Sunday, 31 August 2014

August Indie Pattern Update!


I know I say this every month but I'm going to have to say it again because MAN has there been a lot going on in the Indie Pattern world in August! I'm just going to jump on right in there because we've got a lot to get through...

New Pattern Companies!

  • Kat from Modern Vintage Cupcakes has just launched her pattern company Muse Patterns! Each pattern is inspired by a 'muse' which I love the idea of and the designs incorporate historical elements to reflect Kat's love of early to mid 20th Century fashions. The first pattern is the Jenna Cardi featuring lovely curved shoulder yokes.

New Patterns

  • Menswear pattern company Thread Theory have released the next pattern in their Alpine Collection; the Finlayson Sweater. It's currently on sale with 25% off; use code SEWSWEATERS at the checkout.
  • Sew Over It released their new pattern, the classically simple and chic Silk Cami, as their very first in PDF format. It looks like the perfect pattern for PDFing and a great project if you are new to sewing with silk.
  • The most recent release from Iconic Patterns is the Knot Dress. It's got a gorgeous classic shape and really interesting twisted neckline.
  • Named have treated us to a whole range of autumnal patterns in their new Ritual Collection. I love the look of the Mai Zip Jacket and have got it earmarked as a possible challenging sew for this season. Which are your favourites?
  • Along with a free pattern for a Kimono Jacket, Sew Caroline released the Picnic Skirt, which is a simple high waisted with subtle high-low hemline. It's very soon to be available in printed form along with all four of her other patterns!
  • Papercut Patterns released the Clover Dress which is their very first collaboration with a local fashion designer. The dress features a shaped panel above the bust giving you scope for creative fabric combinations, is suitable for knits or wovens and also includes a variation for a top.
  • I thought I'd seen indie sewing patterns for just about everything but Pauline Alice proved me wrong when she revealed her Turia Dungarees this month. I can't wait to see some of these made up by bloggers! Have any of you got them planned?
  • The Vesper Dress is the most recent release from Skinny Bitch Curvy Chic Patterns. I absolutely love the design of the crossover back and the fact that it comes in a maxi and midi length.
  • Measure Twice Cut Once have released a couple more patterns from their Basics Collection. This time they include a Women's Tank and Women's Baseball Singlet. As with the Racer Back Singlet they come with a Designer Manual to inspire you to make the patterns your own.
  • The new Deer and Doe pattern is the Bruyere Shirt. It's got some really interesting features that look like they will work really well to flatter a curvier figure.
  • Perhaps not technically indie patterns but I still count her as an indie designer; Gertie has released two more patterns for Butterick. This time they include a lovely fit and flare dress and a wrap jacket.
  • Charlie from This Blog Is Not For You has released her second and third patterns, the Hepburn Dress and Skirt which can be combined for added variation. She has officially launched her pattern company under the name Audrey & Me Patterns.

Upcoming!

  • Christine Haynes gave us a handful of clues about her next release. It's a dress pattern for knits and is called Marianne!
  • Amy from Cloth Habit has announced an upcoming lingerie pattern! She's discussed in depth on her blog the many steps she has been through to bring us a bra pattern and it sounds like she's put in a huge amount of work and skill. I can't wait to see! 
  • Blue Ginger Doll's next pattern is named Odette and should be with us soon. Keep an eye out on Instagram for sneaky peeks! 
  • Kelli from True Bias has mentioned that new patterns are in the works and close to release but have given no further clues!
  • Jennifer Lauren's new pattern should be with us very soon, I'm looking forward to seeing how she cleverly combines vintage details into a modern design this time.
  • The much anticipated Holly Jumpsuit from By Hand London is nearly here! My mind is brimming with ideas for more!
  • There's a new pattern in the works over at Grainline Studio and Jen has left some not so subtle hints on Instagram that it might be a sweatshirt!

Sew-Alongs

  • The sew-along for Grainline Studio's most recent release, the Alder Shirtdress, is well underway over on the Grainline blog. I've been bookmarking all the posts as I've had little time for sewing recently but the pattern is assembled and ready to go!
  • Colette Pattern's sew-along for their cowl-necked Myrtle Dress for knits is drawing to a close on sewalongs.com. It's being run by sewing teacher Devon Iott and this time includes the option to have posts emailed straight to your inbox! 
  • Sewaholic Patterns posted a one-day sew-along post for their Rae skirt. It's a really thorough post with lots of pictures and different techniques so if you are a beginner I really recommend giving it a try.
  • The sew-along for Thread Theory's new Finlayson Sweater starts tomorrow (September 1st)! I'm looking forward to picking up both knit tips and menswear tips from this one.
  • As well as the speedy skirt sew-along Sewaholic are running a more lengthy sew-along for their brand new Yaletown Dress and Blouse. It too starts on September 1st!

Other Exciting News

  • Kristiann from Victory Patterns is releasing a book next year. She revealed some behind the scenes photos from a shoot for it on her blog; it looks beautiful and very intriguing!
  • Tilly's incredibly popular book 'Love at First Stitch' will be available mid September in Dutch and German! The US version is set to be released in October.
  • Melissa from Fehr Trade has been designing bespoke fabrics (available through Spoonflower) to suit her sewing patterns! More than one print/colour is included within 1 yard of fabric, each section being exactly the right size for particular pattern pieces from her designs. I think it's a fantastically inventive idea and can't wait to see how it develops.
  • The PDF trend continues with By Hand London releasing their Flora, Georgia, Victoria and Elisalex patterns in instantly downloadable electronic form.
  • Megan Nielson has also released her Crescent Blouse as a PDF which means all of her patterns from the Breakwater Collection are now available to download and the pack of all four is ready to purchase again.
  • PLUS Sew Over It have just released PDF versions of ALL their patterns so far! The Ultimate Trousers in particular have been getting some great reviews so maybe this is your chance to try them out...
  • Lindsay, from Design by Lindsay, posted recently to say that she is looking for testers for her very first pattern, the Senna Dress. She's released a sneak peak of it already and it includes ruched detailing and the option to make a two piece variation. If you are interested in testing head on over to her blog.
  • Another person looking for pattern testers for her first pattern is Charlotte from English Girl at Home. She is releasing the Lou Lou Dress, which is an A-line dress with contrast feature at the hem and two variations.
  • Blue Ginger Doll have begun to increase the size range of their patterns and the good news for any plus sized ladies among you is that the Winifred Dress is now available in sizes 4-24.
  • Colette are retiring the printed versions of 5 of their earliest patterns to make room for new stock. The patterns will still be available in PDF format but get in their quick if you prefer paper, especially as they are 50% off!


And to finish things up here's your monthly dose of indie sewing inspiration from around the web!



  • I absolutely love how Alison from Another Little Crafty Creation has chosen to use those lovely yoke panels on her Sewaholic Gabriola as a canvas for embroidery. It's subtle and stunning.
  • Winnie from Scruffy Badger Time's Gingham Lonsdale is so fresh and summery it's got me wishing the heat would return and thinking about making another Lonsdale!
  • Doesn't Jenny from Cashmerette look incredible in her dotty Bombshell Swimsuit?! She wrote a great post on adding swim bra into your swimsuit that's worth checking out too.
  • Rachel's beautiful Anna caught my eye instantly in my blog roll. I think it's one of those instances of a perfect pairing of pattern and fabric, especially with that gathered skirt!
  • Novita from A Very Purple Person's Coppelia Cardigan is made from soft and snuggly Merino wool. It sounds so luxurious I'm going to make a note to try some myself some time. Love the colour too!



Thursday, 28 August 2014

Linen-Look Silvia Dress with a touch of Dior!

Today I've got a project to share with you which I started over a year ago (!) and it's a make which I've got mixed feelings about. I snapped up the Silvia Dress Pattern from Salme Patterns right back when I first got really into sewing. It was exactly what I wanted in a chic summer dress and is a shape I find generally suits me. It was a little advanced for me at the time (featuring some very clever construction it's rated as intermediate) but towards the start of last summer I just couldn't wait to wear it and dove straight in. Work then went crazy for the next six weeks or so and before I knew it the heat and sunshine had departed and the dress was only half finished. The lure of sewing garments I could wear straight away called; queue me only picking it up again this August.

Diary of a Chainstitcher: Salme Sewing Patterns Silvia Sundress in Christian Dior Silk Blend

I wish I'd found the time to get to grips with this and more of Eliza's patterns as especially for summer I'm a big fan of her classic and wearable styles; looking at the website I'd pretty much wear every single one over and over again! They are all only available in PDF format and the good news is they are all very affordable. I did have a couple of little niggles with the pattern, although please bear in mind that I bought this pattern a LONG time ago (probably about 2 years) so changes may have since been made. Firstly there are no seam allowances included. I find this really irritating as I think (with the exception of your personal alterations or PDF assembly) patterns should be ready to go. You also have to draft your own strap and waistband pieces which is not difficult as they are simple rectangles and clear dimensions are given, but again I feel it's something that should be included. The main issue I had was that the dimensions given for these include seam allowance and it's the recommended seam allowance of 3/8". I had added my preferred seam allowance of 5/8" to the main pattern pieces so when it came to attaching the waistband this led to some confusion.

Diary of a Chainstitcher: Salme Sewing Patterns Silvia Sundress in Christian Dior Silk Blend

Aside from that the instructions are compact but great and I particularly liked the tip for stitching along the princess seam lines and curved neckline before assembly with a long stitch. Not only does it prevent these curved areas stretching out, it gives you a great guidelines to match up when pinning the pieces together and easing them in. I also really loved the inclusion of a facing as well as a lining for the bodice (for which separate pattern pieces are provided which is awesome). I think it makes a project just that bit more special inside and makes the neckline nice and tidy with no chance of lining peeking out. Aside from fitting which we'll get onto in a minute the only change I made to the pattern was to add a lining to the skirt to make it fully lined.

Diary of a Chainstitcher: Salme Sewing Patterns Silvia Sundress in Christian Dior Silk Blend
Inside Front Bodice

What I'm most excited to share with you about this make is the fabric! It's extra special to me for two reasons. Firstly I bought it in Paron Fabrics in New York's Garment District when I visited with my sister last April. Secondly it's Christian Dior!! It's a stunning silk and rayon blend which I found in the 50% off section at the back. It has the appearance of linen but none of the wrinkling and also has a really exquisite sheen which seems to come from within the fabric rather than on the surface if that makes any sense! I knew as soon as I handed over the cash that the first thing I wanted to make with it was a sundress; the mint green and the luscious drape were screaming for it. I also picked up some coordinating lightweight rayon lining in the same shop.

Diary of a Chainstitcher: Salme Sewing Patterns Silvia Sundress in Christian Dior Silk Blend

Ok so onto the real issues. As much as I love the fabric and design of this dress the fitting of it has been a bit of a disaster. I'm getting wrinkles in strange places and I think I need a sway back adjustment as I'm getting a lot of pooling of excess fabric in the lower back. It does in general actually look a lot better than it did as I took a giant dart out of the back to bring it close to matching my measurements. When I completed it, it was at least a couple of inches too big all over and because of the way it is constructed it's really tricky to adjust once the facing or waistband are attached. However I love both the style and fabric so much I couldn't bear for this to turn out unwearable so turned into a naughty makeshift seamstress! It's definitely more wearable now and I'm kinda pleased with how the dart turned out if you consider how badly it could have gone! I wonder how much the fitting problems might be solved by simply going down a size? I think I will need to make up a muslin of a smaller size before the next version rather than trying to make adjustments based off this one.

Diary of a Chainstitcher: Salme Sewing Patterns Silvia Sundress in Christian Dior Silk Blend

Completing this project now, a year after starting it, has made me realise how much my sewing, and especially fitting skills have improved in that short space of time. I was very lax with fitting, never made a muslin, always just ploughed on in and hoped for the best which is exactly what I did with this. Kind of a silly thing to do as every previous experience with a Salme pattern had resulted in a too large garment. I used to put this down to my lack of sewing knowledge but after making this one I'm thinking there must be a large amount of ease built into Salme patterns as standard. There are no finished garment measures included so it's hard to tell if that's intended but I cut a UK 10 which should only be very slightly bigger than my measurements so there's something funny to do with ease going on!

Diary of a Chainstitcher: Salme Sewing Patterns Silvia Sundress in Christian Dior Silk Blend

Aside from my dodgy dart fitting I made a couple of changes to the pattern as I went along to account for my height. I took 2" off the length of each strap but I actually wish I'd taken a little more as they feel like they want to slip down. The clean finish of the bodice of this dress is gorgeous but it does mean it's pretty much impossible to make little changes like adjusting strap length once you have moved past a certain point! I took a whopping 5.5" off the length (and using 1.5" for the hem) which was probably more to do with how short I wanted it than the length of the pattern as it it. With the shape of the skirt I felt a little overwhelmed by it when it was knee length and I fancied having some shorter dresses in my wardrobe.

Diary of a Chainstitcher: Salme Sewing Patterns Silvia Sundress in Christian Dior Silk Blend

I definitely should have added twill tape to the seam allowances of the neckline to keep it sitting flat against the chest. If I had eased this in right up close to the stitching line it would have helped it curve slightly inward instead of gaping away as it does.

I am however incredibly pleased with the invisible zip. It was my first time inserting a side seam zip which doesn't extend all the way to the top of the dress. The dress is sewn closed both above and below the zip. I was a bit nervous about this as invisible zips can be a little tricky anyway, particularly when it comes to keeping both sides even and waistband seams e.t.c matched up. I took it slow and made use of all the little tips and tricks I've picked up from different projects and was really happy when it came out like this first time! I used my regular zip foot to attach the lining to the zip after inserting it, keeping everything sleek and tidy inside.

Diary of a Chainstitcher: Salme Sewing Patterns Silvia Sundress in Christian Dior Silk Blend
The close up also gives you an idea of the texture of this beautiful fabric.

All in all not a roaring success of a project but I learnt a lot from it. I actually even wore this dress on my birthday last week as there is still so much I love about it! I really like how the dress comes together in such a neat and clean way as well as the general style of it. As with all of Eliza's designs it's really simple, classic and chic with beautiful lines. Despite my fitting issues I'm still really pleased I chose to use some of my special fabric for this dress as I think the chic luxuriousness of it is a perfect match! Luckily I still have over a metre and a half of this gorgeous fabric left as this pattern only used less than a metre. Those little princess seamed bodice panels don't take much fabric! Now to plan what you use the remainder for...

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Tie-Dye Gabriola Maxi Skirt

Diary of a Chainstitcher: Tie-Dye Gabriola Maxi Skirt from Sewaholic Patterns

I always have big grand plans for summer sewing as it's my favourite time of year to dress for. I'm always so inspired by lightweight fabrics, abstract prints and breezy styles of summer garments. The list of things I would like to make is endless, however the summer months are usually the busiest time of year for me work wise so before I know it the good weather is vanishing and my dream list is still endless. I made a concentrated effort to get started early this year and am therefore happier with my summer wardrobe than I have been before. After seeing Sophie from Ada Spragg's stunning pattern tester version, one item that made it straight onto my summer sewing list when it was released earlier this year is Sewaholic's Gabriola Maxi Skirt pattern. I finished this a few weeks ago now so I am super pleased to get at least one version of it made up in time for plenty of wear!

Diary of a Chainstitcher: Tie-Dye Gabriola Maxi Skirt from Sewaholic Patterns

I was on the look out for the perfect Gabriola fabric on Goldhawk Road during Rachel's huge sewing blogger meet up back in May. I wanted to try out the sizing before sewing up anything too pricey and as the beautiful fullness of the skirt means that this pattern eats fabric I was after something cheap and cheerful. In case you were wondering, I started with 3 metres of 60" wide fabric and had nothing left but scraps when I was done! The fabric I chose was the very first bolt to catch my attention that day, loitering in the doorway of A to Z fabrics. It's very polyester but is just the type of print I am drawn to and at £3 a metre for a wearable muslin you can't go wrong! It wasn't the most enjoyable fabric to handle when sewing (there was a particularly nasty incident involving the iron, some melting and the recutting of a yoke piece!) but because of the full style of the skirt it remains very cool to wear and has a gorgeous drape.

Diary of a Chainstitcher: Tie-Dye Gabriola Maxi Skirt from Sewaholic Patterns

I had quite a debate with myself about which size to cut as although I am slightly bigger on the bottom half I am not as pear shaped as the figure Sewaholic Patterns are drafted for and I was keep for those lovely panels to fit snuggly around my top hip. In the end I decided to stick with the size 4 I usually cut for Sewaholic patterns and it's turned out pretty great. The waistband fits perfectly and although there is a bit of room around the hips it retains the intended flattering smooth shape well.
In general skirts tend to be fairly quick projects. Whilst this one is not a particularly lengthy project it may eat up more time than you expect because of all the small yoke panels and long skirt seams. I chose to overlock all my interior seams which made the whole process much quicker than a more involved finishing technique but if I was working with silk I would seriously consider french seaming everything. Plus I love looking at lovely tidy insides and just think how lovely all those intersecting french seams would look!

Diary of a Chainstitcher: Tie-Dye Gabriola Maxi Skirt from Sewaholic Patterns

If you are thinking about making your own remembering to mark your notches is key! There are lots of similar looking pattern pieces that are slightly (and importantly!) different. I then did spend a fair bit of time trying to decipher which was which from the notches later on so I would also recommend naming each pattern piece 'side front' e.t.c by pinning a scrap of paper to each piece. It didn't help me that my fabric was only very slightly different on the right and wrong sides so I had to work out which was right and left of each pair too!

Diary of a Chainstitcher: Tie-Dye Gabriola Maxi Skirt from Sewaholic Patterns

I really enjoy sewing which requires you to be neat and accurate and this is definitely one of those projects! I'm really pleased with the matching of the seams at the front but the centre back seam could be a little better... I was so keen to get this sewn up and start wearing it that I decided with this busy print I wasn't bothered by things being a few millimetres out but next time I will definitely try harder! I think abstract prints are the best way to go with this skirt if you are not going plain. I can imagine a directional or large scale print being a complete nightmare as there are so many different panels with intersecting seams being cut at different angles to the grain.

Diary of a Chainstitcher: Tie-Dye Gabriola Maxi Skirt from Sewaholic Patterns

I took 2" off the length the skirt, so as I'm only about 5ft3" if you are tall you definitely want to consider lengthening to begin with. My hem was 1" and I used my favourite method for sewing a curved hem; stitching all the way around 1/2" from the raw edge and then using that line as a guide to press up along, then pressing it in by the same amount again to hide the raw edge. I machine stitched the hem up as I was never going to achieve a totally invisible finish by hand in this very lightweight poly. 

Diary of a Chainstitcher: Tie-Dye Gabriola Maxi Skirt from Sewaholic Patterns

The only other change I made to the pattern was to the fastening at the back of the waistband. The pattern calls for the zip to be inserted up to the waistband which is constructed to overlap slightly and fasten with either a button or hooks and bars. I've never got on particularly well with this style of waistband so I opted to trim off the overlap and insert the zip right to the top. I'm really pleased with the clean finish of this.

Diary of a Chainstitcher: Tie-Dye Gabriola Maxi Skirt from Sewaholic Patterns

Overall it is a pretty straightforward make which I think a beginner could tackle. I think a seamstress of any level would need to take the construction nice and slow and pay attention to the instructions as there is room for error because of all the pieces to fit together but the only remotely tricky part is sewing the point where the skirt panels meet the yoke at the centre front. Gabriola is yet another cleverly thought out design by Tasia, she's got such a fantastic knack for considering how a pattern works with the curves of the body and drafting patterns that ladies want to wear. I love that this skirt is fitted flat at the waist, cut so flatteringly over the hips but still has all the fun of a full, swishy skirt!

Diary of a Chainstitcher: Tie-Dye Gabriola Maxi Skirt from Sewaholic Patterns

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Embroidered Silk Archer and Twill Miette Skirt

For this month's Mood Sewing Network project I worked with two very different fabrics to make separates. First up is the blouse, for which I used this Marc Jacobs Silk with Embroidered Dots which I've had my eye on for months! It's a beautiful silk crepe and when you get close up you realise the polka dots are actually formed of dense embroidery making it wonderfully unique. I was a little apprehensive about working with a fabric which sounded like it could be quite tricky, especially for a project with some fiddly aspects, but I took my time and had very few problems.

Diary of a Chainstitcher: Mood Fabrics Marc Jacobs Embroidered Silk Sleeveless Archer Shirt and Cotton Twill Miette Wrap Skirt

I washed the silk on a gentle 30 degree cycle as I wanted this to be a garment which I could wear often and not need to get dry cleaned. I like to think about how I want to be able to wash the completed garment when deciding how to pretreat and if I am particularly worried about shrinkage I give it a good couple of washes. It held up beautifully and took a medium heat from the iron too. Clean hands and concentration are a must when working with this silk as any mistakes will leave their mark, including any stray pins. I used a size 70 microtex/sharps needle in my machine and silk pins which I endeavoured to keep within the seam allowances as much as possible. I eliminated most of the topstitching as I wanted to keep the overall look clean but for the mandarin collar it was essential and the front placket needed some to help it lay flat.

Diary of a Chainstitcher: Mood Fabrics Marc Jacobs Embroidered Silk Sleeveless Archer Shirt and Cotton Twill Miette Wrap Skirt

I finished any raw seams on my overlocker and both this and my regular machine handled the silk well. The only real issue I had was when sewing though the embroidered dots as my machine wasn't all too sure about the change in thickness from delicate silk to thick embroidery thread. I had a feeling this might be tricky so when cutting I tried to lay out pattern pieces to ensure this happened as little as possible, especially around the collar! On the roll there is quite a wide area with no dots next to the selvedge so I was able to keep the plackets plain at least. It worked out ok with some gentle encouragement but if working with a similar fabric in future I would be tempted to unpick the dots in any areas where crossing them was unavoidable.

Diary of a Chainstitcher: Mood Fabrics Marc Jacobs Embroidered Silk Sleeveless Archer Shirt and Cotton Twill Miette Wrap Skirt

The pattern is a v-neck adaption of the Grainline Studio Archer Shirt which Andrea has posted an excellent tutorial for. This make turned into the blouse of many tutorials as I used Andrea's collar tutorial and then Jen's own tutorial to adapt the shape of the armholes for a sleeveless version. I also used Jo Sews' tutorial to do a small no dart FBA which I think has dramatically effected the drape of this version compared to my first and I'm really pleased. I did wonder if the alteration was necessary in a sleeveless version but in this soft silk I think any pulling would have been very obvious and it needed to drape correctly. For reference I cut a size 4 and my FBA spread the pattern pieces just 1cm across and 2.5cm down.

Diary of a Chainstitcher: Mood Fabrics Marc Jacobs Embroidered Silk Sleeveless Archer Shirt and Cotton Twill Miette Wrap Skirt

With no sleeves, pockets or turn down collar I only needed one solitary yard for this variation and it felt like a much quicker process than my first Archer shirt. I used binding to finish the armholes but used some scraps of plain cream crepe I had in my stash for this as dealing with silk binding is tricky enough without trying to work around those embroidered dots! I made some effort to line up the rows of the polka dots evenly across the front, back and yoke pieces and I think the dots ended up pretty well spaced. The buttons were left over from a project some time ago and I'm so pleased I still had them as I'm really enjoying how they imitate the dots!

Diary of a Chainstitcher: Mood Fabrics Marc Jacobs Embroidered Silk Sleeveless Archer Shirt and Cotton Twill Miette Wrap Skirt

I had originally intended to make jeans to pair with this blouse and tie in with Sew Busy Lizzy's Jeans in June & July challenge. However, a severe lack of time to get stuck into such a major project (especially for someone who has never made a single pair of trousers before!) turned into quite the happy accident as I could not be more pleased with the resulting skirt and how it works with the blouse. My rather lovely stretch denim will have to wait to be turned into jeans while I make do with RTW for the time being, as the Archer looks great untucked with skinnies too!

I'd ordered myself some of Mood's Organic Cotton Twill in Plum to try out after reading fellow MSN blogger Lauren rave about it on a couple of occasions. That girl has some seriously good taste in fabric and was not wrong when she said that this stuff is great. It's so enjoyable to sew with; it just does what it's told and presses beautifully. The colour is wonderfully deep and vivid and the good news is there are a huge range of hues available. It does attract fluff like nobodies business though, my photographer (read boyfriend!) was constantly picking stuff off me during these photos and I have no idea where it was coming from!

Diary of a Chainstitcher: Mood Fabrics Marc Jacobs Embroidered Silk Sleeveless Archer Shirt and Cotton Twill Miette Wrap Skirt

So as well as stealing fabric choice from Lauren I pretty much just went ahead and copied the whole design concept as her red tie-less wrap skirt is basically one of my favourite things ever and I needed to make it my own! The pattern is Tilly and the Button's Miette and features a waist tie which I love but I thought I'd probably get more wear out of it without as I generally don't like a lot of bulk around my waist. Lauren's version replaced the waist ties with buttons at the back which is an equally cute design feature in my opinion! It was really simple to make this change. I just assembled the waistband as usual but omitted the waist ties. Then I trimmed down the band slightly to match the waist of the skirt when it was sewn up and turned through. Two buttonholes later and you're done! I think this works really well in this fabric as it has some body and stiffness too it which, while perfect to hold the shape of the skirt might make for quite a bulky tie.

Diary of a Chainstitcher: Mood Fabrics Marc Jacobs Embroidered Silk Sleeveless Archer Shirt and Cotton Twill Miette Wrap Skirt

I had 1.5 yards of the twill and used pretty much all of it cutting this skirt without the waist ties so if you are doing ties you will need more. The buttons, which are placed at each end of the wrap, came from my stash. I couldn't believe I had the perfect number in the right colour! I fell between waist sizes in the pattern so cut between the size 2 and 3 here and the straight 3 at the hips. It comes up true to size I think as it sits comfortably, although there is of course some leeway due to the wrap style. I cut 4.5" off the length; I am pretty short but felt it wasn't the most flattering on me at the intended length so kept on trimming a little at a time until I was happy. Even at this shorter length the overlap of the wrap is just perfect to prevent any unwanted flashing! I'm really happy with how flat the opening sits when worn.

Diary of a Chainstitcher: Mood Fabrics Marc Jacobs Embroidered Silk Sleeveless Archer Shirt and Cotton Twill Miette Wrap Skirt

This was such an enjoyable make, with only a few pattern pieces in felt like it came together in no time. It took less than two hours to sew up (not including cutting time) but about half an hour of that was spent deliberating over the length. I thought the instructions were (as marketed) fantastic for beginners. I love the step by step photos as you can really sure that you have sewn it up right by comparing your results. I've noticed this feature in a few indie patterns recently, it was a huge help for me with the Bombshell Swimsuit. For a more experienced seamstress I'd still recommend it as it's a great project for when you need something quick and satisfying as a break from a more challenging/lengthy sew.

I've had a lot of wear out of both items already, both are perfect fabrics for the summer heat we've had here in London recently. The skirt has even been worn for a game of tennis...although I'm not much of an athlete so the biggest test it was really put through was a bit of wind and bending over to pick the ball up repeatedly!

Diary of a Chainstitcher: Mood Fabrics Marc Jacobs Embroidered Silk Sleeveless Archer Shirt and Cotton Twill Miette Wrap Skirt