Lots to talk about today and lots of pictures. It all started with the Surprise Sewing Bee contest on Pattern Review. This is a fun competition based on the 'Great British Sewing Bee' series shown on the BBC. Each week, for four weeks, the Pattern Review website will announce the garment to be made for that week. The entries will be judged and eliminated from the competition, presumably if they don't follow the specifications of the particular garment.
For week 1 of the competition, contestants were required to make an A-line skirt with a zip, lining, button or hook closure, waistband and hem.
I decided to go with Vogue 1247. I used this cotton fabric, made of pieced strips with lace detail, that I bought in Bali years ago. I decided not to include the skirt pockets to keep the stripes neat and to make sure I was adhering to the competition rules.
I was really careful making this to keep everything neat. I cut the back first, then lined up the front to match the stripes. I pinned the upper and lower pattern pieces together and cut as one piece (below).
I even went to the bother of binding all the raw inside edges!
I lined it too!
Here are the pictures of the finished skirt:
I matched all the stripes as best I could, but the way the fabric was made meant that it wasn't possible to get this completely neat. The lace had been sewn on a bit wonky by the manufacturer (I unpicked and redid part of it) and the check pattern was not even. Still, I am really pleased with the way it turned out.
Sheer, cotton lining with folded darts.
Now it just so happened that I had found this washed out chambray, denimy fabric at Remida recently that just so happened to match the skirt fabric rather well! I immediately thought of the Bellini blouse pattern by Capital Chic that I won in the Refashion Contest by Sew Amy Sew (thank you Amy and Sally). I decided that my stripy skirt would not be complete without the Bellini. In fact, I became obsessed with the thought and cancelled all engagements (except my Melbourne Cup lunch) so I could make both this week.
The Bellini has two collar options. I went with the scalloped one to fancy up my plain fabric.
The Bellini was a joy to make. I followed Sally's sewalong, which I expected to be just for beginners, and was quite amazed at how helpful it was. I even watched the pressing videos with rapt attention! My blouse turned out so neat and tidy with French seams and everything.
It's a simple pattern, but cleverly thought out so it looks far more complicated than it really is. The pattern pieces go together like a dream. I am really pleased with this blouse and highly recommend the pattern.
To top it off, I wore denim shoes for the photos.
If double denim is a fashion faux pas, I don't know what this is!
I rather like it. It makes me feel like a cowgirl.
Oh yeah, a cowgirl....