Essential sewing keeping me clothed and sane

A/W ’16 Mustard


My husband, before he became my husband, used to tell a very rude joke and the punch line was “mustard, custard and you, you big sh***!”  Anyway………he doesn’t tell the joke anymore and my next outfit for autumn/winter is complete.

Same trousers as the burgundy ones but this time with added inseam side pockets and turn ups at the hem.dscn6753

I like cropped winter trousers: they remind me of plus fours and country living, and I can wear either boots or shoes. Worn today with the shirt you’ve seen before.


Johnny Rotten as an English country gentleman


All fabrics are from Fabworks – I’m Fabworks head to toe today! (Not sponsored by them btw).

18 TwistThe trousers are Donegal tweed: Warm, mellow, sunflower, saffron and turmeric tones weave through this gorgeous Donegal Tweed herringbone, evoking memories of relaxed autumnal strolls and the resting evening sunshine. Woven with the ever-present charcoal warp to form a reassuring background of chevrons; the Donegal yarn sitting in the mellow sunflower and mustard warp has pale straw, saffron and honey coloured flecks. This 100% new wool has a reassuringly soft texture, but remains a medium weight with a great handle and drape.

I mean, really, how could you not not fall for that?


An easy method to elasticate a waist is this:

  1. Measure the elastic to your waist, stretching a little, and sew the ends together to make a band.dscn6678
  2. Quarter this band with pins and then match each pin with the four seams, front, back and sides.
  3. Serge or small zig-zag this band (yes, that is bra strap elastic) to the inside of your garment, lining up edge to edge.dscn6679
  4. Fold the elastic over to the inside and zig-zag in place to form a waistband.dscn6683

Neat and easy

The trousers are lined too. The lining is slip-stitched to the ‘waistband’ and hides the serged edges.

Even neater.


As Sunflower Chunky Ribbed Knit is a beautiful knitted all wool fabric from Avoca, it’s a superb, brushed fabric with a medium weight soft drape and handle, and due to being knitted rather than woven it has a good natural lengthwise stretch with some stretch on the width too! The beautiful sunflower coloured yarn with darker and lighter tones throughout, has been knitted in a double row ribbed construction that has alternating fine black bands knitted in between to create the chunky rib affect.

See what I mean? I fell for that one too.

The jumper is hacked from a Burda pattern for a cardigan. I prepared the pattern many, many years ago before I understood and realised that patterns require an organisational system  of their own. I can’t bring to mind the actual pattern number ….It’s the one with the girl standing in front of a barn door……..

I used the raglan sleeves and the back yoke and front (with a centre seam) but I just made up the V neck front and added a small patch pocket. I also made front and back different lengths and put small slits at the sides to mark the step.


It was fun mucking about with the stripes on the pattern pieces creating some interest and directional movement. The sleeves are bias cut, the back yoke and pocket on the horizontal, the fronts and lower back on the vertical.



To keep the V neck as a V, I faced it with some cotton bias binding as a stabiliser. The fabric doesn’t fray but I thought that narrow cuffs would be a nice finishing touch on the sleeves. All seams are serged just in case.


And of course there were leftovers and cut-offs. I used these up in the form of a beret and a couple of scarves in preparation of anticipation of a cold winter.


Other things….

The postman brought some lovely things recently, mainly courtesy of a Vogue pattern sale. Fabworks also sent me the checked cotton shirting (far right) after I ordered and paid for it.


One plus one together makes this, not 2.

The selvage was too good to cut off and throw away so it was used as a trim on all edges; cuffs, collar, button band and hem.


I had fun with the stripes on this fabric too and I do hope you notice the almost perfect alignment across the fronts!


Life’s been quite busy recently including a very pleasant weekend spent in London, England. A few weeks ago I flew out early on Friday with plans afoot to spend a lot of money and spend a lot of money I did! The fruits of these purchases to be revealed soon. The highlight of the trip was dinner at Kate’s. Marijana was there too and we all wore our own individual, handmade, couture and unique versions of the Six Napoleon dress. We had a 6Nap party!


I look like a giant in comparison to my petite and neat sewing companions. Additionally their dresses were so much better than mine. Both ladies are fabulous and I’m so pleased to have met them online and then followed this up in person. Thank you Kate and Marijana, it was so much better than sitting in a hotel room on my lonesome wearing a party dress with no party to go to.



40 thoughts on “A/W ’16 Mustard

  1. Very nice and wonderful that you have friends that share your love for sewing.

  2. Love your striped sweater and cropped pants.
    I love the idea of cropped winter pants but need to ask- how do you deal with legwear and shoes with winter pants?

    • To me that’s the advantage Sue, I can wear boots with socks or tights with shoes, depending on how I feel or how the weather is treating us that particular day. Thank you.

  3. You are a Star🌟 Your productivity continues to amaze !

  4. Well done! I enjoy seeing the fabrics and patterns you put together. And I’m on the waist elastic train with you. It’s fun to see some of my favorite bloggers together for a Nap6 party. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Ah, to have nice long legs… No cropped pants for my limbs, but yours are spectacular! And the striped sweater complements them perfectly. What fun to have a 6Nap party – 3 lovelies in the same/different dress! 😀

  6. Really love the ” sunflower” jumper. At first I thought you’d been to Avoca (beautiful- and expensive shop in Belfast) and and bought RTW , God forbid! ! I should have known better. Ruth – RTW?? Not likely. Super outfit and love the colours.

    • Gee thanks Evelene – we must get together soon.. I hope you’ve checked out Fabworks for Avoca fabrics….
      Send me available dates and we’ll sort something out

  7. Love the look, you look great in those colors and the cropped pant. My stubby legs would look silly. Elastic waist are the way to go especially if you don’t usually tuck in.

    • Never tuck in Connie – loose and relaxed is the way to go….Selectively chose your top and you can still be tailored and not art-teacher… whichever you desire. I still believe anyone can wear cropped pant – just chose the perfect length for you……
      Thank you so much for your input.

  8. All lovely again, and I really like the cropped trousers. I am intensely jealous of your evening with Kate and Marijana. I’m sure you had great fun (and the dresses all look stunning!).

    • Thanks Kim – you absolutely would have been more than welcome in your handknits and running gear….or whatever your wore – really, who cares – it’s the person that’s important, not the clothes..
      The Americans can organise a get-together across states : we British should be able to do the same…..

      Thank you

  9. Those mustard colours suit you beautifully Ruth. I’m not a fan of cropped pants myself, but you rock the look. I love an elasticised waist band too. Yours looks very neat.

    • Thanks Jean – try the cropped pants and then tell me you you’re not a fan. – boots, shoes sandals….
      I’ve learned that Mustard is a neutral yet definite colour – weird. Its coordinates with olive/green/burgundy/grey/navy etc, etc, etc
      Find a colour that it doesn’t match and let me know….go for it

  10. I especially love the photo of you with beret and scarf. Delightful. What pattern did you use for the beret? It’s particularly fetching.

    • Hi Barbara, trust all is well with you and yours.
      The beret is ‘made-up’, no pattern required – just look at some photos on the Internet and draft accordingly.
      I must admit to it being particularly effective in the previous few days as we have below -1 – a gem. And one that coordinates…….

  11. I couldn’t wear cropped pants myself, but yours look fantastic. You always look so beautifully put together and the colours suit you perfectly.

    • Yes you could Kas. It’s the length that is important – just alter it a cm or two up and down until it feels right.
      Sometimes I think cropped pants actually lengthen the legs.
      Thanks so much

  12. I particularly love your trousers, too, and that jumper will be perfect on a dreary winters day-now to look for a similar trouser fabric!

  13. Oo you know I love a bit of mustard. Gorgeous outfit, and you 3 look fab in the napoleon dresses. Just about to post my burgundy skirt, so way behind! X

    • I think that’s the the purpose of a ‘stash’ Mags! You can dip into it when you like.
      I love your a/w outfit you made an outfit not orphans so it’s a success whichever way you look at it.

  14. Looking good. I bought the same sunflower tweed from Fabworks. They were great about posting to Canada. Made mine up as a jacket. So lovely and soft. I also ordered the Paco Vogue pattern with the long tuxedo jacket. Shades of YSL. Would like to do a shorter version, too, maybe just past hip length. Happy sewing, Ruth, the mustard colour is fabulous on you.

    • Thanks so much Susan. Fabworks have great fabrics I’d agree with that, In fact most of what I’ve made recently are made from fabrics from them.
      I bet this mustard tweed looks fab as a jacket – totally envy…

  15. Those colours look great on you! Perfect for a country outing? You stripe matching is right on and I was fascinated by the trim on the shirt – you say it was the salvage of the fabric? That is very clever! Glad you had a good time with your sewing friends. I talk to so many people, sometimes it’s difficult to believe they are real! 🙂

    • Hi Linda, yes they are real people with real lives and all the pressures and demands that we all experience.
      Always take a look at the selvedge of your fabric and cut it off and save it – you can use it for stabiliser or trim- whatever you need.
      Thank you.

  16. The pants are perfect. I just turned a pair of pants into ‘crops’ myself. The cuff is a nice touch and works great with boots. I checked out the link for Fabworks and just put about $500 worth of wool in my cart. Ah the joys of online window shopping. Actually I’ve bookmarked the site and will be back.
    Another brilliant outfit Ruth! Keep it up!

    • Ah Meg, I’ve also put the equivalent amount into my cart – it’s so tempting….
      Contact them directly for shipping and mention my blog – you just might get a deal.

      Cuffs kind of signify the end of the pants, rather than a shortage of fabric….and therefore they are a design feature.

  17. The lines in the jumper are the most interesting using the stripes in the best possible way! Love the odd shaped pocket on the shirt!

    • I love my jumper. iI wear it with grey, mustard and with jeans – a very versatile colour actually – who’d have thought?
      Thanks so much – your critical view is always appreciated.

  18. Petite? “Stumpy”! Though Kate looks great in cropped pants, they’re one of those garments that I couldn’t ever wear!

    It was so lovely to see you again; Kate and I found you fascinating and of course fun. I hope we how now established a regular routine for your training days in London.

    • Thanks Marijana. Let’s hope eternally that someone else pays the for the flights and accommodation otherwise I’ll have to come and visit you and not buy any fabric!!!

      Lovely to see you again as always and to meet Kate in real life.

      Until next time…..

  19. Ooo, I love the herringbone tweed trousers. I recently got a sample of that fabric in green for a coat (it’s too light-weight), but, my goodness, it is gorgeous. And I’d only need a metre for a pinafore dress…. I absolutely love the yellow top, what you did with the stripes is brilliant.

  20. It looks as though I’ve missed a couple of your posts (due probably to the american election which sucked me in like a great black hole). Here’s all the mustard I’ve been waiting for! I love the outfits, particularly the cropped pants. Gorgeous colour, gorgeous fabric. They really don’t need to write it up like they do, sheesh.

  21. Pingback: Before it’s Too Late | corecouture

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