Not one, but TWO items in this post! Admittedly, I did not make them both last week, but I’ve never blogged or posted them before, so I think this post is justified! I’ve actually been on a trouser making binge using the fantastic Juniper pattern by Colette, but I’ve not got round to photographing them yet because I’ve been knitting up a storm in time for Christmas! Much more on all these things in later posts, but now back to the togs in hand!
The yellow skirt is a Burda pattern from the May 2012 issue which appears in the same colour in the magazine. I actually made this skirt in Tokyo and it was one of the first really successful me-made things that actually fit properly! There have been quite a few versions of this skirt, but my favourites are TheWallinna’s super classy couture version and Saki’s beautiful spotty version with covered buttons. The pattern itself isn’t very difficult to put together, but the princess seams that give this skirt a kick-flare mean that there are rather a lot of pieces to sew together. The welt pockets are very deep and can be a little tricky to put together (especially with the hazy Burda instructions…!), but are so useful once they are done! The princess lines leading up to the waistband give a corset-like look to the top of the skirt making your waist appear smaller than it is. I do wish I had added a waistband to the top as the skirt looks a little odd without it (I have cunningly hidden this with a belt!). As written, the skirt fastens with six buttons, but I added an additional button in place of the second snap. My buttons are a random collection of wooden shapes mostly because I don’t think I’d discovered Okadaya’s button floor when I made this skirt! The top of the skirt is fastened with a single trouser clasp. I made the skirt out of a very heavy cotton and lined the pockets with some very light stripy green and white cotton. The buttonhole facing is bright green to match the pockets and you can occasionally see it flash out when I spin in the skirt! I did make a green version in a much lighter cotton, but it doesn’t seem to hang as well as this pattern is quite structured. This skirt is very well travelled and has been on two trips to Europe, so while it is looking a little battered now, I think it should be fine for a few trips more! I plan to bind the seams at some point to prevent further fraying, but for now it’s a useful reminder that french seams on skirts are very worthwhile indeed!
My shirt is also made from fabric I bought in Tokyo, but I did actually make it in Singapore! I love the ‘William Morris-esque’ appearance of the fabric, and as it is made from very light cotton, this top has to be the most frequently worn of all my clothes! The pattern I used is Wiksten’s Tova which I can’t say enough good things about, mainly because it lends itself so well to highly patterned fabrics. This fabric has such a busy print, I wasn’t sure if it would overwhelm the pattern, but it hasn’t seemed to have done so and I think the two work perfectly together. I have seen a number of Tova online that seem to close at the neck, but mine doesn’t want to do that! I could add a hook and eye to the mandarin collar, but I’m not sure the tighly closed neckline suits me! The shirt was very easy to put together, although I think I need to make the sleeve cuffs a little looser (why so tight, Wiksten?!). I still have a metre of this fabric left so I might try to squeeze another top out of it yet…! I wrote a proper review of the Tova pattern here, if you’d like to know more about constructing this top.
I really love the 50’s look to this skirt and I think the shirt helps to make the whole outfit a bit more interesting looking than it would otherwise appear! I do get rather a lot of looks when I wear this combination of clothes, but I think that may be because the skirt is so very bright, you can’t fail to notice it! It makes me very happy to wear such bright clothes especially as the days are getting a lot greyer here now that the rainy season is in full swing. I often use my extra colourful clothes to lift my mood – do you? Do you have any favourite me-made items that you use to remind yourself to finish things off properly?