The Maker's Atelier Pencil Skirt

After the lingerie set and the embroidered sweatshirt I decided to round the week off with the pencil skirt from The Maker's Atelier Essential Collection.  Well I had just bought the sequin fabric from Bambers  As the skirt is made in stretch fabric it doesn't restrict movement like a traditional tailored pencil skirt.


One of the examples in the book is a sequin fabric so, having bought the rose gold fabric,  I thought I would give it a go.  The pattern isn't for a lined skirt but this fabric would not be nice against the skin.  I went with a dusky pink stretch crepe for the lining, a suggestion from Jennine, one of the very helpful ladies in the shop, 


The patterns in the book are printed both sides so you do need to trace off the pattern pieces you require.  At this point I hadn't decided how to put in the lining so I just cut out the same pieces in the lining fabric.  As I only had one pattern piece and it was cut in a double layer I did not need to worry about direction but I don't think it would matter with this fabric.  


An internet search had taken me to Lauren Guthrie's blog on sewing with sequins which also had a video tutorial link with some great advice.  With this fabric you can just pin and cut as normal although i did use one of my older pair of scissors. Be prepared for a messy work space! 

I sewed the sides of the lining first to check the fit.  For me it was perfect - snug but not overly tight.  For the sequin fabric I started with a regular 14 needle but changed to a denim 16 when it broke.  As suggested in the book I used a straight stitch just applying a little tension as I fed the fabric through the machine.  


Then I had to decide how to attach the lining.  I suddenly thought I couldn't simply put wrong sides together and turn over the top edge as then the sequin fabric would be against my skin.  So with right sides together I stitched on what would be the fold line for the waist.  I turned to the right side and stitched along the edge with a stretch stitch ensuring the lining fabric was not showing.  Then I stitched another row the width of the  elastic away from the first row leaving a gap to insert the elastic.  I threaded the elastic through and used a safety pin to tie the ends together whilst I checked the fit.  I did need to shorten the elastic.  I then stitched the ends of the elastic together and closed up the gap.  The end result is pretty neat.

Although I had finger pressed the seams they didn't seem to want to lie flat so I went back and stitched them down.  For the lining I used the machine but the sequin fabric I did by hand using a silk thread and a cross over hem stitch.  It didn't take long but looked much better.

I was going to bag the hem but the sequin fabric had stretched out slightly and was now wider than the lining,  so I just machine hemmed both ensuring the lining did not show.  I did press the hem with some steam just to flatten and it worked.  

So now I need to make a top.  The suggestion in the book is for tonal matte-finish fabric using the the drape top pattern in the collection. I'll let you know how I get on.



The Great British Sewing Bee 2017

At first, I wasn't too sure about going to this event, but was persuaded by a 2 for 1 deal  that came through from the Sewing Quarter.  So I thought I would give it a try and drag my husband down to London for the weekend.

It was good to see a few friendly faces there, Charles from Empress Mills, Barnyarns, Fabrics Galore, but my mission was to explore the stands of the independent pattern makers and fabric suppliers for ideas and inspiration.  We did watch the fashion show first which showcased some of the independents as well as the majors. 



As you can see I bought a few patterns.  I started at The Maker's Atelier stand which was draped with beautifully elegant clothes.  Which patterns to get?  In the end I went with the book, signed by Frances, together with a coat and tunic pattern.  

My next stop was the Guthrie & Ghani stand.  They have a fabulous range of fabric and had put together some great show bundles.  Again the choice was too much.  Looking for soft fabrics for the coming months I plumped for the baby pink and deep maroon loopback jersey fabric.  I also bought a kit for the Linden Sweatshirt by the Grainline Studio which came with a light grey marl fleeceback jersey, matching thread, a pack of jersey needles and a twin needle.    

Moving on I bought a couple of the Tilly and the Buttons dress patterns.  I have made a couple of the Zadie dresses and they look great and went together so well.  I  have never really worn dresses but with the range of modern patterns available I am encouraging myself to change.



The next stop on the tour was MadeIt.  After seeing the top version of this pattern in the fashion show I thought it would make a great autumn/winter addition.  It only comes in a  PDF version  but these days  I prefer patterns this way, especially if layered.  They also have some great children's patterns as well. 

By this stage we had walked around for a good few hours so we treated ourselves to Champagne and cake.  Suitably refreshed we were then ready for a final tour.  I had noticed that a number of exhibitors were offering "design your own fabric" services  which seemed a great idea for future projects.  Late in the day we came across Fabworks where I picked up the wool fabric for the shawl collar coat pattern I bought earlier in the day.  This was there first show and they were having a great time.  They also had a fabulous range and some great show bundles.  A really friendly bunch of people and I am looking forward to a trip to their shop.  They even suggested a good place for lunch!

For something different I bought the Vogue formal dress pattern, once again because I saw it featured in the fashion show and was being offered at half price that day!  Most of my recent projects have been  lingerie and casual clothes in stretch fabric.  This patterns calls for nearly 3 metres of boning, something I haven't used before so an interesting make ahead.

Overall I enjoyed the day.  I would have liked to have seen a greater variety of  fabric suppliers to complement the patterns on offer as the venue was a little empty in places.  As a maker of lingerie I was disappointed that this was not featured at all especially as it was one of the GBSB challenges. Conversely, I thought there was a little to much focus on patchwork/quilting.  I go to the Festival of Quilts for this!

Hopefully next up will  be pictures of all my fabulous makes from the show!