‘A’ frame skirt

When I first saw the pattern for this ‘A’frame skirt from Blueprints for Sewing I knew I had to make it. I love the simple ‘A’ line shape of the skirt, the longer length, and the panels for interest.

The fabric I used was bought from eBay and was described as ‘wool’, its not like any wool I have ever come across before being more like a light canvas or linen and quite stiff even after washing, but it was inexpensive so I thought it would do for a first go at this pattern.

I cut a size E at the waist grading to an F at the hips, the instructions are really clear and well illustrated, especially for grading between sizes which I think contributed to the fit of the finished skirt which I was really pleased with and needed no further fiddling about with.

I played about a bit with the colour blocking so the skirt is asymmetrical but it’s MY skirt and that’s the way I wanted it, so there !


The pattern instructions are for a lapped zip and there is a detailed tutorial for doing this but I decided to put in an invisible zip, my second ever and I am thrilled with the way it has turned out (my first attempt in another garment took 11 attempts to get right !!) This one went straight in.


There is a kick pleat at the back of the skirt and hemming this is the only point where I felt the instructions let me down. The instructions just said hem the skirt all the way round but I found that problematic getting round the folds of the pleat ( 6 layers of fabric) and I had to press like mad to make it look presentable, I’m sure I should have been cutting something or hemming at a different point in the construction to make it easier.





The skirt shown here is my first attempt but I will definitely be making this again as it fits so well (next time I’ll do up the button before taking the photos too).

‘A’ frame skirt

Bethioua madness

After my ‘creative’ efforts with the feature sleeve I knew I had to have another go at the Bethioua top   pattern and in fact I have made four more. One was in the same fabric as the original (when I went back to the shop where I had purchased my original remnant they had another whole roll !) for my daughter which is not shown here.

Firstly, the lobster top. I wanted to make a sea themed garment to wear to the Falmouth sea shanty festival next week and although I’m not generally a big fan of adults wearing children’s prints I just couldn’t help myself when it came to this lobster print. From My Fabrics


I teamed it with a plain navy organic jersey from the same source and gave the sleeves a very small hem.


I’m not sure whether it looks a bit pyjama’ey but it makes me smile so I’ll be wearing it later in the week for sure.

Last Saturday we had a colleague’s evening wedding party to go to, outdoors, and I didn’t have a thing to wear ! What could I make quickly with stuff I already had ? I’m not a big dresser-upper so had the genius idea to make a ‘going out’ sweatshirt top.

I found some gold flecked black ponte roma jersey and gold lace ( both from Truro Fabrics) that I had used a few years ago to make a Moneta. There wasn’t quite enough of the jersey so I had to cut the back in two pieces, hence the lace stripe down the back. I lined the bottom of the sleeves rather than put a cuff on them in order to give a cleaner line which I think has worked well. The weight of the body kept me nice and warm and the gold lace gave a touch of glamour so I was happy with the outcome. ( I didn’t wear jeans to the ‘do’ btw !)

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Finally, I made a fourth Bethioua and this time there are no alterations or changes at all, most noticeably the full cuff as specified in the pattern.

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I’m pleased with all the garments and just love this pattern. Now I know how it all goes together it takes less than an hour from cut out fabric to finished garment, how fantastic is that ?


Bethioua madness

The Monthly Stitch Paper Pattern Swap

I decided to take part in The Monthly Stitch’s pattern swap and having dutifully sent off patterns to my nominated swap partners I eagerly waited to see what I would be sent in turn. I received a package containing this lovely card and this pattern.IMG_4273                 IMG_4095

I never would have selected this pattern for myself just because it looks so pink but on further consideration it’s a nice slouchy style, I love the inseam pockets and yes, it is the sort of garment I would wear (if it wasn’t pink..)

I had never made up a Shnittchen pattern before, I had never made a shawl collar before and I had never made an item of outerwear before so lots of challenges to look forward to.

The fabric I chose is a quite heavyweight woolly fabric and, wanting to do my best by my swap partner I rather rashly decided to line the Coatigan as well, for which I chose a lightweight ponte roma jersey. The first decision was which side of the fabric to use for the exterior as it’s not obvious which is the right side. I personally prefer the tapestry side but was persuaded to have the fluffy side out.

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I cut out all the pieces and then got down to the pattern instructions which contain NO DIAGRAMS OR PICTURES just writing. The pattern states that there is a video tutorial for the garment but it is certainly not visible on the Schnittchen website. I have discovered during the making of this garment that I don’t do well with just words. I need diagrams to understand what I am doing and even trusty youtube didn’t help much (more later)

I took a lot of time to make sure that I had accurate pattern matching on the front and back pieces. And with the back especially you can hardly see the join.IMG_4176

The outer shell went together nicely up until instruction 16 and I was feeling quite good about the project.


Shortly after this point it was possible to finish the garment and just have it unlined but as I was feeling optimistic I ploughed on until I got to instruction 22


This is the main instruction for attaching the lining to the outer, I have never done this before and I struggled to understand this for two whole days . Is it just me or is this an origami instruction ? There is no mention anywhere of sewing anything, just folding and pinning. I watched many youtube videos for lining garments, I read articles about lining garments, but was still not sure whether I was supposed to be doing a free lining or a bag lining. In the end I went for a bag lining but I’m not at all sure I have done it correctly.

Next came attaching the sleeve lining, I ended up with THIS twice


This once


Before finally realising that I had to do this


and arriving at this


I’m sure a picture would have made it so much easier to understand……I would challenge the assertion that this pattern with no tutorial and no pictures is suitable for a beginner in it’s lined form

Anyway the garment is finished now and once I have got over the trauma of the picture less pattern and the weather gets colder I will enjoy wearing the garment. I have learnt a HUGE amount in the process and am pleased with the outcome although the pockets are pulling down a bit and I’m not sure what to do about that.



It’s now mid January and I am happy to say that this garment is getting A LOT of wear, I’ve also mainly forgotten the trauma with the lining so all’s well that ends well !


The Monthly Stitch Paper Pattern Swap