Sewing on a budget

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Sewing can be an expensive hobby, especially if you’re like me and want all the gadgets and gizmos that make a task easier. However, I’m awful with money and so always flat broke. This means I have a very limited budget and have to be creative about where my fabric and notions come from. My favourite place for a bargain is the charity shops. A few weeks ago I came home with at least 10 metres of fabric which only set me back £17. The majority of the fabric, barring the polka dots (one of the few fabric purchases I’ve made myself from an actual fabric shop- fabricland), in the above picture is from charity shops or the stash I inherited from my grandmother-in-law when she have up sewing.

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Let’s talk about the outfit then. Ther skirt is a corduroy version of the Colette Meringue inspired by Lucky Lucille’s Meringue. I wanted to add a waistband rather than use facings and had a look at Colette’s tutorial to add a waistband to the meringue but I like a high waistband for the vintage look. From looking at Lucky Lucille’s picture it looked like she just cut a straight waistband so I went for this tack. All the way through sewing it a little voice in my head was saying “your should have drafted a curved waistband” and, although what I’ve done looks alright, I was probably right about that as the straight waistband is a bit loose where it doesn’t follow the curve- oh well I like it anyway.

The top is a modification of Gerties Portrait Blouse. I drafted my very first flat collar for this and for the life of me, I can’t work out why it didn’t reach all the way round to meet in front- I drafted it to do that. Rather that ripping it out and redrafting I decided I quite liked the look (despite applying it slightly wonkily!). My hubby thought the bow would look better in Navy but I didn’t have any navy fabric in my stash so what I did was, rather than stitch the bow on, I made a buttonhole just below the centre point of the neckline so I could tie on the bow and can replace it easily at a later date when I have some Navy fabric.

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I’ve already wittered on about the zip insertion on this skirt, so I won’t bore you with that again. The sewing up, other than the zip, was fairly starightforward and I flipped the hem facing to the outside for the colour block effect. The raw edge is covered with Navy grosgrain ribbon. I did intend the colour combo the other way round for this skirt but the royal blue cord I had was slightly too narrow to be able to cut both front and back skirt panels so I swapped. The only other change I made was top stitching the scallops as the cord is a bit thick and needed it for a crisper edge.

I love this skirt- it’s really comfy to sit around at work all day and it looks smart on. I love bright colours, especially blues and greens and so this is right up my street. My first make from my Colette Sewing handbook and I’m looking forward to trying out some of the other patterns too.

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