Essential sewing keeping me clothed and sane

St Paddy’s Day Blues


Right you lot, stop distracting me with your Kantha coats and Japanese draped tops and patchwork quilts – I’ve a SWAP to finish.

Today is St.Patrick’s Day and I usually wear something green but today I’m in blue.

Three more items done for SWAP ’15 and likely two that required the most work (at least I hope so, or else I’ll never be finished in time!).


Corset top and pencil skirt, reverse applique with leaves, and a long cardigan/coat, single layer with applique strips around hem and sleeves.

DSCN5105The top and skirt are relatively small items to sew in that they are fitted and there’s not a lot of fabric involved and so hand sewing round all the leaves didn’t take as long as say a flared maxi dress.



The corset top pattern comes from Alabama Stitch Book and I love it – form fitting, flattering and wears really quite like a – corset. Bit of structure with just a few running stitches; hard to believe this is possible in cotton jersey.
















The skirt is self drafted pencil skirt – essentially two rectangles wide enough for my hips and curved at the waist and hem. No darts or waistband, I rely on the cotton jersey to stretch and fit.


The cardigan is Burda suit coat because I liked the piecing and thought this would show off the stitching better.


So a recap on completed items:

1 pair of trousers

1 long sleeved T-shirt

1 maxi skirt

1 cardigan/coat

1 corset top

1 pencil skirt

1/2 a bolero

2 tops/3 bottoms and a wildcard – good grief, I’ve a lot to do. Only 6 out of 11 and I have to figure out a refashion/reversible item yet.

I need 5 tops/3 bottoms/ 2 wildcards/ 1 reversible by end of April.


I may have to instigate radio silence until then…..


60 thoughts on “St Paddy’s Day Blues

  1. GORGEOUS! Your SWAP is going to be spectacular. And Happy Paddy’s Day!

  2. The skirt top and cardi look great. What is the SWAP that you are talking about?

  3. You look amazing, happy and healthy (- far too glowing for end of winter in NI). Just like you’ve been on holiday. Enjoy your day!

    • Oh Marianna, now here’s a story – dyed my hair on Saturday and it came out brass, dyed it again this morning and it turned out gold so had to go to the hairdresser this afternoon to make it platinum. BTW, my legs are as blue as the skirt ! No holiday apart from a day off for St Paddy’s Day, which I’ve wasted dyeing and undyeing my hair!

  4. Love, Love, Love the blue outfit. You make the most beautiful Alabama Chanin insprired garments! I have two fitted tops from that pattern, one plain but all hand-stitched to make sure I can wear them; one green on green with the leaf pattern, almost complete.
    And you do look amazing!

  5. You are amazing RUth – love all the AC things you have been making!!

  6. Beautiful! I think even St. Patty would approve of the change in color 😉

    • I don’t even know where the green for St Patrick’s Day came from Rhonda – Emerald Isle? More like grey and murky with all the rain we get. Thanks

  7. This is a great outfit – love the little clingy top and the pencil skirt. And it looks super with the coat. Can’t you include your reversible Kantha coat in the SWAP?

    • You know Kate, I’d thought of that, especially the reverse plain side which matches quite nicely with the jersey blues. I think I’ve set my sights on 100% AC – but we’ll see nearer the time. Thank you

  8. Love the cotton jersey getup! Happy St Pat’s. Here in Chicago, green is not optional.

  9. Fabulous! You look radiant!

    • Ah Margy, that’s the brassy/gold hair and a crap camera. I don’t look like that in real life. But thank you anyway – compliments like yours are always welcome.

  10. What a gorgeous blue. A great outfit that suits you so well. You are amazing.
    Yes, and what about the Khantha jacket as part of the SWAP?

  11. Fabulous! You know, if you use a old t-shirt as the underlay for an AC garment, I think that counts towards the SWAP. Just a thought I had.

    • Hi Helen, I haven’t got round to thinking about the recycling/reversible item yet. I’ll probably leave it till last – so much to do between now and then! But I like the idea of an old T-shirt as I still have a fitted top to sew.

  12. OUTSTANDING! in your sewing, choices, fitting and writing. Thank you for sharing and inspiring. Happy St. Patrick’s Day.

    • Thanks Anon. It ‘s always nice to be complimented so. Unfortunately my St Pat’s Day was spent dyeing and undyeing my hair instead of sewing – but hey, that’s life.

  13. Beautiful outfit Ruth. You must never have an idle moment.

    • Thanks Jean, I’m think I’m turning into sewbusylizzy! (See below) when I sit down to watch a movie, I’ve half a mind on the TV and the other on what I could be doing….. Ultimately, though, I do see myself as being lazy. I’m always looking for shortcuts

  14. Lovely! I love this colour combination.

  15. You’ve inspired me and I’m working on my own Alabama Tunic – jus need to piece it together now

  16. Beautiful shade of blue! A wonderful outfit — I love a long cardigan/jacket.

  17. I wore green today (and yesterday, too, and was accused of being early…). You look drop-dead gorgeous in this outfit! I love the colour contrast between the blues and the shape is terrific.

  18. I love this outfit especially with the long cardigan. The colour goes with hair too.

    • Thanks Evelyn. My hair was so yellow that in order to fix it the hairdresser actually dyed it BLUE! It’s now a sort of light blonde. At least it doesn’t attract stares when I go to Connswater (and you know what the customers are like there!).

  19. Fantastic look. I likey like

  20. Wow – they look fabulous, and I’ll bet they are really comfortable. This is going to be a fabulous SWAP for you!

  21. I love the blue! Very nicely done, a beautiful outfit!

  22. Another great AC outfit. And the other posters are so right, you do look radiant.

  23. That is a beautiful well-fitting outfit! The color is FANTASTIC on you!

  24. Beautiful, Ruth! and my favorite is the coat, what a great item, unique. You just about have me at the point of buying some AC goodies…

    • Go Coco, go! You love sewing with jersey anyway and make some lovely clothes. You don’t have to do the all out AC route; do a bit of reverse applique and then serge the seams.

  25. Love the colors, and the structure on that top really works. You are making such great progress!
    Good luck finishing, that’s a lot of work.

    • Thanks Becki but the deadline is fast approaching I’ve so much yet to do. I’m in the dilemma of just doing 11 garments so that I finish or should I ignore SWAP and make garments that are right and that I will wear.

  26. I am in awe of your productivity. Not just all those garments for SWAP but AC too!
    And I agree, you look great.

  27. It is so addictive and your garments are just spectacular! Guess you are working your way through that huge pile of cotton jersey that you shared with us a while back. I have ordered more t-shirts too to make more big chunks of AC sections…thinking about sharing and teaching it in a mini class with some local gals. No matter what color your hair is…you just look classy, not brassy!

  28. That dress, well – as a guy I once knew used to say ‘ma’am, you are wearing the hell out of it!’ Its a good thing, a very good thing!

  29. What a beautiful outfit. I vote for including the Kantha coat in the SWAP too – unless you are really set on making 12 awesome garments that are eligible!

  30. Pingback: Jersey Blues – The Story of My SWAP | corecouture

  31. So now that you are the world expert on Alanama Chanin, except of course those who toil for AC directly, I have a few practical questions. I’ve got a couple of pieces in mind that I would like to make when I travel as I’m not a knitter.

    Could one do this type of stitching on a train or commuter rail?
    What about on a plane?
    The beach?
    Do you have to lay it out flat?
    How do you keep track of all those needles?

    • Yes Meg, you can sew this anywhere! I ‘ve done it on a bus the only problem was that my journey wasn’t long enough! Just be prepared….thread up 1,000 needles and put these into a strip of fabric, loosely wrap the thread ends around the fabric ribbon. Make sure you have your pieces to be embellished all ready too – stencilled or marked and the two layers safety pinned together.

      I don’t think you can take scissors onto a plane but you can take nail clippers or even dental floss that has that little cutter on the box. I suppose it would be best to check with the airline about the needles before you fly but I can’t see this being an issue unless you’ve dipped them in anthrax first which is not advisable nor necessary! You can sew on a plane but not cut out.

      The fabric does not need to be flat, in fact I find it much easier to sew when it’s on my lap. There’s a lot of turning involved (depending on your stencil).

      Just one correction I have to make to your comment – I’m no expert! But thanks.

  32. Pingback: 6Nap: The Plot | corecouture

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