WIP Wednesday: Practice makes perfect

I feel slightly off-balance writing a WIP Wednesday post, since until I got to the centre of Oxford this morning, I thought it was Thursday. But then I arrived at the market and thought ‘but this looks like the Wednesday stalls’. My only excuse is sleep-deprivation. My allergies have been horrendous lately, and I ended up sleeping on the study floor on Monday night so that I could continuously blow my nose without waking my other half.* I slept a little better last night, but woke at 5am unable to breathe. I think I was the only person in England grateful for the rain yesterday!

Given my near-exhaustion at the moment, I decided that I should really only be tackling simple tasks like painting walls, and that I definitely shouldn’t be attempting any serious sewing. That actually worked quite well, since I wanted to make a toile of this skirt first anyway. I’m making view A, which is the one on the left, and plan to use self-covered buttons. I think the silk will make it drape really nicely.

I’ve got some precious silk that I bought at the pop up shop at Darn it and Stitch earlier in the year, but I didn’t want to risk cutting it until I was sure about the pattern. That turned out to be a good decision, since the size I cut is a fraction of an inch too small for me.

Since the next size up would be miles too big, I’m just going to let out the seam allowances a little, sewing them at 3/8″ rather than 5/8″, which will give me the 1/2″ ease that I need. Or at least that’s the plan. I’ll let you know how it goes!

This was my first ever toile, and I have to say that far from finding it the chore that I expected, I actually really enjoyed being able to put something together quickly and easily, knowing that it was only practice. I think I’ll be doing this more often from now on. The fabric was an old bedsheet, picked up in a local charity shop for £1, so I hardly feel like it was a waste. And to save me from ruining my lovely silk, it was definitely worth it.

Oh, and I almost forgot my most important WIP of the week.

Tomorrow is my last day at work before my holiday and my birthday (woot!) so I felt the least I could do was leave my colleagues with a cake. I haven’t baked anything in aaaaaaages, and I really miss the satisfaction. And turning 30 should definitely be marked with chocolate, I think.

For more WsIP, head over to Tami’s here.


30 thoughts on “WIP Wednesday: Practice makes perfect

  1. Hey! I’m turning 30 next month too! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
    I read something the other day that your body can’t produce histamine if you are properly hydrated – I know it sounds kind of ridiculous – surely it would produce it anyway – but maybe you need to be SUPER hydrated in the summer months. Since I moved to Brighton I’ve barely suffered hayfever at all – has been amazing – it has impeded me every summer for nearly two decades! I sympathise wholeheartedly. X


    1. That’s really interesting, thanks. I’ve heard in the past that drinking lots of water can help with hayfever, but without knowing why, I always thought it was a bit of a myth. But I definitely don’t drink enough water and always feel better when I down a couple of bottles during the day. Something to try – it can’t hurt and it might just help!


  2. 30 should definitely be marked with chocolate cake, in fact so should all birthdays. I’m sorry you have been suffering so much with allergies. This is the first year I have experienced hayfever so I now understand some of the horror regular sufferers feel. I think a lot of people are experiencing it for the first time this year, so it must be really bad.

    I used to think that making toile’s was a waste of time, until I actually started making them, and then they made so much more sense. I’m sure your skirt is going to look lovely. I tend to buy meters of cheap cotton or polycotton ebay for a few pounds to make mine. That way I usually have some in the cupboard. Your way sounds much better though!


    1. Thanks. I’m not too bad overnight – I mean, I hate it, but I can cope – it’s when I wake up and can’t do anything about the itching/sniffing that I panic a bit :S Lots of my friends have had hayfever for the first time this year as well – the dry spring has caused havoc!

      Aw, thanks. Until recently, I wasn’t really sure where to get very cheap fabric. Oxford doesn’t have the market stalls that I could find in Walthamstow! But I’ve just found efabrics.co.uk, who I’d definitely recommend – at under £2 a metre, I can see myself buying in bulk to make toiles! The sheet was fine for this because it’s got lots of drape like the silk, but for cotton, I can see me wanting something close to the final thing. As you say, once you start making them, you really understand the point 😀


  3. Good plan to test out the skirt pattern before cutting your silk, and I love the version of the pattern you’re making 🙂

    Chocolate cake sounds very good to me!


    1. I love the look of wraparound skirts, but they never stay closed for me! Buttonholes in silk is going to be nerve-wracking, but worth it, I hope.

      Sounds good to me too! It’s a fab recipe – I’ll put up more details once it’s made 🙂


  4. Oooh, love the skirt idea. I’ve never ventured into the world of clothes making (if you ignore the waistcoat i had to make for GCSE technology- it was HIDEOUS and very 90’s) but it’s definitely on my crafting bucket list. Good luck with it.
    And turning 30 isnt so bad. It’s turning 31 and having to tick the ’31-40′ box instead of the ’21-30′ box that got me. 😉


    1. Simple A-line skirts are the best way to venture into dressmaking, I think. I’ve made a few now, so feel ready for something trickier!

      Hee, I hadn’t thought of that! That’s definitely going to be weird 😀


    1. Thanks. Even people who don’t have allergies have been snuffling horribly lately – normally I love the summer, but I’m looking forward to autumn this year!

      The chocolate recipe is just divine – I’ll let you know how it goes 🙂


    1. Aw, thank you 🙂

      I took a beginner’s dressmaking class…oooh…15 months ago? Something like that. I found that once I could find my way around the sewing machine, everything else fell into place. I like just picking stuff up and seeing what happens!


  5. Happy Birthday!

    Have you tried a neti pot for allergies? It’s not as bad as you think if the water is exactly body temperature, and it really does help clean out everything in your sinuses.

    Good luck! Hope you feel better soon 🙂


    1. I hadn’t heard of a neti pot, but I do have something similar that I got at the chemists. It does seem to help, although it’s not much fun to use. My problem has been that I’ve been so tired, I keep forgetting to use it! Getting my sinuses cleaned out definitely makes a difference.

      Thank you 🙂


  6. Very clever of you to use a bed sheet to try out the pattern first before ruining your silk. Happy Birthday in advance. 30 should be celebrated with chocolate and even more chocolate every year after.


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