Refashioned 70s Skirt

A few months ago, my friends and I found a vintage 1970s dress in a vintage shop in Sunderland (i’m very sorry, I don’t remember which shop). ¬†It didn’t quite fit me right ūüė¶ ¬†So I made (yes, made!) my friend try it. ¬†That fabric – I didn’t want to let it go. ¬†It fitted Rachel perfectly, but we both agreed the fabric was a bit over the top for a maxi dress. ¬†A plan was hatched – Rachel would shorten the dress to just above the knee and I would get the leftovers and attempt to make a skirt.


I didn’t have very much fabric to work with, so it’s a very simple mini (as mini as I’d ever go to be honest), but I think the style works really well with the print. ¬†I actually love it, despite it bordering on indecent ūüôā

The pattern: from Fashion with Fabric¬†(from the Great British Sewing Bee). ¬†It’s the lace pencil skirt hacked into an a-line mini. ¬†You take the pencil skirt pattern, shorten it a little and taper out the sides. ¬†It was super quick and easy, so it gets a massive thumbs up from me. ¬†I’ll definitely use it again (but I’ll probably make it a little longer).

Modifications: facing/lining the skirt instead of binding the top.  Basically, I cut out the exact pattern again (a little shorter) to make a lining, sewed them right sides together, turned them out and gave everything a really good press Рa lining and facing all in one.  I don;t know whether this is strictly a recommended technique, but it seems to have worked.  Also, the vintage dress had a seam down the back that I had to work with, so I went ahead and inserted my zip in the back seam instead of at the side (and of course, I had to adjust my paper pattern accordingly for cutting my fabric).

The cost: actually, this ended up costing me very little. ¬†Rachel was kind enough to give me the bottom of the dress for free (though it cost her ¬£15). ¬†I had to buy a zip and a small amount of lining fabric – I’d guess that I parted with¬†no more than ¬£5. ¬†Bargain! ¬†ūüėÄ

So there you go – another unwanted garment rescued. ¬†Sadly, I don’t have a picture of Rachel’s dress, so you’ll have to settle for an¬†outtake from my¬†photos. ¬†It’s hard taking photos when it’s windy. ¬†I think my face says it all…

Milla Mia hat and mittens

Anyone else feeling the cold lately?  Thank goodness for wool!

The pattern: Elika and Yumiko from the Milla Mia Finishing Touch book.

The yarn: Milla Mia Naturally Soft Aran (absolutely gorgeous stuff!), in Ochre and Marine Blue.

The cost: usually around £5.50 per ball, but I think Woolaballoo were offering 25% off when I got mine.  I used four balls in total so instead of £22 I spent £16.50.  The book was also reduced, £9 down from £12, but there are so many great patterns in there so it was well worth the money.

I made the Elika¬†mittens first (they’re actually called wrist warmers in the book).¬† The stitch pattern is created with cables.¬† If you’ve never knitted cables before, it’s uber-addictive.¬† You get some really nice results with very little effort.¬† Then I made the Yumiko hat – it’s a bit more complicated, but much easier than it looks, I promise.¬† I adapted the pattern so I could knit it in the round. ¬†To do this, you just need to cast on two fewer stitches, join in the round and ignore the first and last stitch on each row. ¬†Then, instead of purling every other row you just knit it.¬† I taught myself how to use the magic loop knitting method (loads of videos on YouTube), which is fabulous – my new favourite thing.¬† I used my leftover ochre yarn to make a lovely, full pompom to go on top (it used up almost all of the ochre I had left!). ¬†Lovely ūüôā

In other knitting news, I just started¬†the Vianne¬†cardigan from Untangling Knots.¬† It’s very early days yet and it requires a bit of concentration, but I’m managing.¬† I’m using Sirdar Country Style DK in yellow, which I picked up for the¬†absolute bargain price of ¬£1 per ball at the Knitting and Stitching Show in Harrogate last November (I forget which shop).¬† Given that I’ve recently stopped buying clothes, I thought I’d better learn how to knit some cardigans.