Gruesome Twosome

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For the life of me I could not get a half decent picture of either garment shown here. They are both terribly un-photogenic. I did the best I could, believe me. 

Whilst I spend a lot of time dreaming about 60s pencil dresses and quirky blouses, I am most satisfied sewing garments I wear a lot, such as basic tops, classic skirts and coats. In a bid to sew through some of my woollen stash, I set about utilising some of the more basic patterns in Burda magazine. The first top is from this years February issue, in a collection based on 1920s garments. Not sure about the 20s references, but some nice patterns nonetheless.

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Raglan shirt 127 02/2013. This was labelled an easy pattern, and it lived up to it’s name. I forgot about adding seam allowances but it still fits, just a little tighter than I anticipated. The sleeves are nice and long, but the body is ridiculously long. I usually need to add at least an inch and a half to most patterns in the waist to avoid the late 90s midriff look, but I actually cut off about 5 inches of this. The drawing shows a long top, however the pattern is for a minidress even by my matronly standards. The fabric I used is some plain black cotton jersey that has a subtle sheen to it. It’s very lovely and drapey and not too stretchy. Nice and easy.

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For the skirt – a pattern I’ve used before.

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Having already had a trial and error fitting session with the previous version, I sewed this one with relatively little fuss. I cut it out with a 1cm seam allowance, but sewed it with 1.5cm seam allowance to allow for the large fit. A bit backwards in logic but hey, it works for me. The only additional fitting I had to do was to take in the side seams between the waist and hip by 0.5cm or so, and it worked perfectly. After cutting I decided to try out a lapped zip,  however failed to realise I needed to cut a wider seam allowance to do that. So instead it’s a standard central zip insertion, using an old metal zip from my stash.

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To fancy things up a bit, I used bias binding – again from my stash – on the facing edges rather than overlocking.  I love how it looks. The lining is a bright turquoise polyester satin from my stash. It’s a pretty insane retina-burning colour, but I’m glad to have used it up. Makes getting dressed in the cold somewhat exciting.

There is a vent in this skirt, which I tried to line using this tutorial. I’m not sure I got it right, it doesn’t look right, it looks backwards, almost, but it’s hard to figure out where it has gone wrong. I’m flummoxed. I’ll have to try again sometime.

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My favourite thing about this skirt is the fabric. It’s a vintage Liberty wool I scored off eBay. Cream and turquoise green houndstooth, incredibly difficult to photograph or colour correct in Photoshop. It’s such a thick and sturdy wool and a good antidote to all the thin, stretchy jerseys I’ve been battling with recently. Moreover it’s super warm. I’ve got a bit more of it, but I haven’t decided what to do yet. It’s a bit too loud for a jacket (for me anyway, I’m sure Oona of Oonaballoona would rock it).

Any thoughts for what I should do? Tips for lining a skirt vent? Can anyone see where I’ve gone wrong? Also, does anyone else buy fabric off eBay? When people de-stash it I mean, not off the roll. I fret about it, but have been pleasantly surprised several times.

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