Wednesday, 9 January 2013

So I jumped on the mustard bandwagon too!

For months, I've wanted a mustard garment...but what? I remember I used to have an old, oversized mustard jumper in the early 90s that I wore almost everyday - you can just about see it in the photo below.

{WARNING: I used to look like Ugly Betty. You may want to avert your eyes} 

I loved that jumper, it was completely stretched out and baggy and perfect to wear over leggings (yes, they were fashionable back then too, but mine had massive flower power flowers all over them!)

oh my god, what was i thinking with those glasses?!
I thought about buying a mustard coloured cardi or jumper again but then came across some organic cotton at The Organic Textile Company from a link through Roobeedoo's blog (thanks Roo!). It was billed as being grown organically and dyed naturally with pomegranate and turmeric - and was on special offer. Actually, it still is, I've just checked! So, not one to forgo a bargain, I snapped it up as I reckoned it would be perfect for a skirt.

Excuse all the creases - my iron died and I didn't have my new one when the photo was taken.
I wanted a straight skirt for work, preferably with pockets. We have this semi-official uniform policy of polo shirt and trousers that we're trying out at the moment. Although it's great for not having to think about what I'm going to wear each morning, I was getting a bit sick of wearing the same thing all the time and even more fed up of not being very smart. So I've decided to mix it up a bit and wear uniform some days of the week and normal clothes the rest.

I already had the New Look 6843 pattern in which one of the variations is a knee length pencil/straight skirt but none of the variations had pockets. Pockets are essential! But wait a minute -  haven't I just finished the Kelly skirt? That has pockets! Can I apply the same principles? WHY YES!

So that's just what I did! I drafted my own pocket bags to make them a slightly different shape and size but otherwise just followed Megan Nielsen's brilliant instructions and it worked a treat. The only thing with the addition of pockets was that it made the front panel a bit too big and as I couldn't increase the seam allowances at the sides (due to the pockets being in the way) I had to add in an extra pleat on each side of the front panel. I don't think it's a problem though. I've read on patternreview since that the pattern does have quite a bit of ease at the hips and other people have had to take theirs in too.

With my Sorbetto top
The NL6843 pattern is fairly easy to follow and overall this skirt took very little time to sew up. There were a few instructions that implied prior sewing knowledge though, with little direction, despite this being billed as "1 hour easy". It definitely took me a few hours, not just one! I just didn't like some of the instructions being a bit vague, but I suppose this isn't a huge problem for anyone who isn't a complete beginner and seeing as I managed to work it out, given time and more experience, I probably could do it in a couple of hours...

I skipped the slit in the side of the skirt because I didn't like it and I'm glad I did as the skirt doesn't need one - it's roomy enough to manoeuvre in without a slit. I also made my first successful buttonhole! I had major problems with this when sewing my Kelly skirt (I think it must have been due to the thinner, slippier fabric) and Amanda from Bimble and Pimble gave me some great tips on putting small bits of extra interfacing under the buttonhole area before sewing. I'm so glad I tried this as it worked out fine. Well, almost fine: I made it a little bit too close to the edge and it's not the neatest buttonhole ever but it works and that's all that matters!


Anyway, the skirt is comfy to wear and pockets really do make all the difference. I'm sure I'll make it again, but next time I want to try a heavier material (or even, dare I hope, wool) for a winter skirt. I might also try making a narrower, more pencil shaped skirt by cutting a smaller size. All in all, this is a great pattern for beginners like me and I would definitely recommend it.

In other sewing news, I'm currently sewing covers for the window seat cushions - the irregular corner bits are making it a hard job! Photos will be here when I finish, but I suspect it may be some time yet! I'm also going to make another Kelly skirt in denim. Watch this space...

Oh, and sorry if the Ugly Betty photo gives anyone nightmares ;)


  1. Great buttonhole tip! So just put interfacing under and sew?

    1. Yep, I just shoved in some scraps of interfacing in between the folds of the waistband just under where I wanted the buttonhole!

  2. This cut and colour is fab on you! Own that mustard :D Glad to see your button holes are rocking out- those suckers take a bit of practice but when you've got them down you'll be able to knock them out pretty quick!

    1. Thanks for the tips - my buttonholes are ok now as opposed to aaaarrrrggghhh!

  3. Great skirt - love the colour and the fit looks great! Mustard is one of my favourite colours too.

    1. Thanks Helen, it's a nice pop of colour for these dark days!


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