It’s official…the Tilly and the Buttons Miette wrap skirt is finished!!

Ok peeps, here it is…a momentous achievement…my Tilly and the Buttons Miette wrap skirt completed, modelled and ready for the Big Reveal!!

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Now, first things first…anyone who has seen my twitter posts @thepolkadotroom or instagram thepolkadotroom (you get the idea) will have seen my recent ramblings recording my progress with this skirt…and slow it has been!!! There have been various reasons for that…largely time…and the fact it is winter, I have poor light where I sew (the kitchen table and I really need to invest in a proper daylight craft/sewing lamp), and I rather naively used black fabric…eek! as the light fades so too does my ability to see what I’m sewing..black thread on black fabric is nuts!! but I’ve done it and I’m a bit pleased with the end result…that and the fact I’ve learnt a lot about my sewing whilst doing so and a little bit more about me…

First though, let’s talk about this skirt…

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I debated over what fabric to use, initially thinking I’d go for linen, but then changed my mind as I couldn’t find anything that was a heavy duty linen (is that a technical term?!) and not wanting to wear a slip under this skirt, I ended up choosing a simple black cotton twill (at least I’m sure that’s what it said on the label!) As I had decided to do the pockets for the skirt (I mean, they are just lovely), I thought I’d go a bit ‘in for a penny in for a pound’ and line the pockets in a contrasting fabric…kerching!!! Love them!!!

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Pocket lining was black cotton with red stars..very cute..and thinking about it now, it would have been great to use it on the skirt ties as well. I then decided on following Tilly’s suggestion to try top stitching the pockets in a contrast colour thread…yeah baby…red, loud and proud!!

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Like it? Look, if you’re planning on making this skirt…go for the contrast pocket top stitching…just take your time and don’t rush it and it’ll be brill…this was the first time I’d used a decorative top stitch on my machine and I’m impressed with how effective it is…and this is on my little basic Husqvarna E20!

This pattern is suitable for beginners and I mean absolute beginners; it has no closures like zips or button holes…just the ties. This is the beauty of this skirt. The pdf printable pattern comes with a great step by step set of instructions you print off, great for sewists with some experience and for the total beginners or if you just want or love or both some pictorial guidance, you can follow beautifully illustrated step by step instructions on Tilly’s blog…it’s almost like you’re I’m a workshop with her! and if you still get stuck, just tweet or email her and she’ll help you…what a **sTaR** you are Tilly!!!

This really is a great, easy to follow pattern. I had a few hiccups,,which were nothing to do with the pattern or my not understanding the instructions but my choice of fabric…the cotton twill I chose was very very heavy duty!! and probably too much for this pattern…great for a pair of trousers (work trousers??) and I mean lumberjack’s trousers!! but quite hard work when sewing with this weight as the pattern does at certain points have several thickness of fabric to sew through…with a more sensible weight fabric such as linen or quilting fabric, it would be easier. Having said that, my dear Betty (my sewing machine’s pet name) coped well. There was a bit of unpicking and starting again, but then I have realised I am a bit of a perfectionist!!

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Here are some pics of the pockets….THOSE pockets…wicked! I apologise for the fact I appear to have stuffed my hands plus a few pounds of potatoes in them…why??? They do actually lie pretty flat normally but aren’t designed to lie totally flat against the skirt, in order that you can fill them up or store essentials…

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Oh yes…please excuse my hound!! My daughter was taking these photos of me outside our front door…she started laughing, which I thought was a bit rude as surely taking pics of me was not THAT funny? No, she said, you’ll see…and yes, it became apparent that my dawg decided to ‘photobomb’ (as my daughter called it), our photo shoot!! What with trying to avoid and smile at passing neighbours…I didn’t go for any retakes…so he stayed in them!! Real life…!!

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And then he tries to make a run for it over to my neighbours….honestly..never work with children or animals!!

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And then I have to coax him back in…

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The one thing I had the most tricky time with was the hem…not sure why…but it reminded me of parking…you get it wrong the first time and it’ll probably take you three attempts to get it right!! My hem was similar…unpicked in part, some of the hem, around 4 times…the thread snapped, the bobbin ran out (note to self…always check the bobbin love)….but got there in the end…the skirt pieces are curved at the bottom and for some reason, turning the hem up despite it being straight when pinned, seemed to end up gathering up as I started sewing!!! I just used a longer straight stitch width and pinned carefully, and went slowly and it was fine!

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I do not have an overlocker….and I so desire one…but I have to settle for the good old overlocking stitch on my machine, which I think gave a pretty good finish…

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So there we have it…my lovely Miette wrap skirt!! I’m so pleased with the result.
What have I learnt along the way? That I am quite a diligent sewer…I prefer to take my time and get it right, even if it means unpicking and starting something again! I love the feeling of being methodical…it suits me. It ‘zones’ me out…calms me and helps me focus….I do a pretty stressful and emotional day job that quite honestly can drain me…sewing just grounds me. People from all walks of life love to sew. It surely must be for some of the same reasons I have mentioned. Yes, it can be frustrating when things go a bit wrong…but even if you end up with something that you’re not sure you’ll wear (hopefully rare!) the fact is, that for me, the process of making can be rewarding enough..there’s progress there, there really is.

Also, when it comes to photographing the finished item, I have started to relax with seeing myself in my finished garment and feeling more comfortable actually being photographed. I’m not a perfect 10, far from it, you can see that…but I am really not keen on having my photo taken, let alone a full body shot! What I love about sewing, is seeing people of all different shapes and sizes taking photos of themselves in the clothes they’ve made and looking so proud…it’s started to make me feel more comfortable with myself and body image and stop looking at my flaws…it probably sounds quite cheesy..but there you are..through blogging and looking at other people’s blogs and photos, I’ve started to feel a whole new confidence because of them..so thank you all you wonderful sewing bloggers!

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Oh, and not forgetting my number one fan…Mutley

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Have you found blogging has helped with your self image and confidence?
Until next time…

p.s. having just looked through the pre post blog preview I’ve noticed the photos are a bit small…should have done them larger…oh well…you can click on them and that should make them a little bigger…too fiddly to go back and change now..but I’ll remember for next time!! I think.,,
Kate x

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This is progress, I’m sure it is…

HaPpY nEw YeAr!!!!

Is this a bit late? well, that’s not unlike me…hope you all had a great Christmas and New Year…so now it’s business as usual. Many of you may already have returned to work but for me that’s tomorrow (the joys of working term time only!) and the ankle biters are back at school too! It’s been all last minute ‘hunt the PE kit’ in the house today.

Having only recently made the promise to myself (NYR) aka New Year Resolution…to knuckle down and actually make those clothes I so want to this year, I’ve not got much to show and tell, other than projects on the go or in the pipeline!

So, without further ado, here are a few….

Crochet
My adorable children, 1,2 & 3, bought me some yarn for Christmas…I’ve made a lovely chunky headband for my eldest with one of the balls of yarn and now her friend (in the Netherlands) wants one…so have chosen this Barbe à Papa of a yarn (French for Candyfloss don’t you know!) as she loves baby pink! Excuse the terrible photo quality as it’s so dark all the time…

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Almost finished it but need an extra ball of yarn for the last piece!! So annoying as my daughter’s worked with the one ball!!

But look at what I have to use to
crochet with…

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What a wonderful Christmas present!! A full set of hooks all the way up to a size 10 in a gorgeous red aluminium…my favourite to crochet with…and in a polka dot case!!! I was thrilled with this!

My Anna dress toile is making slow but good progress, but as yet I’ve no fabric for the real one…I thought I had but it wasn’t enough…boo! So I need to choose something. In the meantime, I’ve started on my Miette Wrap skirt from the lovely Tilly and The Buttons…

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It took me a while to piece the printed pattern pieces together as I’ve not done this before but it weirdly was quite enjoyable!! I’ve got some great fabric so watch this space……

I made another of Tilly’s fake fur collar for another friend, which is her free downloadable pattern available here
•**•free pattern•**• and is super easy…actually need to make mine!!!

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Again, please excuse the picture quality…even with the flash on it’s so dark in my house at the moment!

The last project in my queue is my Simplicity 2451 skirt that I’ve just found some material from my stash to use. I love this skirt! Well, at least on everyone else I’ve seen it on it looks gorgeous…I’m hoping that I’ve not got some warped sense of thinking it’ll look good on me like it does on other women…will have to see! I’ve got a suitable zip but am now considering one in a different colour for a slightly more unusual look…if you like that exposed zip in a contrast colour thing, which I do!

So, I have quite a bit to be getting on with for now…and somewhere, somehow, in between working, three school children and their homework, after school clubs, taxi service, rabbits, dog etc etc…I will make time to sew!!! Even if it’s the odd hour here or there, I’ve promised myself this year…because sewing makes me very content..yes, it can be frustrating…but learning a new skill and making something is progress…rewarding, relaxing and with a great sense of satisfaction. I’m dedicating my Friday day off work to giving myself at least an hour of sewing time…stuff the hoovering!! I’ll take over the kitchen for a bit of self indulgence.

How often do you get to sew? do you have a dedicated sewing space?

So here’s to a positive start to 2014…chin! chin!

Kate x