Essential sewing keeping me clothed and sane

Sucker for Sales 2


And here we are again…… fabric sales purchases and what to do with them. This time it’s a fluffy, soft knit made with a remarkable combination of fibres such as cashmere, mohair, a bit of silk and a few sparkly threads and from – yeah, you know where – Joel and Son…..a cut length of 1.5m.

The fabric is sort of like a boiled wool; it’s a knit, like a proper knit with no fraying but softer with a right and wrong side. It’s primarily grey (my favourite) but has tones of violet/lilac – more of a heathered look that is not readily recognisable in my crappy photographs. The inside is sparkly and I suppose could have been used the other way round for evening wear. I choose day wear. Believe me, this is a complicated fabric.

I pressurised myself into making something that warranted the price: not sure I achieved that goal but I did get a very serviceable skirt and top: that can be worn together and also separately which stretches the serviceability.

Skirt pattern is Vogue, Katherine Tilton 8837 (OOP). This skirt has four seams with a hip yoke, elasticated waist(!) and curved hemline with small splits. The instructions are for lapped over side seams but I ignored that bit.

Easy to sew up and easy to wear. I serged the seams for extra strength as it’s a pull on skirt and it looks nice in the inside too.


The top pattern is based on Burda 0521012 /101, cut short due to fabric limitations and whatever serviceable piece was leftover was used as a pocket.


I had a bad experience with this dress pattern previously but I’m learning to love it and see the potential in many other ways apart from a sack-like shift dress.


I just used the selvedge edge of the fabric as the top’s hem. The deep V neckline was stabilised with some black satin ribbon to keep it from stretching any further. It is not a top to wear on its own….


This little outfit has a relaxed, yet ‘pulled together’ look, I think. The skirt is very comfortable and worn with the top, it creates an outfit. Best worn with a white shirt underneath for contrast and to break up the solid grey. Perfect for wearing under a coat as it keeps me warm without creating bulk.

It may not be the most flattering combination for my body, but sometimes (often) practicality and comfort are the priorities.


So, elasticated waists in trousers was first and now in skirts! The real benefit of elasticated waists is that you can wear either the trousers or the skirt high up at actual waist level or pulled slightly down to hips, which changes the length.

The other day, one of my students asked if she could ‘touch’ my skirt – such is the tactile, fluffy and comforting appeal of this fabric – just like being wrapped in soft, delicious natural fibres. I let her……..


Well, the winter holidays are finished – back to work tomorrow and half-way through the academic year. Marking papers will intensify from now on and hence, sewing time is reduced. Blogging will also therefore be restricted but I’ll do my best, after all, sewing keeps me grounded, sane and clothed!


I often think that I could survive wonderfully on permanent holiday – like retired – but I am actually looking forward to going back to work. I love my job, I’m lucky. I like the routine, the pressures and even the stress – it pushes and challenges me. Sewing is my escape. Without the constraints of employment I don’t think sewing would mean as much to me as it currently does. We are constantly learning about ourselves – see Felicia’s honest assessment of herself, her 2016 review of sewing and her developing style to get you thinking……..

16 thoughts on “Sucker for Sales 2

  1. If you haven’t visited in San Francisco, give it a try. They have lovely fabrics.
    Thank you for all you splendid posts. Always amazed at your accomplishments! Great outfit
    and the boots were a “must”to complete the look.

  2. Nice looking outfit! I made that Burda pattern too and was super disappointed… Never wore it. You have managed to make it look great!

  3. …. gorgeous.

  4. The fabric is gorgeous (thanks for the close-up) and I love that skirt. Gosh, I’m afraid I may have to get that pattern too. Do you know how many patterns you’ve previewed for me? It’s kind of embarrassing …. Thank you for the mention Ruth. Enjoy the term. I’m so glad I don’t have to mark papers anymore.

  5. Great outfit and fancy fabric – you can’t go wrong!

  6. You can make a dull baggy tunic into something spectacular! Love that skirt and the pattern…elastic waists…gotta love them for comfort and under longer tops…superb! No wonder your student wanted to stroke your fabric! wishing you a semester of excited respectful students!

  7. When I see your emails I feel like an old friend has come to visit. I so look forward to the next visit as soon as I have finished the latest.
    I love your imagination with fabric. You have inspired me in my furniture refinishing, my painting and my sewing. You also have a great sense of humor. You are a present. Thank you. Vicki G

  8. Ooooh fluffy! Stop trying to make me buy from expensive sites, you bad woman!

  9. You look relaxed AND cozy in this outfit! What fun fabric with which to play around!

  10. Sometimes I sew less when I’m on holidays than I thought I would. And I sometimes also seem to want to sew less. You might have answered that conundrum for me.

  11. That’s a great outfit, you should get an award for most stylish teacher! What have you started reminding me about Joel and sons, I’m fighting with my conscience over some georgette! Have a good term. X

  12. Love the outfit, Ruth, and your genius use for all that great fabric. You have great style & make wonderful pattern choices. Really love reading your blog!

  13. I’m wearing more and more relaxed styles, returning to the 80s, the decade that did me in! The fabric is lovely: I’d love to give it a squeeze and guess by the feel how much.

  14. You are such a nut! (But you know I mean that in the nicest possible way, because I am a nut too!) You blow my mind with your wonderful creativity and what you cook up with your sewing. Sewing keeps all of us sane! xxoo

  15. Help! Am trying to locate some patterns I know you’ve made so I can review your experience, but I don’t see a search function. 😢 Thank you! del

  16. Yet again, a fabulous outfit! Really impressed that you took an unsuccessful pattern, gave it another try, and voila! Perfection. Don’t think any of my teachers were so stylish.

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