial is based on the method in Winifred Aldrich’s Metric Pattern Cutting.  I have included the two size tables for your reference.  You do not need to take every measurement!!  For skirts take your waist and hip measurement (if you are not sure where or how to do this, check here).  Compare your measurements with the table and get your waist to hip measurement from the table.  If you have different sizes don’t stress too much, the waist to hip doesn’t vary that much, so go by the one for your hip measurement.

Charts

Measurement table
Measurement table for Mature figures and adjustments for tall or petite

So, armed with your waist, hip and waist to hip measurement you can begin.

Step 1.

You will be starting with a rectangle.  Draw a line roughly parallell to the top edge of your paper.  Put a small line and a #1 on the left of the line.

1 – 2:  Measure along the line 1/2 of your hip measurement, plus 1.5cm.  Make a mark and  lable it #2.

1 – 3:  This line MUST be 90 degrees to the line 1 – 2.  Finished shirt length.  For the purposes of a block, make this knee length, so make this line about 50cm long, and mark the end with a #3.

3 – 4:  Is the same as the measurement 1 – 2.  Again, make sure all your lines are straight and at right angles to each other.

2 – 4:  Close the rectangle.

Step 1 - The Rectangle

Step 2.

1 – 5:  Waist to hip measurement from the table.  Mark #5 and draw a line across the block to intersect 2-4.  Mark this point #6.

5 – 7:  1/4 of your hip measurement, plus 1.5cm.  Mark #7 and draw a line down to the hem for #8.

Step 2

Step 3:

1- 9:  1/4 of your waist measurement, plus 4.25cm.  Mark #9 and draw a short line up.  #10 is 1.25cm up this line.

Draw a dotted line from #1 to #10.  Divide this line into 3 equal parts and mark points # 11 and #12.  Draw lines from these points at right angles.  The line from #11 is 14cm long.  Mark point # 13 at the end.  The line from #12 is 12.5cm long.  Mark point # 14.

Step 3

Step 4:

Draw darts on the two lines from #11 and #12, 2cm wide.  (that’s 1cm on each side of the central line)

2 – 15:  1/4 your waist measurement plus 2.25cm.  Mark #15 and draw a line up.  #16 is 1.25cm up this line.

#17 is a third of the measurement 16 – 2.  Draw a line from #17, 10cm long.  Mark point # 18 at the end.

Step 4

Step 5:

Draw a dart 2cm wide on the line from #17.

Find the halfway point of the lines from #7 to #10 & 16.  Mark a point 0.5cm out from this point on each line.  Draw a curved line from #10 to #7, and #16 to #7.  Make sure these lines touch the point you just marked and that they flow easily to the straight line from #7 to #8.

Draw a slow curve from #1 to #10 and #2 to #16.

Add notations, Back, Front and centres.

Step 5

At this point, also add your name, the date, and the measurements you used, ie, hip and waist.  This will come in handy when you want to check whether or not the block still fits you later on!  So now you have a half skirt.  To do the next step, you need to ink in the outer lines, the line from 7-8 and the darts.  Then use tracing paper and trace out each skirt piece separately, so you have a front and a back.  Cut the front out on a fold and cut 2 back pieces.  Remember that the block has NO SEAM ALLOWANCE!!  So add to the side seams and the centre back.  Also remember to leave the centre back open from waist to hip so you can get it on!  Keep this pattern uncut.  If you need to make adjustments, use coloured pens to mark new lines, and DATE the adjustments.  Use the patterns you traced off this one to cut up, otherise you will have to make a block everytime you want a new pattern.  This is your template, keep it safe!

I will post the method I used to make the skater skirt next.

Happy drafting!  Any questions, just shout, and if I haven’t made anything clear enough, please let me know, and it will be fixed asap!