Delphine Beetle Skirt

So FINALLY I have photos of me wearing my Delphine skirt. I’m getting so much wear out of this and remembering that about 20 years ago I also made an A-line skirt (much shorter!!) which I also loved, so clearly this is a shape that works for me. Photos are by Djelibeybi and were taking at the Maidstone Archbishop’s Palace where we went to put in his citizenship application.

So I’m super-glad I made this. I’ve worn it out and at home and always feel pretty in it. It works with leggings too if the weather’s chilly, without feeling bulky. I’ve shrunk a little since I made it, so the waistband’s quite loose now and I’ve had to buy a belt for it (actually a couple of belts because M&S only sold them in pairs, but that’s OK – one’s navy which will blend in with the skirt and the other’s red for if I want it to stand out). I’m really looking forward to making another one, but given the fluctuating bulk situation, I’ve promised myself not to until I’ve seriously shrunk out of this one. Merrily hatching plans for a corduroy version for winter though!

And I’ve just realised that actually I haven’t written anything at all about this skirt here, so just a quick rundown on it. This is the second project I’ve made from Tilly Walnes’ Love at First Stitch book. I’ve committed myself to working through the patterns in this book so I’ll know I’ve tackled a bunch of basic and not-so-basic techniques to equip me for trying other patterns. The only one I’m skipping is the Brigitte headscarf because a) I already knew how to do straight seams and b) I have too much hair to wear headscarves and they always look silly on me. One day I may work out how to wear them, which would be nice, but in the meantime I’m pushing on with the clothes.

The skirt was nice and simple and the instructions very clear. I made the variant with belt loops because of the shrinking – I didn’t want to be falling out of it before I’d had a chance to wear it! and I do like them and will probably do them again but the next one will hopefully have pockets too. The invisible zip turned out MUCH easier than expected and I’m really pleased with the result of that. In fact, the hardest part was the hem.

I’d forgotten how much I loathe hemming, because it’s so hard to get it even and you can’t really do it on yourself (at least not without a chalk-puffer thingy on a stand which I may invest in very soon) so are reliant on roping in your significant other. He doesn’t mind and did a great job with this, but still. It’s annoying having to ask him. And next week he’s moving to Germany so the chalk-puffer thingy on a stand may become a necessity. And then when it’s all marked up/pinned it just LOOKS so wrong, so one freaks out gently until the actual hemming is done when it turns out that it’s your body that’s weird not the hem at all.

Anyway, I’m declaring the stag beetle skirt a winner and foresee it being worn loads over the summer, and (if I haven’t totally shrunk out of it) into the winter too. Not sure why I seem to be experiencing a navy-blue obsession at the moment, but I’m just drawn to it. Fortunately it appears to be ‘in’ – I went into Fatface when in Maidstone and about 75% of what they had in stock had navy in there somewhere, mostly as the main colour. Wow. Me being on trend. Something very wrong with that.

I’m finding an interesting but somewhat annoying side effect of the sewing adventure though. While in Fatface I tried on this jersey dress, just to see what the effect on me was:

Fatface Ava Dress
“A stripe design adds a chic element to this beautiful dress, created in a shift style shape for a loose and relaxed look. Cinch in your waist using the adjustable tie and team it with a pair of pumps to keep it casual. Designed with short sleeves, slip pockets and a keyhole cut out on the back, it’s a dress you’ll need this season. * Shift style * Scoop neck * Keyhole cut out * Adjustable tie waist * Slip pockets * Short sleeves * Length: 36″ / 92cm * 51% cotton 49% modal * Machine washable”

The result was that it looked great! Really nice cut – actually fitted well everywhere… except the shoulders which were so laughably enormous that the button wouldn’t stay done up at the back. It’s the kind of thing I’d have shrugged off before and just maybe sewn down the button or something. But having now done an FBA, I recognised what was wrong with it, looked at the construction (princess seams, lovely lovely slip pockets), took some photos and decided to make my own. Theoretically it shouldn’t be too hard – if I ignore the fact that I’ve never worked with jersey before – and it seemed ridiculous to buy a dress that was so big in the chest/shoulders that the button won’t stay done up, no matter how nicely it fits elsewhere. I suspect that having started on this adventure, I’m now doomed to spend my life trying to copy RTW clothes and FBAing everything to extinction. Le sigh.

I do seem to be accumulating patterns and plans though. I nabbed the Sew DIY Nita Wrap Skirt pattern on sale last week, then the Runaround Bag pattern because I didn’t want to forget where I’d seen it. Now I’m hatching plans to maybe try a Tessuti Tokyo jacket and just need to be careful I don’t rush off and buy All The Patterns and then never get around to sewing them up. Still need to finish off the Megan dress, which has stalled at the point of getting Djelibeybi to help me fit the back because he’s been so busy with the whole moving-to-Germany thing and I’ve been a little unwell and… and… and… Need to sort that out!

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