Back in July, I won a voucher from Ditto fabrics for my interpretation of these capri pants, which I made from an original vintage pattern. The competition was part of the Vintage Pledge (which lasts for the entire year, however in the month of July there was an entire month of prompts, challenges & competitions on Instagram). Whilst of course I was insanely tempted to rush straight over to Ditto to spend my voucher, I wanted to ensure I spent my winnings wisely. This year I have been trying my hardest to not ‘impulse buy’ fabric, instead opting to spend time thinking about what items I needed in my wardrobe, thereby leading me to make informed fabric choices.
So, a few weeks ago I decided to buy this beautiful 100% wool tweed, as I thought it would be perfect for a pencil skirt. Whilst I do not tend to wear pencil skirts often, during Autumn and Winter they seem the perfect option for when the wind speed increases. Circle or half circle skirts in breezy weather can sometimes cause outfit malfunctions, which of course I am eager to avoid.
I decided to draft the pencil skirt pattern from scratch, using Winifred Aldrich’s Metric Pattern Cutting for Women’s Wear as a guide. This meant that I could draft the pattern to my exact measurements, providing the perfect fit.
I utilised an invisible zipper, as they are currently my favourite method of fastening. I do love a lapped zipper, but I just feel invisible zips are so neat, resulting in an uninterrupted line. I also created a back vent, as of course I wanted to ensure a good amount of movement whist retaining a classic pencil skirt silhouette.
Whilst spending my voucher in Ditto, Kieren also found a beautiful pure wool, which has a lovely drape and handle. I have made a few pairs of trousers for Kieren, cut in the classic Oxford Bag style. Lately, he decided that a grey pair would be a versatile addition to his wardrobe, so I whipped-up this pair. When I say ‘whipped-up’, a more accurate description would be – laboured over for an excessive amount of hours. I spent extra care whilst making this pair, due to wanting to pattern match wherever possible, and the fact that we had purchased the last remaining yardage – which was only just enough to make-up the trousers. So; no room for mistakes!
The trousers have interior buttons to accommodate braces, a fly zip and side pockets. I pattern matched across the centre front, centre back, and the outside leg seams. Pattern matching is of course extra work, but the results are definitely worth it. I knew I would feel disappointed in myself if I didn’t pattern match, and the finished trousers look so lovely due to the extra time I invested.
To produce the pattern for the trousers, I used an existing pair of Kieren’s trousers as a guide. I then made 3 different toiles to check the fit, gradually adjusting the pattern each time to create what is now; an entirely new pattern template. As I do not own an overlocker (on my Christmas list!) I finished all the edges with bias binding. This of course added to the overall make time, and meant that I got through 300metres of thread. Yikes.
Both fabrics are truly lovely – good quality, nice handle, and would perhaps be difficult to find elsewhere. I have been a fan of Ditto fabrics ever since I moved to the South Coast, inspired by the selection of high quality fabrics on offer. Sewing has really made me pay attention to fabric content, both when looking to buy fabric, and when looking at ready-to-wear garments in shops. Ditto always carry high quality fabrics, many of which are made from natural fibres.
We took these pictures at Parham House, which actually had a Halloween themed event on the day that we visited. This was my first visit to Parham House, and it was fantastic! The house itself was filled with stunning portraits and artworks, spanning from the sixteenth century. It also boasted an impressive collection of tapestries, and wonderful examples of seventeenth century needlework.
The gardens were expansive, and as we attended on a Halloween event day, there was also a bird of prey display to enjoy. I didn’t take too many pictures inside the house, as I had purchased a guide book which contained better quality and clearer pictures than I could produce myself. But I absolutely recommend a visit to Parham House – the amount of artwork alone took my breath away. The staff were also incredibly friendly, sharing knowledge of the history of the house and its contents.
- Pencil Skirt – Made by me, fabric from Ditto
- Cardigan – H & M a few years ago. Altered by me to make the hem shorter, hitting my natural waist
- Scarf – Charity Shop
- Shoes – Donna Heels c/o Hotter
- Kieren’s Trousers – Made by me, fabric from Ditto
As it is Halloween weekend, I decided to go with an appropriately fitting colour palette of orange and purple. I have never really marked or celebrated Halloween in any big way, but I know many people do, so – Happy Halloween!
Until next time dears!