Wednesday, 29 January 2014

The Pink Skirt Story

Hello again!

Yesterday I left you dangling, wondering what would become of my lovely pink charity shop skirt, didn't I?  Well, I have shortened it and also made one or two other adjustments.

Firstly, I decided that it would need to be shortened by 10cm.  I don't know if you can make out my tailor's chalk mark in orange, in the above picture (at 0cm), but I marked 10cm up from the bottom of the skirt and then marked another one 3cm down from that (in white chalk).  The 10cm chalk line would be the finished length and the line which I folded up on.  The White chalk mark was the lined that I cut the skirt on, giving me a 3cm hem.  So I marked all the way round the bottom of the skirt which took a while due to all those pleats!  The then carefully cut along the white lines, and pressed up the 3cm hem with a steam iron on the orange lines.  At this point I just pressed flat and didn't worry about the pleats.

You can just see my fold mark here on the top left if you look.  Then I simply finished the raw edge of the skirt with a zig-zag stitch on my machine.  I didn't want any extra bulk of a double-folded hem - it had to lie as flat as possible due to the pleating.

Next I hand stitched the hem in place with a hemming stitch

Then of course I had to deal with the lining.  This time I shortened it by 13cm as I hate it when you can see a lining underneath the skirt

The lining was not pleated in the same was as the skirt - just a straight lining, so it was relatively easy to zig-zag on the machine.

As this is a woollen skirt and therefore one which will need to be dry-cleaned, I thought these hem finishes would be sufficient.  Had it been a skirt that I would wash and dry more often I might have come up with some better finishings!

Next I needed to put those pleats back into the finished hem which was done with a good amount of steam and some gentle pressure on the folds.

Eventually, the skirt looked like this.  It was shorter, but still closely resembling a Miss Marple staple.  Hmmmm, what now?  I'm thinking it's the pleats - they're too long.  So next I decided to shorten them which was very easy - I simply unpicked them up to the point I wanted them and then secured them with a little stitch.

Here is the finished skirt.  Shortened by 10cm and the pleats lifted.  It hangs just below the knee, which is a good length for me.  I can't really tell whether this is going to be a success until it is teamed with the pink tank top, which I am about to deal with.

So now I am going off to my lovely knitting group which meets in the local wool shop and I'm taking my pink tank top with me in the hope that someone can help me pick up all the stitches around the neckline.

I tried picking them up yesterday after I'd sewn the shoulders together and made a right hash of it!  Wish me luck :-)

Tuesday, 28 January 2014


Well hello and welcome to my blog!!  I am very excited to be blogging again - I did once dabble a few years ago but I'm afraid that life took over and it is now languishing in the internet ether.  I cannot remember my password to revive it, which is a bit sad, so here I am with a brand spanking new blog instead, which is actually a bit more exciting (for me, anyway!).

Where on earth do I start I wonder?  There are so many things ping-ponging around in my head (as usual).  Someone (possibly Mary Poppins) said you should start at the very beginning, so I shall start with a few pictures of my very wet walk on the beach this morning.  Why on earth would I be walking on the beach in the pouring rain, I hear you ask?  Well, it's got something to do with this little fella ...

George.  (Gorgeous, moi?)

Here he is this morning, getting stuck into a lovely pile of seaweed. When he's not chowing down on this, what he really, really loves is to chase seagulls and big black birds.  The fact that they can fly and he's only a puppy on the ground doesn't seem to cross his mind, as he shoots off, crashing into the sea and attempting a few doggy paddles before he finally realises he may not quite succeed.  The optimism and total belief in himself is stunning, as he repeats this over and over.  One day he will get one, I'm sure.  Every day he comes home soaking wet from nose to tail, so whether it's raining or not is irrelevant to him - he needs a full towelling down, whatever the weather!

As for me, well, I'm not a natural when it comes to exercising, I have to admit.  I'd much rather be knitting or sewing or baking - even ironing, quite frankly.  Or cuddling up on the sofa (with the dog!).  But he's such a lovely little thing and he so loves his walks that I just feel duty bound to let him run free at least once a day.  And today it was tipping it down (as they say here in Wales).  Real wet rain.  Torrential.  So I just got my wet weather gear on and went for it anyway.  It's actually quite liberating, allowing yourself to get wet (if I say this often enough I might actually believe it)!

But now that I'm nice and dry again I can get down to the business of the day which will be to sew the shoulders together on this, my pink tank top.  I have a thing about tank tops - don't know why - but as they are almost impossible to buy these days I am simply forced to knit them instead.  I know, a knitted tank top doesn't exactly sound like the epitome of fashion, does it, to be fair?!  However, when I tell you that I'm going to team it with this little number

you can see that I am completely insane at the height of fashion.  Yep, I'm going for the Velma look from Scooby Doo, I think.  The picture does not do it justice, I might add because it's actually a rather lovely tweedy pink and is a recent charity shop acquisition, found in pristine (probably brand new) condition.  At the moment it is Miss Marple to a T, but I'm going to shorten it, you see - utterly transforming it into a bang-up-to-date little outfit!  Ahhhhhh, delusional, moi?  Lordy knows whether this plan will work but I have to try it and find out.  This is the curse of a creative brain. 

There is a small chance that I shall have achieved these two feats of sewing by tomorrow, so do drop by and find out.  I know you're on the edge of your pants, aren't you?