Thursday, 2 July 2015

Feathers and silk

Well, first of all I have to say sorry for not posting for a month. There has been such a lot happening, life has just taken over. I was doing a lot of sewing for my holiday when everything stopped as we heard the bad news that my uncle had been taken ill very suddenly and was in hospital. Sadly he died that evening and the family has been stunned, to say the least. His mum is 97 so everyone has been worried about her too. My uncle's funeral is tomorrow and I'm dreading the next few days.

On a happier note, we did go on holiday and it was good to get away for a week. I also decided that I'd take photos of me wearing my new-makes in sunshine and blue skies, something we haven't seen much this summer in Edinburgh. So, expect a few posts of me squinting!

So, the feathers are printed on a cotton sateen fabric which has a little bit of lycra in it so there's some stretch. I knew I wanted to take this on holiday so I bought some habotai silk to make the lining, just to keep everything breathable in the hot temperatures. I pre-washed the silk using soap for silks and woollen fabrics and remembering to select the delicate silk setting on the washing machine. It came out absolutely fine. Just have to remember to do this when I need to wash the whole skirt!

I used a pattern I've made before, Simplicity 1559 and view D with a back split.

We went on holiday to Portugal and I'm standing in the square of the town of Sintra, a World Heritage site. It was absolutely beautiful and so were the other buildings we went to in this area.

And here is a closer view of the feathers! I did quite a good job of aligning them.

The skirt has a waist facing which I prefer to a waistband. I never seem to get waistbands right! The skirt pattern is unlined so I kind of winged it for the lining. I cut the silk very generously because of the stretch in the cotton. I didn't want any stressed seams and ripped silk! I just added a pleat instead of darts at the waist.

I was running out of time to do anything fancy with cutting the waist facing and silk lining and sewing it together so no edges would show. Do you know, I just don't care?! There are more important things to worry about. I hand stitched the silk lining to the waist, underneath the facing. If I throw it into the washing machine and forget to treat it nicely, I can stitch up another lining and sew it to the skirt without too much hassle.

I hand stitched the silk lining around the zip too but machined the hem. I used bias binding for the skirt hem and hand sewed the final hem. I'm just full of contradictions, aren't I?

This skirt was lovely and cool, well as cool as you can be in 38 degrees. I'm really glad I spent the money on the expensive silk to line the skirt with as I'm sure I'd have keeled over if I'd gone for polyester lining! Natural fibres are great in that heat.

I also removed the polyester lining on this skirt I made last year, using the same pattern. I bought some black silk fabric and made a lining. I hand stitched the lining into the skirt and took it on holiday too. It was also lovely and cool and I think I've now developed a serious silk lining obsession! Have you used silk linings in your dresses or skirts? Do you think it's worth it?

I'll be back with some more squinty photos've been warned!


  1. Love the print. Great job!

    1. Hi Carmen, yes, isn't this print great? And very 'me'! I'd love to make a dress out of it but it's sold out :(