(which I may be, and I’m sure there’s therapy out there somewhere for me)

This is my project pile; which contains navy and caramel and white and stripes and brown and green.

project pile



So quick I didn’t even take a before photo!

grey skirt

This pure wool rib-knit skirt came from Glebe Markets. In original form it was ankle-length, and I used to wear it with coloured tights and clumpy Doc Martens. I’ve kind of grown out of that look, so I was going to cut it up and make it into a top. But last week I passed a woman in the street wearing a knee length knit skirt with flat boots and a jacket and she looked fantastic. So, change of plan. I cut the skirt off at the length I wanted; and ironed on a strip of very light interfacing around the hem, to keep it from fraying and stretching. Too easy.

red skirt

23 June 2007

red skirt 1

I really miss the two corduroy skirts I grew out of* and gave away a few winters ago. The pattern is from a Japanese book called Skirt a la carte, by Machiko Kayaki (ISBN 4-579-11000-5).

a la carte

No, I can’t read any Japanese, but I managed to muddle my way through the diagrams. I’m not sure if the pattern included seam allowances or not – when I measured the pattern pieces they seems a bit small so I added seam allowances, and the skirt turned out a bit big. But some pieces like the pockets would have been ridiculously small if I hadn’t added the allowances. Any wisdom from frequent users of Japanese patterns?

And yes, I probably could have saved myself a lot of trouble by buying an english pattern. But English patterns don’t come in beautifully presented books with lovely photos that make the skirts look like something I’d aspire to own, do they?

red skirt 2

Here are some detail shots, including some B&W because I love how the texture of the corduroy shows up.


red skirt detail

red skirt detail 2

*As in the definition of attaining adulthood: you stop growing upwards and start growing sideways.

flannel pants

21 June 2007


I bought these grey flannel pants at MUJI when I lived in London. They saw me through two winters, toasty warm. I haven’t worn them in 6 years, but I can’t bear to throw them out. I still love the fabric, but the cut is very 90’s. Look how long the crotch seam is.


I wanted to drop the waist down, but, women’s pants with pockets being an endangered species worthy of conservation, I wanted to keep the pockets. This is how I did it.

the makeover

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[As requested by sewjenny]

[enormous upfront caveat: this is my way of converting a pattern. It may not work for you. It may not be the ‘proper’ way to do it. But it’s how I do it and it works for me. All care taken, no responsibility accepted]

Sketch out the shape of the pattern piece, fairly large.
Write the number of stitches on the sketch at each point where it changes.
At each point where the number of stitches change, write down how many rows it took to get to that point.

Using the tension given in the pattern, work out how many centimetres wide or high the piece is at each of these points. Write these on the sketch at the appropriate points. Here’s my picture for the grey cardigan

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