The Brumby Skirt

Or shall we call it the frumpy skirt? I truly have mixed feelings about this one. Part of me loves the midi length, and part of me thinks it makes me look super short and frumpy. Anyway, I made this skirt a number of weeks ago now, and I haven't worn it once, well except for these photos. I keep meaning to put it back on, but I never seem to reach for it.

I think part of it is the length. I have really wanted to try a midi length for quite some time but Lisa's really pushed me over the edge (although she is quite a bit taller than me, I think). I had dreams of swooshing around in a lovely 90s-ish floral skirt, but that hasn't really happened.

But the other part of it, is that I struggle with what to wear with it. I think it looks okay with a tank top, and maybe I should try it with a Nettie, but I was hoping for something a little more polished looking. I have dreams of a white sleeveless button up shirt, but that might be too bulky to be tucked in. I was also playing with the idea of a cropped top as this skirt is so high-waisted.

I think the fit is pretty good. I went with the largest size based on my waist size. It looks really good from the front but I am getting this weird bunching with the back waistband and it does not create the most flattering rear view. This isnt' the greatest shot, but I think you get the idea. Is this a fit issue, or is it just one of those I'm squishy issues? I'm wondering if there is an adjustment I need to make to make it sit straighter. Maybe the waistband is just a little too wide for my torso?

Anyway, let's talk about the pattern. It's Megan Nielsen's Brumby skirt and it's a great pattern! The pdf went together quickly and easily, and I used her new app for step by step instructions. The app is free and it's so cool! Plus it saves all your Megan Nielsen patterns in one place. I really love all of the details on the skirt - the large pockets, the front centre seam, the cool exposed zip which I didn't really get a photo of with the finished skirt, but here's a photo of it just after I inserted it:

Megan's instructions for the exposed zip are awesome and she even has a more detailed tutorial on her blog. I will definitely refer to her post any time I want to do an exposed zip. I think it's a pretty interesting little detail that you can add to lots of different patterns. This skirt would work well with an invisible zip too, if an exposed one is not your thing, or you if want a dressier vibe. 

This skirt came together quite quickly. I think the trickiest part for me was working with a slightly shifty fabric again. Practice, practice, practice! That's what I keep telling myself. This lovely floral is another mystery fabric (probably a poly) from Walthamstow Market on our last London trip. The other good thing about this skirt pattern, is that it appears to work with pretty much any type of fabric. I think I'm going to try the shorter version in denim or chambray for the fall and winter. I think I would probably get a lot more wear out of the shorter version and I'm debating shortening this skirt too. 

And a Megan Nielsen Brumby skirt post wouldn't be complete without a Maker tee shot too. I loved the Maker tee/Brumby skirt shots of the model, but I'm not sure it looks quite as good on me. But I do love the t-shirt. So comfy and it fits great! Plus it supports a great cause -you should really check it out, if you haven't already.

So there you have it. I have a huge back log of projects to blog so it feels really good to have this post finished! I seem to be making tons of time to sew, but no time to blog. Oh priorities! 

 Have you tried a midi-length skirt? 

A Couple of Seamwork Patterns & A Giveaway!!

So way back at the beginning of March, Funki Fabrics contacted me with the offer of free fabric in exchange for a blog post mentioning their name and linking to their website. I have never been approached by any company  to do something like this before, so I was extremely flattered to be noticed, but a little apprehensive. It did feel good to have a company say that they value my opinion as a sewist, but I do understand that they are getting the benefit of free advertising as well.  I hummed and hawed for about a week about whether or not to do it. I mean there seemed to be a number of Funki Fabrics posts out there already (although not nearly as many as there are now), and honestly, it's not the type of fabric I normally would use (they specialize mainly in athletic and dancewear fabric - and let's be honest I'm not a good enough dancer to need dancewear and I am definitely not an athlete. Gym? What's a gym?). But in the end, the offer of free fabric and curiosity of what it might be like won out, and I decided to give it a go. I know that a lot of people have been made the same offer, so I'm sorry if this post is a bit redundant. A number of bloggers have made leggings and that seemed like the natural choice for me too, until I spotted this amazing cotton stretch fabric. I wasn't entirely sure what it would be like, but I requested it hoping it would be more my style, along with two other lycra  prints for leggings (Funki Fabrics offered me 4m in total). Anyway, weeks went by, and no fabric. It seemed like it must have been lost in the mail or something. It was kind of weird, because I have never had anything go missing in the mail, plus around the same time that FF sent out my order, I had ordered some denim from Ditto Fabrics in the UK and it arrived in just over a week with no problems. Luckily, the lovely people at Funki Fabrics were kind enough to send out another package, and it arrived about a week later. I was pleasantly surprised by the cotton stretch fabric, it is super soft and has a great 4 way stretch. I've only washed it once, but it washed up well and seems like it won't pill over time. I was going to make a dress out of it, but I didn't have quite enough fabric for the pattern I had in mind (poor planning on my part). Anyways, as I was browsing through my pattern stash, I was also reading the April issue of Seamwork. So far, I haven't found very many of the Seamwork patterns super appealing, but there was something about that Astoria pattern that finally made me want to try one.  And coincidentally, this Funki Fabrics cotton elastane flexlite was perfect for it. #winning

IMG_6543I had no idea what I would pair the Astoria with, so I decided I would just make the Bristol skirt from Seamwork too. It looked like a pretty good outfit on the model.  I wasn't super in love with the skirt at first glance, I mean it has a kangaroo pocket - interesting detail perhaps, but not necessarily the most flattering. Anyway, it seemed like it would be a quick and easy sew, and sometimes you have to try something to know if you like it.

Both Seamwork pdfs went together okay, I had a bit of trouble getting the lines to match up on a few pages, but for the price, I'm not complaining too much. The Astoria was a super quick sew, constructed with my serger and then topstitched with my coverstitch machine. The fabric performed beautifully, and was a perfect match to this little crop top.

IMG_6549When I first tried on this skirt, I wasn't overly keen on it, but looking at it now in these photos, I think it's actually quite cute. I think that it would be better with side seam pockets on my figure. I have a tummy, so the pocket in front kind of accentuates that, rather than flatters, and I'm not 100% thrilled with the elastic waistband either. It's really comfy, but for some reason I find it a bit bulky. I did not like the way the pattern instructions had you attach the waistband. You sew up the back seam, then press it in half, then you put the elastic inside, stretch and pin it in place, then you attach the waistband to the skirt, whilst trying to stretch everything to match. Um what?? That was so ridiculous to me. Why not attach the waistband, leave an opening, insert the elastic, and stitch up the opening. The end result is the same. So weird, and lots of unnecessary struggling - I even broke a needle!! Ugh! Anyway, if you decide to make this skirt, you might want to change that bit of construction.

IMG_6546For Astoria, I made a straight size Large, and I think it fits really well. I am in love with the neckline, the length, and the hemband. For the Bristol skirt, I made a size 12 (based on my waist measurement I should have made a 14) and I would probably would have been happier with a size 10. I also had to shorten the skirt by 3 inches.

IMG_6545The fabric I used for the skirt is a nice rayon challis that John picked out for me at Walthamstow Market. It's nice and drapey and perfect for a summery skirt. I'm not sure how much I will wear this skirt. I'm trying to be a skirt person, but I just don't seem to be. The Astoria on the other hand will probably get lots of wear. I think it will be perfect over dresses and I think it will even work with high-waisted Gingers. I also think you could lose the band and add a skirt for a Moneta-like look.

So back to Funki Fabrics. I also chose two really cool lycra prints to make leggings out of, and I used my trusty Cake Espresso Leggings pattern. I love wearing leggings for lounging around the house, and I wanted to see what this dancewear fabric was really like. I am happy to report that it's super stretchy with amazing recovery, and it wasn't at all hard to work with. I thought lycra would be slippery and hard to cut, but this wasn't at all. I think if you are looking for cool fabric to make a swimsuit out of, or maybe some kind of athletic outfit, or  even leggings, then this is the place for you. My little sister used to be obsessed with gymnastics when she was young, and she lived in spandex outfits because of her dream of becoming a gymnast. She would have loved and outfit made from this type of fabric. It's a little bit pricey (especially with shipping), but in my opinion, worth it for a speciality garment. They also have lots of stretch velvet, and I'm kind of kicking myself for not getting some of it. I may still, we'll see.... Anyway, here's my leggings:

Leggings-CollageYou guys know I have a bit of a batman obsession right? That's what really sucked me in - Batman leggings? Yes please!!

And now what you've all been waiting for: THE GIVEAWAY. Just after I finished up my Astoria, the original package from Funki Fabrics arrived (I know because they sent one via Royal Mail/Canada Post and one via DHL). I'm not sure where it was, or why it took so long to get to me, but it finally came. I offered to send it back to Funki Fabrics as they had already been so generous with letting me try their fabric for free, but they decided that I could keep it and do with it what I see fit. I decided I would do a giveaway.  So if you would like to win an exact replica of my order: 2 metres of a delicious cotton jersey-ish fabric, along with 1 metre of crazy Batman print lycra, and 1 metre of a psychedelic butterfly kaleidoscope lycra print, leave a comment below and I will enter you into the draw.


I will leave the draw open until Monday May 4th, and announce the winner on Tuesday May 5th. Seeing as it will be me footing the bill for the shipping, I will ship to anywhere in the world so you can enter from anywhere - yay for no restrictions! Good luck everybody and happy sewing!

****This giveaway is now closed - to see who won click here.****

The Nettie Chardon Conglomerate

Get ready for a pretty picture heavy post guys! I thought I would give the blog an Archer break and share something a little different. Well different for me anyway. The Deer & Doe Chardon skirt and the lovely (what will I ever wear that with, but now I can't live without) Closet Case Nettie! IMG_5495

I say a little different because I hardly ever wear skirts (and I have never worn a bodysuit). I'm not sure why I don't really wear skirts, as they seem like a pretty versatile item, but for some reason, I have always thought that they don't really suit me. That being said, I really like this one! I think the highwaisted-ness suits my petite frame and I love the pleats and belt loops too! Plus it has pockets - woo hoo!

IMG_5491Hey look, I still have pink in my hair!

I've seen a bunch of Nettie/skirt combos popping up online and I thought that a Nettie paired with this skirt would be perfect! I wouldn't have to worry about always tucking in, or that my top was riding up and/or becoming untucked and I think it worked out splendidly.


For the Chardon, I used Kaufman Brussels Washer Linen Blend (say that three times fast) from I think it has the right amount of drape and body and it holds the pleats well. I made a size 44 and I used the length of version A without the contrasting piece - what can I say, I'm short. I used store bought bias tape for the hem and I love how that worked out too. I'm all about the bias tape hems lately.



For Nettie I used a striped cotton jersey from Girl Charlee, and I made the version with 3/4 length sleeves in a size twelve. I ended up shortening the bodice by about 1.5" and I did a small sway back adjustment as well. The leg bindings are supposed to be finished with self fabric, but I decided to do something a little different, and I finished them with lingerie elastic. I have never applied lingerie elastic, but I think it turned out pretty well. This pretty pink came from Sew Sassy, and it's super soft and not pinchy at all.


I first attached it with a zig zag stitch and then used my coverstitch machine to topstitch it in place.


This is the first project I have ever made that involved snaps. And I was a little naive about it. I thought, how hard can it be really?'s what it looked like on my muslin.


Snap fail!! (If you follow me on Instagram, you would have seen this already, with the caption Nailed it! My husband didn't understand the reference until I pointed him here. We had a really good giggle, and it still makes me laugh whenever I think about it).

I think my first mistake was using a scrap of jersey for the gusset. In my experience so far, setting snaps in jersey and having them look good is really, really hard! I think my second mistake was trying to set them through so many layers of fabric. After doing this, I re-read the pattern instructions and discovered that you are supposed to a) use a woven scrap of fabric, and b) set the snaps through one layer of fabric, then fold it over and stitch. My second try turned out so much better! When it comes to sewing, I tend to be one of those people that refuses to be discouraged by fails. I think you learn so much from your mistakes and I was so determined to master snaps, that I just kept trying. I have a couple more projects to share that involve snaps and I am so happy that I just kept on trying, because the effort really paid off.

Here's a look at my second attempt:


Hallelujah! Not perfect, but much, much better. You are supposed to slip stitch, but I am way too impatient for hand sewing, and no one's going to see this but me, so I just machine stitched as well as I could around the snaps. It works. My cover stitching looks pretty messy too, but in sewing, it's not what's happening on the inside that counts, it's how in looks on the outside that's most important. Right?

Anyway, I was a little bit worried about what I would wear Nettie with, but I think she goes perfectly with skirts and will be a great layering piece during the colder months. She could be worn under cardigans, sweaters, Archers and perhaps even under an Alder Shirtdress. (Btw: Did you hear that Grainline is releasing a new sweatshirt pattern on Monday?? Eeeeee!) I am a little bit confused about how to wear this bad boy when tights are involved though. Do the tights go over or under Nettie? But I'll figure it out I'm sure, it's probably wearer's choice LOL.

What have you been up to lately? Have you had any epic fails (sewing or otherwise)? Did it discourage you or were you like me and even more determined to conquer the task?

PS: Happy Thanksgiving to all my Canadian peeps!! Hope you get lots of yummy turkey and remember all the wonderful things to be grateful for!

Blue Hair, Quilting and Sewing Seams: The Things That Dreams Are Made Of

Did I tell you that John bought me a serger for Christmas? We don't usually give each other Christmas gifts as a rule, but this year John broke the rule and bought me a beautiful serger. I have no idea how to use a serger, but I remember seeing one long ago when I was a child and being mesmerized by it. It sews and cuts? What?!? Anyway, I have mentioned a few times over the years that I would like one, but had mostly forgotten about it until now. (My husband really is the best gift giver ever!) To be honest, I am a little intimidated by it and it took me a couple days to take it out of the box. But I have finally unpacked it and have been planning, reading and preparing to make amazing things with it (youtube has lots of great videos about sewing and serging by the way). I have played with it a bit, and set up a time with the lady who sold it to John, so that she can show me how it works (how cool is that?!). Unfortunately that won't be happening until Friday - only two more sleeps.

In the meantime, I have been working on the quilt that I promised John two years ago. I have no real good excuse as to why it's taken me so long. We had even gone and picked out all the fabric for it and everything. I actually started it two years agao, but then got intimidated by the pattern I chose and kind of stuck everything into a corner in my office and pretended it wasn't there. I then got it out again about 6 months ago, after much prodding from John, and realized again, that the pattern was just too much for this beginner - so back into the corner it went. I have felt really guilty about not finishing it, but did my best to forget about it. Anyway, while we were in Hawaii, I searched online for an easier pattern, and found one, so now I am bound and determined to get this baby finished! Here's a peek at how it's coming together:






I think it's going to look really cool when it's all done, and it's actually really easy (it looks much more intricate than it actually is). John picked out pretty much all of the fabric. I had to supplement it a little because I already used some of the fabric when I was attempting the original pattern. I may end up making a nice little lap quilt out of those original blocks too. I would have added them into this quilt, but I think it would look funny.

The serger has gotten me really excited about making my own clothes. It's something I have always wanted to do, but just never attempted.  Well, actually I did make some pyjama shorts back in junior high home-ec class, and a top with the help of a friend's mom, but that's it. I'm not entirely sure why I haven't ever tried, but the serger has rekindled my love for handmade things. Anyway, in between quilting and waiting for my serger lesson, I was able to whip up a couple of skirts. 

This first one is a very simple, elastic waist band skirt. I used this tutorial to make it and I am quite happy with how it turned out. I bought the fabric from the clearance section at Fabricland and it cost me a whopping $3.20/metre.



I really like it, and I think it turned out well for my first try. I think if I make another one, I would like to add pockets. It will be a great little skirt for summer.

My next project was a straight skirt from the DK Dressmaking book. It also turned out really well and it was my first attempt at an invisible zipper and also following a pattern. It's super cute with tights, and the fabric is very soft. It was kind of slippery to work with so maybe not the best for beginners, but I am still happy with how it turned out.




I took these pictures after wearing it all day so it looks a little stretched out. I also apologize for my headless shot, but I'm a little self-conscious when it comes to full body self-portraits. Anyway, you get the idea:


I also have to share this shot of the pugs:


This is what they look like while I am sewing. I'm not sure where Solomon was when I took this, probably snoring under the table LOL.

And finally:


Yup, I have blue hair, or rather teal hair. I have always wanted to do something really funky, so I finally did. I was waffling between pink and teal, and finally decided on teal. When I first got it done, it was really dark, but it has faded quite a bit now. Here's what it looks like about a week and a half later.IMG_5473


I like it, but I don't think I love it. The colour is absolutely beautiful and it definitely turns a lot of heads, but I'm not sure if it's me. I think I might have been happier with pink to be honest. The blue is a bit dark, but I am liking it more and more as it fades.

So anyway, that's all that's been happening in my world. I hope to keep sewing up a storm and to get better and better with practice (and to also finish John's quilt LOL).