Wednesday, 5 March 2014


Inspired by the Sewing Bee on TV I searched through my wardrobe for some clothes to remodel and found a couple of skirts that must be at least 15 years old that I used to wear for work.  I've hardly worn them since moving to France because life here is much more casual and tops and jeans are my usual attire. Both skirts were calf length, one in a loosely woven lineny plain tobacco brown and the other a cream and brown georgette.  I set to with my sketchbook and soon came up with some ideas.
I carefully unpicked the skirts, keeping the zips for future use and pressed the pieces flat.  I've made a diagram of the cutting layout so you can see how it works.  There was enough of the stripy fabric to cut out facings for the plain brown top but I had to use some of the brown skirt's lining to make the neck and sleeve bindings for the stripy top.
Isn't it fortunate I had such a well co-ordinated wardrobe, in fact there is also a matching plain sleeveless top that went with both skirts.
I stitched the stripy facings to the outside of the top to make a contrast and there was just enough to line the side splits too.  I'm really pleased with these and they're definitely coming to Tenerife with me next week!  All I need now is a nice pair of natural linen trousers.....
Here are a few more of my 1960s designs, the one on the left was one of my final exam pieces.  I made life very difficult for myself by cutting that diagonal up the front, I think my tutor made me unpick it at least 3 times.  Anyone who saw the sewing bee last night will know what I mean, the contestants were given stretch fabric to make wrap dresses and most struggled with the front crossover.
I made the one on the right here in a pretty cotton lawn and used shirring elastic for the midriff, much easier to wear than the pintucks I originally designed.
I made both of these, the jumpsuit was a favourite for a long time and the skirt had a collarless coat with a cutaway skirt at the front.

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