Help: I just made a leopard print skirt for myself and I am planning to wear it

It looks like I am having some sort of midlife crisis. I suddenly decided that I am one of these women who can totally wear leopard skin outfits. I guess I got inspired by two very fashionable people.


So, I took my pattydoo Carol dress pattern and used just the skirt part of it. And the left overs of the leopard jumpers. I intended to use only the navy one but I could not match the pattern. The thing with big patterns is that one should really match them at seams. When I started sewing, I just tried to cut out as economically as possible. In a first step I realised it would make sense to match stripes at side seams or to place bigger motives in a sensible, symetric, way even if it means that you are loosing a bit of fabric. This time I took it rather seriously and made sure that the front pieces were perfectly matched. (well, I did my best). On the side seams it wasn’t possible as I didn’t want to loose the A-line. Or 5kg. And unfortunately, I didn’t even try to match the waist band. I was already so pleased with my skirt that I got carried away and cut before thinking. Anyway, my perfectly wearable and age appropriate (mentally “5”) leopard (or whatever wild animal it might be, I am not a zoologist) print skirt:

Note: I had to compromise on the picture quality as otherwise this would be far too compromising 🙂


And obviously I need to now make a top that can be worn with leopard skin skirts. Strangely I haven’t had anything matching in my wardrobe just yet.


I wish I would have had more of the dotty fabric, I would have wanted it for one whole side panel, possibly instead of the fuchsia one.


almost perfect match:


This side turned out even better:


Leopard skin aside, I would really want to use the Carol dress pattern again. After all, the trial dress fitted well, winter is kind of overish, fabric sits in the cupboard since months. I am ready to go. Just need to speak to the baby, sorry toddler, about dress preventing breastfeeding routine. Easy.

And now, I’ll join the other ladies on RUMS to see what they have been up to.




I am done here

Since a while I had in mind to use either the left over’s of my dress


or a green Hamburger Liebe cotton which I have used for the lining of a bag for a former friend


to make a Frau Aiko by schnittreif – a wide blouse, surprisingly matching to what I have in mind for my two layered breastfeeding top. Well, I haven’t got enough fabric for any of those. Which is annoying because I really don’t want to buy any new fabric right now.

So I made a Langeness panelled skirt instead. With a contrasting border. I meant to use the same contrasting fabric than for the dress in the first picture. But guess what, not enough fabric left. So I had to rummage through my boxes again and realised that a plain lilac cotton was actually the winner. And that I have enough to have a go at Frau Aiko, too. I know I know, a monochrome piece. Hard to believe. Well, you always need to try out new things! I might one day even make something black!

Anyway, I made the skirt, all easy peasy lemon squeezy. In fact a bit too easy peasy lemon squeezy so I decided to set myself a little challenge…. by misplacing the zip.

IMG_5224Impossible to fold down the facing (Lilac) along the seam. What to do? I tell you what! Embrace the problem and turn it into a feature! So I folded the contrasting facing about 3mm over the seam, pressed it flat  and topstitched it to make it look like a piping.


I love those little details. Especially when they are in contrasting colours. But who will ever see that “piped” waistline? Well everybody if you are going to team it with a crop top. Or no one.

There is only a slight problem. I love the look but actually the whole waistline is a bit on the loose side already. And there is still hope that my waist will find its way back home at some point. But I really don’t fancy to remove the whole facing to be able to take the skirt in. What can be done? I guess chocolate is the only solution to this problem.

I finished the skirt yesterday and was proudly wearing it today.




The main skirt has a round hem. But the border is supposed to be cut as a straight rectangle. I am not convinced that this is a good idea as it gives it a little baloon effect and I am just not sure if that works in this particular case.

But anyway, so I was proudly wearing this skirt to an amazing the “event of the year” kind of party when beforementioned former friend approached me and said “Oh, I love the outfit. Did you make it?” “Yes”, I said proudly just wanting to go into detail (feeling very touched that she must obviously have recognised the fabric) when I realised that she was talking about the baby’s outfit! He was wearing some random swedisch high street discounter things! What a disappointment! On so many levels. And shock! What is the purpose of my existence? If a shop bought random baby outfit wins over a handmade skirt? I am guessing it can’t be writing a sewing blog. Last week Brexit and now this! Clearly some changes are needed. I am done here. We will be moving back to Austria! Oh wait, there is no need to rush into this, lets have some informal talks first to get the best deal out of it. And in the meantime I will hop over to RUMS to see what other crafters have created this week.






Scrap Sunday: Phew, done (well, not really)

IMG_3014The scrap skirt is officially done -well, apart from the hook, can’t find them, might have to buy new ones. I might have donated them to a sewing class, thinking that I will never ever sew a skirt.

I have only ever been working on it on Fridays, so it took for ages.

I think we can file this one under “a few lessons learnt”. It is not bad but also really not what I had in mind, so lets recapitulate:

I had this burgundy, very fine corduroy, a huge piece of scrap from a previous project. I wanted to make a skirt with 8 panels, each cut on the bias to show off the lines of the corduroy when they meet on each of the eight seams. Great idea I think, well not idea, great remembering from skirts that I have owned many kilos ago.

I did not have quite enough fabric to do that and it had been pointed out to me that since the corduroy was so fine, no one could actually see the lines. So I cut it straight. Big mistake as now I have an awkward seam in the middle of the front for no reason which actually blocks the fabric from falling nicely. Once I realised I had to cut it straight, I should have gone for 6 panels to avoid that seam.

I wanted too many things at the same time, nice A-line skirt with godets, cheekily showing of some kind of patterned fabric. Oh, and the whole skirt rather short.

The proportions of the whole thing are wrong, the corduroy can’t even hold the A-line shape as it’s seams are broken by the godets.

And the godets? Don’t get me even started. Too small, or rather too short. And maybe too many.


On the other hand, I still love the colours and their combination. I also love the unplanned overlocked hem. Remember I only wanted to neaten the edge and then turn once, to keep the godets as long as possible and it actually looked rather nice. I did consider to do that again in blue but actually my blue thread was not quite the same tone so I kept the white edge.

And the blue lining is really cool, I think. Remember, you can’t see it but I know it is there 🙂


Will I ever wear it? No, most likely not. I guess, this would have been a good calico project, I know now how not to do it and what I could have done better (I am now even thinking of a simple  A-line, with one big pleat in the front, more or less from the top, and that is where the patterned fabric is hiding – but that might also be a bit too extreme – I will definitely not try that one with nice fabric, but 6 panels with longer godets would definitely look good), so I do not regret the project as such but it is a real shame that I have wasted that cute patterned fabric as I only had one fat quarter bought on my weekend away in Oxford a couple of weeks ago. Clearly, I should have found a better use for it.

Anyway, with or without hook, I consider this project done and can move straight to the next one. Which has it’s deadline next Friday but I should really have it finished by Monday. Which happens to be tomorrow. I don’t want to reveal too much yet but you might consider wearing sunglasses next time you are looking for new posts on here 🙂



Scrap Sunday: A bit of a happy (almost) end

Still working on the skirt, what an endless story! But – and you might not believe it after my many complaints – but this week I had an actually rather positive experience, or lets call it surprise, with my skirt.

As you might remember, one of the problems of this skirt is that the godets are not actually long enough  (in my opinion), so I really did not want to take away too much at the hem. The plan was to neaten the edge with the overlocker and then just do one turn of not even a cm and stitch it. I was also considering to put a small blue ribbon along that hem but I would definitely try that first on a sample, just to see if it will go around the corners between main fabric and the much thinner godets.

Anyway, I decided to use white thread for the overlocker to make sure that there is no darker colour showing on the back of the godets and after what felt like two hours of thread changing, I just quickly neatened that edge in what felt 2 seconds. And it actually looked rather lovely, just the nice contrast I had planned to add with a thin ribbon. That was really a very positive surprise, I did not expect it to look like that … that seems to happen on a regular basis to me, I do not seem to be very good in visualising things, do I 🙂

I was wondering if I should do it again in blue as this was the contrast colour I had been after initially but after consulting my taste expert in the sewing club, I had to agree with her that the thin thread would probably not be strong enough to get me the desired effect. I would have to try it out, meaning another thread change just for a little sample (and then maybe another one back to white).  So I decided to stick with white.  I just wanted to emphasize it a little bit more. So I tried to just overlock over the same seam and to zig zag over the overlocked seam. I tried that on a sample obviously, not on the skirt don’t worry.

That looked both rather horrible so I decided to do another seam with a smaller stitch length and cutting off the old one (even if that meant I will be loosing 7mm of the lovely godet fabric.) That looks really great, except for about 5 cm at the back where the seam almost falls apart as one of the threads had jumped out of its little hooks that creates the tension.


So I will have to fix this first before I can wear it, and I simply didn’t have enough time yesterday to finish it as we held the annual ginger bread baking event, where a bunch of children will eagerly roll and cut out dough for about 15 minutes before then equally eagerly leave little dough crumbs in the whole house (a little bit like a posh version of Hansel and Gretel really) while the mulled wine drinking mums have to finish the actual baking. And just between us, they are getting lazy (compared to the previous years), at some point I had to actually tell them to go back to work!!! They were just chatting, completely ignoring the huge ball of gingerbread dough in the middle of the table!!! I told them nicely to please continue as otherwise they would have to take the dough home to finish it there as I would not be prepared to keep it! (That threat worked a treat, 10 min later, everything was done 🙂 )

The house is fairly clean again and I just love the smell of gingerbread, still hanging in the corners (probably a few missed crumbs thanks to my hoovering style will extend this lovely post baking phase).

Today, the advent excitement continues as we will be going to the theatre to see Room On The Broom, I will be back to crafting on Monday, I still want to make the knitted Christmas trees.

What about your weekend? Are you busy with crafting? Or preparing for Christmas? Or avoiding Christmassy stuff? In any case, I hope you are having a lovely one.