June 8, 2015

Lemon and grey and twirling, oh my!

These are a few of my favourite things:

  • Yellow
  • Grey
  • Japanese fabric
  • Midi skirts
  • Twirling
  • the Renfrew t-shirt

So this outfit is just one big YAY!

Butterick 5929 and Sewaholic Renfrew

I feel very Nicolette Mason here…

Ever since I snapped up this hand-painted style lemon and dove grey plaid linen at Tomato in Tokyo I’ve been daydreaming about what to do with it (you can buy very similar fabric over on Miss Matatabi!). Luckily, I also bought the blue/green colourway thus reducing the inevitable angst I feel when deciding what to do with precious fabric (but what if it was *meant* to be a shirtdress?! It can keep you up at night, that). I love my other Butterick 5929, so I decided to whip it out again and make another 6 gored, adorably swishy, nearly-midi skirt.

Butterick 5929 and Sewaholic Renfrew

In an attempt to improve my attention to detail I thought ooooh, better make sure I do plaid matching, but it’ll be impossible to do anything with those grey stripes, so I’ll just match the yellow ones.


I guess this is just something you learn with experience but… on this type of gored skirt you can indeed line them both up. Just after I took a photo of the first seam (bottom left) I suddenly realized that it’s possible to make chevrons with the vertical line. Playing around with an unsewn seam, it was obvious! (bottom middle). Thankfully, this skirt is so absurdly long in the original pattern – practically ankle length on me, at 5’6″ – that I was able to save the day. I shifted down the side pieces until they chevron-ned with the middle panel (bottom right), and then trimmed off about 3 inches from the top middle, and 3 inches off the bottom side panels, et voila! Chevrons!


Bad -> Better -> Best!

I’m glad I spent the time re-doing it, because now I can amaze passersby with chevron pattern-matching. They will no doubt appreciate it.


Having absolutely nothing in my wardrobe to coordinate with the skirt, I went to my trusty standby, the Sewaholic Renfrew. I used some lovely lovely dove grey jersey from Grey’s Fabrics, and got to try out my new Babylock Imagine serger for the first time. Man, it’s so much better than my old one! It glided through the jersey really well, and it doesn’t sound like a freight train, which is a bonus. My neckbands are usually wobbling all over the shop, so I took my time this time to cut it accurately, and then chalked on the serge line to follow – sometimes returning to my more “beginner” techniques actually serves me well.


What to do but twirl?


I think this combo is going to be getting a lot of wear this summer, at least once the rain and cold stops. Seriously, I was wearing my Grainline Cascade Duffle coat on June 1st. That’s not right!

Butterick 5929 and Sewaholic Renfrew

Have you had any pattern-matching disasters and/or last-minute recoveries? The secret, I feel, is having a bit of extra fabric. Thank heavens I thought ahead… Now, what to do with the blue/green variation – any ideas?

37 thoughts on “Lemon and grey and twirling, oh my!

  1. That skirt looks fabulous on you … and the first version, too. I will definitely be checking out the pattern. Your plaid matching is astonishing…you were brave to use plaid with all these seams!!!

    1. Yes you should definitely give a look – the other view of the pattern also looks completely different, so it’s really two patterns for the price of one!

  2. so pretty! i vote for shirt dress with the blue and green!

    1. It’s definitely a front-runner!

  3. baldie says:

    Mad plaid matching!

    1. I definitely nearly made myself crazy doing it ;D

  4. V Reed says:

    This definitely rates a swirly, twirly, oh so girly! Yellow and grey are not my colors, but they look smashing on you! I vote shirt dress for the blue and green.

  5. michelleinsea says:

    Your skirt is gorgeous! Nice save on the pattern matching. And isn’t your new serger wonderful? I upgraded to a Babylock almost 2 years ago, and it’s a game-changer to not have to worry about tensions and re-threading.

    1. Thanks! I’m not always patient enough to re-do things, but I’m really glad that I did. And yes, the Imagine is magic! I had a Bernina before (top standard, cough cough), but the Imagine is really much better.

  6. Great twirling – shows off your matching perfectly.

    1. I plan on twirling as much as possible, of course

  7. gilliancrafts says:

    I”m glad you made the plaid all match! It will make you happy every time to wear it, I’m sure! 🙂

    1. I’ll be showing passersby, I have no doubt 😉

  8. Lovely fresh combination. Nice work.

    1. Thank you! I feel very fresh wearing it 🙂

  9. alisonboncha says:

    Way to persevere on the plaid matching! Question on your renfrew, how did you go about doing a FBA on this pattern? I’m just about to attempt this one for the first time and wasn’t sure the best way to do it. The two options I’ve found are “grading between sizes” (http://lladybird.com/2012/02/07/completed-the-renfrew-top-and-why-i-love-knits/) or this way that includes slashing the pattern like a normal FBA would do (https://vickikatemakes.wordpress.com/2012/03/30/sewaholic-renfrew-top-how-i-did-my-fba/). Thoughts?

    1. Hi Alison! I did a vertical only FBA – I did a quick tutorial here: https://blog.cashmerette.com/2014/05/sewing-indie-month-tale-of-two-fbas.html. Hope this helps!

  10. Rachel says:

    Oh! So pretty for spring – nice work on the plaid matching! Love the lemon and grey 🙂

    1. Thanks! They’re such jolly colours, aren’t they?

  11. Amanda Smith says:

    Lovely outfit on you. I’m so glad you were able to save the day and get perfect matching lines both horizontally and chevronly.

  12. Lyndsey says:

    Lovely! Do you like B5929 better than a plain old circle skirt (or 3/4)?

    1. I do, because it’s a lot easier to cut out when you’re doing a large size, and no attempting to create huge curved lines.

      1. Plus, you’d never be able to have the plaid horizontal on a circle skirt – the gores allow you to use directional patterns more easily.

  13. bimbleandpimble says:

    Ohh, that fabric is delicious! Well worth the trim and reset to get the chevron effect! I have some stunning white and blue plaid waffle cotton I picked up at Nomura Tailor last year and am gearing up to get that sewn soon. I’m not sure about you but I always want to make sure holiday purchase fabric is used in a super special way… 😀

    1. Oooh I think I might have the same one! We’ll be twins!

  14. Sharon says:

    And lining up both sets of stripes is also what handsewing is about. If you’d managed to find this ready made it’d have cost you the earth!

    1. That is probably true!

  15. I’m not likely to pass by (wrong continent and all that) but I would definitely be amazed at the pattern matching if I did!

  16. Cinderellis says:

    Ooh lovely! That pattern matching is spot on! I still find pattern matching a bit of a challenge, if I’m honest. However much I try it never seems to quite come out right! I’m just cutting out a version of M6696 in a gorgeous striped chambray – I have enough to match across the front / back but not across the sides, so hoping no-one looks too closely! Really hope it turns out ok.

  17. ellegeemakes says:

    Super cute! Your pattern matching is perfect! Personally, I’d freak if I faced a similar challenge. Well done! Love the color combos too.

  18. You look so gorgeous in this outfit! Love this print paired with a simple tee and I am in awe of your determination with the pattern matching, my head would have exploded before I worked it out!

  19. Barbara says:

    Isn’t it fun to discover how to make something better (especially when you thought it didn’t matter) BEFORE it’s too late? And now you know that plaids have to be matched in both directions. 😉

  20. Oh I love this combo… not that my wardrobe reflects it, but I love yellow and grey together… do you have Dry Bar where you are? I went to the the Santa Monica one and the Tribeca one to get my hair blown out when I travelled through USA in 2013, and their colours are yellow and grey and just are the happiest colour combo… sophisiti-CATED. You are!

  21. gingermakes says:

    This is SO cute on you! I love it! I find that midi length so hard to wear, but you’re killin’ it in it! And I have to confess that my head hurts thinking about matching that plaid… I have no idea how you did it so perfectly, but it really looks amazing!

  22. Alessa says:

    It’s a beautiful outfit! Yay for the pattern matching grey chevrons.

Let me know what you think!