Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Mama's Makes: White Stuff 'Knock Off' Skirt



The Making things Gene definitely comes from Mama Lovelygrey who, throughout my childhood, was a prolific crafter. In her later years she's become a keen gardener and allotment owner, somehow managing to grow fruit and vegetables to die for from the rock hard Essex clay soil. This keeps her busy throughout the summer but in the winter she has less to do.  A couple of years ago I got fed up paying £40 and upwards for skirts and tunic from shops such as White Stuff, Boden and Joules. I loved the fabrics of the things that I'd bought but surely the designs were simple enough to make yourself?  Also, I was conjuring up designs in my head for clothing that wasn't available on the high street.  However I didn't have time to run things up myself.  So,  Mama LG readily agreed to be my seamstress and now makes clothes for me in the colder and darker months to keep boredom at bay.

I arrive on my Easter visits, not only looking forward to seeing family but also to collecting the lovely things that have been created to supplement my wardrobe.  These cost much less than the clothes I was spending before.  Okay, I could buy cheaper at Primark or Peacocks but the quality is so much better and I value the uniqueness of my 'designs'. I buy most of the material on-line from Ebay and other on-line stores such as the examples given here.  Dressmaking patterns are expensive but, as you will see in future posts, can be used time and time again.

This is one I've picked up this time,  reminiscent of a couple of White Stuff skirts that I own.  It's made from Butterick pattern B4461  and cost less than £20 even after taking into account the price of the pattern.  The exact permutation of ribbon trim wasn't shown in the design but it didn't take rocket science to estimate the amount needed by comparing it with other designs on the pack (about 5 metres).  I wanted a nautical design specifically to wear with the natty Breton Tops that I've picked up on my travels in France.  This fabric isn't intended for dressmaking, rather for interior design, but I've found that you can produce some interesting eye catching details if stuff intended for curtains is not ruled out (e.g. IKEA's range of cottons).

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