Archive | February, 2014

Lady Grey – the Skater Chick

28 Feb

Chick, a rather lovely (I think) term of endearment, rooted in and from the North East, and for me, from my childhood. This chick, may I make myself clear, is an avuncular, non-lairy chick, not a babe-chick. Just so we understand each other.

Welcome to my first Lady Skater Dress, a la Kitschy Coo. I spent A LOT of time reading as much as I could find about sewing with knits and this pattern in particular, before I took the plunge. In a post-Christmas fug of cheese and red wine I ordered two metres of grey checked knit fabric from Minerva Fabrics (for just under a tenner) and made a promise to Lady Moo, my teenage daughter. Sadly for me, despite all my reading, I’d overlooked one crucial and critical fact: the amount of stretch in your material makes quite a difference when fitting the neckband to the bodice. Oh yes indeed. If only I’d read that bit. Fewer tears would have been shed and no small animals would have been hurt in the production of this dress. (That last bit was a joke btw.)

Lady Moo - my skater chick

Lady Moo – my skater chick

Once again, after castigating myself loudly and frequently, I decided to email the lovelyAmanda (lovely and Amanda are all one word in my dictionary), curator of Kitschy Coo and pattern designer of the Lady Skater dress. She replied. Not only did she reply, but she replied quickly and helpfully, in a friendly and non-irritated manner. How so I thought? I’m so irritated with myself I’d quite like to sew my fingers together with the twin needle. Anyway, enough of this light-hearted banter, neckband sorted (ish), the rest of the dress came together quickly and easily.


I cut Lady Moo a size 4, in accordance with her measurements, making a slight back adjustment as per lovelyAmanda’s very excellent instructions. They are super-duper, top banana instructions for eejits like me. The Kitschy Coo website is also full of some very helpful advice about sewing with knits – just make sure you read it properly, said the Panda, clearing her throat. The neckband could be better, but it was a hard lesson learned. Overall, old Panda Face smiled with relief.

Teenage daughter turns her back on mother. When asked.

Teenage daughter turns her back on mother. When asked.

What else to tell about construction? Well in my web trawl I’d found a top tip to stabilise the hem to be using some wunderweb type stuff. That worked a dream apart from when I was watching Call the Midwife and the wunderweb became stuck to my iron. Wunderweb in place, I hemmed it with a twin needle – all good. I even cleaned the iron afterwards.

I knew it wouldn’t be my last Lady Skater. And I was right. Ooh I’m such a tease 😉

‘I am good, I am grounded/Davy says that I look taller/I can’t get my head around it/
I keep feeling smaller and smaller/I need my girl/I need my girl.’


The Lion Roars… or something

22 Feb

I have been something of a slattern in terms of blogging. I have given myself a severe telling off as I have been busy stitching and so producing stuff to blog about but, well, guilty as charged. Anyway, flurry of activity begins here. I am supposed to write for a living after all, not that you’d guess.

First up is what is now referred to as the Aslan top by myself and darling daughter, Little Moo. Does anyone remember the awesome 1970s ish production of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe? How great was that lion? How dare they bump him off in some biblical reenactment? Hurumph. Just because the story said so.

I showed this fabric to my daughter, Little Moo, because she has always loved lions and I thought this was a bit “Converse Lion” (as in the shoe/baseball boot).

Lions. They roar.

Lions. They roar.

Found on the Kitschy Coo website, I managed to buy the last metre of fabric which was just fine (as I think it would have overpowered on the sleeves too) and topped it up with some organic black jersey from Ray Stitch. The pattern: Plantain by Deer and Doe. Of course. If you sew, you can’t have failed to see the prevalence of all manner of  Plantains across the webersphere (my word so piss off, spellcheck).  I first noticed its appearance on Paunnet and decided that it might be worth a punt. Having already dipped my toe in the water with a Lady Skater dress (blog post to follow), I felt a lot more confident about sewing with knits. And as things go, I was mighty pleased with the outcome. It fits. The elbow pads are in the right place. She wears it without any undue pressure. It has been through the wash without disintegrating. Huzzah.

Elbow pads positioned on elbows. A miracle!

Elbow pads positioned on elbows. A miracle!

Sizing-wise, I cut a 40 across the bust and then graded to a 38 at the waist. Yes I know, grading. How improved am I?!!And zut alors, it worked! Look…

Lovely Little Moo

Lovely Little Moo

Now, I think I might quit while I’m ahead. There’s a fair bit to follow, garment-wise so happy Saturday peeps and see you in a while, crocodile.

‘And I’m a goddamn fool, but then again so are you
And the lion’s roar, the lion’s roar
Has me seeking out and searching for you
And I never really knew what to do.’