Tag Archive | the You Mean I’m Wearing Orange?! skirt

MMM continues – Days 15-18

I’m astonished that I’m still going strong. We’re well onto the repeats now, but I’ve somwhow managed a) to wear something me-made each day and more astonishing still b) to take & post a photo each day.

Day 15 – Colours again

Bright bright bright colours today

Bright bright bright colours today

I was wearing the You Mean I’m Wearing Orange?! Skirt again, this time with a bright turquoise (RTW) top. I was also wearing my favourite turquoise/green shoes, that matches  the t-shirt PERFECTLY.

Day 16 – Epic Fail

I'm only showing this because I sort of have to. It's an awful photo!

I’m only showing this because I sort of have to. It’s an awful photo!

I don’t even want to be posting this… Friday’s picture is basically an Epic Fail. I couldn’t take a photo in daylight, so all I’ve got is crummy selfies in my bedroom.  The Friday photo theme was Too pretty for pants? As it turns out it was Too late for photos!

This is a repeat of the stripey circle skirt. The first wear was a rubbish outfit, now this second wear it’s a rubbish photo. I’m going to have to wear it a third time some time in MMM and make sure it’s a *nice* outfit and a *nice* photo.

Day 17 – The mahoosive London Blogger Meet-up

At the Victoria & Albert Museum

At the Victoria & Albert Museum

A much better outfit (well it would have to be) for the Blogger meet-up- the Jif Lemon Dress. It was nice and cool to wear on a warm Spring day, and I got a lot of complimentary comments, and people checking out the appliqués. It’s always nice to get compliments about your me-mades generally, but it’s doubly nice when it’s from people who know what they are looking at!

Day 18 – It’s Déja Vu All Over Again

I seem to be repeating last weekend! Last weekend it was Jif Lemon on the Saturday and the hi-lo hem circle skirt on the Sunday. And it’s the same again this weekend.

Please to ignore the fact that my skirt has swivelled around my waist!

Please to ignore the fact that my skirt has swivelled around my waist!

Tonight I was at the Jazz Café at Reading’s football stadium, for a dance showcase. I’ve only just realised that it had got twisted around my waist by the time Trish took this photo for me! I should just call that a Styling Decision. You also can’t tell from this particular photo that I was wearing crazy high platform wedge court shoes with it, and I don’t know how I managed to not fall over and break an ankle.

Technically this was a twofer day- in addition to the skirt, I wore a pair of me-made leggings (the ones I wore on Tuesday evening) to dance in, but I don’t have photos of that. I’ll see if I can post a link to some pics later when they’re up on Facebook or elsewhere online.


I need to take stock a bit, see what the next week holds and what clothing I’ve got available to wear. I’m quite excited that I’ll soon have the pretty red & grey splodgy skirt to add to the list.

Some photos of where I work

This is my office.

My Office

That’s my desk there in front

As you can see I have a lovely window with a view over the town of Guildford. My office building is quite high up a big hill, so the view is pretty extensive. As you can see, there’s plenty of natural light flooding into my workspace.

But wait… What that photo is not showing very clearly is that actually, no I don’t have plenty of natural light flooding into my workspace, because there’s a lot of ivy growing up the walls of the building, and this is the real view out of my window. Today it is augmented by a few big snails because it’s been rainy and that seems to bring them out.

Ivy, Ivy, everywhere...

Ivy, Ivy, everywhere…

And the woman who works next to me doesn’t have a houseplant, she has ivy growing in from the window. I’m pretty sure it got trapped there last time the window got opened, rather than it pushing its way in like a triffid, but the window’s been shut on it for a long time, and it’s still kept on growing!

Our very own outdoor houseplant

Our very own outdoor houseplant

Apparently the men from Property Services are coming to chop it all down tomorrow. I will have to wear sunglasses to protect my eyes from the dazzle of all that extra light coming in! I took my camera into work to capture the Before photo. I’ll be sure to show you the After photo next week. That’s assuming the men from Property Services do turn up tomorrow (I won’t know- I don’t work there on a Friday), and assuming they do chop the ivy down. At the moment they still have the option of looking at it and sucking their breath in and saying it’s too high up and it’s a health and safety nightmare.

That’s all a bit of background to my very first Me Made May photo- ta-dah!

My first Me Made May outfit!

My first Me Made May outfit!

I’m wearing the You Mean I’m Wearing Orange?! Skirt, and my refashioned When Two Become One t-shirt, so it’s a twofer today. Don’t go expecting me to wear that much Me Made stuff per day for the rest of May, because I haven’t *got* all that much to go around. In fact when I was thinking last night about what to wear today, I’d originally planned to wear the top with one of my numerous black skirts. But then I realised this morning that I’d been wearing black skirts on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and it was high time I wore something a bit different. Also I’d been wearing a black skirt with this top when I first blogged it.

And I couldn’t not include the dud photo where I realised I had the outdoor/indoor ivy growing out of my wazoo!

That ivy gets everywhere!

That ivy gets everywhere!

Now, I’m off to join in Zoe’s brilliant MMM14 Sewbox.co.uk giveaway. Wish me luck!


The You Mean I’m Wearing Orange? Skirt (AKA the Sew Weekly Reunion Skirt)

This is the official “finished” post, and I’m really happy with how this came out. It actually came out looking just like the picture I had in my head.

Guildford Castle

Guildford Castle

At the Bandstand

At the Bandstand

I do have to thank my lovely boyfriend for suggesting the Castle Grounds for the photoshoot, and for being willing to troll around taking photos of me, and for being a proper artist who knows about composition and colour and light and stuff like that. And since it was quite hard to stop him taking photos once he got started, this is quite a picture-intensive post!

The Facts

Fabric: purple cotton drill- £6.00, patterned cotton from stash, I only used a tiny bit of it to cut out the appliqués, so I’m calling this free.

Notions: zip- 80p, cotton pearl embroidery thread- £4.05. hem binding- £1.50. Edited to add- a bit of interfacing from stash- I’m counting that as free.

Sadly, although I was using one of the notions (the purple tape measure) to help make this when I was cutting out, there’s nothing concrete from the pattern & notions swap in the fabric of this skirt.

Pantone Challenge colors: main colour: Acai, slightly pastelled down. Accent colours in the appliqués: Emerald, Koi, even a touch of Vivacious.

Pattern:McCalls 3830. I’ve used this twice before so I’m counting it as zero cost.

Year: 2002

Time to complete: A couple of hours for the basic skirt, what seemed like an eternity (but is actually more like 13 hours) for applying and embroidering the appliqués!

First worn: On Sunday. And again Tuesday.

Wear again?: Definitely! It fits so well in with my existing wardrobe.

Total Cost: £12.35

The pattern is my faithful McCalls straight skirt- it’s dead simple, it’s just a plain straight skirt.

McCalls 3830

I went for mid-way between views C & D, so it’s on the knee. I did start by trying to make it a bit more A-line, by angling the side seams out, but it didn’t look right, so I cut them back to straight again. So essentially, I stuck to the pattern. I suspect I didn’t start the angling of the sides high up enough, I’ll know better next time I try it.

Stuff I did that was new for me:
The whole appliqué business. I’d decided from the off that I wanted to have a plain skirt that was embellished in some way, and when I found the accent fabric in my pitifully small stash, and the colours were so damn perfect for the challenge palette, as well as for my base fabric colour, it was self-evident to me that it would be cut-out shapes from the accent fabric appliquéd to the plain skirt. I might use different techniques another time, but I like what I did with it here. Basically, I cut shapes out from the accent fabric, tacked them onto the skirt, then used a rough satin stitch with black cotton perlé embroidery thread to fix them in place more permanently. The black embroidery gives the shapes clear definition, and adds a bit of texture to the skirt.

Appliqué Detail

Appliqué Detail- that black line at the bottom of the skirt is shadow, not an edging!

I also did a bound hem for the first time, which I think is really pretty and I’ll be doing again. I used a lilac satin bias binding, and it feels lovely on my legs!



Stuff that stressed me at the time:
The zip just would not behave!* It took four goes, and its still not one of my better zip insertions, but khalas, it’s done.

Having got started on the appliqué embroidery, I was overwhelmed by panic that it would take forever to do, and that I wouldn’t have enough supplies of embroidery cotton. I had visions of having to photograph the skirt only from the front because that was the only bit that I’d finished! Here, have a back view photo, to prove that I did complete the embroidery all the way round!

The Back View

The Back View

What I don’t love so much about this skirt:
I did zig-zags to finish the seams, and it’s just not as nice as turning & sewing, or adding a proper binding. So it’s not as pretty on the inside as I’d like. Lesson learned for next time- finish the seams more nicely.

What I DO love about this skirt:
The colour! I love love love the purple, and I also love that I’m wearing a colour that I’ve avoided like the plague for years, albeit in homeopathically small quantities and well away from my face- I’m not stupid!

I also do love the appliqués with quite a passion, and I will definitely be doing something like this again.

And since I have lots of photos of me up by the Castle, here’s a few more.

DSCF2046  DSCF2053


It’s been fun sewing this skirt, and you can check back over my earlier posts about this skirt using the “the You Mean I’m Wearing Orange?!” tag in the list over on the right there. I loved the colour challenge, and I’m SO looking forward to seeing everyone else’s creations all together.

But the main thing this Challenge has taught me is that all those Sew Weekly Contributors were INSANELY productive!!! This skirt (a measly straight skirt for heaven’s sake, it’s not exactly ambitious!) took me two pretty intense weeks** to make (and a third week to get photographed nicely), and I was getting all panicky and stressed over it. The Sew Weekly contributors were making far more complex and amazing outfits in just one week, routinely, and taking it in their stride. Kudos to you all, Sew Weekly people- I salute your work!

And finally, because there always has to be *one* goofy shot, here’s the Alice Through the Looking Glass statue, because Lewis Carroll died in Guildford, because he stayed with his sisters who lived here, when he wasn’t at Oxford.

Béa Through the Looking Glass

Béa Through the Looking Glass

* It was all my own fault, not the poor zip’s.

** Well, to be honest, more like one easy messing-about week and one intense, stressy, panicky week.

So it’s not a “Challenge” unless there’s a challenge, right?

I’m suffering from a massive dose of Bitten Off More Than I Can Chew. I’m on the last bit of the Sew Weekly Reunion Challenge Skirt. I’m embroidering the appliqués. This is going to take a LOT of time. There’s only ten more days to finish this garment off in, and it looks like I’m going to be embroidering every spare minute I’ve got, to get it all done in time. This is only one evening’s work- aaarrrggghhh!!!

Edging commences

Edging commences

I’m doing a sort of rough satin stitch to cover all the rough edges of the appliqués. I chose black cotton perlé, because I thought it would have a bit of shine, which would be texturally interesting, and because black would show up the appliqué edges in a slightly cartoonish way, and (hahaha!) I thought it would go quicker. It’s going to be fine when it’s all done, but having got started on this tonight I’m giving myself the heebyjeebies. Also, I only got two skeins of perlé, and I fear I’m going to need way more, and there was only one skein left in black in Pandora’s, and none of the other shops in town stock it. Eeep! I wonder how quickly I can get some on ebay…

On a more positive note, and in the full confidence that I *will* get all that embroidering done in plenty of time, while I was in Pandora’s getting the cotton perlé, I also found a pretty lilac satin binding for the hem.

I’ve got the September Fall For Cotton challenge in the back of my head. For now I’ve got no idea what I’m going to be sewing for that, but I’m going to be going fabric shopping in the next week or so, which will firm up what my plans are for that.


Edited two days later, to add:

I’ve stopped hyperventilating! I bought that last remaining skein of embroidery thread, and did a load of measuring and calculating, and I’m fairly sure that I can just about manage the remaining embroidery out of that third skein, if I’m frugal. Also, I’ve done a SHEDLOAD of embroidering, and I’m nearly done. I reckon I can finish the edging tonight. Which only leaves the hemming to worry about. So my fears about not having the right materials and not being finished in time are allayed.

However, I am still unsure of how I’m going to photograph this skirt to make it look nice. It may be a case of wandering around the park over the bank holiday weekend, asking random strangers to photograph me!

Progress on the TSWR skirt

The basic skirt is all done, bar the appliqué work and the hemming. I got started on the appliqué work tonight.

I had got some shapes cut out from the pattern fabric, but what I’d already cut seemed like it wasn’t going to be enough so I cut out a few more last bits. Then it was a case of sorting out placement. Of course, that’s when I found out that actually I had cut out enough bits… That’s just the way of the world, of course.

Once I’d sorted out the positioning, it was the mammoth task of tacking it all in place. I thought that was going to take aaaaaaaaaaaages, but actually, once I got going, it went pretty quickly. So it’s all tacked and I’m happy with how it looks. Now I need to work out exactly how I’m going to work the embroidery. That’s a job for tomorrow.

For now, here’s how part of it looks.

Appliqué progress

Appliqué progress

TSWR Challenge thoughts

I’ve actually managed to finalise my plans. I’m actually going to be doing a small amount of stashbusting, as I’ve identified some fabric from my tiny-weeny stash that is just *perfect* for my appliqué plans. Behold!



I bought it last year to make a gift for a Secret Santa Exchange, and the giftee’s favourite colours were purple and orange. I kept the leftover bits  but I never  thought I’d ever use this floral fabric for myself, because orange tends to make me look like I’d died three weeks ago. But when I was trying to work out what to do about the appliquéing I half remembered this, and pulled it out from the bottom of the bag of fabric, and realised it’s *perfect* colour toning for my purple base fabric and for the whole TSW colour scheme. It includes the Acai purple, the Emerald green and the Koi orange. There’s even a touch of the Vivacious pink. I could even allow a touch of orange to slip in, because it’s going to be far enough away from my face that it shouldn’t be too killing. But if I don’t want to, there’s plenty of scope for avoiding the orange bits when I cut out my appliqués.

So I’m feeling well prepped, and it’s time to start cutting. I’m using a pattern I’ve used before, so I don’t have to do any faffing about with grading and tweaking- all that’s been done already, so it’s all systems go…