Look at me, look at me, look at me!

crow pose
A few months back, before stout-with-child set in, I had a moment during a yoga class that was vv yogic and deeply UNyogic.

Instructed to get into crow pose (Bakasana), I followed instructions, got into crow and much to my surprise, actually held the pose for about eight  l o o o o o o o o n g   seconds

Totally unable to stop myself, I cried out “Look at me, look at me, look at me!”, reducing everybody in the class to giggling heaps on the floor. Held the pose for a further two heroic and blissful seconds then joined my colleagues chortling on the floor.  Not quite the crowing that Nicki, our teacher, was after, but fitting, nonetheless – why not crow about your crow?
I’m going to follow up with a little more crowing, if you don’t mind: found out my wee tutorial on a maternity skirt refashion is featured on luvinthemommyhood. Needless to say, I’m quite tickled by this. I’d not been to the site before and am really looking forward to pottering about getting familiar. Not only does it offer me inspiration & tutorials by the bucketload, but in a lovely aesthetic too. I feel quite proud to be in such company – and grateful too. Thanks!  

And it’s not the only site this tutorial found its way to – Anne featured it on craft gossip and kindly mailed me to let me know, think liz picked it up and featured it in a list of free sewing patterns, and it appears again on whipup.net. What a gift! Not only does each of these sites offer a whole new bunch of blogs and sites to browse through, it’s given me a real confidence/ego boost. Go and have a look – there’s good stuff out there! 

This unexpected bit of acknowledgement has given me a timely kick up the arse:  feedback and response is one of the great benefits of the interwebs that I enjoy receiving and engaging in. But I’ve been a little lax and ungracious in giving much response to you peeps who’ve taken the time to pass on comments or compliments on my blogging and I’d like to make amends.   

So without further ado, and following the lead of Kristy ‘loweryourpresserfoot’, who is VERY good at acknowledging her commenters and got me into blogging in the first place,  big thanks and acknowledgements go out to…   

  • Pam – Cool. I hope your skirt for your daughter works out – I’d  love to see a picture!
  • misscraftyfingers – go for it. I carry my knitting bag around In The Outside Like A Real Bag and it works a treat. The only thing I’d suggest is if you live in a city/commute, pop some feet or a reinforced bottom on it, or it gets a mucky bottom. See, my maternal instinct is already being put to good use.
  • Trisha, anna.drops, Lindsey, Isra – thanks for the compliment. The top, although a thrifted (heehee – £5, not £69) Isabella Oliver top, is very similar to Meghan Nielsen’s maternity wrap top. Utterly comfortable and totally pregnancy-friendly. Highly recommended – both simple to make and bloody brilliant to wear.

There’s more, much more – but soon. Tonight’s Madmen and I’ve got a sofa space to go and claim. Feel thanked, you guys.


Culottes de Nîmes


These culottes have been top of the UFO pile for a  l—o—o—n—g time – I must have bought this fabric and pattern in 2003?  So, I bite the bullet and try them on.

Thankfully, my six-year-old seam allowances are generous and so body changes can be accommodated. But small moment of horror – the waistband barely grazes my hipbones and there’s MAJOR belly exposure. What was I thinking? Very long tops? Acres of toned abs? And how exactly was I thinking to work the super-preppy culottes/belly-flashing look?

I can’t make this add up, so re-read of the instructions. This reveals my error, and, possibly, the reason I abandoned this project.  It’s a curved yoke that I’d pinned in place UPSIDE-DOWN – not a waistband. Even my slimmer 2003 self didn’t have the nuts to carry this style off. Those two extra inches coverage haul this garment back into the respectable, wearable and finishable. So I crack on.

It was a pleasant surprise to go back to my previous work and see I’d been carefully finishing edges with a wee fold held in place with a zigzag stitch (obviously well before I got my mitts on an overlocker). So I’m inspired to continue with nice careful finishing and…

bias bind the yoke facing in contrasting red satin and

bias bind the leg hems too (as inspired by darling petunia’s pretty finishing).

The lightweight stretch denim fabric came from the most excellent A1 Fabrics in Goldhawk Road. Very affordable, as I remember (£2-4 per metre), and the bias binding was from the stash.  Pattern, Vogue Couture 2755. 

It’s a lovely pattern – really easy to follow and a nice flattering line.  Just pay attention at the attaching-curved-yoke bit!

PS I used a stiffer fabric that Vogue recommends, so when you sit down, then stand up again, the pleats disappear and the legs balloon out in a comedy/Tintin stylee. So I’ve re-angled the pleats so they make a diagonal line (not straight) from the stitching down to the hemline. I put some tiny stitches on the inside of the hem to make pressing the pleats in place easier in future. Squint and you can see this in the hem-displaying picture.

Bubble skirt – refashioned

Yesterday I promised in print to spend some of my bank holiday Getting On With It. Then promptly took off to enjoy a DIY breakfast in the sun at St Katherine’s Dock, some husbandly trying on of jeans Up West, and, long after I’d had enough, being jostled about in the human pinball of the Apple store. What was I thinking?

Well, I was thinking about explaining how I made a bubble skirt from a long panelled skirt.


It started life as an ankle-length gored skirt – £1 from East Street market. I loved the slightly two-tone effect of the fabric (no idea what it is) but it was just too long and stuck straight out like a lampshade cover. Always got comments when I wore it, but mostly of the ‘What did you come as’ type. Ho-de-bleedin-ho, what a wag  you are.

So I added a lining and scooped the skirt up into it. This didn’t quite shorten it enough, so some scrunched up irregular handfuls, handstitched down, gives it a sort of Ann Demeulemeester look and the texture brings out the heathery sheen of the two-tone colour.

This isn’t quite a tutorial, but to get the general idea of how I did it, dear reader, read on and then just

  • shorten skirt to 65cm [60cm=required skirt length, 5cm=’bubble’ allowance]
  • make a flared a-line or quarter circle lining in two pieces that has
    • the same waist measurement as the skirt
    • a smaller hem measurement as the skirt
    • 5cm shorter than your required finished skirt length
    • sew side seam, leaving 12cm (or length of zip) open at the top
  • gather skirt hemline until the same length as lining hemline and sew lining to skirt at hemline, right sides together
  • unpick the waistband and, wrong sides together, baste the lining to the skirt in the skirt’s waist seam allowance
  • reattach the waistband
  • handstitch the lining to each side of  the zip

I feel I should sign off by saying something cool in flemish. But I actually don’t know how to say ANYTHING in flemish, so Voilà will have to do. Or allez!

bubble skirt seated aug 09

bubble skirt behind aug 09

Crossposted on Wardrobe Refashion.

Pillowcases can make your head hurt

If you like a challenge, try reading the four sentences that sum up the patent for pillowcase construction. I found this looking for suggestions for making bright pillowcases. I wish I hadn’t. My head hurts.

If you did try and read it, I’m sorry. Here’s some kittens to soothe away the horrors of patentese. Mmmmmm. Dat’s better.


About me

I started this blog to help me Get Things Done: sewing and knitting mostly.
But now I have a daughter! So I continue to daydream in enormous detail about what I'd like to make, but squeeze the 'doing' into precious naptimes and evenings.

Can I keep it up? Time will tell!

Want to follow my blog and get notifications of new posts by email?

Join 46 other followers

Older posts