The Remains of 2014 – Rusty Kelly

Ok, here’s the first of my attempts to clear the backlog of blogging that built up towards the end of 2014. In no particular order. Certainly not chronological.


I don’t wear skirts all that often. They’re not hugely practical for my work, and the rest of the time I tend to just throw on a pair of jeans without really thinking about it. But I do like skirts, when I remember them, and when I found some corduroy in a gorgeous rusty / russety colour on the reduced stand of the fabric section in Karstadt, in that town-just-over-the-border-where-I-certainly-don’t-go-to-take-advantage-of-the-cheaper-prices, I sort of knew that a nice warm autumn/winter skirt was on the cards. Actually it was winter by the time I got round to doing anything about it. And it’s the first item of clothing that I’ve made in a single day. Ok, I’m always reading on sewing blogs that “this only took a couple of hours to make”, but I’m not quite so practised as some of those guys, ok? It was also the first time I’ve done buttonholes…

I chose the Kelly skirt from Megan Nielsen, and bought it as a pdf. I love having proper paper patterns in nice envelopes, but I’m not especially known for being patient, and since I had the fabric and the motivation, I didn’t want to waste the opportunity. When I started to casually google sewing with corduroy, I was faced with reams of advice like “don’t press it without a special board” and therefore “don’t use fusible interfacing” and “be careful of the nap” which alarmed me slightly, but in the end I just got on with it and didn’t have any trouble. I used a thick towel for pressing onto (from the wrong side only) and I did use fusible interfacing. It has fairly fine wales, (learning that the lines on corduroy are called wales amused me for ten minutes straight) about 15 per inch, and I think it’s wider-wale corduroy that presents more problems. I also top-stitched with contrasting thread for some of the seams, which would probably have come out better if I’d bought proper top-stitching thread, rather than just regular cotton, but I was in a hurry, I wanted to wear it to a do the next day, and didn’t fancy town on a pre-Christmas Saturday morning.

P1180317Please excuse the crumples, these were taken after a day’s wear.


Oh, and the variations in colour: they were taken on different cameras, and my best efforts on Picasa couldn’t make them the same. The colour is much closer to the orangeyness of the picture showing the front. Oh, and I’m not showing off my lovely vintage Singer, that’s what I use (most of the time, at least for straight stitching. Ain’t nothing can beat it for that)

IMG_0532You can just about see my topstitching here around the pocket and waistband.


The buttons I used were from a second-hand shop, still on the card, enough for 6 down the front and one spare. I decided against putting one at the very bottom of the skirt.

IMG_0530 And here is my pretty pretty pocket lining, left over fabric from this upcycling project, and both pockets cut out of the upper end of one sleeve. I made this after I had made the Belladone dress, (which is definitely going to be on here soon. Definitely…) which I completely forgot to think about pretty pocket linings for until I’d cut the fabric (and then I wouldn’t waste it. I’m such a scrooge, I arrange and rearrange pattern pieces on fabric to give me the maximum amount of large-ish leftover fabric pieces. No wonder cutting out is my least favourite part of the process.) So anyway, for this one I remembered. Having clothes that are as pretty on the inside as the outside is one of the joys of me-made (or just expensive) clothing. I bound the raw edges of the fabric (the raw edges of the corduroy had already coated half my clothes with orangey fluff during the pre-wash) and if I’d been more organised / less rushed / more willing to face Saturday morning Christmas shopping crowds, I would have bought some binding of a similar blue to the pockets, but as it was I used some from stash that’s almost the same colour as the fabric. In fact it’s too boring to even put a picture up.

P1180391I think it goes nicely with tights and boots. It’s fairly cosy fabric, lovely for cooler weather. The most annoying thing about it is that it’s a sort of sticky fabric, sticks to your tights and rides up a bit. Nothing that can’t be kept sorted by Constant Vigilance (if you don’t get this reference, you need to go and re-read Harry Potter. All of them. Just for good measure.) But next time I feel compelled to make a skirt out of corduroy, I’ll definitely look into lining it. That’s something else that I should definitely learn how to do.

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