Simplicity New Look Blogger Challenge

This is the first ever ‘commercial’ sewing pattern I’ve used, believe it or not.  Up until now I’ve only ever used patterns from independent companies.  It wasn’t a conscious choice at all, but I must admit I’ve been a bit frightened to make the transition — people kept telling me commercial patterns are so much harder to follow.  However, I’ve finally taken the plunge.  In fact, I’ve thrown myself in at the deep end, because I’m entering my finished garment into the Simplicity Star Sewist Blogger Challenge!  Eak!


I’m pleased to say that, contrary to what I’ve been told, I found this pattern very easy to follow.  I didn’t come across any hurdles at all.  Phew!  I’m entering under the ‘Best Newcomer’ category, so the pattern I’ve used is Simplicity’s It’s So Easy 2286.  It’s a simple gathered skirt designed for beginners.  I’m no longer frightened of mainstream patterns.  Brilliant!

However, the whole point behind this challenge was that we were encouraged to hack the pattern — the pattern was only supposed to be used as the foundation for a garment.  So, let me tell you what I did differently.

As you can see, I used a completely different fabric to what the pattern suggests.  I had this slightly mad idea a while back that I wanted to make a Carrie-esque, Sex and the City-inspired tutu.  After a quick look at the style of this skirt, I thought, ‘Why not?’  I mean, I can pull off a tutu, right?*  So I hunted down some suitable fabric for a tutu.  I landed on this apricot dress net/tulle from On Trend Fabrics on Etsy.  Since the waistband was straight, I just got some wide satin ribbon and cut it to the required size.  For lining, I ended up using cotton instead of the lining fabric I’d originally intended to use.  I got the ribbon and cotton from a local craft shop called Dainty Supplies.

I made a slight change to the pattern.  I joined the front and back skirt pieces together to make one larger piece.  Then I cut that on the fold, so that instead of having two side seams, I just had one seam at the back.  I didn’t actually seam any of the tulle pieces.  I just overlapped the edges by a few centimetres and let them fall how they wanted to — tutus are supposed to be a bit messy, right?  The only layer I did make sure to seam was the lining — of course!

I gathered my skirt differently too, mostly because of my fabric choice.  The method I ended up using was painstakingly hand tucking and pinning, and tucking and pinning, and tucking and pinning…  All the way around until I ran out of fabric, tacking it all as I went so it didn’t all unravel on me (can you imagine?!).  This was, without a doubt, one of the most tedious things I’ve ever done — definitely a job for in front of the TV.

So, wish me luck, everyone!  A massive thank you to Simplicity New Look for running the challenge and providing me with a pattern — I’m looking forward to trying some more commercial patterns in the future.

Now I just need to find an excuse to wear my new skirt! I was hoping to have time to get some photos of me wearing it, but it just hasn’t happened. Maybe I’ll sneak them into a future blog post. 


* I probably can’t pull off a tutu…  We’ll see.

Mario Art

Hello 🙂

Just a quick, long overdue post to let you know I haven’t fallen off the face of the planet. Fear not! I’ve just been incredibly busy recently.

I thought I’d show off a finished project. It’s not clothes but it did involve a needle and thread. It’s a cross stitch! I made this for my brother and sister-in-law as a wedding gift, and last week, over a year late (!!!), I finally got round to giving it to them. They’re both avid gamers so it was perfect for them. The pattern came from a shop on Etsy, called Happy Cupcake Creations.

I don’t cross stitch often, mostly because it’s very time consuming and I’m not patient enough, but I’m quite happy with this. And more importantly, Michael and Lianne like it too! 😀

What else have I been up to? I’ve been finishing my Colette Macaron dress — see my Love-Hate Relationship and Oops! blog posts for a few more details on that. It is finished, but… the zip is faulty, and unfortunately I didn’t realise until I’d already completed the whole darn thing. Oh, it was expletive central when I realised, I’m sure you understand. Anyway, once I’ve sorted that out I’ll share it with you. As well as that, I finished a pair of trousers I’ve been making since September. I don’t think I’ve blogged about these at all yet, but there will be a blog about them soon.  I used Colette’s Juniper pattern. I’ve also been busy making a skirt for Simplicity’s Star Sewist competition — how exciting! I’m entering under the Newcomer category. I have a skirt to finish and a blog to write, all before 31st May — eak!

That’s all for now, folks. Keep smiling and watch this space for blogs on all of the above 🙂

P.S. Sorry about the quality of these pictures — it’s sooooo difficult to get photos of a photo frame without lots of glare or reflection. I wish I’d thought to get some before I framed it.