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Entries in skirt (3)


A stash is born

When we got back from cricket week, the leftover pinstripe material from my bag was sitting (folded neatly) on the table. It occurred to me that it might make a rather smart skirt, but I have two now and I wasn't sure I could justify it. Plus a plain black pinstripe skirt isn't quite summery enough really. Then I realised that I'm off to a conference in Toulouse next week. I checked the temperatures, and trousers aren't going to be optimal (30 degrees? Yay!). I'm on,y presenting a poster, not a full paper, but it feels like I ought to be sort of smart.

So I came back to my pinstripe again. I'm not great at making things the same way twice, and I thought it might look quite cool with a big, vertical slice of colour down the front. I pondered the hippos again, but Clarkie pulled a face. Apparently a wardrobe can have too many hippos. I found some bright turquoise with fish drawn on it, but Clarkie pulled another face. Too big a contrast between the smart and the stripe apparently.

(The fact that I asked for Clarkie's opinion shows I wasn't all that convinced either. Normally I'll just go for it.)

We nipped into town yesterday morning, and one of the shops on our list was a fabric shop. This was actually just a little fortuitous for me - Clarkie actually wanted to go get a little something for a fancy dress costume - but I am not one to miss an opportunity. I found a lovely fabric, with grey butterflies on a white background. Different enough for me, smart enough for Clarkie! So today I knocked up another skirt.

Yet another skirt

There's a pocket in the butterfly section, and it sits just where I like. I used the same template that I used for the denim skirt I made. I may have to wear this this week, just to wear it in obviously.

So that used most of the pinstripe fabric. But I bought 0.5m of the butterfly, and seem to have most of it left. Add that to the hippo, the rest of the denim, the turquoise... Suddenly I have a fabric stash! I swear I never intended that. Whoops! Still, you never know when it'll come in handy...


More sewing

Following on from my first successful skirt, I've enjoyed wearing it this week. Especially as all my shorts have got a little on the large side recently, and I don't want to wear trousers at the moment.

Actually, let's talk about that. I am brunette. I stopped wearing shorts and skirts so much because I had a lot of thick, dark leg hair, and the shaving and fretting about that had really kind of got to me. I know you're supposed to be all feminist and "I don't care" about these things, but I did care. So a couple of years ago I paid for laser hair removal treatment. It wasn't cheap, but it is the best money I think I've ever spent. I still have some leg hair, but it's fair. I go a couple of months between giving it a bit of a mow over with an epilady, and can entirely ignore it in between. Huge difference to shaving daily/ever other day! It has honestly made such a difference to my outlook. So much happier to throw a pair of shorts or a skirt on, and just loving it.

So anyway. I decided another skirt was in order, and I pretty much knocked this one up on Friday night.

Denim skirt

Sort of used this tutorial, I used the template I used for the hippo skirt and pulled it in a little at the waist, and reduced the flare a little. The fabric is some denim that my mum gave me (she's having a clear-out), and the edging is some left-over fabric from the first shirt I made. (Hm. Doesn't look like I ever blogged that. Whoops!) I've added a small pocket. It's perfectly iPod sized. I listen a lot while I'm working, and standing just makes it easier to put the iPod in the pocket.

In fact, I missed the pocket so much, I added one to the hippo skirt too.


I tried to match the pattern to make it almost invisible. Quite a different approach to the denim one! They are very easy skirts to wear. Really I ought to get the hang of zips, but I just pull them on over my head.

The other project I've had on the go is a shirt. I bought some fabric designed by Emma McCann on Spoonflower. I thought it would make a fabulously geeky shirt. I actually bought the fabric ages ago, but I was a bit scared. I'm not ever so confident with the sewing machine yet (although I'm getting more so), so I got some cheap, silly fabric (see the trim above), bought Burda pattern 8153 and had a practice run. Collars are fun. So are sleeves. I wussed out of doing buttons though - went with poppers.

Then I kind of ran out of time for about a year! So I almost forgot all the problems by the time I got back to it. I'm pretty happy with the result though.


(I sort of wish I'd brushed my hair. Oh well.) I didn't do a full collar on this one. I didn't think I needed it really. I also didn't go for any interfacing. I did short sleeves, and I added just a little bit across the chest. But get this! I did buttons! I sat down with my manual and the interwebs, and worked out how to get a reasonably even buttonhole. Only problem is I did them across the button band, rather than along it. I don't think it makes much difference, but the positioning of the buttons has to be that bit more precise to get the button band to sit correctly.

I think if I make another shirt I'll take a couple of inches off the bottom, and possibly make the sleeves another inch shorter. I might put an edge on the sleeves too, rather than a flat hem. I have to say though, I think I could get quite into this sewing lark. More fun than shopping!

Home-made outfit


A change to the wardrobe

I've been thinking recently about maybe expanding my wardrobe to include a couple of simple skirts. I'm pretty sure there's nothing in the lesbian handbook that rules it out, and I have at least two pairs of shoes that would work with a skirt. It's all well and good wearing shorts, but it doesn't help with the not-looking-like-a-12-year-old-boy thing.

Then I found (somehow, can't think how) a tutorial for making an a-line skirt. And I had some fabric I bought in Ikea that I thought could work. Then we went to visit my parents, and Mum gave me some fabric she'd found in a cupboard that would make a perfect lining. I did think about trying to get a zip, but then I figured I could just put it on over my head.

The tutorial includes making your own pattern. I used a sheet of newspaper. I used 8.5" at the top, 17" at the bottom, and a length of 19". It worked pretty well. The top measurement might be a 0.5" (or maybe even just 0.25") too big, but the skirt stays up.

Silly skirt

So, ok, white hippos may not entirely be sending out an entirely mature image. Still, I'm quite pleased with that. I've found a slightly different tutorial to try, so there could well be another one on the way soon... (Maybe in some slightly more sober fabric next time!)