My version of the ‘Picnic Blanket Skirt’

I know most internet seamstresses have come across Tilly’s fabulous blog, and her ‘Picnic Blanket Skirt‘ tutorial. Well, I wasn’t going to give this one a miss was I!



I originally thought I might make this up in the out to sea fabric, so went to the local fabric shop for some cheap cotton to make a mock up and check I liked the design. Well, those that know me well will know I cant walk away from the leopard print once I have seen it! So what if I made a mock up with fabric I adore, at least I will get some wear out of it (I think the shoes might be a bit much!).



This is the first time I have ever EVER sewn buttonholes and I am so proud of myself. I took the extra time to measure them, and did a couple of practice runs first. They came out so pretty and neat, and I love the little wooden buttons to match the brown.



After also reading Tilly’s post about sewing with cottons I decided to add a lining. Now this is not at all in the instructions for the pattern but it was so easy. I just used an old bit of black synthetic fabric which I had lying around, I have no idea what it is but it worked a treat. It added a nice amount of weight to the cotton without it getting too heavy, and I hate wearing a skirt without tights so it stops the cotton from sticking to them. All in all I am very happy with the way it turned out. It was a great little pattern, and was so simple to follow but very informative at the same time. I think I might have been a little bloated when I took my waist measurements as it is slightly too large now on the waist. I will either sew some belt loops on to the waist band or save this for my winter wardrobe when I will be carrying a few extra pounds!

DSCF5026So what is on my sewing table next? I am trying out the ‘tunic’ pattern from the sewing bee book as the pattern is included. I am aiming to conquer my fear of jersey knit armed with a walking foot and a super easy pattern which doesn’t include any binding on the neckline! Still sewing every stitch with my fingers crossed and my eyes closed.



‘Out to Sea’ Skirt


I should start this post off by saying that I have always wanted to be able to make my own clothes, and have ‘dabbled’ in the past without using patterns and subsequently without having much luck. So earlier this year, as I am sure is the case with a lot of sewers, I got completely and utterly addicted to BBC2’s Sewing Bee. Watching this inspired me, and made me realise ‘you can do this, you just need to go about it properly’. So I started off with some mild adventures in the posts below. I had some success, but on the whole I am not 100% sure how often these will get worked into my wardrobe.

If you have read my posts below you will know I bought the most beautiful Michael Miller/Sarah Jane ‘Out to Sea’ fabric, which I really wanted to make into a skirt to wear to a good friends wedding which was yesterday and was held on the ‘HMS Trincomalee’, a fabulous old Frigate boat equipped with masts and cannons and everything. I was a beautiful wedding, and I couldn’t have been happier for the couple. I was also very pleased at how the project came out (you will have to forgive the terrible photo’s, I really am not the most photogenic person).


The pattern is actually the pencil skirt from the Sewing Bee book. I bought the book as I loved the show so much, and despite having to print the patterns yourself, where else can you get 28 patterns for such a cheap price! The pattern worked out really well, It was very straightforward, instructions were easy to follow and it came out pretty much as it did in the picture which is nice. I omitted the invisible zip, because I didn’t have a foot, and I added a lining using a very helpful tutorial which I found here:

It did possibly feel a little on the large side around the hips (I do like a hugging pencil skirt) but as it was a non stretchy cotton, I think that the skirt did benefit from being slightly on the larger side to give me a bit of room to move. I would like to do a little review of the book but I think I need to try out a few of the patterns first, as this was my main reason for buying. I think I will try the simple tunic next, as this is the only one which comes with a pre-printed pattern in the book.