Tag Archives: jersey

Lindy Petal skirt – with a stretch piping hem

I kid you not, this is a jersey although it looks like a denim, doesn’t it?

Lindy skirt

it’s quite a robust jersey, but has plenty of stretch and is most definitely not a ponte- it just has a clever twill-like effect to its weave.  Zoe and i both fell for the possibilities when we saw it (independently) over at The Fabric Godmother’s store but it seems to have sold out- [horror!  I suppose when it’s gone, it’s gone!].   Ever striving for comfort this fabric appeared to deliver all the appearance of a nice denim, is warm enough for autumn but hey folks, it stretches (far more than a stretch denim, of course because it isn’t denim!) & being a knit is open to a host of sewing patterns you would never usually contemplate with denim.  Think of the comfort factor!  I did…& just how easily denim slips into your wardrobe, providing the perfect separate for pairing with pattern, colour or not.  But it’s not a denim- you can sew this on your overlocker, it doesn’t fray.  And no I don’t have shares in it, despite appearances.

Lindy skirt

So I bought this last month with the intention to make the Lindy Petal Skirt from Itch to Stitch.   Remember I made the Carey top (out of fabric I bought at the same time also from Fabric Godmother ).  The Lindy Petal skirt is free folks- check it out!  It appealed to me as it is a jersey skirt with a nice double frontage with a curved hemline.  A simple skirt to make I thought & it is.  Except I decided to complicate it by the addition of some hemline piping.

stretch piping

Stretch piping?  I made it myself using round elastic & strips of the fabric I was using for the skirt itself.  And it’s worked out fine in this example, having been worn several times now.  I machine basted the elastic inside the folded strip of fabric (with a long straight stitch- it really would not matter if this snapped through stretching later on, as it was just to form the piping in the first instance to be able to work with it).

Piping - depth of piping lined up with hen edge

Piping – depth of piping lined up with hen edge

I also made sure that the ‘depth’ of binding was sufficient for the depth of the hem that I wanted to make-( mine was about 2cm I think).  I also made sure that the depth of this stretch piping was the same along its length so that I could easily match edge of skirt hem with edge of binding so that my piping would properly follow the skirt hem shape.

There is the side seam- but no join in the piping

There is the side seam- but no join in the piping

But attaching it to the hem involved some thinking through to optimise the effect – I wanted the piping to follow the hem in a continuous line – no joins at the side seams.  This meant I had to construct the skirt in a different order.  It may sound a bit bizarre, but it worked!  Interested at all?  Here are the steps:

  • Make sure you have prepared the skirt before cutting out the fabric so that its length is finished length plus hem allowance (= depth of your binding)
  • Sew the lower 4″ of each side seam – attaching back to each front; press these partial seams at the lower edges.
  • Pin piping to the right side of the skirt hem, all the way around, so that the binding edge (non elastic piping edge) is level with the skirt’s lower edge.  I machine basted too with a long straight stitch & my zip foot.
  • Sew the piping to the skirt edge – I have a piping foot with my overlocker but [sniff] my overlocker is in storage so I used a zig zag and regular machine foot.  I was wavering as this means that you can’t get as close to the piping, but you achieve a stretch stitch.  If you want to get close to the piping you have to sacrifice the stretch stitch.  I am not sure what the answer is, but I basted straight and zig zagged to complete.  Thinking back I may have left my basting in….
  • Fold the bias edge to the inside – this is your hem.  I trimmed the seam so there were less layers, keeping the bias uncut as my hem.  You might want to press before pinning in place.
  • Hem your skirt- I used a twin needle in contrasting thread (adds to the denim look!) & then trimmed really close to the hem stitching to make it even & neat looking.

Lindy skirt

Once the hem is sewn, I constructed the skirt in the usual way.  It was just a back to front order sewing the hem first!

More on the skirt itself then?  Well it has an elastic waistband looking like this …

Lindy skirt

It’s not called Lindy ‘Petal’ skirt unnecessarily …

Lindy skirt

The front really does have petals ….From the back too …

Lindy skirt

I could probably have made it more figure hugging & got away with it, but I made this without looking in a mirror (camping sewing, right?!).  It looked OK & felt OK from where I was looking!

Lindy skirt

And this is becoming a fave working at home skirt – keeps me warmer over leggings but feels as if I am not wearing a skirt at all- so comfy.  And unlike many working at home outfits, this is completely decent for receiving a parcel, popping to the shops, going for a lunch meeting & actually not working but having huge fun with friends or on your own!  I am bound to wear this to the pub.  Just saying, it just hasn’t happened yet.

Now what do you think about adding some piping to something stretchy?  Fancy a closer look to get you thinking?

Lindy skirt piped hem

It really looks like denim, doesn’t it?

While I am here I should confess to having succumbed to the sale over at the Fabric Godmother too.  There are some pieces left for the rest of you, but I did lay my hands on bargains galore!  And then Weaver Dee has been tempting me with emails about discounts & I also fell for some half price McCalls  & Kwik Sew patterns– & before I knew it they had arrived (remember the 10% discount with ‘SCRUFFY’)

So although I am ‘camping’  with the vast bulk (because I do have a ton of sewing related supplies, tools, references & machinery – the boxes do not lie) in storage – it seems as if I am starting a mini stockpile of fabric & even patterns even though I am only ‘visiting’ & my stay here is only temporary.  I just can’t help myself!

Wearing notes:

Sewaholic Renfrew in black micro fleece and unblogged Virginia Leggings complete the outfit.

Tutorial: Sewing a headband using jersey

I have been promising this for a while, but it was so wrapped up in all the marathon excitement I wonder if anyone even remembered?  Here is the headband.  A nice little weekend project?

Jersey Headband


Can you see that it doesn’t use elastic and is just made out of a single piece of jersey.  It can be scrunched up on your head to be as wide or as folded up as you need it to be- to keep the sun off your head, to keep pesky short haircuts under control and hopefully longer styles too (not that I would know about that).

This is me wearing it….it matches my top 😉 I needed it to be wide enough to keep my hair from poking out like a crazy person.  (Ironic)

What you need:

A piece of jersey fabric with some stretch that can wrap around your head where a headband would sit.  The fabric needs to have enough recovery so that your headband will stretch to stay on your head snugly but will easily return to its original size and not sag  once stretched!

Mine is about 46cm x 18cm.  You need to experiment to get a snug fit.  I guess you could try measuring your head & deducting 15% to get the long measurement but I have not tested this to know if it is a good idea!  Low tech method –  I wrapped the fabric around my head & stretched it a bit, holding the place I thought the seam joining the ends was needed with my fingers.  And then marked this with a pin before laying the fabric out flat & preparing my seam.

Headband 1

Sewing the tube to fit snugly around my head- you might need to make a few seams to get the fit right.

So prepare your seam by folding your fabric in half right sides together so that the shorter sides are together & sew where you think the seam needs to be.  Use a short zig zag stitch, an overlock stitch or your serger.

And then try on for size.  I had to sew another seam to make the tube of fabric small enough so that it felt a good snug fit like you would expect of your headband.

headband 2

Finishing the edges with my overlocker

Next finish the long now tubular edges of your headband with an overlocker or a zig zag stitch.  You might decide you don’t need to do this, maybe your jersey isn’t looking messy & jerseys don’t fray afterall, but as I have an overlocker it makes the edges look nice & neat.

headband 3

Darning in the ends

Darn the ends in if you have used an overlocker/ serger.

Next you are going to sew with a regular machine using the zig zag stitch to make pleats in the underneath of your headband so that the pleats reduce the fabric and makes it a lot more wearable underneath the back of your head.

You will be making three pleats with the centre back seam running at right angles down the middle of the pleats ( & the back of your head.)  Each line of stitching is 16cm long and parallel to each other.


Three pleats sewn with a zig zag stitch make the headband narrower at the back

To do this …

First of all fold the headband in half, right sides together, centre back seam on top &  with the long edges matching.  Pin to secure.  Your stitching line will start 8 cm before the centre back seam and finish 8 cm beyond it and will be 1.5cm (or 5/8″) away from the folded edge.    Mark your start & finish points & start your zig zag seamed pleat.  Make sure you back tack at the start & the finish to ensure the seams do not unravel.


headband 4

Sewing the first pleat. The pin marks my finish point.

Now it’s time to make the next pleat.  I measured 3cm from the edge to make the fold for the next pleat, pinning to secure, and measuring the start and finish marks at 8cm either side of the centre back seam.

headband 5

Pinning the next pleat- on all these pleats it’s nice to match the centre back seam line through the layers with a pin.

Sew this with a zig zag stitch with a seam 1.5cm  from the folded edge.

headband 6

Sewing the side pleats

Do the same for the other side pleat.  And voila!  Nearly there.

headband 8

Admire your handiwork

It’s a good idea to control those side pleats underneath so that they lie flat while you wear it & don’t try to poke out .   Fold each pleat towards the centre & pin.  Topstitch over the folded pleat using a zig zag, right sides up, close to the seam.

headband 9

Top stitching the side pleats with a zig zag

You’re done!

headband 10


Wear it well, wear it happy!

headband 11


u badger

Minerva Make: It’s yellow, it’s floral & it’s got a bow!

Hello again!  I’m thrilled to show you my October Minerva make.  Using some pretty yellow floral jersey I have made something I’ve been hankering after for a while: a tie neck jersey blouse.

Tie me down top

I’ve a thing for tie neck tops & dresses but for me the epitome of style & easy living had to be taking the beautiful tie neck style & making it in an easy to care for and very easy to wear knit fabric.

tie me down top

So the pattern I chose was a Hot Patterns number, HP 1002, Metropolitan Tie me down tops.   It’s a pattern designed for using with knits but it’s got some cute detailing in addition to the tie neck which led me to try a new technique: shirring.

tie me down top shirring

The design calls for a line of shirring at the back waist to cinch in & provide some shaping.  It also has a few lines of shirring at the shoulders that give the charming impression of smocking, as well as around the cuffs for the longer sleeved version.


Everyone had said shirring’s a piece of cake, give it a go, but I’d been a little dubious & avoided it.  The tips will all tell you to hand-wind the shirring elastic onto the bobbin, making sure you don’t stretch it.  This seemed to work fine for me.

Tie me down top back shirring

And  let me tell you that it’s actually fun & what’s more pretty adjustable after the sewing to get the amount of gathering you want.

Tie me down top back

I opted to make the short sleeved version as I could imagine big expanse of yellow covering my arms as well would have been too OTT.  I’m glad I did, as I really like the shape of the short sleeves too.  I will choose to make the long sleeved version in a darker colour, maybe even in a solid as I think that would showcase the longer sleeves better.

Tie me down top

What can I say about this pattern?  This is my first experience of using Hot Patterns and the construction went to plan, I followed the instructions to a tee.  I think I managed to sew everything (not shirring) using my overlocker with the exception of the very centre of the neck/ tie/ facing seam – needing to use my regular machine to get a nice finish at the  “v”.  I did use my coverstitcher for the hems, but you could easily use a regular straight stitch I reckon.

tie me down top shoulder

Shirring, as said above, was new but fun.  I was intrigued to see what was going to happen & really like the effect.

Sizing- this is perhaps a little larger than I expected & looks better tucked in.  The back-waist shirring could possibly be a little too high for me as well, but I’m not that fussed by it.

tie me down top ahoy!

You see, this top lives up to my dreams- it is exactly what I was after: chic & casual at the same time.  And it goes through the wash without needing an iron afterwards.  And you might not know, but that is important to me!!

So in the kit, you’ll get cute yellow floral jersey fabric, matching thread and some bubblegum pink shirring elastic, should you wish to give it a go, or try something similar!

Tie me down top snoopyPictures were all taken on location in Bournemouth (thanks Ellen!).  Want to know the embarrassing parts (yes, there are two!!).  First of all, that picture with me looking through the telescope?  The eagle eyed amongst you will have noticed I was looking through the wrong end…..I didn’t realise until an older guy came along & got it operating!!!  Did I feel dumb!  And then the Snoopy picture?  What’s embarrassing about that?  I LOVE Snoopy, he is so cool.  So when I saw him outside an amusement arcade I asked for my photographer for the day to do me the honour of snapping a pose.  Well, hardly had I plonked the tiniest part of one of my bony bum cheeks down, when the attendant came out & told me off since I was clearly over 8 years old!  Kids get alllll the fun!

Ahaha!  I have also thought of a third embarrassment.  You will see I’m wearing my culottes.  I’d only got a way in public before discovering the back zip had broken too.  Hmmm.  Pants on view whilst looking down the wrong end of a telescope & then getting told off for being too immature….

So has anyone else made this pattern?  I’d be interested to know what your experiences have been ….

My right royal jersey Pavlova skirt

I’m back! I’ve been off line mostly – sorry! I had such a busy weekend and beginning of the week that kept me away from all the fun. I know it’s not even a week, but it feels like it. I missed you all and will enjoy catching up! So, to remedy my absence …here’s a recent make.

I declare that everyone needs a jersey full (or even better – circle ) skirt. I mean it’s easy to wash, super easy to wear & it just looks & feels a million dollars with all its wonderful drape & swooshy qualities. It makes me feel like a ballerina. You’ll have to bear with me on these photos – I was trying to capture the movement, the fluidity & jellyfish-like qualities it has when coming down the stairs….

Cake Pavlova skirtBut that’s the best I could do!

Mine is made from purple jersey acquired at the Rag market a while ago. It’s the most beautiful “royal” purple – would not look out of place alongside some ermine (if I ever let dead animals near me that is).

Cake Pavlova skirt

I took this deepest purple jersey & transformed it into a Pavlova circle skirt of Cake patterns. This is the first time I’ve made it after being intrigued by Steph’s different positions for the same pattern – one being jersey- her “nice and knit” position. I wasn’t sure whether I’d need a zip for the jersey variety of this skirt, but took a leap into the unknown, being reasonably confident that I could deal with it if I needed to.

Cake Pavlova skirt

I was able to cut the skirt out of two pieces. In theory this pattern allows for a circle skirt made out of four quarters. Or two halves, or if you are really clever, just one piece. I hope one day to graduate to the single piece, but this time around made mine out of two halves.

Cake Pavlova skirt

I love the shell-like pocket, but made a mistake about where I located it in relation to one of the two seams. Sadly, I followed the pattern markings , which requires zero thought if you are making the four quarter version – the pocket will always be close to a seam. However, in my skirt my placement resulted in there being a centre front & centre back seam, with no side seams. It’s a design detail of course!

Cake Pavlova skirt

I also stitched the cute pintucks but placed them on the inside of the pocket so that the “ridges” are hidden & the shell detail is seamed. I think this was laziness on my part. Maybe it had something to do with the way that I marked it (I used a tracing wheel & carbon paper- maybe I was hiding the markings!? ). Anyway, being a solid colour, the seams look lovely still on the pocket.

Cake Pavlova skirt

So, did I need to insert a zip? The answer is no! but this skirt has an elastic waistband. Shock? It looks neat I think. I followed Steph’s alternative quick knit waistband instructions & think it works out fine, & makes this skirt even easier to wear. In the pic below you can just about see that it involves attaching the right length elastic to the waistband with a triple stitch zig zag …

I want to emphasize that I don’t feel like a toddler or a granny wearing an elastic waisted skirt.

Cake pavlova skirt

All in all it was a fairly quick make- make & attach pocket, two seams and then the waistband.

 Hem marker

The hem was an interesting adventure. I let the skirt hang for a couple of days before working out how long I wanted it. I then looked at the expanse of hem that needed to be set. I gulped. I looked at it some more then the lightbulb appeared. Isn’t this just what a dummy with a hem marker is for? I scrabbled around looking for the strange gadget that I have never used in the 18 months that I have had this dummy (Oh Barbarella, I am so sorry I have neglected to use your full potential). I then had to locate the bag of chalk.

Hem marker in action

Strangely enough I found them both relatively easily despite my sewing room looking like a bomb has landed & sprayed thread shrapnel amongst all of the piles of projects in various stages of conception. Tell you what – this hem marker is awesome! Just attach it to the dummy’s stand at the desired height & every now & then puff chalk onto the hem as you turn the dummy around. Little lines of chalk markers are left behind to join up at the desired hem level. Works like a dream.

Cake Pavlova skirt

Once marked I could trim & press under the hem before sewing with my normal machine straight stitch. And then wear. But there is a lot to trim & a lot to hem – the circumference is massive. I kept the length I trimmed off to measure it. It’s a whole 4.5m long!

Cake Pavlova skirtNot a desired prop for the photos …

I have worn this quite a lot now – it is one of those skirts that is a transition piece – great for work or play! And soooo girly! I’d strongly recommend making it in jersey.

These pics show me wearing it with my Liberty top (Simplicity 2614) made earlier this summer.

Pavlova top and skirt

Here it is with my first  Pavlova top, I have also made another, but haven’t worn it yet as – (I am just loving writing this)- the weather has been too warm! How cool is that! Real summer in the UK!!