Friday, 8 February 2013

Taking a short cut

I have cracked on with some sewing this week.

Nothing major - nothing made entirely from scratch, all by me - not yet.

That will come.

No, this week has been about mending and altering.

I bought this fabulously jazzy 1970s skirt from Ebay ages ago. It was a maxi, and I loved the look of it,  but unfortunately discovered, on the first and only time I wore it, that the bottom was so narrow I couldn't walk in it.

Well, I couldn't stride - I could walk, but only if I took tiny, dainty steps like a Geisha, which is no good to me when we are late for school and there are hills to be stomped up at great speed, children carried along in my slipstream

So I chopped off the bottom (having failed to take a photo of it at its original length, sorry) and then it languished in my mending pile for months.

You can probably see that I was a lazy sew-and-sew and having hemmed the pale grey lining, I didn't bother changing the thread on the machine to whizz round the skirt hem.

And it shows.

Oh well. I am treating it as a design feature.

Despite my rather slapdash approach, the skirt is now wearable (and walkable-in) so I wore it 2 days running.

1970s skirt and boots - Ebay
Black long sleeved top - retail, very very old
Belt, cardigan, tights, brooch and bangles - charity shopped
Pendant - car boot

1980s pussy bow blouse - gift from dearest Tamera
Belt and bangles - charity shopped
Boots - community fair
Tights - retail
1960s Weymouth vinyl bag - Ebay

My charity shop luck may still be in the doldrums, but I am doing better on Ebay - this beauty of a 1960s vinyl shopper cost 99p!


I have taken this 1960s floral dress in and up (above left, looking odd with the orange tights and ankle boots, but I couldn't be bothered changing for the purposes of the photo! It was a gift last year from lovely Liz); I removed the turtle neck from the groovy print maxi (above right); as well establishing my soon-to-be-patented Highly Visible Hemming (HVH) technique on the skirt, and mending various rips and fallen hems.

I've been busy!
Next project - making a skirt. 

I am a bit scared I will cock it up and waste my fabric, but I have to start somewhere, right?

I'm about to catch up on your fabulous blogs, and I think a self-congratulatory glass or two of wine may be in order later this evening.
Have a wonderful weekend!


Anonymous said...

Yes! Definitely sit back and sip n' toast your achievements! Good for you for grabbing that skirt from your mending pile. I so love the fabric and love how you've styled it here Curtise.
Back in the 70's my aunt made me the first maxi skirt to ever be worn in my school. It was a wrap style with big purple flowers but still too narrow at the bottom and it slapped and threatened to trip me all day long. I still remember vividly missing the bus home that day and had to walk 2 miles! I'm not so sure I wore it much after that. ;)
Happy weekend to you!

Fiona said...

Respect Girlfriend! Well done for hemming your skirt on the machine... and it's straight! If I were to attempt that it would look like a dogs hind leg. Love the groovy print and paired with your yellow cardi it looks jazztastic. Can't wait to see something made from scratch. Amazing handbag find for 99p, how lucky was that ?
Enjoy the grog tonight. x

Pam @ over50feeling40 said...

I cannot tell you how much I love this skirt...the print is amazing! Great shopping!

silvergirl said...

that skirt is absolutely fabulous
would have loved to see you trying to walk in the maxi version lol

Nikki @ Penelope Cat Vintage said...

Gorgeous! You have such fantastic prints in your wardrobe and I love the pussy bow blouse and boots especially. I have a similar Weymouth bag too but it's all brown - it's quite heavy but I love it.
Well done on your sewing.


Gracey at Fashion for Giants said...

You really do have the best prints. I love that skirt and am so happy you were able to alter it to be wearable. It's especially fabulous with the yellow cardi & black turtleneck (turtleneck!).

And that dress doesn't look odd with the orange tights, it looks perfect!

Have a fabulous weekend, Curtise!

Penny-Rose said...

Great sewing - I wish I had thought up HVH, I do that all the time!!! I love the skirt with the yellow cardi - the yellow just zings in the skirt with these two together. My goodness the 1960s floral dress looks awesome and I think the orange tights really work with it. I bet you are pleased to be rid of the turtle neck on the print maxi - lets see a photo of you wearing it soon please. Have a great weekend. xx

Vix said...

You've worked wonders! That skirt is amazing, the print, the fit, the length, every-effing-thing! I hate those stupid hobble skirts, no good for running for buses or entering a jumble sale scrum whatsoever!
Love Tamera's pussybow and those lace up boots. That bag is a beauty, Helga will be dribbling over her keyboard!
That sweet floral mini looks fab with the orange tights adn ankle boots.
Yay to making and mending and cheers!! xxxxx

PinkCheetahVintage said...

Love all the prints here!! I just bought fabric today to make some skirts for my daughter-- we'll see how it goes!
Becky :)

Rose&Bird said...

Great skirt, especially love it teamed with the yellow cardi. Good for you on getting on with the mending, I have such a big pile of it myself! Lovely to see you in the dress, it looks really nice on you. The bag was a steal, look forward to seeing your handmade skirt, I agree it can be scary cutting into fabric, but I'm sure you'll be fine!

freckleface said...

Oooh you're revving up. Funnily enough I was just thinking of you earlier when I was stripping my walls and wondering whether you had got started on any sewing yet. I'm impressed.

Your skirt looks great with your patented sewing style! Particularly love it with the yellow cardi combo. Not surprised you wore it two days running.

You look cute and slim as anything in that little dress with your hands on your hips and a hint of a cheeky smile. Love it.

Is that the maxi that you were talking about a while ago that you have taken the collar off? Might need a full view of that!! :) xxxx

Anonymous said...

I love the skirt print is incredibly amazing!! Perfect with both the outfits! It's a long time that I don't sew and I miss it a little and when I see such successfull results it really inspires me to look at my mending pile with different eyes, hoping to Find enough strenght to start!
The dress is fabulous too!
Have a wonderful weekend!!
Love xxxxxx

Ivy Black said...

Gorgeous print and works really well as a 'shortie'...not slapdash at all. Can't wait to see what you make.
Have a cracking weekend.

Lucys Lounge said...

I love your outfits. perfect for a dreary winter day.

Marla Robinson said...

That skirt is so cool. I love that pattern. Can't wait to see your next project. I would love to have some sewing skills.

Kylie said...

I am thinking of sewing something too Curtise. Thinking...

Patti said...

Your new (length ) skirt is amazing, Curtise! Congratulations on your re-creation - I really really like it with the blue pussy bow blouse. Toast yourself for your accomplishments : >

Connie said...

I am joining you in a glass of wine as I write this. Great good sewing, Girlfriend. I think you are on to something. Cheers!

Val Sparkle said...

I'm trying to catch up on reading blogs, too, never mind a real book.

It's hard to say which of your outfits I like best. Actually, I like the skirt best with the yellow cardi, but I love the other belt and the orange tights! The pink and orange '60s dress is fabulous, too, with or without the orange tights. And the bag with two clasps - how lovely!

I like your comment on my post about making up crazy names and seeing who would believe them. I think there should be an eight-syllable minimum. The ball is in your court.

Jean at said...

That skirt is a winner!! You deserve that wine and more!! Sometimes mending and hemming is even more gratifying than making something from scratch. I can't decide which version I like better. I think I love them both. XXOO

bonsaimum said...

You look fabulous as always.

CityScape Skybaby said...

That's you off and running Curtise, this is maybe going to be the year when you get right into sewing. I have plans and a few materials, but that's all. I love what you've done with this skirt and your 99p handbag, what a bargain! You're tempting me to go back on ebay but I must resist. xx

Sacramento Amate said...

The skirt has the perfect length for me, and such a wonderful print.
Gorgeous dresses too, ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh
happy weekend, dear Curtise.

Emma Kate at Painted Style said...

Yay! Good work! It's amazing how that skirt looks more modern in the yellow cardy picture. I love your floral 60s dress and it looks very flattering on you.
I might even get my sewing machine out

grunge-queen said...

That skirt is so,70s chic, Curtise, I love it and the new length and the way you've put it together. Now go have a glass of wine! Xoxo

Stacey said...

Slap-dash approach or not, I reckon that skirt looks amazing! I'm glad you saved it from the purgatory of the mending pile!

Lynne DeVenny said...

HVH will be the rage soon! My grandmother taught me to sew on her antique sewing machine, and everything was PROPER, or she wasn't having any of it. And OMG, The Costume Technician is such a stickler that if you ever want a LHVH (less highly visible hem), I'd be glad how to tell how it goes. Easy-peasy.

I'm gonna confess here that I shrieked with joy over your amazing blue 80s pussy blue blouse, and am now going to look for one on eBay. Which is all your fault :P

Peace, love & grace,

thorne garnet said...

What? You altered "vintage"? Good for you, you made something wearable. I like the print dress with the orange tights. Nice job on the neckline re-do, that's much harder than hemming

Mrs. D said...

Well done! I am currently on the look out for a sewing machine myself. It's about time I should learn how to use it.
Because of this I have been buying some fabric here and there, as I believe soon I will be getting my hands on a machine. I was shown how to make a skirt with a rectangle of fabric and some elastic the other day, it seems to be easy enough for newbies like us to try!
Thank you for sharing your experiences!

Vintage Coconut said...

*Woohoo Curtise*
God job on your start with sewing.
I really like your skirt. It's quite awesome and that vinyl bag... SCORE what a divine price.
I wouldn't be able to take tiny steps. Mr. Coco is always saying "SLOW DOWN" your walking to fast. *BAHAHA*
I have plans with my Grandma O who's 79 to do some sewing together. She just got a Brand new Brother sewing machine and has not the slightest clue how it works. So I am going to show her and in exchange she is gonna give me some of her experience. I think it's a good trade off. Plus I have the cutest maxi with a broken zipper and she told me Zippers are simple. So it looks like I might get to wear my crazy maxi for the GRAND OPENING of garage sale season. (Is there such a thing?) Well no.... but in my head there is and that is what matters. As soon as I see the first garage sale listing in the classifieds. I WILL BE THERE! It's been way too long "October I think" I'm having haggling withdrawals.

Vicky Hayes said...

Clever you Curtise with your make do and mend hat on. I do lots of this myself having realised a long time ago that no-one really comes up to you with a magnifying glass and talks about your seams! I especially love the yellow cardi with the skirt. Vicky x

Miss Maple said...

Great pattern of that 70s skirt and I love your handbag. Reminds me a bit of a Kelly bag which is my favourite bag.

Anonymous said...

It's a lovely skirt & a great way to get get started on making your own. I love those lace up boots - yummy!
Looking forward to seeing your skirt & I'm very sure you won't mess it up.

Anonymous said...

Way to go cracking on with the sewing, you've done a fab job and I'd so treat the thread as a design feature too. I seriously love the print of skirt and love how you've styled it for the two days I seriously can't decide if I like the blue and pussybow or the yellow. Either way it is all fabulous and the floral mini is a treat too.

By the way too, your hair is looking fab if I do say so myself we have rather similar styles don't we. Ahhhh it must be what makes us so great.

Krista Gassib said...

Oh Lordy Curtise now even you are sewing! Omg I need to get off my ass and just do this! I love the skirt you made from a maxi, nice work! I have to say though I am in love with the pink and orange flower dress you shortened, it's stunning and so fun on you! The tights really look cool with it. Enjoy your weekend dear

Anonymous said...

Way to go Curtise!!! You did an awesome job on your remakes!!!! Love everything! Sewing will open a whole new world with thrifting stuff.

Sewing skirts is SUPER EASY!!! Seriously!!! Skip zippers and do elastic waist!!!

Tamera Beardsley said...

So very well done my dear! Love how you have styled the skirt in both shots... very different looks with just such small changes! Kudos to you!!

Miss Simmonds Says said...

You've definitely improved this skirt, the pattern is too amazing to let it languish in the sewing pile for ages. You look like you really mean business in the pussy bow blouse. I love it!! The yellow cardi also looks fantastic, but more relaxed. That groovy patterned maxi looks much better without the neck. And the other dress is very cute. All in all a fantabulous riot of colour, keep going with the sewing, you're obviously great at it! Ooooh and that bag is beautiful, I'm soooooo jealous of it. Many bargains are still to be had on eBay! Xxxxx

Amber of Butane Anvil said...

I'm so impressed with you finally diving in to sewing!!! That's amazing patterned skirt, now wearable, and I love the colours, sweaters, boots, belts, and blouse you've put with it. The fit of the pink/orange floral frock is now fantastic (love it with orange tights) and I'm so glad about that groovy maxi. Well done! You have so inspired me. xoxoxo

carrievintage said...

amazing bag!

The Style Crone said...

I think your HVH technique is brilliant. This gorgeous patterned skirt looks great with every creative rendition. You must have a gigantic sense of accomplishment to have started sewing. Looking forward to your next design endeavor.

Trees said...

Well done you! When I first started sewing I kind of realised I just needed to sew, rather than being so worried I was going to screw everything up. My advise is pick up some cheap fabric for your first project, old sheets are good. If everything goes pear shaped you can always make a bunting with the fabric;) Happy sewing!!

delia hornbook said...

I say you did a great job it looks gorgeous i love it with the yellow cardigan. Hope you have had a lovely weekend. Look forward to seeing your skirt you make. dee xxx

Melanie said...

Haven't you been a busy bee! I love what you did and look forward to seeing your skirt xxx

Emalina said...

Well done you on the mending front, that maxi skirt is looking great (can't see any mess-up from here), most professional! You look lovely!

Forest City Fashionista said...

Look at you flaunting your sew-cial skills! That skirt has a very cool print, and it looks wonderful with the little yellow cardi.

Vintage Bird Girl said...

I am in love with that looks amazing on you!!!! What a fab print! Oh how I dream of playing dress ups in your wardrobe, what fun we would have! That bag is something special too. Xx