Another pretty dress on the blogosphere

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Yep, like I need another one in my wardrobe too, but how could you (I) not resist doing justice to  this lovely number, which is no longer available and out of my budget anyway.  And what’s the point of sewing if you can’t make what you want, when you want it, right?

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So I dug out Simplicity 1801, which, other than the sleeves, was a pretty good approximation of what I wanted, and started on the supplies.

Fabric . Higgs and Higgs do a good range of broderie anglaise/eyelet mostly in white.

Lace insertion – this was more tricky and I ended up ordering it from the USA, to get the look I wanted. It’s called all sorts of different names, entredeux being one of them.

The lining was some white cotton lawn I already had in my possession.

Once my supplies were together I set about warming the colour of the broderie, from it’s original bright white, to a pale ivory, which is much more flattering for my skin tone.

And, since there are no commercial dyes available to get the colour I wanted I ended up using good old British tea!   After testing on a few samples to get the shade I wanted, I filled a very hot bath, added 15 teabags (no sugar, ha!) and gave it 5 minutes, swirling the tea around to distribute the colour.  I then removed the teabags, added fabric and left for 30 minutes, again swishing things around. It was then rinsed in my washing machine and dried.

The colour change is subtle. Time will tell whether it remains colourfast. It took a while to get the stains from the bath, in case you want to try it.

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Making up was fairly time-consuming, since I had to make small adjustments all over to allow for the extra width of the insertion lace. Also adding a lining the bodice, so the lace remained a feature, involved some head-scratching and I ended up finishing some of the seams by hand.

Inside shot. Front bodice, lined, with lace insertion. You can see the comparison of white lining against the dyed broderie much better here.

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I finished most of the seams with my overlocker, since they can be made pretty narrow and won’t show through. I did consider french seams but my sanity was already at risk on this project.

There were a few pattern alterations too. I used the sleeves from another pattern, can’t remember which, I just measured the armscye to make sure they’d fit.

 

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Fitting below the waist was fairly straightforward with all those gathers. I took of 3 inches from the back length, to accommodate my sway/erect back. I also took in about 2 inches in total from the waist at the side seams, which I don’t normally do, I guess this pattern runs big around that area.  I also added an inch at the centre front as it was too low cut for my tastes. Others have done the same.

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The fabric is quite stiff and I did wish it draped better. That’s my only regret really. Other than that I’m delighted with the results.

We have a few special occasions coming up later this Summer where it’ll come in handy.   Bonus too, for not worrying about spilling tea down the front, for a change,  either!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

B Cup misadventures and other musings

Why, oh why do I always forget I’m not a B cup, especially  when the dress I’m making is a low cut wrap front style and will inevitably gape like a hungry dog waiting to be fed a juicy bone.

I present exhibit A, in evidence,  m’lord!

 

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Most of the time I get away with not doing an FBA, but in this instance I should have known better. So, this dress is just about wearable, but only comfortably when I don’t move my arms, or, erm, bend over.

I still like it though, so will be wearing it with a camisole, which does spoil the lovely neckline somewhat. Better, would be to  just sew that cross over bit shut when I get a minute.

The details :

Pattern : Lisette B6168 available from Butterick. In dress and also in tunic version.

I cut a size 12 and graded to a 14 at the waist and hips. I did a 1.2cm forward shoulder adjustment and a 2cm swayback adjustment.

The bodice is a tighter fit than I normally get when I sew this size. The sleeves are also quite tight too. I don’t like things too tight, so maybe I’m just being picky.

The fabric is a beautiful quality soft linen from Merchant and Mills. I bought it a couple of years ago when I visited their shop in Rye, whilst on holiday. It’s not really my colour and that’s why I haven’t sewn it up but I needed more conservative clothing for work and it matched the pattern perfectly.

When my arms are by my sides it looks great, despite the wind playing havoc the day I took the photos. I really like the neckline and waist detail. Also, linen, creases, ahem.

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The back fit is pretty spot on too and my stripe matching is acceptable. The fabric is a mix of checks, plain and stripes  so was somewhat tricky to work with.

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The  garden is still doing it’s thing at the moment, despite a definite lack of sunshine. Which sort of leads me in to another subject I feel I couldn’t let slide past unnoticed

That is the momentous events happening in the UK right now, which have led to our voting to leave the European Union. These past few weeks have been unprecedented in scope and scale,  and I’ve personally felt pretty upset by all that’s happened. I studied European politics and the EU whilst at University and have worked for large European companies for most of my life, until recently.  That gave me a positive perspective on the benefits of being in the EU, which left me totally unprepared for the result when it came. I don’t think I was the only one.

One major flaw was the structure of the Brexit campaign team. They worked just like a pop-up shop; here one minute, gone the next.  This meant they  could conduct their campaign  knowing full well that they would bear absolutely no responsibility for delivering on their promises, should they win. .  None of them had any mandate, or power to implement the kind of political change they advocated.This led them, I believe, to make the most scandalous of promises about where money would be spent should we vote to go.

Both sides have let themselves down in their campaigning, further discrediting our political system, and politicians.

I find it particularly paradoxical that those who wanted us to de-couple from the rest of Europe are now asking for unity.

I really hope we can find the right way to emerge from this. I do want to do something but I’m not sure what, yet. Our politics are in a mess and we have no real leadership at the moment. It is a time of unprecedented change, and real uncertainty. I am trying to remain positive.

 

Me Made May Review

Hi there!

A bit late, I know, but I thought it would be nice to have a look at how my first me-made-May went. I’ve watched interestedly each year as others have participated but have never felt I had enough self made clothing to join in, until now. It’s supposed to be a challenge too so I decided I’d try and wear 2 items I’d sewn or knitted myself each day. From a selfish viewpoint I was interested to see where there might be gaps in my wardrobe, but really who am I kidding, gaps are absolutely the very last thing in my over-stuffed closet!

Also, I decided to start posting on Instagram to log what I was wearing and was surprised to find I really enjoyed looking at what everyone else was up to, which was probably one of the most unexpected sides to the challenge.

So how did I get on?

Week one.

 

I was getting used to photographing myself each day and worked out that the most reliable way of doing it was the good old selfie, so apologies for some poor quality images. It wasn’t hard to dress in my home made items and I even managed to dig out an old Colette Laurel dress which I’d always loved, but hardly ever wore. All of the other items are in regular rotation.

So, clockwise from top left we have Burdastyle 05/2015 shirt unblogged, Style Arc Ethel top with Burdastyle 03/2014 jean unblogged, Colette Laurel unblogged, Burdastyle Vintage Rosa jacket unblogged,  Vogue 8333 jacket with Sewaholic Fraser sweatshirt,  Sewaholic Granville shirt with Hollyburn skirt, and lastly a close up of the Sewaholic Granville shirt, worn again with the Hollyburn skirt, phew.

Week 2

I had started to repeat myself so didn’t take photos each day. Most of the items are unblogged.

So from top left, those Burdastyle jeans again with a hacked Vogue 8939 t-shirt, rtw shorts and tee, Burdastyle  04/2016 culottes and top, Burdastyle 05/2016 dress, Vogue 1546 DVF dress and self-drafted silk tee with rtw fuchsia cardigan.

Week 3

 

Lots of repeats, so the only new items were, clockwise Burdastyle ?top, Burdastyle 05/2105 athletic jacket and the same top as the first picture but in a textured white ponte.

Week 4

The last week I added a green Kara lace cardigan I’d knitted and a pair of altered rtw jeans.

Still with me? That’s good. I love my Burdastyle don’t I? That’s encouraging since I have a monthly subscription. I do use all the pattern companies but find other than Burdastyle I really like Style Arc’s drafting and Vogue also for their designer range.

Work clothes tend to be smart-casual and weekends are mostly relaxed in jeans and tees. I’ve tried to address my lack of jeans, but probably could do with a few more relaxed tops to go with them.

I didn’t get to wear me-made every day as I still have quite a few rtw items in my wardrobe. I won’t be changing that in the short term, especially things like shorts and tees. I’ll just replace them as they wear out, but probably will still continue buy some basics.

I definitely wear lots of separates and love my trousers too.  Comfort is really important to me. My colour choices seem mostly good, browns, greens, teals, creams basically anything warm toned and mid coloured are best for me.

In terms of style, I don’t seem to have a singular aesthetic, but obviously colour is at the top of my list.   In my head I am mostly  attracted to simple, clean asymmetric styles but my magpie tendencies mean I do often get sidetracked, especially by pretty or unusual fabric.

Hope you enjoyed having a look through my wardrobe. I really enjoyed participating. Maybe see you next year?

 

 

Definitely not brown jeans

 

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Hello matey peeps. No, stop looking at the shiny shoes. Not them. Look, I made jeans!

This is my second time and I am obviously a glutton for punishment. I do wear jeans quite a lot but if you asked me whether I liked them in general I would probably say no. They are ubiquitous, but I am lazy and really can’t think of anything else to wear when dressed down, they are so comfortable and hard wearing.

I got the Named Jamie jeans pattern last year but didn’t need any new jeans until recently, when, after losing a few pounds I realised I didn’t have a good fitting pair any more.

Many people have made these and I can see why. The design lines elevate them from the standard 5 pocket design and I do like quite a skinny jean still, even though wider styles and even flares seem to have come back into style.

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Fitting wise on these I found overall they were quite generous in size, however the legs were super-slim below the knee, although I am not endowed of slim calves, others have noted the same.

I also did something I’ve never done before. I chose a different size for the front legs than I did for the backs, below the crotch. Ssssh don’t tell the Sewing Police!

Past experience has told me that I often end up doing a wide inner thigh adjustment on the front of trousers, then a narrow leg alteration at the back, to resolve bagginess.  In RTW I have trouble with inseams on trousers being pulled forward,  and twisting, but that’s another story.

So, I measured my own front leg width, from inseam point to inseam point, all the way down the leg (below the crotch) and decided I needed the biggest size at the front. I then did the same at the back and this led me to choose the 2nd smallest size there.  Width only, guys, not length. My figure is slimmest from front to back, and is comparatively quite wide otherwise. I alway imagine that someone drove over my lower half with a steamroller, like they do in the cartoons, and that’s why I ended up this shape, ha!

I have my patient husband to thank for pocket placement and I added some scraps of leather trim to shuzsh them up.

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The fabric is a stretch denim from Joel and Sons. I needed stretch and couldn’t find any good quality locally. Also it was described as brown, hahahaha! No, your screen isn’t lying, it’s black. This is the second time in a few weeks I’ve been totally surprised by what’s been sent from an online order, and from reputable sellers who are charging top dollar. I kept the fabric because I liked it and they sent me an extra metre, but really. I don’t think I need to order a swatch with everything before I buy.  Their descriptions should basically be reliable.

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The topstitching is quite distinctive and next time I might try a more subtle contrast. They are mid-rise which is as low as I’d like to go. My waist doesn’t curve in until much higher so I have problems keeping anything low up.

For construction, i used a combination of the  indiesew and Ginger jeans sew along. The latter, especially,  is a fantastic resource for all things jeans. I tried the waistband without interfacing and it is lovely and comfortable. Time will tell whether I will do it again.

I don’t usually want to make anything twice but I’m sure I’ll make these again. There are so many options to change them up. Once the fit is right they aren’t that difficult to make, really.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Breaking news…..Summer hasn’t arrived yet

I am slowly ticking off all the things I want to make when this Summer finally arrives and one of those things is getting a bit more out of my comfort zone style-wise.

 

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The project started with an amazing soft cotton remnant from Joelandsons. As soon as it arrived I wanted to work with it and decided a dress was in order, but one which didn’t have too many pieces as I only had a metre and a half and I realised pattern matching on this large scale print would be pretty difficult.

I always look online at the Burdastyle website for inspiration rather than search through the 3 years worth of magazines I own. Once I find the pattern I like I dig out the actual publication and get the details from there.

It did help that the dress I chose was featured on the front cover of the March 2016 edition, number 102B.

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I loved the pleated neckline on this as well as the loose, comfortable style. I usually avoid gathers round the waist, so this was a diversion for me.  The dress also has sleeves, which makes it much more practical.

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The first thing I did was eliminate the welt pockets from the front for a number of reasons. My fabric was very thin and I also felt they would get lost in the folds. Really I didn’t want to have to match them either so I substituted inseam pockets instead. I also lined it using the original pattern minus facings, in a soft cotton lawn.

The front is a single piece with ties at the waist to give it some shape. (The colour here is most very accurate in real life)

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The back is much more fitted with an invisible zip and back waist seam. There is a panel at the bottom, , which is just basically a rectangle folded in half, so no hem to do, yay!

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I managed to do a good job with the invisible zip, tacking it in first (for a change!)  and pattern matched the upper back too. The sleeves have a lovely dart in the cap which is lost in this fabric unfortunately. I think the pattern would be very nice in a plain fabric to show the style lines better.

I always try and think what I learned new on every project and for this one I found out I can look ok in a dress with a belt.

I also discovered that the thread I’ve been sewing with for years, Gutterman all-purpose has a hidden feature

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All these years sewing and I didn’t realise you can just pull the end off to release the start of the thread.

In other news I’ll tell you that there are different sized machine needles for sewing different fabrics. Only kidding!

I’m in the middle of Me-Made-May and if you’re interested you can find me over on Instagram most days under KarenJKayes. It all started well but I’m finding daily photos a bit of a bind when I really just want to get on with sewing??!!  I’ll do a round-up at the end to see what I learned but have found I am loving Instagram for seeing what people are getting up to.

 

 

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Liberty Print, no flowers

Very occasionally I snap up a Liberty print when the new collection comes out. I’m not so keen on the flowery, traditional designs but sometimes their more abstract or unusual designs are hard to resist.  I would love to be able to afford to buy them in silk satin, however their Tana lawn is way more practical, and ever so slightly more affordable, especially if you buy it from Shaukat. But, really,  I don’t mind splurging on good fabric.

Anyway, this one I bought a year or so ago. I couldn’t resist the colours (purple and green, again!)  and the design is a lovely blend of the natural and the abstract. I bought 2 metres thinking I’d make a shirt for my husband probably. I always think that, but he has way too many shirts already and who am I kidding!   When I decided I needed some new Summer wear a few weeks ago, out it came.

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Actually it’s more indigo than purple and is described as a textured Tulgey wood print created from photographs of trees taken from a forest in Kent. Tulgey wood was created as a specific prop which can be seen in the Disney film adaptation of Alice in Wonderland and referenced as an adjective to describe the timber in the book.

‘The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came.’ – Lewis Carroll

You can still buy it, in other colours too from here.

For a pattern, I wanted something contemporary and had earmarked these designs from Burda when their April edition came out.

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Aren’t they  lovely?  The fabric really makes the outfit, but it looks so cool and comfortable. It’s actually separates, but almost looks like a jumpsuit so it’s practical too.  You can wear both items separately, as well as together, for a more co-ordinated look.

I had noticed the top first, and when I looked at the culottes pattern I realised that they had a front yoke detail, which wouldn’t be very flattering on me. Fortunately there was another similar, but simpler design in the same edition.

So how did it turn out?

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I’m really pleased with the results, can you tell?  Maybe I was thinking of the Jabberwock when this one was taken!? The day I took the photos was absolutely freezing, and I think you can see the hint of “can’t wait to get back in the house” in my eyes.   I just had to do the splits, though,  to show you that yes, they are definitely culottes.

Also, I’m growing my hair colour out and it’s really starting to show now. I’m actually quite grey at the front, but I’ve decided not to dye it any longer as the roots always seem to need retouching and I hate having it done. Most people I tell says my hair is lovely as it is, and I shouldn’t do it. I’m going to persevere though.

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Making them up was very straightforward. I didn’t really need to follow the instructions.  Also I was dreading fitting the culottes, so did a toile, which fitted almost perfectly first time. I guess as they’re quite loose the fit is pretty forgiving. I did alter the front pleats though by converting the one large pleat in the front to two smaller ones to distribute the fullness more attractively. I also moved them more to the side nearer my hip. The fit in the back was spot on, apart from a small swayback adjustment.

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The deep v at the back on the top is just right. Not too deep that your bra straps show either. The fabric pooling at the back I was happy to accept. The tana lawn is probably a bit firm for the pattern (it recommends crepe or linen) and the design is unfitted anyway.  If I do it again I’ll probably let it out at the side seams around the hip just a tiny bit.

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I finished the waistband on the culottes with bias binding.

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The top is very simple with cut on sleeves and I like the keyhole front.  Again, no bra showing, yay.  It’s finished with facings and I just topstitched the sleeve and bottom hems as the fabric hides the stitches well.  Instructions were typical Burda, i.e. very sparse, but it was easy to work out. It has just 2 bust darts for shaping so overall is pretty loose, just perfect for Summer.

Did I say earlier I’m not so keen on flowery fabric. So, I bought 2 metres of this last week, ha!

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It’s a lovely soft cotton, and the quality is just gorgeous. It’s already cut out. Hope it works out and I can show you what I did with it.

All dressed up…..

and nowhere to go. Well, not quite yet, anyway, but I’m definitely working on that bit.

So, the suit is made! Hope you’re all not bored by it yet, it’s taken a while, and I’m at the stage just now where I’m just a little bit exhausted by it all and glad it’s all over and wondering when I’m actually going to wear it and why, exactly, I wanted to make a pure wool suit for myself when I don’t get the opportunity much to dress up these days.

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But really, I’m pretty happy with it and I’m sure it will fill a hole in my wardrobe too. It’s got all the elements I love in a suit, and I love wearing and making suits, and well, that’s enough reason isn’t it?

For once my photography-studying daughter was around too, so I took the opportunity try out a few poses. She told me it was too sunny and she was right so we tried later in the day but it was quite gloomy by then, so you really can’t see the beautiful subtle colour of the fabric, which is a two-toned blue/grey-orange weave. You’ll have to take my word that it’s much prettier in real life.

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I love me a wide lapel and this jacket definitely has that in it’s favour.

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This is the second time I’ve made these trousers from Vogue 1366, which is OOP now. I originally bought it for the shirt pattern but the trousers are well drafted and they have you finish them beautifully.  I also added a half lining for comfort. The vertical seaming I think is really leg lengthening and a flattering look for me.

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The lining adds a pop of colour to a somewhat plain look.

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One of the nice finishing touches on the trousers is applying a binding to finish the inside waistband edge. I don’t know about you, but applying a home-made bias binding to edges seems to involve a lot more ironing and messing about than it should do. Most tutorials have you cut the binding, then iron it in half, then each side ironed in half again. Then when you apply it, you iron it all over again!  So, when I came across this tutorial I had to use it. This method is much simpler and gives a lovely quality result too.

I’m pretty pleased with the trousers but getting the fit right meant making a lot of small adjustments, which I don’t mind doing too much since I have quite a bit of trouble buying RTW for myself.   So, for these (and so I remember next time!) I adjusted for slightly knock-knees, a flat seat,  sway-back and a narrow torso (front to back) The last adjustment was the most awkward, with my well-thumbed Palmer Pletsch pants fitting guide amusingly calling the excess fabric a “crotch bubble.” So now I know!!

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I’m ready for something simple next. Really simple. Like this apron.

 

 

That Season before Spring

I’m still slap-bang in the middle of Winter sewing, although the weather is definitely much more Spring-like lately and my inclinations are already starting to veer towards cotton and linen, and away from all things woolly.

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Talking of wooly, my new coat really needed a scarf, so before I went on holiday I picked out some yarn from my rather extensive stash to take with me. The colour went perfectly with one of the threads in the coat and was a luxury blend Alpaca and silk, from TheKnittingGoddess, so beautifully soft.

Having only 260 metres was slightly tricky, so I picked out a pattern I’ve knitted before, Trillian, by Martina Behm, which is mostly garter stitch and super squishy. It’s very versatile too,  as you can knit to any size.  You just follow the very simple pattern until you’ve got 7% of your yarn left, then start the final edging and cast off. I knew I’d get quite a small scarf but I find this long triangle shape really easy to wear and it’s long enough to wrap around twice.

I’ve not blocked it yet, but probably will do so that the lovely edging stands out a bit more. We’ve had a few cold days here so I really needed to wear it pronto.

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My other wooly project is tantalisingly close to being finished, and I couldn’t wait to share some details with you too.

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Welt pockets, with flaps.

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The front is fully supported with hair canvas, a chest shield, fusible interfacing for the facings and the roll line is taped. The collar is fully interfaced too.

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The sleeve head is supported with flannel strips and shoulder pads have been inserted.

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It’s fully lined with silk satin and feels absolutely lovely. Silk isn’t the most hard-wearing of fabrics but I’m planning on wearing the jacket for special occasions only.

Finished photos of it on me, will follow soon, although I need to make the matching trousers so might save the round-up until then!

 

Ski Sunday, no sewing

Phew what a week! St Anton was fantastic but definitely not for the timid or beginner skier, despite it’s picture postcard looks. No sewing was carried out, obviously,  although I did some knitting on my Trillian scarf, to go with my new coat, but do feel free to move on if you have an aversion to Winter sports.DSC02381

We got a lot of snow. Yes, I know, one must have snow in order to ski, however most of the afternoons whilst we were there the skies would darken and the air would be thick with the soft fluffy stuff. Now, falling snow has it’s uses but not, though, when you’re actually trying to ski. Not,  when you can’t see more than a couple of metres in front of you. And definitely not when you’re right at the edges of those mountains. Thank goodness someone thought of the totally brilliant idea of putting well-stocked bars on those self-same mountains🙂

What that did mean was that conditions were absolutely fantastic the next morning. Deep fresh powdery stuff covering every slope, making quite an average skier like me feel like they were Tina Maze doing the downhill.

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We all had or own strategies for getting down the most challenging slopes, as even the easiest rated ones were often full of moguls. For the un-initiated moguls are a series of bumps on the slopes created by skiers as they make their turns and can sometimes be up to 3 foot tall. One of the techniques to deal with them is to go over the top of them, pushing your ski pole in hard at the apex of the bump which allows you to pivot more easily down the other side.

Now, one of the couples we met consisted of a former ski instructor and his wife, a lovely Scottish lady  who was really upset with her husband for taking her down the more troublesome slopes. After listening to this all day he told her she really should try this technique and, to help her, imagine that it was him she was stabbing every time she went over the bump. Apparently this seemed to do the trick,  so he encouraged us all to “stab Alan” as we went over the moguls.

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It was colder than we expected so my warm underthings really came in handy, though you’ll have to believe me as they were all hidden under my outer layers.

I have about 3 metres of merino fabric, still, and for next year will be looking to make up more of my  own ski clothing. I’m looking specifically at the Pacific leggings by Sewaholic.

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I will also need a 2nd layer top which keeps the wind and snow from my neck. This one needs a little tweaking to give extra coverage, but looks good, from Fehr trade.

It was also snowing when we got back home but at least there were no moguls to greet us, just the cat who seemed to have missed us somewhat.

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Winter Sports Wear

In a few weeks time it’ll be the 10th anniversary of getting together with my lovely, long-suffering, husband. We first met on a ski-ing holiday in glamorous Courmayeur, back in 2006, when we were both holidaying as part of a large group of skiers. On the first day we were all asked to segregate ourselves into smaller units for the week and somehow we both ended up ski-ing in the “fast” group.  Him, because he is an excellent skier who likes to push himself and me because I really don’t know my limits.  He quite literally picked me up the whole holiday. Either I’d fallen down on the mountain, or I’d taken the free limoncello being offered at the restaurant way too seriously. Either way, there was no avoiding bumping into him the whole week. I did try. It snowballed from there.

I’ve continued to hit ski the slopes each year with him, accompanied by my 2 daughters mostly, but this year the girls have other plans so there’s just the 2 of us this time. Bliss.

Fitting in with School holidays has usually forced us to go around Easter time each year, so now we have the choice we’ve decided to go earlier in the Season, when the snow is still good at 3pm, and the limoncellos prices are more reasonable. It is, however, a good few degrees colder and as I suffer from bad circulation I thought I’d better think about preparing for the cooler conditions.

And that, dear readers, is the excuse as to why I NEED massive, Bridget Jones style, merino wool knickers!

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But not just one pair!

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The pattern is the Ohhh Lulu Ava, available from Etsy hereil_570xN.793453451_dyga

After the first pair, the others only too half an hour from cutting to finishing so were a lovely satisfying project.

The fabric is a merino knit I got from Ebay last year after Fehr trade’s Melissa pointed me in the right direction. Merino knits are always difficult to source so I got plenty and then couldn’t bear to cut into it for ages

You really cannot beat wool for warmth. Nothing else comes near. None of the fancy man made technical fibres are really up to the job quite like merino. It doesn’t smell, it stays dry, is super warm and I therefore will be wearing it top to toe when I hit the slopes.

So, I made myself this too. It’s the Fraser sweatshirt pattern from Sewaholic and I’ve had my eye on their whole activewear range since it was launched recently.DSC02348

I’ve sewn Sewaholic’s Hollyburn skirt, Granville shirt and Minoru jackets and find their drafting and instructions always excellent however this time I did struggle.  I really wanted to sew this up purely on my overlocker/serger but because it was drafted with 5/8″seam allowances it wasn’t really possible. I can see why they did that, for those of you without an overlocker, however it did mean it took a lot longer than I would have liked. A small criticism, but now that I’m used to Style Arc and Burdastyle patterns I really hate those large seam allowances.

My alterations were to shorten the arms by a WHOLE 5 inches. I also lengthened it by 2 inches, which is not an alteration I usually make, but it does look short on everyone I’ve seen wear it. I  did my usual forward shoulder adjustment and graded it down a size at the hip, not up, like I normally do as they are drafted for pear shapes.

I like the design lines and they also have a great tutorial on their website to show you how you can get lovely sharp corners.

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I also should have made a small swayback adjustment when I lengthened it. Next time I might redraft the back to follow the design lines from the arms and front.

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If you’re up for more Merino loveliness, I made another from some gorgeous sweatshirt fabric brought back by a friend who happened to be on holiday in New Zealand exactly when I read this post. This lovely lady is a fantastic source for all things outdoor, amongst others and pointed me in the right direction to get even MORE merino.

This one wasn’t lengthened, sadly, and I used a rib knit I already had to finish off the cuffs and collar and to provide some contrast. I kept the rest of it simple.

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I will definitely have to tweak the fit on the back for the next one.

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See you, hopefully in one piece, when I get back!