DIY, Sewing

Denim Never Dies : Delia Creates Pleated Pencil Skirt Pattern Review

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Two makes posted in a week! This must be some kind of new record… I had originally planned to post this earlier, as it was made for the January Challenge over on The Monthly Stitch (my first monthly stitch challenge, hurray!) but it took me ages to get round to photographing it, oh well.

I bought the Delia Creates Pleated Pencil Skirt pattern during IndieSew‘s Black Friday sale last year, as part of my quest to find THE perfect pencil skirt pattern. I hadn’t seen too many reviews of this pattern online, but those who had tried it seemed to love it, so I figured it would give it a shot. It also definitely helped that I couldn’t get Delia’s rose-print version out of my mind (watch out for my own Lunar New Year-appropriate version of it coming up really soon!).

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So I bought the pattern on discount, and I used some of the leftover denim from an earlier A-line skirt to make up a wearable muslin… and you guys, I really liked it. I hesitate to claim I LOVE it just yet because I feel like I haven’t perfected the fit, but I must say this is a pretty darned good pattern. The pdf version also happens to be only 8 pages long, which is a major plus. EIGHT. My taping-paper-hating soul was singing the hallelujah chorus as I printed this out. The only thing that is’t too convenient is that the pattern lines are drawn in colour, which is kind of a hassleย if you only have a black and white printer at home, like I do.

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This pattern didn’t fit me right out of the envelope, but that’s mostly my own fault. I overestimated the enormity of my hips and graded out a size 4 at the waist to a size 6 at the hips when I really should just have stuck with a ย straight size 4. I ended up using a 0.5″ seam allowance instead of the recommended 0.3″ AND taking a good 0.75″ or so off the sides.

Given my height (or lack thereof), I shortened the pattern by 2″ before tracing it out, but later had to take another 2.5″ off in order for it to hit right above my knees. This made the shape of the skirt kind of weird, so I tapered in the bottom sides to preserve the curve. I still think the sides don’t quite curve right (if you can tell from the sides of the skirt), which is probably due to the extensive fit adjustments I made. I’m not really sure how to fix it though – any suggestions? The pattern actually includes instructions for removing length from the middle of the pattern instead of from the hemline, so I will definitely try that on my next attempt.

This also happened to be my first time lining a garment – it was a lot easier than I thought it would be, though I did end up sewing the lining around the zipper the first time due to a moment of daftness. I used a cheap black polyester that I had bought ages ago and followed the instructions to insert the lining. My only deviationย was to hem the bottom edge of lining first, and then hem the skirt over the edge of the lining, enclosing it. I thought it would give it a more professional finish, and it did! Of course, all this professionalism was ruined by my completely insensible fuchsia coloured zip that I was forced to use because I was too lazy to go out and buy a navy one I decided it would make my skirt extra special.

All in all, I think this is a really good pencil skirt pattern, though I haven’t tried very many so do take my words with a pinch of salt! It seems to be drafted more for pear-shaped ladies, so if you’re a member of the pear-gang definitely consider this. And as for working with denim, it was a lot easier and turned out a lot more wearable than I thought it would be. Thank you The Monthly Stitch for being the inspiration for my fabric choice – I probably wouldn’t have picked it otherwise!

P.S. Do you think this skirt could qualify as business casual? My office is fairly formal so I haven’t tried wearing it to work just yet… Oh if you have any suggestions on how to make the fit a little better, please do share them below!

P.P.S. If you’re here from The Monthly Stitch, HELLO and welcome! Please feel free to say hi in the comments (:

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DIY, Sewing

Aztec Australian : Megan Neilsen Eucalypt Tank Pattern Review

Well, it’s been a long, long time since I posted any makes up on the blog – partly because I hardly got any sewing in last month, but mostly because I’ve been so preoccupied with the Wardrobe Architect series. Actually, I’d like to hear what you guys think: are you enjoying the Wardrobe Architect Challenge posts or would you like to see more sewing and less chattering about my personal style (which I can’t imagine too many people would be interested in…)? Let me know in the comments below!

Anyhow, this make was made a good 6 months ago and is actually my second ever handmade garment! I only got around to photographing it proper a couple of weeks ago, but this tank top has become a firm favourite in my closet and is on constant rotation.

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This pattern is the Eucalypt Tank and Dress pattern from Megan Nielsen, a brilliant Australian designer and an all-around awesome person (I’m talking about her like I know her, but I really don’t. I wish I did though! If this recent blog post of hers is anything to go by, she sounds like a wonderful person with really a big heart.)

I discovered her patterns when I spied the Tania Culottes and Cascade Skirt floating about on the blogosphere, so it was a no-brainer that I opted for her Breakwater Collection pattern pack that got me 4 patterns for the price of 3. #WIN

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The Fabric

Did I mention how cheap this make was? The fabric cost me S$2 per metre – that’s US$0.80! Granted, I did get it from the clearance rack of a random shop in Chinatown so it’s not the most comfortable fabric, but that aztec print! How could I not love it? Plus when I posted it on instagram and wore it out I got a ton of compliments so… it’s a winner already.

The Patternย 

This pattern was a quick and easy make. I had no trouble at all grading from an XS in the bust to a S in the waist as per my measurements (woe is the small busted pear) and found the instructions clear and simple to follow, which is a serious understatement. These instructions are so good that a complete sewing noob like myself managed to execute french seams without even knowing what a french seam was. Are you mindblown? I am (on hindsight).

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The main thing I would have done differently is to cut a straight S as the XS was a little too tight across the chest for a casual woven tank top. I did like how the close fit across the bust and almost A line shape toward the waist gave me a little more shape than I would normally get from a tank top though – I probably wouldn’t have gotten that effect had I sewn up a straight size S. Alternatively, I think this problem may have been managed by making the arm holes a little bigger as they did cut a bit too high.

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Subsequently I made up the dress version of the Eucalypt pattern, but didn’t love it. I felt that it was too shapeless and overwhelming on my short frame – it looks great on the model though, so maybe it would work better on a taller person… or with heels. It doesn’t really matter to me anyhow, this pattern is already a favourite for the tank top version alone.

By the way if you thought I snuck my way onto a movie set, I didn’t! I visited Universal Studios Singapore (for like the 7th time) last month, so I took the chance to coerce my boyfriend into snapping a few photos for me. I’ve got a ton of photos from my visit, so watch out for a short post on it soon!

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The fake jersey boys areย countin’ on youย 

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