Oliver & S lazy days skirt

If you haven’t seen the photo bombing baby, you might not have seen my photo bombing dogs. If you’re lucky, sometimes I get all three in one photo!

The baby LOVES dogs. So much so, she often insists on wearing her doggy t-shirt in cold weather.

To ease some of the wear on her tshirt, I decided to please the little mite with some more puppy based clothing.

This is a quilting cotton I picked up for GJs discount fabric after social sewing one week, with some black ribbon and waistband elastic we were good to go.20130817-195823.jpg

This is seriously one of my fastest makes ever. Using the free lazy days skirt pattern from Oliver & S, the most difficult part was getting the toddler to stand still to measure her waist.

The only change I made to construction was to hem the skirt first with the ribbon, prior to any waist or side seam shenanigans. I tried to get some action shots, however little miss was a little too busy raiding the drawers. Apparently tea cosy’s closely resemble hats. Who knew?




Disparate disciplines – the summercrisp skirt

For those following Mari of disparate disciplines, you might have seen the new release of her skirt pattern, the Summercrisp skirt.

20130706-182623.jpgLucky me was given the opportunity to pattern test the wrap skirt, and while I was quite sceptical about how much I would wear this skirt, it turns out to be very wearable (more in summer than winter for this version).  Also, Mari does an amazing job on the tiling of the pdf pattern, so you only have to print out page ranges for your version.  It’s SUPER convenient.

The shaping of the pattern is quite clever with one side veering up interestingly, however it was a little shorter than I was expecting. Being at the side hasn’t limited it’s wearability as much as expected.20130706-182639.jpg

The pattern could be quite simple, so of course I added crazy details, like lining it, using my snazzy rolled hem foot and generally making it from two of the most PITA fabrics of all time.  They were stash gifts, and beautiful, soft and shifty.  Therefore also really annoying to sew.

While trying to photograph the skirt I was repeatedly photobombed, so hence all of the photos I’ve lifted the troublemaker out of the way. It’s becoming a recurring theme.  Also, I realise I should have moved the bin – however it’s winter.  Too bloody freezing to do anything but bolt out the back door, snap and move right back in.




The top layer is a synthetic chiffon or something similar, it definitely a light summer blouse fabric, however being synthetic I was reluctant to use it for a blouse.  I’ve still got a few yard left, so perhaps it’s too early to rule that out.  It washed up lovely, and doesn’t tend to fray.

The lining is a cream satin like fabric, which does tend to fray.  *sigh*.  After washing this skirt, I’ve got to go back and fix some of the lining where it has frayed a little, it doesn’t seem to like the washing machine.

This pattern is suited to lightweight fabrics, and for summertime options I actually think a lightweight linen could be lovely.  It’s really designed for knits, but as a beginner option I feel most beginner might shy away from using a knit.


As mentioned above, the skirt was a little shorter than I expected at the sides, but it’s still totally wearable to the office.  It swishes around beautifully and I haven’t found it flies up unexpectedly.


As a beginner pattern, this really is one that has a bare minimum of techniques.  If you sewed it with a lightweight cotton and pre-made bias tape, it really doesn’t get any easier.  I sewed two, with linings and rolled hems and all sorts of craziness (bias bound seams on a wool version) and it was still a quick and simple make.

Future learnings

While this is a great pattern for beginners, and I enjoyed making it and it looks lovely, it isn’t what jumps to my hand as I’m getting dressed in the morning.  I’ve got to stop sewing so much summer clothing!  As the weather warms up I think it will get much more use, however I really didn’t think about this version, the colours and “layerability”.  It looks a little funny with black tights and boots, and so while very comfortable and wearable, it’s also going to be shelved until the spring.

Also, rolled hems are SUPER EASY with a rolled hem foot.  Why did I not order my sewing machine foot before the sewcietea dress?  WHY??????

FO: Sewaholic Hollyburn skirt

Hooray for a sewalong!  Rachel at Mymessings is hosting a fabulous hollyburn sewalong, and as I need more work skirts, why not join in?
beginner sewing pattern sewaholic
Some fabulous pale blue eyelet was sitting at the op shop for a mere $4, and was just crying out to be a pretty new skirt. And then the ghosts of poor seamstresses threw all my plans into disarray. While untangling the eyelet to pre-wash it, it turns out someone had already cut this eyelet into strips, with the cuts going across the grain and each piece only 25″ narrow.  So narrow.  Too narrow for a hollyburn.  WHO WOULD DO THIS?

Woefully I dried it and packed it away into the stash.  There was no other hollyburn fabric in my stash (at least for a work skirt), so most tragically, I had to go fabric shopping.

Nipping into GJ’s fabrics in Brunswick yielded fantastic results, with two “wool blends” on the remnant table seeking a good home.  With kindness in my heart I adopted these blends for $27 for 4.5 metres.  Someone had to do it.

You know the really awesome thing?  Out of the 2.5m drapey soft wool blend fabric, I’ve managed to cut one hollyburn and two jenny skirts.  Ace right?
Hollyburn skirt front close up view


This skirt is easy to fit due to the style, and only the waistband is fitted.  It’s firm around the waist, and then skims over the hips.  I should have followed Rachel’s advice and maybe measured after a big meal, this is going to be a little tight if a pasta comes my way!

The pockets are the same style as the Cambie dress, so if you liked those, the hollyburn is a great skirt.  For this version I’ve gone for a unlined option, but I would consider next time make a fully lined hollyburn.

I cut view B, which was the mid-length option, which was a little long.  I realise there is a shorter length, but that had to much ‘flounce’ for my work (and gust of wind risk) for my purposes.  I’m close to the height sewaholic patterns are designed for, but I have a long torso and short legs.  Don’t be too jealous now.  All the skirts I’ve had to knock about 2″ off the hem, so this is going to become my standard sewaholic pattern adjustment.

hollyburn skirt back view


I have no idea what is blended with this wool, but it’s lovely and soft and likes to disintegrate when you sew it.  I finished the seams with a line of stitching and then pinked the seam allowances, but you already can’t tell that I used pinking shears.  This skirt may fall apart while I wear it, but we’ll worry about that later right?  Perhaps some fraycheck might solve this problem.

As one hollyburn and two jenny skirts were cut from 2.5m, a few concessions had to be made.  Like the lining of the pocket.

Hollyburn skirt pocket details

I did commit to making my clothes with whimsy!  The pocket linings are from a fat quarter of fabric, which was $2 also from GJ’s discount fabrics.  The pale pink spots that no-one can see, are my way of resistance  like this skirt isn’t totally corporate and the man can’t keep me down.  Yeah, I’ll look professional, but BAM.  I HAVE CRAZY POCKETS.


This is the perfect beginners skirt.  Four panels and a waistband, and between Tasia’s very straightforward instructions and Rachel’s comprehensive sewalong posts you really couldn’t go wrong.  If you’re considering learning to sew, although this has a zip in it, you can totally nail it.

Future lessons

This skirt really reinforced something for me, it’s faster to hand baste than sew and then rip out a seam.  I hand basted the waistband and then stitched in the ditch along the waist band, as this skirt is to be thrown in the washing machine in a rough fashion.

I don’t love this skirt just because it’s a tad boring, however boring is the go-to for work clothes,  After wearing this skirt all day, it drapes and moves in a very flattering way, and there really isn’t much to be done for that.   The details make it more fun for me, but I’d like to have another go at the hollyburn and use colour blocking.
Hollyburn skirt hanging

Does anyone have suggestions of how to make boring clothes more interesting?  I’m thinking solid colours but crazy design details.  Or will I be veering away from ‘classic’ pieces and into the territory of disposable fashion?