Friday, 13 September 2013

In Which I Do Battle With Corduroy

and also, In Which I Make My Peace With My Terrible Camera :(

I still haven't managed to document all my pre holiday sewing, and summer is well truly over and done with! To be honest, I hadn't expected the twins starting school to be quite the whirlwind of chaos it's been. Unfortunately, my dreams of two exhausted little boys, coming home subdued and pliable, all came to nought. School isn't tiring them out at all. It's quite a different matter for me though, and I've been lucky to see past ten o'clock for the past few weeks.

Photographing the clothes has been tough too, with the hubby working weird hours all over the country this month, he's rarely here and conscious in daylight and able to take photos. And, as mentioned above, my camera is just terrible. So very terrible. I'm hoping to get a replacement in the future, especially since it's not up to the job where our Etsy store is concerned. But for the time being, you'll have to make do with the shoddy photos. I try my best!

Onto the sewing! This was the first Kelly skirt I made, but the second I'm blogging about. In a blatant lack of imagination or originality, I made it in wine coloured corduroy, very much like the picture on the Megan Nielsen website.

See - terrible photo! Sorry about the dishevelled look - I had just dropped the kids at school.
In my defence, I have wanted a corduroy skirt in this colour since I was a teenager (I know, I'm just too stylish!) This was my first time working with corduroy, and I went out and got special needles for my machine for sewing with it. That being said, it was still a chore to push it through the machine at times, especially at the hem, when there were three layers of fabric. I did the topstitching in yellow, but didn't use top stitching thread, so the final effect is softened somewhat, especially when sewing vertically down the ribs in the fabric. Lesson learned, I suppose.

I had to add an inch over all the side seams as I was cutting the fabric (1/4 inch at each seam), as I am just a tiny bit outside the size range of the pattern. I did this with all three of my skirts, mainly to accommodate my ample hips without compromising on the look of the final fit. But I think, if I were to make another, I wouldn't add so much to the waistband, and perhaps deepen the pleats to make the skirt fit.

The finished skirt fits a bit loose in the waist, which is fine by me, as it doesn't gape but leaves enough room for big dinners :) It's also pretty perfect for tucking blouses into. I added 1.5 inches to the hem, because I wanted this skirt to fall just below the knee - I'm finding that's the length I'm most comfortable with these days as it allows me to wear skirts while still dealing with three active little boys and preserving my modesty. The downside of the extra length in this fabric is that the skirt feels particularly heavy, and feels frumpy to wear. I guess that's something a bit less tangible than fit problems, and perhaps only noticed by me. It doesn't mean I love it any less though!

As this was my first Kelly, I made a few slip ups here, like not pressing the pleats as well as I could have, and ignoring the fact that they had slipped a little when I basted them. As a result, the pleats aren't as tight or neat as in my later Kellys. I also made a mistake with the buttonholes, and repeated in all three skirts, because clearly, I'm a slow learner. I put the buttonholes on the placket after the waistband horizontal, rather than vertical. It's not a huge thing, but it does mean the front of the skirt doesn't sit as neatly as it could.

I decided I wanted a lot of buttons on this skirt, and then almost immediately regretted that choice after making four buttonholes. It was the point of no return though, so I just got on with it, and I love the finished look. The buttons were a bit of an afterthought - I knew I wanted metal, and something a bit different, but I didn't want to spend a fortune. I came across these celtic knot inspired buttons on eBay and figured they'd do. I actually quite like them now.

As with my other Kellys, I frenched all the seams for maximum longevity. I don't have a picture of the inside, but trust me, it's glorious! I used some printed cotton for the pocket linings - the same cotton I used to make my first Tova. I think it gives the whole thing a subtle 70's vibe!

I can honestly say I love this skirt - and this pattern! I wouldn't be in a hurry to make another in corduroy. Not only because my arm ached after making this from pushing it through my sewing machine, but also because I think it's a tad too heavy for the pattern, but I will gladly wear this one until it falls apart :)

Let's look at the sums, shall we?

Pattern: from stash
Fabric: it was a gift, so free! (for those who want to know, it was £8.99 p/m and I used 2m)
Interfacing, thread and pocket lining: stash
Buttons: £3.00
Total: £3.00!

Pretty impressive, no?!

This summer has been a watershed moment for me, sewing wise. I've finally figured out what styles suit me, and taken the time to finish garments properly. The result is lots of wearable clothes, like this skirt, that I absolutely love. Long may it continue!


  1. This skirt is so great - what a practical addition!
    Hopefully the tired days at school will kick in soon for you.

    1. It's definitely getting a lot of wear already!

  2. I didn't even notice the buttonholes! I think it is a wonderful skirt, I really like the colour. It will go with so much.

    1. To be honest, it took me a while to realise there was a problem with the buttonholes too. In fact, I only just realised while going over photos for this post!

  3. It looks lovely - very autumnal!

    1. Thanks! Funny thing is, I made and wore this during the summer - heat wave be damned! I'm loving it now though - with thermal tights and boots it's so cosy :)

  4. Your skirt is gorgeous! Hope school starts wearing your two out soon, mine are in p1 and p3 and are exhausted all the time at the mo...!


    1. I think the tiredness is starting to kick in - they are certainly asleep pretty rapidly at bedtime. Their little brother is another story ...