Aubergine Corduroy Hummingbird skirt

cord hummingbird 4

This skirt has taken ages to appear on the blog.

The fabric was bought over a year ago at the Peter Jenson sample sale, but because I had so much of it, I wasn’t desperate to sew with it. Then in the summer I got the Cake Hummingbird pattern and thought the cord would make a great skirt. I cut the fabric in the summer but couldn’t find a zip that was anywhere close to the colour. So it sat untouched until the autumn, when I found a brown invisible zip that blended in okay, but by this time I had lots of other projects on the go and was busy moving house. Then in the Christmas holidays I remembered I had a skirt cut and ready to sew, and it was really quick to put together.

A month later and the weather, time and laundry have finally coincided for me to be able to take some decent slightly better photos!

cord hummingbird 3

This is my second Hummingbird skirt (the first is a black twill that is worn all the time, but is too dark to get decent indoor winter photos) and the construction was really straightforward. As with all Cake patterns, it is really easy to get a good fit just by following the steps in the pattern. This time I added the tail flounce which was a little trickier as there was a long bias edge to work with. The flounce is really fun and allows a lot of movement in an otherwise fitted skirt.

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The colour is very aubergine and as much as I love it, I’m finding it tricky to pair with other garments, especially in winter darkness when I’m getting dressed. I wasn’t sure if it would be too much purple to wear with my new cardigan, but when I had some fabric in my bag (to send to Gillian so we could be twins) someone said they looked nice together. What do you think?

cord hummingbird 1

I lined the pockets with leftover hot air balloon fabric for a fun surprise. The skirt isn’t lined which is a bit of a problem when wearing winter tights, so I made a wearable muslin of a half-slip to wear underneath. I made the slip from some old lining fabric but I have some Valentino silk I picked up at a swap ready for the real thing.

cord hummingbird 2

Pyjama Party!

After a long week (fancy taking 26 4 year olds on London buses anyone?) and the seriously gloomy weather, today was a day for sewing. And what better comfort-sewing than some new jim-jams?

Karen at Did You Make That? has been hosting a pyjama sewalong which has been popping up in my Google Reader account, and today was the day of the big party so I thought I’d join in with the fun.

I had a rummage through my stash but there was nothing suitable in the correct amount, so I took a bus ride down to Fabrics Galore in Battersea – when I lived in SW London this is where I bought the fabric for my first dress-making adventure – and may have got a little bit distracted by all the pretty fabrics.

French seams and sewn-in elastic waist band

What book is on your bedside table?
Last week I was listening to a discussion about sweets in books on Radio 4, so I picked up Rosie Hopkins’ Sweet Shop of Dreams in the library this week (a brand new, unread library book!)

What was your favourite (childhood) bed time cuddly toy?
Percival the penguin has already had his fifteen minutes of fame on here, so I shall introduce you to Flopsy the rabbit. I got Flopsy for my birthday when I was ten or eleven, which makes her a grown-up sixteen years old now. Over the years she has moulted a lot and been so well hugged that she is now molded into the perfect huggable shape – as much as I love Percival, Flopsy is still the perfect shape to cuddle to sleep.

What is your favourite sewing pattern?
I bought some raspberry jersey to make a matching pj top, but the colour is so scrummy that I think I might have to jazz it up and wear it during the day. My favourite go-to pattern for jersey is my tatty and much-modified Sadie vest pattern from BurdaStyle – it fits, it is quick to sew, and there are lots of ways I can change it – but today I decided to use a one-piece kimono tee (also from BurdaStyle).

Purple – check!
Polka dots – check!
Pyjamas on a cold wet evening – check!
I just need to wait for my Jammie Dodgers to be ready (well the oven was on for dinner, so I’m saving the planet…)


Can I borrow a peacock feather for a minute?

I was awake early today so thought I would pop out for a bit of retail therapy.

I went to Goldhawk Road with a few projects in mind – animal print for zoo-inspired clothing, and cotton to make a wearable muslin of a dress I’m making for my brother’s wedding. Sadly I didn’t see any cotton prints that caught my eye, but the remnant bin at A One Fabrics was overflowing…

I impulse bought just under a metre of pink, purple and blue swirly, silky fabric (a sorbetto perhaps?), just under a metre of purple knit (for a little cardigan or shrug), almost 2m of black jersey (you can always use black jersey) and two and a half metres of tiger-print polycotton (for a top secret project…). I also got the black and white leopard print jersey that was actually on my list.

Next on my to-buy list was some trimmings and haberdashery. Next month will be busy for sewing as I have an outfit to make for my brother’s wedding. He is getting married in a zoo so I wanted to make something with an animal reference. Leopard print didn’t seem sophisticated enough, snake skin is not me, and anything fluffy would look weird so I decided to take my inspiration from the peacock.

I am awaiting an ebay order of various peacock feathers to make a hair clip, but luckily when I saw a pile of guterman beads the man in the shop let me borrow his from the display to check the colours in the feather.

I picked up a few tubes of beads (in the clearance bin) in a range of turquoises, blues and greens, some beading needles, and “Caribbean” coloured felt. I couldn’t find any hair clip backs, so I grabbed a hair-slide in the sales that I can rip apart. Now I just need to wait for my feathers to arrive so I can get started.