So I'm playing major blog catch up here! I've been working away from home for the last couple of months and have zero time to sew. But before I went away I had a little run of successful projects, those kind of garments that turn out just as you'd hoped (if not better!)and ones which I just can't stop wearing. Isn't that the true mark of a good handmade garment?! I'm not sure what the reason is behind my lucky run. I would have thought a serious lack of sewing time would have meant a series of rushed projects that I ended up disappointed in but in fact I think it has meant that I'm thinking really carefully about what I spend my time making. I'm only making what I REALLY want to. And what I'm making I REALLY want to get right. I've also only been sewing when I've got a decent few hours to do it in so I can really get into it and switch all the other life chaos and distractions off. There's definitely something to be said for being in the right frame of mind and forcing yourself to be slow and patient. The first half of this year has been really crazy work wise and I'm really appreciating the value of a few hours cutting or at the machine to soothe anxiety and a tired brain.
Anyway, onto what you've all come here for and what must be one of my most worn garments to date! Seriously, I've been in this at least once if not twice a week since it came off the machine. It's the Rosari Skirt from Pauline Alice and it's a gorgeous little 70's inspired design which is really interesting to sew as it has lots of interesting little details like jeans style pockets and belt loops. The instructions are nice and thorough and guide you to a lovely clean finish inside and out which always pleases me!
I actually decided to buy this pattern because I've got a RTW skirt just like it which get's worn to death but yet never quite sits right on me. It's not high waisted but doesn't sit low on the hips and therefore just kind of shifts around all day. I saw the release of the Rosari and thought perfect, a high waisted a-line mini skirt with all the design features I like of my other one. I pretty much just flat out copied that skirt with every decision I had to make. I loved the snaps down the front so did the same, I loved that it was needlecord so used the same in a different colour. It took me a while to decide what to do about the topstitching as it's a technique I really love doing and this is the perfect design to showcase a bit of it. However I wasn't sure how big bold topstitching would look on the needlecord so I again took my lead from my RTW skirt and used it all over but with a subtle thread choice. I happened to have this golden brown thread to hand and I like the clean and simple effect. I made a real effort with accurate and tidy stitching on this one and it makes such a difference to how pleased I am with the finished garment.
The fabric I bought from Mood with part of my MSN allowance a while back. It's a lovely light weight for a project like this with a soft drape and movement to it. It's actually the very same fabric that Lauren used for her Rosari Skirt at exactly the same time haha! Great minds think alike and all that. I was having a bit of a mustard moment this winter and it's a lovely rich colour. It has a super soft pile and actually washes and wears better than my original skirt! It still looks super smooth and fresh and the pile hasn't flattened out at all. It's 100% cotton and didn't need any particularly special care or attention. I sewed it up with a standard size 80 needle, washed it on a 40 degree cycle and pressed with a hot steamy iron. It's usually recommended to be extra careful pressing fabrics with a pile like cord or velvet and to only press it on top of a needle board or another piece of the same fabric to preserve the plushness of the pile but I was naughty and didn't find it necessary here.
It took less than a yard of fabric to cut the size 38 which fits like a glove, nice and snug around the waist so it doesn't shift around and I absolutely love the flared cut of it. The corduroy is just the right weight to show off the shape. It is pretty short (especially as I'm pretty short at 5ft 3") but I quite like that for a winter/autumn look with tights. The pattern does include a longer length anyway. The only problem I've discovered while wearing it is although the rear side of the corduroy has a lovely smooth finish it does love to ride up when worn with tights! Not one to wear when doing a lot of walking. If I'd realised this earlier I might have lined it but it's a small issue to deal with as it is now.
You only need to worry about finishing the seam allowances on your side and centre back seams and the bottom pocket bag edges as everything else is hidden away because of the way it is assembled. I just overlocked these edges with mid grey thread and am very happy with how this looks inside. This corduroy definitely needs to be finished and with something more resilient than pinking as it sheds fibres all over the place. After cutting my carpet was covered!
I like the slim waistband, it sits very comfortably without wrinkling and I also liked the way the belt loops are done. They are sandwiched into the seam between the skirt and waistband and then just folded under and topstitched on the top edge. Very clean and not as fiddly as trying to attach them separately after the waistband is complete.
The pattern includes four different types of pocket. These are the classic pocket style from view A and they were really fun to construct, I love a pattern with lots of little fiddly bits to play with! I had a bit of a eureka moment when thinking about what fabric to use as pocket lining. I have various bits and pieces of quilting weight cotton stored away for crafty projects and gifts and in amongst them were two lovely sewing themed fat quarters from Berylune which were part of my Secret Santa gift from Roisin last Christmas. I was saving them for just the right project and this mustard scissor print was an absolutely perfect match colour wise for the corduroy. I couldn't have been more delighted.
I've only used these kind of snaps once before on my Alder Shirtdress and on that occasion used a hammer to set them in. I've since been lucky enough to get my hands on a pair of the Prym Vario Pliers and man what a difference these babies make! I was doubtful as to how effective these could be through a thick placket/waistband and whether I'd have the strength in my little hands to get them to close tightly but they are super easy and quick. The most time consuming part of the process is marking the placement of them accurately! They feel even more secure than the ones I whacked in with the hammer and I in fact went back over the snaps on my Alder with the pliers after making this to get them set nice and securely. These are the antique brass colour and I'm really pleased with how they look against the mustard.
I know I say this a lot but I genuinely can't wait to make up one of the other variations of this pattern. I kind of want to try all four pocket styles and can see this working in so many different interesting fabrics; denim, linen, suede and leather...I'm super excited to see what Pauline is going to release next!