Simple Sew Lottie Skirt and other Stuff

I am writing this at an ungodly hour of the morning because there were cats yowling outside from around 3.30 a.m. which caused our dogs to bark, which caused us to wake up and throw missiles out of the window which, as we thought to open the window first, caused a blast of frosty air to render us wide awake so we decided to give up the unequal struggle,  get up and get on with things.

I don’t know which cats were making all the racket but at least I know it wasn’t this one who, since turning up on our doorstep shortly before Christmas, rarely goes out and sleeps a lot, usually in a cute fashion.


Leon relaxing after a hard day’s sleeping.

Anyway, in case you started following my blog originally because you thought I was a fellow dressmaker but have since been regaled with cat and dog stories, knitting projects, patchwork blocks and various other random ramblings, I thought I’d reassure you that I do still occasionally turn my hand to clothing of the fabric variety.

Fabrics From Ditto

Some time ago, on a visit to the U.K.,  I bought some fabric at Ditto Fabrics in Brighton.  The blue and gold ‘teardrop’ effect fabric caught my eye because it reminded me of African wax fabric but in a more ‘manageable’ small design though still with those lovely bright colours.  I always had it in mind to make a plain, straight skirt with it but all my skirt patterns had ‘features’  and I thought the fabric didn’t need anything else going on with it being busy enough in itself.  It was added to the stash and left to languish.  ( I love the word ‘languish’ almost as much as the word ‘lush’ – but I digress)

I suddenly remembered that Pippa over at  ‘Beads and Barnacles’  had included a pattern in my  ‘Stitching Santa’ parcel at Christmas for a very plain skirt so I thought I’d sweep the patchwork rulers and itsy bits of quilting fabric off my cutting table and finally make that fabric up into something wearable.

Simple Sew Lottie Blouse & Skirt

I know I could probably have drafted such a simple shape myself but I’m too lazy I like to have a pattern to follow so I can blame somebody else if something goes wrong.  I usually have a trawl around the web to see who else has made any sewing (or knitting) pattern I’m contemplating before I start so that I can benefit from other people’s mishaps and not make the same mistakes.  I found that Beth over at After Dark Sewing had blogged about making this skirt and she had found the pattern piece for the waistband to be between one and two sizes too small.  As I was squeezing the skirt out of a metre of fabric, I didn’t really want to have to cut a second waistband so that was useful to know in advance.

Simple Sew Lottie Skirt

My ‘me mannequin’ was brought into service as a model as it’s cold outside and I would have had to set up the tripod and faff around with the camera and this was quicker!  Anyway, it looks better on her than me (bitch!!).  I didn’t make a toile as I thought I’d just baste the side seams and try it on which I did and it seemed fine but it is actually a little big for me around the waist and I could have taken the hips in slightly too – in fact, I should probably have made a size 8 rather than a 10 and I will do that if I make it again.  With a size 10, I had to cut the waistband between a 12 and 14 to make it fit the top of the skirt.  (I’m talking U.K. sizes here btw)

Simple Sew Lottie Skirt

The skirt has a back split which you can leave open or you can cut an extra pattern piece to get a sort of kick pleat effect, which I did.

Simple Sew Lottie Skirt

I shortened the skirt at the cutting stage by 3 inches but I still think it might look a bit ‘office wear’ for me (as I don’t work in an office) and, as others have said, the pattern doesn’t have you interface the waistband but I think  – albeit belatedly! – it would be a good idea.   So, what with those things and the fact it’s slightly big on me at the waist and hips, it might join my pile of ‘never worn dressmaking projects’ which is a shame as I do like it and, to celebrate the resuscitation of my dressmaking mojo,  I had treated myself to these gorgeous pattern weights.

However, as you can see, I am easily swayed from my purpose.

donut pattern weights in use

Not something I’m going to be wearing!

I hope my Liberty fabric sale ‘heads up’ didn’t cost any of you too much money but I’ve not got too much sympathy as I’m always spending money thanks to other people’s blogs  Sheila over at Sewchet  – whom we also have to thank for organising Stitching Santa – blogged about a lovely teal cardigan she’d made and put on a photo of some matching boots she’d ordered.  Teal Boots!! Really!?  But I’ve been looking for some for ages! (well, navy ones actually but teal will do just fine).  Done deal.  I love them, however, so thanks for that Sheila and I hope you are enjoying wearing yours and your dogs love them as much as mine seem to 😉

Teal Boots

Right, it’s almost 6.30 a.m. now – it’s going to be a long day 🙂


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  1. #1 by katechiconi on January 29, 2017 - 11:48

    Glad I’m not the only one with a collection of ‘perfectly good dressmaking projects which just don’t look right on me’. I think this is possibly why I prefer RTW – at least you can try it on in the shop in the privacy of a cubicle, so no-one sees the travesty it makes of your hips/waist/calves, etc. I love that fabric, especially paired with the navy jumper. It’s a gorgeous but simple skirt. Couldn’t you just take it in up the side seams…?

    • #2 by tialys on January 29, 2017 - 12:18

      My big problem with dressmaking is, if it doesn’t go right first time (or second time if I’m more determined), I just can’t be doing with it. For the same reason, I very rarely mend anything or alter anything. I don’t know why this should be – I am so much more patient with other types of projects such as knitting, patchwork, etc. The main area it’s too big for me is the waist – I suspect it had something to do with the waistband pattern piece having to be messed with – or that’s what I’m blaming anyway. Also, it’s meant to sit on your waist and I might have forgotten that when trying it on and had it sitting further down where I’m slightly wider – who knows what I did? Perhaps I’ll just eat lots of cake. This is the main reason I’m not keen on making my own trousers – especially jeans. I’m a pretty standard size so can easily find RTW jeans that fit me well and can’t imagine I’d be able to make any that would fit or look better than what I can buy in a shop.

      • #3 by katechiconi on January 29, 2017 - 12:23

        My main problem is the complete lack of a waist, and having a shortish torso. Dresses tend to be a bit of a no-no unless they skim, and trousers need to have loads of spare room in the waist. I have to adjust patterns so much it’s almost not worth the effort…

  2. #4 by claire93 on January 29, 2017 - 12:27

    skirt is fab !!! I reckon, yes, you should just eat a few cakes or croissants, until the thing fits at the waist lol. Much too pretty never to wear.

    • #5 by tialys on January 30, 2017 - 12:41

      That would certainly be easier than altering it 😉

  3. #6 by sewchet on January 29, 2017 - 16:06

    You bought the boots! They look great and I love mine. Not the most comfortable boots in my collection, but they’re so stylish that I don’t really care:) Shame about the skirt but, if you’re not going to wear it, make sure you re-use the fabric for something else as it’s ‘lush’!

    • #7 by tialys on January 30, 2017 - 12:40

      That’s a shame – my boots seem very comfortable although I haven’t worn them on a marathon shopping trip yet or anything. I like that they are a really good length for tucking leggings etc. into or for nice thick tights.

      • #8 by sewchet on January 30, 2017 - 16:25

        Mine have softened a lot over the last day or so of constant wearing and they’re much more comfy, luckily😀

  4. #9 by Postcard from Gibraltar on January 29, 2017 - 20:33

    Haha – it’s a real boot takeover. I think Shiela’s got shares in teal because she’s got me hankering after a bit of teal in my life too! Your skirt (and the fabric) is just lovely 🙂

  5. #11 by Dartmoor Yarns on January 29, 2017 - 20:53

    You’re a dressmaker!!??? I followed for the dogs and knitting. Bring back the dogs and knitting! 😉

    • #12 by tialys on January 30, 2017 - 12:38

      Well, if you write an eclectic blog you’re bound to get followers with different tastes and interests which is great because I like reading about things other than dressmaking too.

  6. #14 by dezertsuz on January 29, 2017 - 21:55

    You are a slender wonder. That’s a gorgeous skirt. Couldn’t you take in the seams a bit and re-work the waistband? Or what about adding a bit of elastic since the top is covered by the shirt anyway? I hate to see that beautiful fabric go to waste, especially since it’s so lovely with that top. Of course, I guess it could always be re-cut for patchwork pieces!

    • #15 by tialys on January 30, 2017 - 12:36

      Trust you to think of patchwork! 🙂
      I might have another go at it.

  7. #16 by sew2pro on January 29, 2017 - 23:48

    Surely you could trim off the waist band and make another (interfaced one)? It’s a gorgeous fabric, shame not to wear it and the skirt will look great in the patisseries come March or April (or UK-equivalent weather-wise: June).
    Nice boot too but what a fine puss!! I hope Yuki isn’t too jealous of the admirers!

    • #17 by tialys on January 30, 2017 - 12:32

      I might give it a go because I almost certainly won’t wear it as it is. The fact that the waistband is too big means the skirt swivels round and I end up with a side seam running down my front.
      Yuki tolerates Leon but doesn’t play with him whereas her brother, Mac, is more laid back and they have mad half hours when they tear around the place together and then collapse in an exhausted heap.

  8. #20 by Thimberlina on January 30, 2017 - 00:34

    Gosh! I thought I was up early but you beat me! Good job on the skirt! About bloody time too that you’ve gotten back into dressmaking mode, sorry for swearing, hehe, couldn’t help myself. The fabrics stunning, and yes, lop some off the bottom, it looks good with the top but would be perfect for summer shorter and with a plain vest top. I’m envious if the boots, I managed to stead wear from purchasing boots and liberty fabric, and am feeling smug. Not sure how long the smug feeling will last 😃

    • #21 by tialys on January 30, 2017 - 12:29

      The trouble is – after the initial euphoria – when it didn’t fit me perfectly I sort of fell out of dressmaking mode again. I can’t really lop anything off the bottom otherwise I’ll lose my kick pleat but I might do as sew2pro suggests and fiddle about at waistband level as that’s where it doesn’t fit and if that results in making it shorter too that would be a bonus.

  9. #22 by Born To Organize on January 30, 2017 - 04:18

    What a shame to put in the work, only to find the fit isn’t right or to your liking. It looks lovely and the fabric is stunning.

    Leon is adorable! What a sweet disposition. He’s probably thrilled to have a home, and is making the most of his napping hours.

    • #23 by tialys on January 30, 2017 - 12:25

      Thanks Alys, I might have a fiddle with it to make it fit.

      • #24 by Born To Organize on January 31, 2017 - 05:35

        I hope you will. By the by, I always smile when I see tialys. It’s so close to my own name. Is there a story to go with it?

      • #25 by tialys on January 31, 2017 - 09:54

        Oh, yes, it is close to your name isn’t it? My husband was looking for a new name for his limited company and we had both just read the His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman. There’s a character called The Chevalier Tialys and we thought it sounded good so he uses it and I called my Etsy shop after it, then my blog.

      • #26 by Born To Organize on January 31, 2017 - 18:12

        Ah…what a fun origin. Thank you for sharing the story.

  10. #27 by poshbirdy on January 30, 2017 - 15:03

    Love that yellow fabric. But that little tabby steals the scene

    • #28 by tialys on January 30, 2017 - 18:55

      Never work with children or animals!

  11. #29 by jendavismiller on January 31, 2017 - 02:37

    Well of course I love Leon and pups at the gate…. That skirt is beautiful, I’m betting on you to get it all worked out. 😀 And those boots!!!

    • #30 by tialys on January 31, 2017 - 09:55

      I think I have fixed it now Jen – with a few dramas along the way – I’ll probably show it on me now it fits in a future post.

      • #31 by jendavismiller on January 31, 2017 - 14:48

        Looking forward to it, it’s a beautiful skirt!

  12. #32 by magpiesue on January 31, 2017 - 20:36

    My first thought for that print was an apron – but then I’m not into garment making. The skirt looks wonderful on your model. I hope you’ll find an opportunity to wear it someday.

    • #33 by tialys on February 1, 2017 - 09:24

      An apron!? Oh no! I’m going to think about that if and when I eventually wear it.

  13. #34 by themateriallady on February 1, 2017 - 17:26

    Please do whatever is necessary to make sure you wear that skirt – the print is FABULOUS! (If you unpicked the waistband could you tape the seam to prevent stretching?)

    • #35 by tialys on February 2, 2017 - 10:26

      It is done! – I can barely get a piece of paper between the skirt and my skin now but it looks much better! I’ll try and get a decent photo of me wearing it – something that seems to be getting more and more difficult – for an update post.

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