Daisy Chains in December

Pattern: Inari Crop Tee by Named Patterns and Box Pleat Skirt from the Great British Sewing Bee book ‘Sew Your Own Wardrobe’

Fabric: Inari tee – Green Tea 100% handwoven cotton from Merchant and Mills, Skirt – Linen/Cotton blend in ruby from Backstitch

Christmas has come and gone once again; a lovely relaxed day spent just pottering about at home with immediate family. Having had our (enormous) Christmas dinner on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day itself was free of cooking and doing dishes, leaving time for a walk with the dogs and to be really lazy, enjoying presents and lots of ‘nibble’ foods – sausage rolls, cheeses, smoked salmon, Christmas cake…

I love Christmas, but I do rather like settling back into normality once it is all over and having a good sort out and freshen up, before the New Year. I have been busy planning some new sewing ideas for the next wee while, influenced heavily by the Merchant and Mills Workbook, which I got for Christmas. I love in particular their Haremere coat (which I think would be lovely in a heavy-ish tartan wool), as well as the Sandpiper skirt – I’m planning on making a few of those for the summer.

Summer is a fair bit away yet though, so winter sewing is still taking priority at the moment. It has been fairly grey and wet here the past week or so – but very mild – and Sunday proved the first change from that in a while, the skies clear and crisp with a light frost underfoot. Scott and I headed out to the beach at Rosemarkie, on the Black Ilse, on Sunday afternoon for a wee wander and a picnic looking out towards Channery Point. I love being by the sea, there is something very refreshing about the sea air, especially on a cold day. The high tide – with great foaming waves crashing against the beach – was particularly reviving, conducive particularly to rosy cheeks and windswept hair.

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Never one to miss an opportunity, we took the chance to take a few photos of my latest makes – yet another striped Inari tee and a red box pleat skirt, which (and I’m very proud of this part) I painstakingly embroidered by hand. I feel I’ve already said quite enough about the Inari crop tee in previous posts, so, besides from reiterating my love for this pattern, I will ramble on mainly about the skirt. I actually made this skirt over the summer, but cutting it to midi length. However, the fabric – a cotton linen mix – was totally wrong for the light swishy midi skirt I wanted, so a couple of weeks ago I hacked a good couple of inches off the bottom and turned it into a mini. Construction wise I’m not going to bore you with details on what was a pretty simple make; I followed the pattern for a box pleat skirt in the second Great British Sewing Bee book, finishing with French seams. The only change I would make next time would be to take the zip right up to the top of the waistband rather than bothering with a hook and eye fastening. This is just personal preference though and me being fussy.

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The Inari tee is perfectly relaxed and loose fitting.

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I’ve kept the daisies focused on particular areas of the skirt, in clusters, rather than scattered all over the place.

I have been inspired lately to try my hand at embroidery, spurred on in particular by the blog ‘Dottie Angel’ (dottieangel.blogspot.co.uk), which features much beautiful embroidery – or woolly ‘tattoos’ – on coats, hats, scarfs etc, in beautiful floral designs. I’m not therefore going to lie and take all the credit for the idea to embroider a floral design onto this skirt to liven it up a bit. I will however take full credit for the design itself.

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I am particularly pleased with the ‘trailing tendril’ from one side of the skirt to the other, over the hook and eye fastening.

I didn’t draw out a design before beginning and, following a ‘how to’ embroidery guide in an old Molly Makes magazine (Issue 50), I began with a single daisy, allowing the pattern to develop and grow as I worked. Four years of drawing classes at art school has definitely helped here! I’ve used 3 fairly straightforward stitches: French knots for the yellow centre, chain stitch for the green foliage, and super simple straight stitch for the white on the daisies and the leaves.

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It was very relaxing to do; I worked in the evenings, watching tv, and, although my embroidery is by no means perfect – I have a long way to go – I am very pleased with it. I don’t think it looks too homemade (?) – at least not in a bad way – I hope only in a slightly folky sort of way.

 

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The beach at Rosemarkie – looking out to the North Sea

Anyway, that’s all for now!

Hannah x 

 

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