The Epiphany of the Perfect Knit (Pencil) Skirt

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For months I’ve been pinning pictures of fitted knit pencil skirts and oversized sweaters. I really wanted that as my go to outfit for fall and winter, even to go to work. (One of the perks of being a teacher – wear a scarf and tights and you can pretty much get away with anything)
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But finding the perfect skirt deemed to be harder than expected. I couldn’t find the perfect skirt or perfect pattern. I tried on a few skirts in stores to see what I liked, but they were either too long, too short or too flimsy (or pricey). Buying a pattern seemed silly as well since this is basically the easiest piece of clothing on the planet to make and I wasn’t looking forward to spending money and then taping the PDF and then altering the entire thing (since I always have to)
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Why was it so hard?
My demands, that’s why it was hard!

  • I wanted my skirt to come all the way up the slimmest part of my waist, not any higher since I have a very short waist and I didn’t want a waistband getting stuck underneath my boobs.
  • I wanted it to be mid thigh length so it was covering the larger part of my legs, but not restrict any walking.
  • I wanted it to be very very stretchy with great stretch recovery.
  • I didn’t want it to show underneath my clothes.
  • Most skirts where either barely covering my behind or the right length but with a waistband that would creep up while wearing ending in a skirt that was too short.

This morning I was planning my sewing for the next three days (we’ve got a week off of school and the first three days baby is still going to daycare) and it hit me!

I’ve got tubular ribbing in my stash! (You see where I’m going with this…)

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Take a piece of tubular ribbing twice the length you need/want.
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Fold it in two length-wise. The fold will be the hem.
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I used the wrong side out because I prefer the texture.

I decided not to finish it with a waistband or elastic or even serge the layers at the top since
1. Knit doesn’t fray
2. Waistband or elastic would show under my clothes
3. The serging might affect the stretch.

UPDATE: On day 2 I decided to finish the skirt with a waistband after all. Not because it would be more comfy but because I kept thinking ‘What if I get into an accident and people see that I’m just wearing an unfinished piece of fabric.’ I tried, wearing unfinished pieces… not for me. I simply serged a 1″ elastic sandwiched between the two layers, I then folded the top so that the serged edge was under the elastic. I then stitched down the serged edge 1″ from the top, creating a ‘waistband’. It doesn’t show underneath my regular clothes so it looks the same and no stretch was affected 😉

For those of you that think this is totally stupid, you are entitled to your opinion. For those who think this is genius but are worried about finding tubular ribbing in your size, good news, it comes in different widths and it’s all very stretchy since I used the narrowest size in my stash (14″x2) and my 42 inch hips fit into it perfectly!

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The green is the same width as the blue one I’m wearing.

Waist to mid-thigh, fitted, stretchy, great recovery and the double layer makes it completely opaque and the lack of waistband makes it sit smoothly under my clothes. I’m happy! Let’s order some more ribbing!

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Cuddly cat bomb!
Cuddly cat bomb!

Have you ever wanted to smack yourself for coming up with something so easy you don’t understand how you didn’t think of it sooner?

Outfit: Sweater – Megan Nielsen Briar sweater with owl applique (unblogged) // Skirt – No sew knit (pencil) skirt



One year ago today I married the best husband I could ever wish for.


Before I met him, I had spends years looking for the right guy. I wanted love to be like movie love. Happily ever after with my soulmate. I wanted to get married and have kids when I was 16. It has always been my dream. But since I only seemed to fall for guys who needed fixing that just didn’t happen. For years I kept thinking it would change and I was too romantic to realise movie love is nothing like real life love.

I couldn’t predict real life love was better!


Three years ago, on our first date he let me talk about myself all the time, he wanted to know everything. We didn’t kiss that night but I couldn’t get him out of my head. Just a few days later we had a second date and we talked and talked all night. We both had to get up in the morning but he didn’t leave until 4 am. We kissed by the car and I was in love. Date number three came around and when I asked him how on earth he could still be single, he looked shocked and said: “I didn’t think I was single anymore, I thought I was yours.”
That’s the moment I knew he was the one.
We moved in together 6 months later and living with him is easy. He doesn’t need any fixing (although I wouldn’t mind him picking up his socks once in a while). He’s sweet, reliable and a hard worker. Not the most exciting qualities in a man, but the most important ones in a husband and father. But I also think he’s absolutely gorgeous and he still makes me swoon. He’s also the best father to our daughter I could ever wish for. He makes me laugh and makes me feel good about myself. He doesn’t know how to comfort me when I’m down, but he’s a guy and he scores points for trying.
We never go out and don’t go anywhere, maybe that’s boring, but that’s just us. We prefer to stay in and watch a movie together or spend the morning in bed playing with our daughter.
I got pregnant a year after we moved in together and we found out the day we signed the deed to our house. We decided to get married.

We wanted all three of us to be in the picture.

Our wedding day was the happiest day of my life (apart from the day our daughter was born). We only invited our family and closest friends. It was magical and perfect and I still wouldn’t change a thing. A lot of people have been asking for pictures, so a year later, here we go.
I was fortunate enough to find the best photographer. He was one of my best friends in college and he came to stay with us from the day before the wedding till the day after, so we have professional pictures of our entire day. He knew us well enough that we felt totally at ease in front of the camera and he knows enough of weddings to make sure everything runs smoothly and on time.
I know everyone will be looking at my dress, so long story short: Because we were renovating our new house and I was pregnant I thought that making my own dress would be too overwhelming. So I bought one. I still really like it, but since then my sewing got better and if I had to do it again, I would have made it myself. .






Yes, I’m feeling up his butt…


Taking pictures by the fire and a piece of charcoal jumped into my cleavage.
He captured me…

We are both raised Catholic but we don’t attend church, so it didn’t feel right to have a big church wedding just because it looked good in pictures. We had a small civil service instead (perfectly normal around here, since you need to have a civil service anyway)

“You may now kiss the bride!”



Us and my godfather – normally he’s a serious doctor.
The wedding party
The historical landmark in our village – I am a history teacher after all 😉
A quite moment to ourselves.
My secret weapon in a long day of standing on my feet 😉
My father-in-law and my dad. They get along perfectly!
He was actually cuter than my husband, but he couldn’t stay, sadly.
Speech! Speech! Speech!
Food was good.
Wedding cake – total surprise as we didn’t ask for any 🙂
First dance together.
Father – daughter dance.


And then the party started… She’s my best friend and my ‘best man’ 😉
These are my other be sties. We live to far apart, I miss them so much!


I did however change into a stretch lace dress halfway through the night and I did make that one myself. It’s a Maria Denmark Day-to-Night dress in red stretch lace underlined in red jersey. Not my best make but I had it for a year, wore it only once and despite me being pregnant, it still fit!

It was getting to hot for my wedding dress so I switched. A lot of our guests thought there was another pregnant lady, the one in the red dress… it was just me who changed dresses 🙂


I did my hair and make-up myself and I don’t regret it. I felt like a princess marrying her knight in shining armor.

See through back.


Good view of how pregnant I was 🙂



These are our baby’s godmother (my cousin) and godfather (my husband’s best friend). We asked them on our wedding day.
My brother… and cousin in the back.
It got late…
It got later…
Last dance…


I can’t believe it has already been a year, time flies when you’re having fun.


Whatever you’re about to do, Lola is right there with you!

So I finally made the Victory Patterns Lola dress. Waaaaaay overdue, but I never wear sweaters so I didn’t see myself wearing a sweater dress. But then I saw so many gorgeous versions (here, here and here) popping up around the internet and I found the perfect fabric so I decided to give it a go. But not before I made this wearable muslin (yes, seriously, I made a muslin)


I can definitely say that whatever you have to do, Lola is the girl for the job. I took her out to the doctor’s, to work and she even helped me with the shopping and taking care of the baby.

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Seriously, sewing this dress is easier than making the baby smile. She does have the best bitchy resting face though

I am in love! (With both the dress and my gorgeous baby!)

The facts:

    • Fabric is a sweatshirt fleece that was intended to be a blazer but that didn’t work out so it was totally meant to be a Lola.
    • My measurements put me in a size 12 but I wanted it a bit snugger so cut a size 10 but I could easily go down another size on the top.
    • This dress took me 2 baby nap times from start to finish! And that’s even with unpicking the twin needle stitching on the pockets 4 times! So super fast, just the way I like it 🙂
    • My mother-in-law loved it (that was a pretty weird feeling), she was even saying she’d like on of her own (even weirder)
    • My hubby noticed the new dress and he even noticed the fit wasn’t perfect yet.


The pockets are both her greatest strength and her greatest weakness. She lets me take baby’s laundry, baby’s bottle and the baby herself upstairs (not in the pocket) all at the same time, but she also made me look for my earbuds and classroom keys for half a day and I only found them because I fell on top of them when I crashed on the couch when I came home.


This dress is snuggly and comfy. For now she’s perfect to throw on as a single layer with boots (I even wore it yesterday with heels since it was 23 degrees here). She kept me warm but not too warm all day. (Except for that one classroom where they are trying to recreate Rachel and Monica’s tropical Christmas Party. Too bad I don’t have Joey running around to turn the radiator off from underneath.)  When it’s a bit colder she’s perfect with tights and my me-made blazer (more on that in another post).

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Inspecting the blazer and watching the cats play in the background. Using baby as a prop is not the best idea.

There will be a lot more Lolas to come. I still have my ‘good’ fabric to cut into and some regular French terry, but I’m having trouble finding nice ribbing for that one. (Stupid hard to match radiant orchid!)

This is what I found when looking through my test pictures… I was being spied upon 🙂

Have you ever made a pattern and loved it while all along you thought it wasn’t your thing?

PS Thanks Gillian, for explaining how to get Flickr pictures in my blog 🙂

Audrey would have been proud!


Back in the summer I had a chance to be a pattern tester for the new Audrey and Me Pattern Company by Charlie of This blog is Not For You. Her first patterns are the Hepburn Dress and Skirt and since I wanted to get some experience in making a woven dress I chose to make the dress version.


The dress itself gives you a lot of options. 3 different necklines and the possibility to combine it with the Hepburn skirt to turn it into a fitted dress instead of a fitted bodice with a flared skirt with deep boxpleats.


I opted for the scoop neckline as I don’t like the look of higher necklines on me. The fabric I used is leftover from my Portside travel set and I’m so happy I ordered too much because I just love love love this fabric! I’m seriously tempted to order some more in this and the natural colourway (or the beige one, or the red one) for next summer! I also used a leftover metal zipper and I seriously adore metal zippers!

85% cotton, 15% polyester - looks like linen
85% cotton, 15% polyester – looks like linen



I’m very excited about this dress as it’s my first woven dress with a bodice lining and my first dress with an exposed zipper. Also the first time doing an FBA!



Sorry about the wrinkles :)
Sorry about the wrinkles 🙂

My measurements (bust 102cm/waist 82,5cm) put me in a size UK18, but after muslining that I had to take it in so much at the waist (I like my waist quite snug) that I decided to make a size UK16 and do an FBA.

On my first muslin (size 18) I took in both side seams from nothing at the dart to 1 cm at the waist and I enlarged both front waist darts with 1 cm as well. Which resulted in an overall loss of 8cm at the waist. I also shifted the CF to fix some gaping I had at the neckline, I took it in 3 cm grading to nothing at the waist (because of this it got to tight for the girls).

I did two bodice muslins for the size 16 but that was only because I made my FBA on the first one too large. I finally settled for a size 16 with a 4 cm FBA (2 on the pattern) and I took out the extra length the FBA added + I did a 3 cm swayback adjustment. These are all common fixes for me, I always do a swayback and I have a very short waist.

When I made my dress out of fashion fabric I noticed that under stitching the neckline and armhole openings didn’t really work (very very fiddly) so I unpicked the whole thing and cut the lining 2mm smaller on neck and armhole opening, this way it naturally favors the inside. That’s how I always do it.
I really tried turning the bodice like the pattern said (through the straps), but in the scoop neck version the combination of the narrow straps and my medium weight linen made it impossible. It might work with a lightweight fabric like a cotton batiste. Either way it won’t be an issue with the other versions as those straps are wider.


I unpicked the whole thing and just sewed together the neckline and side seams, turned the bodice and used faux leather piping to create a facing for the armholes.


I have no remarks about the rest of the dress, every notch and marking matched up perfectly so putting together the PDF and the dress itself was really easy.



It fit great when I made it – although I’ll probably deepen the front waist darts a bit for the next one – but since then I’ve lost some weight so it’s too loose now. I’ve also come to terms with the fact that I have either narrow shoulders or sloping shoulders because the straps slide down and this is not the first pattern I’ve noticed this on.


Because of this I don’t know what to do with the dress. I really like it because it’s so perfectly finished and it has so many firsts but I’ll probably never wear it again as it’s too loose and the straps slide down. So my plan is to be happy with the experience and the pictures I got out of it but to take it apart and use the fabric for something else (probably a Moss skirt or a Nasha skirt) so that in any case, not all is lost.


My perfect moss-coloured Moss Skirt


In March of 2013 I attempted to make a Grainline Moss skirt for the first time. It was a total fail.

It took me until this summer to finally pick up the courage to give it a second try. I cut it out with the idea of sewing it before I went on vacation. It didn’t happen.

So when I finally picked it up the last week of September it was just because I was in a sewing rut and I needed a fast project to get me started. By fast I usually mean ‘something that doesn’t involve tracing or cutting’. Since this one had been lying on my closet for weeks all cut out with notions assembled, it felt right.


I hadn’t been sewing long when I first attempted to make it and it was actually the first ever PDF pattern I bought. I wasn’t familiar with Jen’s way of drafting so everything seemed strange compared to other skirts I had made. Now I know that her drafting skills are superb. Seriously, everything lined up perfectly! And if I hadn’t had to insert the zipper twice (!) it would have been a fast project.


So what happened…

I had everything finished apart from the waistband. I went upstairs to try it on and while I was admiring the fit (seriously, fit was perfect) the zipper pull came off. I had stitched across the zipper and everything, still it came off. And if I hadn’t been horrified enough, at that exact time I got a call from my baby’s daycare saying she was running a temperature and if I could please come get her. It was her first time having a fever, so you can imagine how fast I wanted to go get her. But the zipper pull had just come off my skirt… SO I HAD TO SEAMRIP MYSELF OUT OF THE SKIRT! My perfectly aligned side seam. I still well up when I think of it.

When I finally had time to sit down and fix it (because I wasn’t looking forward to unpicking my complete front fly and zipper) I actually broke my zipper even more.

Luckily I got some encouragement on Instagram
Luckily I got some encouragement on Instagram

So completely unpicking it was.

But I’m happy I did, everything came together in the end and I even opted for the shorter version even though I was meaning to make the longer version all along. I finished the hem with bias tape because I wanted to keep all the length there was. I really like the pretty insides. Except I don’t like the inside of my waistband. I should have matched my thread to the colour of the waistband lining. It’s not really visible here but my thread was the same green as the outside.



This was supposed to be a complete stash-based skirt but due to zipper failure it wasn’t. The moss colored denim (totally intended) has been in my stash since the beginning. I bought it in every colourway I could find thinking that 1m was enough to make me ANYTHING I wanted. That’s why the pocket and waistband lining are in another colour 😉 I had already pre washed it and I guess I must have folded or stored it wrong because there is a permanent (colour) crease next to the centre front and right above the hemline. If I had had more fabric I would have cut around it… Now I’ll just have to hope that steaming and pressing will get it out eventually. If not I won’t wear it any less 🙂 Next time I’ll pay more attention to the waistband ends, they curve up a little but for a first try it’s fine.


I am kicking myself right now for not making it sooner, because it’s exactly the type of skirt I wore 10 years ago when I actually felt good about my clothes. It is very short and I’ll probably only wear it with tights. (seriously, the ghostly colour of my leg makes this skirt seem ridiculous otherwise) But I don’t mind because tights makes me feel comfortable. I even wore it to work today (have to remember not to bend over, kids might get distracted) I’ve already planned a few more, fabric picked out and everything. But I might be seduced to make the Named Nasha skirt especially since seeing this perfect version by Maike. I can honestly say I’m never attracted to Named patterns based on their styling, it’s just not my thing. But once they start popping up around the blogosphere my credit card needs to be given to the hubby for safe keeping 😉


As you all know by now, I feel very self conscious when I have to take pictures of myself. But I really really liked my outfit today and so I decided to take pictures immediately after I got home. It wasn’t a pretty day, had been raining all morning but somehow it turned out perfect for the pictures. No weird shadows I had to get rid off. I’m starting to like my back door 😉


Have you ever waited so long to remake a failed project?


PS Sorry not sorry about all the wrinkles… I had been wearing it all day 🙂 And listening to my music made me feel more relaxed while taking pictures.

I got nominated for this blog hop by the sweet Sarah of Notches and Notions. She does have the idea that I sew all the time even with a baby… Rest assured, I don’t. I plan my sewing all the time but most of the time my head is so full of ideas I don’t know where to start and I just don’t sew… Have to remedy that someday 🙂

Back to what this blog hop is about!

Why do I write?

I started writing because I wanted a means to share stuff about my newest hobby. I didn’t know anyone who sews and I didn’t have a lot of friends around since I moved cross country when I met my husband. I kept writing because somehow people where actually reading my stuff, people were interested. The sewing community is definitely the sweetest and I’ve learned so much. By reading blogs and by writing one, and maybe someday somewhere there will be someone learning something from mine… Every teacher’s dream 🙂 I have to admit that I’m quite self conscious when I have to tell non-sewing people about my blog, there is this mistaken idea that bloggers claim to be experts about things and think they are better than others (or at least that’s what it feels like) but that’s not who I am. I’m actually scared someone in my family or at work will read it and make fun of me (believe me, they have… some people are just nice like that). I think the only non-sewing person who reads my blog and doesn’t judge me (or that doesn’t make me feel judged) is my mom (Hi mom!).

What am I working on?

I’ve actually just finished my Grainline Moss skirt. Super happy about it and I really need to take pictures (I’m not good at the picture taking… Cue the self consciousness) Right now I’ve put together a list of garments I want to make for Fall/Winter and I’ve paired them with fabric I had. I even made a ‘swatch list’ so I can put the fabric back into the right boxes and still remember which one I was going to use. May sound weird but my brain doesn’t function well in a sewing mess without a clear list. Too much going on otherwise, gets me all confused.

sewing list

How does it differ from others in this genre?

I don’t think I do, apart from the fact that I actually have to start blogging about stuff I made instead of stuff I’m planning to make. I’m only interested in talking about my experiences. I don’t want to do elaborate tutorials, design patterns and find sponsors. I just want to be me.

How does my writing process work?

Usually my writing process starts while I’m working on something. I talk to myself (in my head) while I’m working and it always feels like I’m trying to explain to others what I’m doing and why. The writing I do in my head and that I usually come up with late at night is pretty good. Funny, interesting, insightful… Problem is that I’m so self-conscious (seriously, I have to fix that) in front of the camera that it takes me aaaaaages to get something photographed and therefor blogged and I don’t remember all the good stuff I was going to say. So my post end up being mediocre. (Am I too hard on myself now?)

If I do manage to remember the good stuff, I usually write everything in one go. I just typ and typ and fight with autocorrect a bit until my post is done. Then I hit publish… Followed with finding a lot of mistakes which make me feel ashamed of being an English teacher and then trying to edit the post before anybody has read it 🙂

I complicate things, I know 🙂

If I were to blog as much as I sew, I would write once a week. And maybe that’s what I should try. Take a day/moment to myself to get pictures right after each make and then write about it. I actually feel guilty about not blogging, how silly am I 🙂

I’d like to nominate Hanne and Anneke. Because they are Belgian and they are so cool. They are my inspiration so I want to know about their writing!

PS I’ve already made two garments of my to sew list and if I get them photographed this week, I’ll blog about them as well 🙂

PS2 Yes, I’ve edited this post after publishing.