Sunday, 25 September 2016

When Erin met Molly.

Today I come to you from the 08:03 from Bath Spa to Birmingham New Street. A BIG EXCITING DAY IS AHEAD - I am on my way to Sew Brum to meet real life ladies that sew.  Although I have been sewing for over two years I only know one other person that sews - Green Coffee Pot lives in Dorset, and I don't get to see her as often as I'd like to. Thanks to the internet (and luckily for Dave's sanity) I have Instagram friends to share my sewing 'triumphs'. To say I am over excited to meet some of you in person is an understatement!

*** I am now back at home typing up this blog post written the old fashioned way, and I can confirm I had the best time. My cheeks are still hurting from smiling so much!***

Anyway...back to the matter at hand. I was absolutely thrilled when the lovely ladies at Sew Over It offered me an advanced copy of their new e-book: My Capsule Wardrobe, City Break. A collection of patterns designed to take you from brunch in Paris, to sightseeing in Rome, to dinner in Barcelona! I have a lot, and I mean a lot, of African wax print fit and flare dresses, so I was excited at the prospect of adding to my slightly less abundant collection of more practical (?) separates. In the winter I tend to line my African wax in a matching viscose, so I do find the dresses very wearable in the autumn/winter layered with a brightly coloured jersey cropped jumpers. My go to pattern was the Tilly and the Buttons Coco top for the jumpers. I have 4 but only really tend to wear two of them due to the quality of the jersey (half the battle when sewing with knits eh?!). I found two pieces of beautifully soft 2-way stretch sweatshirt jersey from the Turkish markets in Berlin when I went in May.

The jersey perfectly matched some African wax I had in my stash so I eagerly sent the Erin Skirt and the Molly top to the printer. I even planned how this outfit would look!

I used this African wax for a dress I made for a lovely friend for a wedding this summer. The fabric was from Middlesex Textiles. I think it is out of stock, but you might be able to find it by searching for Guaranteed Dutch Wax Holland A6002.

The Molly top has kimono sleeves and a neckband - having never tried neither in a knit I was keen to get stuck in. I skipped down to my local haberdashery to get some matching thread for my overlocker. The last time I sewed with knits, I didn't own my lovely Brother 1034D, so I was keen to sew the whole thing up on her. The top came together very quickly, the only part I sewed on my regular machine was the neckband. As Lisa explains in the book, jersey fabrics tend to vary in their stretch which makes the required length of the neckband difficult to predict. So just incase I needed to unpick I returned to the safety of a basting stitch.

I cropped the length of the jumper to hit just below the waist. Unfortunately, I didn't think to make the side seams narrower as the hit the hem. Therefore I ended up easing too much length into the hem giving me a rather lumpy, stretched out finish. Luckily I was able to unpick and bring in the side seams a little before re-hemming.

Another horror moment was sewing over a pin with my overlocker and completely sheering off the blade! Safety googles were required! Luckily I've got a new one in the post, and I've learnt my lesson!

I wore my jumper that afternoon on a walk with my chap, and I've reached for it several times in the week to layer over different dresses - it seems to match so many! However, with Sew Brum coming up I knew I wanted to complete the Erin skirt to wear on the day.

I got cooed at by two elderly ladies in this outfit - maybe too 'cute' for my juvenile face and stature?!

The pattern calls for a non-stretch Denim, and I do love that look - I think it could work with my African Wax crop tops, so there may well be another! .....but I find it SO hard to resist COLOUR and African Wax has such amazing structure I knew it would work well too.

I decided to line the skirt so I could wear it through autumn/winter with tights. Fashion Fabrics on Green Street (in Bath) do a range of beautifully soft Viscose in a few different colours.  I merrily trotted down in high hopes that I'd find either a pink or blue to match - I was in luck! For the buttons, I decided to go for these beautiful wooden ones. In all honesty, they were the only choice that would work in the shop I was in and I was too lazy to walk to the larger choice! Ultimately though, I think they worked well with the contrast pink thread.

These buttons did give me some jip after lunch at Sew Brum as I straddled a bench in a very un-lady like manner and popped three of them off! My first wardrobe malfunction surrounded by sewists! Don't worry; I took it like a trooper to Rhiannon's (Rhiannon Brum) amusement, and I had them sewn back on in no time in the toilet! Apparently, this is a recurring occurrence at Sew Brum as Gabby (Gabberdashary) suffered a similar incident last year! 

Erin Skirt twinning with Gabby!
You can see Gabby's version here on her vlog 

To line the skirt I pinned the pocket facing to front skirt piece and cut the lining out as a complete piece. 

I then sewed the darts and side seams before checking the fit and cutting into my main fabric. I was lucky, and it fit right out of the packet. After I had finished the main skirt and had interfaced the placket, I attached it to the lining wrong side together. I left the lining free along the bottom so I hemmed it at this point. I then sewed the two layers together at the centre front before folding over 1.5cm, forming the placket and top stitched in place. Then all that was left was the waistband, button holes and hand sewing! 

 I used the SEWVEE hem finish of choice - A hand stitched bias binding facing - as ALWAYS.

First day of tights :(

Not for the photos though!

More hair than human.

Worn with my nude Lotta clogs
The skirt is a bit of a deviation from my normal style, but I totally love it and think I will get a lot of wear over the cooler months. I'll just have to keep reminding myself not to do any more deep lunges...

Right, I've got a veggie curry and a unfeasible amount of Chocolate nasty planned for this evening to help me recover from the dizzy heights of the weekend. 

Chocolate Nasty in preparation. 

Thank you again to the lovely Sew Over It ladies. The e-book is such a wearable collection of patterns - Congratulations!


Vic xx


  1. that print matching. HEARTS FOR EYES! if you're gonna have a wardrobe malfunction, no better place to have it ;)).

    1. So true - surrounded by sewists AND in a haberdashery! It could have been A LOT worse! x

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