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New Pattern Release Offer!

Happy Sunday sewing peeps!

We’re just popping by with a little reminder…today is the very last day to enjoy 20% off our newest PDF pattern –

The Good Times skirt.

PDF patterns, not your thing?

Well, don’t worry! We don’t have a date as yet but we will be taking her into print later in the year and we’ll be sure to let you know!

Thank you so much! 

We also wanted to take this chance to say a big thank you for all your kind words & support for our latest pattern. It’s very much appreciated.

Sharon and Eve xx

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The Good Times Skirt | details

| the details|

We have just released our 7th sewing pattern! Our latest pattern The Good Times Skirt is a slim A-line silhouette and fitted through the hips. It’s a modern and functional reinterpretation of my favourite denim skirt, thoughtfully designed to give you many years of joy.

I’ve designed The Good Times Skirt with a few subtle details …The Good Times Skirt has been designed to be made using stretch denim, I’m all for a little more comfort in my daily life! But I didn’t want to waste that delightful selvedge. So, I made a feature of it with this reverse seam detail on the centre front and centre back seam.

As denim comes in all different widths it can be, at times, a little wasteful to use the selvedge, so we have other options for you that still retain the reverse seam detail. Hong Kong finish your seams for a striking contrast…

Or turn the edge under for a clean and modern look.

And now to my favourite feature…the pockets! The pockets were specifically designed to hold my rather large phone and a travelcard on days out. They do their job magnificently. They are finished with a contrast facing which gives you the opportunity to use up some of those lovely scraps we all have lurking around.

The waistband uses the ‘wrong’ side of the denim making a nice contrast to the skirt body and echos the reverse seam detail. Of course, you may prefer to use the usual side of your denim as I have on my Hong Kong Finish sample. Hong Kong binding is a nice way to neaten the waistband too, making your insides as pretty as your outsides.

A metal trouser zip goes all the way to the top of the waistband for a fuss-free (don’t-have-to-do-a-buttonhole) closure.

And finally, we have 2 hem finishes to choose from.

Use a contrasting print and the faced hem gives a little flash of joy with each wear.

I’ve enjoyed wearing the raw edge finish on my skirt. The occasional trim keeps the ends tidy and the edgestitch (use a matching thread for a subtle design feature) controls how much of your edge will fray. I really hope you enjoy planning the details of your Good Times Skirt as much as I have – you can make it as unique as you are!

 

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the Good Times Skirt | the inspiration

Enjoy to the Good Times | the inspiration

As always it started with a conversation with a friend. This one was about how clothes and fabrics remind us of points in our lives, how they become part of our history and our identity.  The clothes you remember having a good time in. This skirt became one of those items. I have been wearing this skirt for over a year, more like 18 months, road testing and tweaking as I always do. Slow fashion at it’s finest and of course, it continues our ethos of making well thought out practical patterns to fill a need in your wardrobe for many years to come.

I was inspired to make a denim skirt based on my original favourite that I bought from the gap in 2001 (still wearing it – just – ’tis a smidge snug), and the fear that it would wear out and then ‘WHAT WOULD I DO?’. It is a traditional 5 pocket western style (like jeans) but it was very long, to the ground (on me) and straight with a big slit in the front to just above the knee so it was possible to walk. Very dark, unwashed denim. In the sale £9.99. It went in the drawer, came out, went back, it just wasn’t quite right. Eventually, I chopped it off to knee length, used the spare fabric from the bottom and put godets in the side to give a bit of flare so it’s now a very gentle, slim, A-line. And I have worn and worn and worn this skirt. In true jeans tradition, you can’t get much in the pockets. And I really wished it had a bit of stretch for extra comfort, you know? But of course, we can always improve a favourite, so say hello BIG GINORMOUS pockets!

Its very first official outing was a trip to Paris in January 2018 with friends to see the original Dior exhibition – last year was the year we all turned 50.

Then it came on a trip to New York – still celebrating turning 50 – with Mr.M. I’m actually wearing the same skirt/boot combo right now as I type this, a whole year later.

Then it sneaked into my case to visit Berlin. This has been one well-worn and well-loved skirt.

I should mention that at 5’2″ I’m on the shorter side for modelling, so I chopped my skirt off. I encourage you to do the same and make your skirt the way you like it, so you’ll keep wearing it. There are shorten/lengthen lines on the pattern if you are finishing your hem with the contrast facing, but for the raw edge hem option I just cut it off after making (you can trim the frayed white threads if you prefer).

My Good Times skirt has made several city trips, London, Birmingham … Ikea, Coventry. It’s done a shift at Sewing for Pleasure back in March because I needed to use those pockets and I see many more sewing shows in its future! This is a good practical skirt with pockets that can hold a big mobile phone and a travelcard and keeps your hands free. All without fear that they will fall out of your pocket and be lost forever on the underground. What a relief. Every time I wear this skirt, I do indeed have a good time.

 

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The Good Times Skirt | Hong Kong Finish Binding Tutorial

The Good Times Skirt | Hong Kong Finish Binding Tutorial

We have a few different methods of finishing the Centre Front and Centre Back seams for the Good Times Skirt. One of the seam options to use Hong Kong binding. You could also use this method to neaten the bottom of the waistband which gives a very professional look to the inside of your skirt (or any skirt!). This method is often used to finish the inside of jackets and dresses when you want the inside to be as pretty as the outside

Hong Kong binding is a very versatile design detail. You can make it pretty by using a small print…a bit of Liberty print anyone? Make a graphic statement with a contrasting colour or use a tonal fabric for a subtle stripe. You could use up your scraps of loved fabrics, just keep them of similar weight and fibre content for a cohesive look.

BUT WHAT IS IT? | What’s the difference between regular bias binding and Hong Kong Finish binding? With the usual bias binding method, all the edges are enclosed but with Hong Kong Finish the underneath edge of the binding is left raw and unfinished to reduce bulk.

FABRIC CHOICES | Hong Kong binding works best with a stable lightweight fabric, cotton lawn or a similar weight is perfect, but nothing too thick as you don’t want to add bulk to the seam. You can use pre-made bias just press it flat first.

CUTTING | the Good Times Skirt has optional Hong Kong Finish binding pattern pieces included in the ‘print at home’ pattern ready to cut and use to finish the waistband, Centre Front (CF) & Centre Back (CB) seams. If you are using this tutorial to bind a different garment (hello & welcome!) binding strips should be cut 3cm wide x the length needed plus a little extra for good measure. You can of course use ready made bias binding that has been pressed flat.

TOOLS | binding, standard machine presser foot, zipper foot (optional – see the tip below) iron and the usual sewing stuff!

ABBREVIATIONS | WS: wrong side | RST: right side together | RSU: right side up | RS: right side | SA: seam allowance

A TIP BEFORE YOU START SEWING|

I prefer to do the binding after closing the seam for accuracy and I’ve found using a zipper foot makes it a smidge easier (and that is is how I’ve written the instructions).

But, the binding can be attached BEFORE you close the centre front or centre back seam. It’s really a personal preference and in fact, it is slightly easier to stitch it first BUT you need to make sure you stitch it the right way for when the seam is reversed. Because the seam is reversed it’s very easy to stitch it the wrong way up – go on, ask me how I know….!!!

If you decide to attach it before you close the seam, be very accurate attaching it and very accurate again when you go back and stitch the CF/CB seams closed with the correct seam allowance. Potentially the extra thickness or width of the binding could mislead you and you could lose or gain a few millimetres per seam. That doesn’t sound a lot but they all add up if you lose a bit here and a bit there, and then your skirt is a bit tight!

SEW |

Close the seam and press with the SA open. I’ve already bound one side in these photos…

Take one side of the SA and push all other layers out of the way and with RIGHT SIDES TOGETHER (RST) align the edge of the binding with the raw edge of the SA.

TIP | At the bottom edge, if you want a neat finish with all the raw edges enclosed, fold over the binding over to the back of the seam. You may not need to bother with this step if the end of your binding/seam will later be hemmed, finished or caught into a facing.

Attach binding with 6mm SA – this will be finished binding width.

TIP | When binding the Centre Front & Centre Back seams you may find this step easier if you use a zipper foot.

Press the binding away from the seam. Note the (optional) neat finish at the bottom edge.

Fold the binding over to the WS of the SA, enclosing the raw edge of the seam. Make sure the binding is snug against the edge of the SA.

Press binding flat, take care not to stretch the seam.

With RSU stitch in the ditch through the binding and the SA only (use the zipper foot again if that works for you). Press again.

The binding will be raw to the underside of the SA and can be trimmed down closer to your stitchline if too wide for your SA.

You can ignore this step if you are just binding a seam but for The Good Times Skirt CF and CB seams, stitch in the ditch a second time, this time through ALL the layers to hold seam allowance flat against skirt. And you’re finished!