Essential sewing keeping me clothed and sane

Firing up the Machine


I so enjoyed the hand sewing and stitching of cotton jersey but it was time to move on, plug the machine back in and get sewing things that take a week to make not a couple of months.

I ordered some corduroy during the summer from MyFabrics in prep for A/W 14 with the intention of a pair of jeans. A most unusual fabric, it is batik dyed in shades of brown, rust, blue, brown, olive – it sort of looks like I stripped down the car engine and wiped my hands on my clothes; subtle but interesting. I love it. It is also so soft as it’s 100% cotton and very finely corded. As with all internet fabric purchases I tend to buy in full metres and 2m were ordered.



I made the jeans (not round-a-cords this time). Made these a million times (Craftsy Jeanius) so not much to say about them.  Straight-legged and a wee bit shorter than normal for wearing with flat boots. More later…








But I did have about 0.8m of the cord left over. I downloaded and taped together Grainline Moss skirt ages and ages ago and never made it, so a perfect opportunity to use up the surplus. This did require a certain amount of ingenuity as the pattern actually calls for 1.2m and I like my skirts a little longer! I made the version with bottom band and added 1″ to the skirt length before hand.

All the inside bits were cut from scraps of quilting cotton and the waistband was hacked out of two bits of cord.

12001ViewBFrontDespite steam stretching, there’s very little shaping and it is a bit big, so belt carriers were added and I’ll wear it with a belt – problem solved!


I topstitched in a pale blue and added the bottom hem band – I like this extra detail. The instructions tell you to sew the skirt’s side seams, make the band and then sew the two together at the hemline. To me that’s just asking for trouble, I’d never match the side seams with my non-accuracy of sewing, so I sewed one side only on both the skirt and the band: stitched these together and then sewed the other side seam all the way through the band – perfect seam matching and no worries about the band being too big or too small.


You can see the shading in the fabric here


There are so many very good examples of this skirt for you to view and get inspiration from – from traditional denim to patterned cotton and some fabulous versions in-between. Just Google Grainline Moss and you’ll see….I’m sorry I didn’t make this sooner – but is it a replacement for Vogue 1247? I’m not going to do a pattern review as it’s been done to death and I’ve nothing much to add. We all have different shapes and bodies; we have different expectations of patterns and we all like different things.


The blouse/shirt was made to co-ordinate with the jeans but it is better with the Moss skirt.


Fabric is a drapey viscose from Chrysalis Autumn ’14 collection and reminds me of granddad’s pyjamas. So retro, yet so modern, with muted shades of blue and rust and ivory and as slippery as silk. Just lovely (to wear, not so much to sew).

If you want sleeves but don’t want to sew them in, then this is the pattern for you! Named Fran blouse has kimono cut on sleeves without the tonnes of fabric that makes it difficult to put a jacket on. Slim-line sleeves that have a deep but straightforward slit, fastened at the wrist with snaps and disguised with a button (no instructions for this BTW).


Downloading and tracing patterns is not without its tribulations, especially as the downloaded pattern is a Burdaesque contour map without the colour!  UntitledUntil I double check my actual pattern I can’t confirm that this is the pattern’s fault or mine – but one sleeve was a few inches longer than the other! I also noted on the website that the model’s version had very long sleeves (see pic above), so I’d already decided to shorten mine to normal length. It’s easy to fix but just a little bit annoying and somewhat puzzling at the time.











Pretty tie bow at the neck and shirt tails – so it sort of straddles the dressiness of a blouse with the relaxed fit of a shirt.


I couldn’t quite figure out the instructions for the front button band so I just went with what I knew. For a blouse that has no darts, mine is a wee bit ‘fitted’. You might also notice that I’ve been laying down a few layers of fat for the winter – that has taken at least 10 weeks of concerted effort BTW! I cut a 14 which matches my measurements but Scandinavian ease seems to be slightly more restricted than Vogue’s. I’ve had to add a snap at the bust line to stop the gap! Next time, I’ll cut a bit bigger.


And of course there was about 0.8m leftover of the granddad viscose but we’ll leave that for another day….this is getting too long already.

What’s better than making something you didn’t plan to make and finding that it also goes with items already in your wardrobe?


AC beaded T-shirt in dusky pink with boyfriend style cardigan in Noro ( I’m sorry, I can’t remember the colour-way or content) – pinks and olives and burgundy, knitted at the tale-end of last winter to wear with burgundy round-a-cords and back in circulation this year with a new lease of life.

And what’s next?


Well, I have a most sumptuous 2m of wool tweed (also from Chrysalis) that co-ordinates perfectly but not matchy-matchy with the jeans, skirt and blouse. A tailored jacket will definitely not be made in a week, so I’d better get cracking……..if I can settle on a design – any suggestions?



8 thoughts on “Firing up the Machine

  1. What a darling skirt! Looks great on you.

  2. You are a very cool woman,Ruth! I love to see blog posts from you…

  3. I love your skirt and the top, too. And the whole time I’m reading, I’m thinking (not in a creepy way!) I love Ruth’s figure, I would love to be so fit and trim.

  4. I love your skirt, and yey to making it out of less than a metre of fabric!

  5. Love all these outfits Ruth…so beautifully coordinated. Love your Moss Mini.

  6. You have been busy! Another lovely set of garments. So cool that they coordinate with other stuff you already have. Love it when that happens

  7. Oh, what style! I love corduroy, and lust after the skirt…

  8. I love these styles and you’ve picked great fabrics for them too. Mmm. I might have to finally make my mini-moss too.

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