Just how many items of clothing can you get from a 2.5m x 160cm piece of navy denim?

The answer to that question is 3 (with still a bit left for a bag or even a hat maybe).  And this piece of fabric cost me approx £12 from Karen’s Walthamstow fabric frenzy.  What a complete & utter bargain.

I have made first of all the Happy denim shirtdress.  Since then I have also apparated a skirt & a pair of vintage shorts.  Here follows the story of these new creations.

The denim Beignet:

The adored skirt pattern by Colette patterns struck again.  It was the obvious choice.  I needed a casual skirt & Beignet delivers everytime.  Now, a question folks.  At the recent Goldhawk Road Fabric Fandango (also led by Karen of Did You Make That), there was discussion about correct pronunciation of “Beignet”

So I looked it up & also came up with the definition (I do like this one) http://education.yahoo.com/reference/dictionary/entry/beignet

  1. A square doughnut with no hole: “a New Orleans coffeehouse selling beignets, an insidious Louisianian cousin of the doughnut that exists to get powdered sugar on your face” (Los Angeles Times).
  2. A fritter.

It also has a megaphone with how it should sound …but for some reason it didn’t work for me so here’s my attempt at the phonetic descriptor (coo – I’ve learnt something today!)

This is how it should be spoken …

bn-y,    bny

where the is as in pet and the is as in pay.

There, everyone clear now?  Good.  I shall move on.

I went floral with the lining.  In a former life it was a long gathered skirt that I used to wear kind of hippy style in the early 90s.  The buttons, well, what can be said except “Bling me up Scottie”.  And, I thought I had enough.  I had 10.  I have a recurring memory failure with Beignet.  I always think it needs 11 buttons & miss out the last buttonhole.  Actually it needs 12 buttons, & in error I made 11 buttonholes (& cut them all) – so this skirt is technically speaking not quite finished.

Floral lining and shiny buttons

These buttons are far more shiny in real life!



So, remember during one of my blogging outages I managed to pose the question, to seam finish or not to seam finish when lining?  Gosh,  I had some great responses, thank you.  But they were different – some of you don’t seam finish except if the lining is prone to mega fraying.  Others are diligent & finish all seams.  What was I to do?  I don’t like the idea of spurning advice, but when it conflicted all I could do was sit on the fence & compromise.   I pinked. Hahaha!


Denim beignet

Denim Beignet



But all said, making this a third time was a dream.  I knew what I was doing with the curved facing seam & whipped it up in a few sessions.  I measured the belt loops to ensure I could wear this new belt I’ve recently bought (£5 from a Pink Gin sale to accessorise with THE Hushpups) And, yes, I was madly sewing buttons 5 mins before wearing it out (10 buttons take longer to sew on than one might think).  I can see it becoming another wardrobe staple.  Hoorah!

So next up, the denim Vintage Shorts

50s pattern shorts, blouse and skirt

Vintage shorts



This dreamy pattern – I want to make it all.  The yardages for the shorts, interestingly expect the sleeveless blouse to be made with it.  The amount of fabric you need for shorts is oo-tiny.  Anyway, I was nervous & excited all at the same time to sew these.  As I mentioned, we were expecting a belter of a sunshiney Saturday (but were let down dramatically).  These shorts are on my Summer Essentials List (which I’m drafting at the moment on this page here until I finalise it).  Now there has been some thought about high waisted shorts recently over at SoZO, What Do you Know, & if Zoe, petite retro-stylin’ Zoe no less feels self conscious in such shorts, then what will that make me?  I feel able to slob around the house/ garden/ campsite/ beach in shorts- but anywhere else?  Me, in my 40s?  Hmmm.  My thoughts are evolving on that.  But for now, this is the story of the sewing of them.

Vintage high waisted shorts

They are darling.  They have boning in the side seam waistband, which I wouldn’t have bothered with, except I happened to need other haberdashery (eg navy thread!) so got some boning while I was at it, & am glad I did, as I think it’s needed.  Plus, I interfaced both the facing & the waistband as I only had light interfacing.  They also have the cutest curved shaped waistband at the back.


High waisted vintage shorts back



This is the first non-printed pattern I’ve sewn, ever.  And it was fine!  How lovely that there are holes in the paper marking the darts big enough for pin heads!  I didn’t really follow the instructions, just checked in now & then.  I suppose, shorts are pretty straightforward to sew anyway – kind of like a skirt with a couple of extra seams.  To make it even more swift, I overlocked all of the pieces before assembling.  So they came together very quickly.  Fit-wise, they are probably a bit big if I’m honest.  The waistband stands proudly either side of me with a bit of a gap, but it is comfy this way.  If it was tighter it might feel more like a corset.  I will reduce the size of the next pair I made, but was expecting this old pattern to be drafted for the hourglass figure & perhaps I’m a slightly more extreme hourglass!  The other thing with these shorts – the crotch hangs low – is that a vintage thing? they are almost more like culottes.  I could get used to it – I don’t need the security of it being any higher!!

So what next?  I have a week off to provide some company, make breakfast waffles & tasty lunches while my youngest revises for his A levels = a week to sew!  I am planning & scheming.  I’ll catch up with the MMJ Flickr pool & the Top Draftalong.  And I’m going to crack into my Summer Essentials sewing.  Me, excited?

23 thoughts on “Just how many items of clothing can you get from a 2.5m x 160cm piece of navy denim?

  1. Jane

    Fab, I love it when you really get your money’s worth from fabric. Gorgeous Beignet, I need to make another one, fast. What is it about that pattern?! There’s something strange going on with your blog and my computer in that it takes ages to download your posts and some of your pictures are never downloaded at all! So I still haven’t seen Gary’s face or, indeed, your shorts. I’ll keep checking back, just in case I’m lucky! Enjoy your week with your son, hope you get lots of sewing done. xx

    1. scruffybadgertime

      Hi Jane. I hope your technicals ( or is it my technicals) sort themselves out soon. My computer is still very temperamental and doesn’t like all the blogs accessed through google reader. It clearly needs a thump because switching on/ off hasn’t worked!! Your beignet is truly lovel also with its red buttons!!

      Roo, that’s interesting about vintage nether region cut. I might have to try out some vintage style knickers but guess there’d be quite a bit of ventilation with shorts!!!

  2. roobeedoo

    LOVE the shape of that waistband! Yes, vintage trousers and shorts have a lower crotch, which makes them SO much more comfortable and mean you can wear swishy undies if you are so inclined. Very envious of a week off, but not if it involves nursing a child through exams – ugh! Extreme parenting!

  3. Jane

    Me again. The computer is behaving itself and I’ve just had my first glimpse of a) your Crepe dress at the wedding, b) your new shorts and c) every photo with Gary in it which were all cruelly unavailable until now. All definitely worth the wait! x

  4. Alexandra Mason

    I love your shorts and your beignet. I have some denim that i was saving for some jeans (i have been saving it for a year) i’m tempted to make some shorts now! Have a great week!

  5. shivani

    Really love the beignet! (thanks for the correct pronounciation tip – I’d been saying bay-net all this time!) Lucky you, having a whole week to sew! Enjoy 🙂 x

  6. Ali

    Damn, I wish the Beignet looked as good on me as it does on you! Great job — and such pretty buttons. 🙂

  7. Allison

    I’m looking forward to seeing you rocking the shorts. 🙂 Now, since blogger doesn’t have a reply option, — thank you! your comment made my day, and I wanted to let you know. Also, I hope you do make jeans too!

  8. Debbie

    They both look fab. I am loving the shorts and will be interested to hear how you feel wearing them out and about! By the way I want your clog sandals. Is that okay? You can just post them to me 🙂 Thank you for your nice comments. Hope the week off has been good.

  9. dibs

    Now that’s some seriously good use of fabric. The shorts are lovely.
    In Cameroon, we speak French as well, and pronounce beignet as….bay-nyay.
    I’m going fabric shopping today, so I’ll find some heavy fabric for my beignet.

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