Subtly Spooky - the Devil's in the Detail - Republique du Chiffon 'Michelle'

This has got to be the subtlest nod to Halloween there has ever been....jacket lining.

I've had the Michelle pattern by Republique du Chiffon in the stash for a while now but kept swerving it - put off by the whole 'jacket' thing. Agggghhh sounds far too complicated. HOWEVER, I did make Gerard and that was an absolute dream of a pattern so I'm not sure where the irrational fear came from.

We'd been having some pretty weird 'in-between' weather at the time I made this so it was ideal to fill the gap of too-hot-for-a-coat-too-cold-for-a-cardy climates.

I'd found some textured 'black stuff' from The Textile Centre on eBay - kind of like wool but really thin, and frays a lot, and bobbly. You should have seen the state of my sewing room after cutting this up - now that was scary.

I traced the pattern off according to the chart - in size 40 - I think its a size too big really and a 38 would do nicely - 'oversized' is fine though for this one.

There are only 15 pattern pieces involved in this which was a nice suprise, and 2 of those were an optional top pocket that I omitted.

The first hurdle was the instructions - the booklet is entirely in French - absolutely not a complaint its a French company and pattern so why wouldn't it be - however technical sewing terms is not a topic we covered at Uni. Merci to Google Translate I happily established that NO SEAM ALLOWANCE is included before cutting it out! Phew.

I then discovered THIS amazing step-by-step construction tutorial. Pure perfect. The construction on this site is completely different from the instruction booklet - however I found it far easier to follow and the order of steps were much more logical. It was quite easy to see everything come together and what needed to be done next.

The bits I feared were adding the shawl collar and lining together at inverted corner points - but this actually proved relatively trouble free. The only unpicking and restitching I had to do was sewing the sleeve lining to the sleeve, which had become twisted inside each other. Thankfully easily rectified.

I would highly recommend this pattern as the end result is part cardigan/part coat - Frankenstein's Jacket if you will. Also a great intro and confidence booster to try a more complicated jacket at a later date perhaps.

I think I have now adopted a new life approach now though - linings must always be glorious.

Having a week or two away from the blog now to catch up on life but in the meantime feel free to comment and come and say hello on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Bloglovin too :-) xx

Box Pleat Floral Midi Skirt - with Pockets!

This project had been in my head for ages, niggling away as a little idea to use up some floral fabric that had been in my stash since the Trigger's Bloom Trousers.

Would I look too girly in a big ol' skirt? Or more importantly feel too ridiculous... turns out I bloody LOVE it. Who knew I'd be a fan of a massive skirt.

There's no pattern for this one - just winged it. It is roughly based on my Pleated Skirt Tutorial however if anyone would like a full step by step tutorial on how to make one of these please do leave a comment and I'll get one done - I have a feeling I'l be making more anyway!

This involved 2 big box pleats on the front and back pieces - and shaping of the front and back pieces to make it stick out a bit more in that classic midi-style. And last but not least - pockets! I think this is my favourite bit of the skirt, black satin pockets.

As the skirt has pockets I had to put an invisible zip up the back - this involves spliting the back piece in 2 to accomodate this. If I had ommitted the pockets I would have just stuck a zip in the side seam.

It's also fully lined with anti-static lining so I can wear with tights without any cling occurring :-)

Feel free to comment and come and say hello on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Bloglovin too :-) xx

Simplicity Dear Watson...

Simplicity 1281 to be precise.... Now the weather has taken a turn for the chillier and 'Winter is coming' I thought a Blanket Coat would be a great little wardrobe addition.

There are tons of these in the shops at the moment, and I'm not going to lie it would have been cheaper and easier to buy one, but that's not the point of crafting is it ;-) Plus, this one is way better as it has faux sleeves created by the belt rather than just being a blanket flapping about all over the place.

It took me ages to find a pattern I liked the look of but opted for Simplicity 1281 View C.

Using the sizing charts I fell between Medium and Large but knowing how epically huge these loose fit items can be went with Medium - and that's plenty big enough as you can see!

View C has a particularly appealing feature in so far as it has leather trim all around for a bit of a fancy finish. I bought my wool from who have a great range at the moment. Its very thick, soft and blankety and has a lovely speckled texture. I also found leather trim bias binding on the Minerva website - no joke that's not cheap when you need loads of it!! Eeesh. Looks nice though.

The amount of fluff that was produced making this was enough to sink a small ship and I had to give my overlocker and machine some serious TLC and hoovering afterwards. It was a quick-ish project. Cutting and assembling the cape pieces was very straight forward, loved the technique for making the belt loop holes but adding the trim was seriously time consuming as there is metres of it. But you get a nice cape at the end so persevere!

 As you can see its pretty roomy, although I'd say that was a good cosy feature, especially if you have a jumper underneath with long sleeves.

 It's also a pretty good length and keeps you covered, its got a kimono feel about it and nicely cinches in with the belt. My leather bound corners were less than impressive so no close ups there!

Been up to any winter preparations? Feel free to comment and come and say hello on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Bloglovin too :-) xx

Nanu the Snail with MinervaCrafts

It's just gone September which means we've had a month invaded by spiders - does this happen everywhere?! Some of them are huuuugeeee. We actually HEARD one run across the floor before we saw it the other day... As a nice break to the scary kind - here's a cute kind of crawlie!

 Meet 'Nanu' the Snail!

 I had so much fun making this little guy. The Minicraft Kit was kindly supplied by Minerva Crafts  - a full post and step-by-step tutorial on how to make your own little snail can be found here on the Projects and Tutorials page!

What do you think - tempted to make your own? He's great company and the flowers have remained intact....

I hope you'll pop over and have a read - do let me know what you think of the guidance. Feel free to comment and come and say hello on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Bloglovin too :-) xx