Tuesday, 23 May 2017

The Kiera Skirt

This skirt is a little special

Ann from Designer Stitch* has done it again, with the amazing Kiera Skirt that is oh so flexible.

Tie it up.

Let it out.

Mix it around to suit your style.

The skirt is constructed with eight gored panels - four each for back and front. Along the seam allowances, you sew in some ribbons that let you take the skirt up, creating unique folds and tucks. You can tie the skirt differently each time you wear it for different looks.

The skirt has two options for the yoke. This version is shirred across the back, for a lovely fit (there's still a zipper in there to get it over your hips). You can see the bottom of the shirring in the photo above. Unfortunately my blousy top covers most of it. If you're not up to shirring, there's an alternate back yoke that sits flat.

I was nervous about trying shirring. There was something about hand-winding the bobbin that found me reluctant to give it a go. But turns out, it was easy! The trickiest part was sewing straight, parallel lines. I used the 'quilting guide' that came with my machine to help measure shirring lines.  I even managed to find black shirring elastic for this project (it's amazing what you can find at Spotlight when you look for it). Usually the shirring elastic ends up in kids' craft projects, but I may have to be more protective of it now - especially as Miss 6 saw the shirring, and wants a skirt like it.

This fabric is from Textile Traders, and is called Shimmer Crush. It's a shot fabric (like a lightweight taffeta), so the colour changes from olive to chartreuse depending on the light. It's a lot brighter it person than I imagined, but I'm loving the colour. It's been exciting sewing Designer Stitch patterns, and branching out in my fabric choices. I still love some nice solid cottons, poplins and drill, but once you start looking at the shiny drapey fabric, it's like a new world of possibilities opens up.

I added the optional ties for this version. They can tie at the side, front, wherever depending on how you're feeling.  These are sewn double sided, because of the difference in right and wrong side in the fabric, but I'm wondering now how they would have worked single sided.

The fabric choice for this skirt will make a huge difference in what you end up with. Using the shimmer crush, I have a rather dressy skirt (I'm wearing it for a Mum's night out Friday - can't wait). But make it in a light cotton, and you have a lovely summer skirt. It looks especially wonderful in a border print.  If you're after saving a little fabric, I'd also recommend using a fabric that isn't directional.  Because the fabric was shot, I didn't want to risk the gores looking a little off, so all the pieces have been cut the same way. But you can nest the pattern pieces a lot more efficiently if you rotate some of them.

Like all Designer Stitch patterns, the instructions are clearly written, with line drawings to show the steps.  This pattern includes a tutorial on shirring. I felt a lot more confident shirring my skirt after reading through the tutorial.  The pattern is beautifully graded, and consistently sized with other Designer Stitch patterns.  Usually I size out by one size from the waist to hips for skirt and pants patterns. But with the flare of the skirt, knowing that my hip measurement is rather low, and the versatility of the shirred back, I made this one based on my waist, and it fits beautifully.

The pattern is on sale for release. It can be found in the Designer Stitch Pattern Shop.

I've been able to make a few Designer Stitch garments lately.

All my other Designer Stitch blog posts should be here (or click on the photo above)

*This post contains affiliate links. If you follow the link, and make a purchase, I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. I received a copy of the pattern for testing purposes. The opinions, sewing, and awesome new lipstick I bought for the photos are all my own.

Saturday, 13 May 2017

Crossroads Dress

Every time I see my girl wear this dress, it makes me happy inside.

It just looks so comfy. There is a lovely amount of flare. It's long enough to let you climb trees and build a tree house, kick a soccer ball, and go for a scooter ride. The perfect dress for a girl who likes to wear dresses, but also likes adventure.

Design by Call Ajaire's Crossroads Dress

Oh yeah ... It also has an awesome bodice. Check it out!

A groovy cross on the front with raised inverted french seams.

The first version I made of this cross-version had the fabrics reversed. That was a bit nuts. It was doing my head in trying to match the stripes all the way down the front, and match the points. So she tolerates this version. Apparently pink dinosaurs aren't her thing, and she much prefers the stripes.

The pattern comes in 4 lengths - top, tunic, dress and maxi dress. I was aiming for a maxi, but was a little short on fabric, so it's still on the 'to sew' list.  There are also 4 sleeve options - sleeveless, short, elbow and long.

There's even more options, as the pattern also includes a solid front.  I have to say that it is a super quick sew. The Crossroads version took me two hours, and the solid one is breathtakingly quick!

The neckline is bound (as are the armholes on the sleeveless version). The technique is a little different to adding a collar. But no more difficult, and the result is beautiful.  And Ajaire has even put together a video to walk you through the process.

The pattern is designed to be sewn in cotton lycra.  Thankfully it's getting easier to find this fabric in Australia. I even managed to find those lovely stripes on the clearance table at Spotlight.  Other sources I've found include clothes on clearance at Kmart, and dresses and tops at the op shop.  It's amazing where you can find fabric!

With all the sleeve and length options, this is a wardrobe staple. We're finding it a great transitional

If you don't believe how amazing the dress is, there is the opportunity to pick up a copy of the solid dress (view G) for free!  Just signup to Call Ajaire's newsletter to get access to your copy (here's a link http://www.callajaire.com/blog).

To grab the full pattern (all the lengths and the Crossroads bodice), head over to the Designs by Call Ajaire store.  The pattern is on sale for release, so grab it quick!