Emily and Zippy a l’orange


How are you? It’s sunny here in England, which is good, because my mood is very dark. I shan’t bang on about it, but OMG we have the worst government ever and they are going to destroy everything we hold dear and all my faith in humanity. I’m moving to Scotland.

Right, now I’ve got that off my chest, let’s get back to fashions.

First of all, some VERY EXCITING news! I have been asked to become an editor of the Curvy Sewing Collective, so will be blogging there much more regularly. I am so delighted by this as I think it is the most inspiring, helpful and friendly sewing site out there, and the ladies who run it are my total sewing heroines. It’s like being asked to sit with the cool girls at school dinners. I will be blogging my beginner’s experiences, pattern reviews and general opinion pieces, so if there is anything you would like to see me write about, just shout.

Secondly, I have made some very summery things.

YES! Culottes!

YES! Culottes!

Here I am ‘modelling’ a See Kate Sew Zippy Topย and Itch to Stitch Emily Culottes.ย They are both brilliant patterns and I think go rather jauntily together. ย I made the Zippy top in 2xl in some slightly jailbirdy seersucker, and took the sleeves in a bit as I have no shoulders.

The not so wearable muslin

The not so wearable muslin

It was ok, but a little tight on the hips and I wasn’t so keen on the fabric. I made the next one is some lovely floaty, super fine, soft and drapey orange stuff I bought ages ago and added an inch on to the hips of each piece. I was a bit confused when I made it as the front piece is significantly shorter than the back piece, but it all seemed to work out fine when I sewed it together.


The above picture caused a bit of panic. The shirt has a groovy zip at the back which is good because I may have ordered lots of zip bundles from ebay, and I might just have about 70 metal toothed zips….

I do need to get better at sewing this in straight though

I do need to get better at sewing this in straight though

I used some top stitching thread for the first time just to have a go (I know this isn’t really the right fabric, but I wanted my stitching to match the zip)

Smart straight lines for once

Smart straight lines for once

This top is super comfy and I will probably make a few more, both with and without the zip. I am really enjoying sewing with lots of drapey materials at the moment. Oooooh they feel so nice.


I can't describe how lovely this stuff is

I can’t describe how lovely this stuff is

I bought this fabric ages ago vaguely with a dress in mind, but at $24 dollars a yard (not even a metre!) plus international shipping I only bought two, which isn’t really enough for most plus size frocks. So it lingered in my ‘most special fabrics’ box until the Emily culottes pattern came along. And it is perfect for them.

I made the largest size (20) in my weird starchy heavy polycotton wearable muslin fabric knowing full well that it would be about 6 inches too small round the waist and three inches too small round the hips judging by the size chart. Why did I do this you may ask? The answer is, laziness. I couldn’t be bothered to grade it up for the muslin because I had seen lots of pictures of other people’s culottes and it seemed to have a LOT of ease. So I thought I would give them a try as I like my clothes quite tight anyway, and see what happened. And yes, they are a bit tight around the middle, but they are actually quite wearable and very smart. The starchy fabric makes them very angular and jaunty which I like.

Off to work selfie with Style Arc Rosie top

Off to work selfie with Style Arc Rosie top

I made the version with the pleat  and lengthened  the pattern by about 4 inches

I made the version with the pleat and lengthened the pattern by about 4 inches

I also used this muslin to try out my first ever welt pockets, sliced through my fabric to release the welt and lived to tell the tale. They are so not perfect, but I am THRILLED with them. LOOOK!

Groovy collage of welts

Groovy collage of welts

For the second pair in the glorious, soft, smooth, drapey and lovely to sew silky faille from Spoonflower (I will be bulk buying next time they have free international shipping) I added half an inch into both front and back pattern pieces adding an extra two inches overall, and they are PERFECT. 6 extra inches were not needed. I did also lower the crotch on this pair by about a centimetre, I might lower it by another cm in my next pair just to have a little more room for my bum and tummy, but this is fine.

IMG_2135 IMG_2134

I omitted the welt pockets for speed. You can also add cute patch pockets which I will try and the pattern allows for lots of different lengths and a version without a front pleat. The instructions are quite clear and simple to follow. I am so pleased with these. They are comfy, flattering and mean I can have cool bare legs in summer without the dreaded ‘chub rub’ of my thighs. I shall be making more!

Oh and if you wondered where I am for these pictures, it’s the London Wetland Centre in Barnes, where we got married just about this time last year! We went for a little stroll down memory lane: it’s so beautiful. I recommend it heartily to anyone living in or staying in London. I’ll leave you with a few of the things we saw, including A BABY MOORHEN and OTTERS!

IMG_2140 IMG_2139 IMG_2110 IMG_2235 IMG_2178


26 thoughts on “Emily and Zippy a l’orange

  1. Wonderful job – I’m glad you’re forging ahead so fearlessly in your sewing! We learn by doing, not by reading theory. And congratulations on your new editorial position! I enjoy the CSC and look forward to your contributions.

    P.S. Thanks for the “sqee!” pictures of adorable animals!


  2. 2 Things: 1. I LOVE the culottes with the California poppy print! You did such a lovely job and its such great fabric. I like making pockets, but would have left them out as well if in a hurry. You look fantastic in them! 2. I comisserate with your dark mood though I think I beat you for worst government ever. Before England has a chance to destroy everything dear, the US will destroy everything period.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oy, I feel your pain on the election. If we elect another frigging Bush next time here, I’ll join you in Scotland. Congrats on the CSC gig (!!!) and yay for making fun new clothes in bright colors to cheer yourself up. Totally impressed with the welt pockets!


  4. CONGRATULATIONS on the CSC announcement–I may have squeed out loud when I saw that the other day! ๐Ÿ˜‰ And happy almost-anniversary!

    I may have said this before, but I LOVE how adventurous and fearless you are with your sewing. I have never in my life attempted welt pockets, but maybe I should take a page from the Book of Rosie and just f*cking go for it! I love your culottes (and in silk no less–you go, girl!), and they look so good with your new top. Many high-fives are in order!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Aw you are nice ๐Ÿ˜€ And yes, do take a page from the fearless book. My trick is to buy shed loads of cheap fabric and to have low expectations, so it doesn’t matter if you mess things up! And besides you are being way more fearless than me with your pattern drafting.High Five back at you xxxx

      P.S the culottes are poly faille, but don’t tell anyone! ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Lovely bright Summer stuff. I love it, especially your culottes . Fabric is beautiful. I have heard mixed reviews about the fabrics from Spoonflower. Do they wash well and are the colours true ? Congratulations on being a new editor at the CSC. It is a great website. Xx


    • I haven’t tried washing it yet, and I am a little scared as I have heard the same. I will update! It sure does feel lovely and the colours are great: really vivid. CSC is the best isn’t it? x


  6. Where to start with this post?! I LOVE what you have been making, in particular, your culottes – they look like so much fun. Congratulations on joining the curvy collective – have you seen Cashmerette’s curvy sketchbook which she posted on Instagram today. And finally, I love WWT – I live walkin distance from the one in Arundel – they also have a wedding facility there but I have never seen one. Well done you!


    • Aw thanks so much! I love the WWT I would love to visit another one. Our wedding was amazing, it was such a great venue. And yes, I have a sketch book on its way to me in the post. I can’t wait! xxx


  7. Rosie, I am digging the culottes. I have a pattern and fabric sitting in the pile to make just such a thing. Congrats on conquering welt pockets! It is so exhilarating the first time you make them. Also, congrats on becoming an editor at the CSC! Your humor is going to be a great addition to their team.


  8. YOU ARE A RAY OF SUNSHINE IN THIS OUTFIT. I mean, you kind of are in everything you wear, but in this, PARTICULARLY. You should swan around England spreading sunshine, people will probably reward you with KitKats.

    Also, no-one has ever called me a cool girl before, so that’s a first ๐Ÿ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s