Monday, 11 November 2013

Charlotte Kelly Skirt

Hello Everyone! I hope you all had a fabulous weekend. Last weekend I set up my sewing room and I am pleased to report that I am now back in the (sewing) game. I am also equally pleased that I am finally able to share with you my latest make - the Kelly Skirt by Megan Nielsen.
I've called this my Charlotte Kelly skirt because it is pretty much an exact copy of inspired by a skirt made by Charlotte from Charlie Says So. Charlie's wore her skirt to the Birmingham meet-up earlier in the year and I loved the black and red combination so much that I set about purchasing the materials required to make my own, right there and then. The main fabric is a cotton linen blend from Barry's Fabric Superstore in Birmingham. This was my first time working with a linen and I must say, it was a delight to work with.

This skirt has been a work in progress for a very long time. It came together pretty quickly and I actually wore it to the London meet-up on 3rd August...seen here with Paddington (proof it was summer - look at those bare legs. I feel chilly just looking at this picture now)

However, I had a serious problems with the fit of this skirt and I realised just how bad it was after I spent the whole day of the meet-up tugging my skirt down! Basically, what happened was I tried to be a little bit clever. I struggle with skirts that are fitted at the waist and prefer to wear them on my hips. So although I loved the Kelly skirt pattern, I was unsure if the style would suit me. To overcome the waist issue, I planned to extend the waistband so that it would fall to my hips instead. Turns out this was an error. You can see from the picture below that the result was a massively gaping waistband (excuse the flesh on show!!)

I have since learnt that there are differences in waistbands for skirts that sit on the waist and those that sit on the hips. Waist-waistbands are straight, whereas those that sit on the hips are curved. Makes sense, right? This was a revelation to me when Rachel explained this to me - thanks Rachel :)
After the meet-up this skirt was put to one side for several months until last weekend, when I picked it up again. I pinched in the waistband at each side and lined up the resulting fold with the side seam so that it looked like part of the pattern. I pinned both sides to check the fit then pressed and hand sewed the fold in place. I generally avoid hand sewing wherever possible, mostly because I'm lazy, but I was glad i did it on this occasion because the end result was pretty neat and it really didn't take that long. I just can't believe it took me so many months to apply this really simple fix!
A few close-ups of the details, firstly these beautiful buttons which came from Birmingham Rag Market. I was a bit scared about the seven button holes required for this skirt, but once I had done a few practise goes it really wasn't that bad. Honest. I think that if I make this skirt again, which I quite possibly will, I would interface the button planket as well as the waistband, just to strengthen it.

Also my favourite feature...there are owls in the pockets! OWLS!! Yes I copied this from Charlie too, but come on, owls are my thing, it had to be done. And I'm sure I would have come up with this idea anyway left to my own devices. Maybe.

So there we have it, a very red Kelly skirt, finally completed. I'm a bit sad I left it so long and it is now autumn, because this was lovely to wear in the summer as it is so light and comfy. Oh well, next year! Now is the time to wrap up warm in tights and scarfs, and it works just fine with tights too. 
On the topic of winter, or more precisely Christmas (apologies for the C word...!), if you fancy taking part in this year's Sewist's Secret Santa you have until Sunday 17th November to sign up, so pop over to the link and find out what the fun is all about (and there are some handy dates there too so you ca plan your shopping!).
K xx

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Sewist's Secret Santa - 2013 edition

Hello Everyone!

Thank you very much for all your lovely comments and messages in response to my last post. We have been in our new house for just over four weeks now and we are definitely getting there. It is feeling much more like home now and I even unpacked my sewing machine in my brand new sewing room at the weekend - photos coming soon!

For now though, I am pleased to announce the return of the Sewist's Secret Santa! I know it's only just November and you probably haven't even started thinking about Christmas or Christmas presents yet, but following the success of last year I have decided to organise it again - with a bit more advance planning this time. Here is how it will work and how you can sign up:

1) Send me an email to kraftykatblog(at)gmail(dot)com by Sunday 17th November with the following information - your name, a link to your blog (if you have one), your postal address and also whether you are happy to post internationally. Also, if you would like to provide a short snippet of information for me to send on to your Santa please do - for example, "I'm a sewist and a knitter, I love spots and lace and big prints".

2) I will play Santa and pick everyone's Secret Santa out of a (probably metaphorical) hat. I will split between people happy to post internationally and those who would prefer not to. This will not be a straightforward pairwise swap, otherwise everyone will know who their Santa is, and that just defeats the object!

3) I will send everyone an email telling them who they will be buying for, along with their address/blog link/information by Sunday 24th November.
4) Present buying! This bit is completely up to you, however please try and keep within the limit which is £5 (or equivalent internationally). You can make/buy/thrift your presents or even shop your stash - it's completely up to you.

5) Pop your gift in the post. Don't forget this is supposed to be a Secret Santa, so it's most fun if you don't let on who the present is from. Please keep an eye on the last dates for posting before Christmas...check here for last Royal Mail posting dates. The earliest last posting date is 4th December for anyone posting to New Zealand. Please try to post your parcel by Monday 16th December to make sure it arrives in time for Christmas.

6) Receive your present and pop it under the tree, or open immediately if you must, however please wait until after Christmas to share on your blog. And feel free to speculate about who your Santa might be....!!

I had so much fun shopping for my secret santa last year and am looking forward to doing it all again. If you have any questions please feel free to drop me an email or write a comment below and I'll get back to you as soon as I can.

Ho ho ho...

K xx


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