My sister Rosie spends most of her day around toddlers, so she tends to wear jeans and shoes she can run in. What she really wants to wear is high heels and crisp wool skirts, so when she presented her research at a conference this spring, she was happy to have the excuse make herself a new skirt. She settled on this gray suiting wool and simple a-line shape, with a narrow waistband and an invisible zipper. The sweater she’s wearing with it is a long sleeve version of the Shaped Lace Tee from Knitting Lingerie Style, which is probably my favorite knitting pattern. A pair of simple lace stitches with just enough going on to keep it interesting, and a beautiful finished product.
Category Archives: Photography
I spent a quiet Sunday afternoon lying in the grass watching the clouds and taking a few pictures. It’s been a while since I had a real day off, and it was lovely.
A couple of nights ago we had the most beautiful sunset. It was raining lightly, but the sky to the west had cleared and the sun came through under the clouds, turning the rainy city gold. I wish I were the sort of photographer who could capture that beauty for you, but my photos never come out very well without people in them. I tried anyway.
Saturday morning was sunny and blue. I put on my summer skirt and set to work on the huge pile of unsewn swimsuits on my sewing table. By the time I decided to take a break, it was gray and rainy. No good for going out in, but rather nice light for a few pictures by the kitchen door.
If you are considering making a very full pleated skirt like this one, do yourself a favor and hem it on the machine. I must have spent three hours hemming this, and while it looks quite nice, it’s just not worth it. I do like the look of a high waisted yoke and a full skirt, but this one is not going in the shop. Maybe a machine hemmed version.
We interrupt our ongoing swimsuit tutorial to admire my mother’s roses again. I’ve been wanting to take these photos for weeks. I tried to do it as a self portrait with tripod and remote, and I’m fairly happy with how that came out. But these are closer to what I imagined. It’s much easier to take pictures of someone else, where you can see the picture through the view finder and not just in your imagination.
Prima’s wearing the under dress for a regency costume she made. It is available in her shop.
I’ll be honest with you – there’s no good reason for me to be up on a ladder picking lemons. There are plenty of lemons on the other side of the tree, easily reached from the ground. But I got out the ladder to take pictures of Rosie (she was sitting on the fence and I wanted to be up at her height) and I liked the look of it so much I had to include it in some photos of its own.
Like all the cute clothes I wear but didn’t make, this skirt belongs to Isabel. It’s vintage, from the 50s we think, and has obviously been hemmed up several times. I love the summery citrus print. Could there be a better skirt to pick lemons in?
One of the hardest parts of selling clothing on Etsy is getting people to model. I’ve been both modeling and taking my photos (with a remote) since my sister Isabel went off to college. I’m learning to judge where I need to stand to get the picture I want and to focus on the spot where I’m going to be, but I’m looking forward to taking pictures of Isabel again when she comes home for the summer. Prima does all her own modeling and I take most of the pictures, which works well for most things, but presents a few challenges. Men’s clothing is one of those challenges, but for her latest vest we just ignored the problem and did a photo shoot with her dressed as the gentleman she imagined for it.
Her favorite photos from the shoot can be seen in the Etsy listing.
This skirt is more or less an apron. I made it years ago when I found all fasteners hard to put in and I wanted to make a skirt without any. Instead it just ties. There are two layers to the skirt (although it would work with one). The top layer is an apron: a rectangular piece of fabric long enough to wrap all the way around my body gathered to my waist size and sewn into a waistband with long ties at one end.
The bottom layer is sewn up along the side into an ordinary skirt. However, if it were the same size as the top layer it would be impossible to get on, so I added an extra eight inches or so which are not sewn into the waistband. This makes it easy to put the skirt on. When I tie up the side I tie in this end so it doesn’t gape. It’s a very simple summer skirt and was easy to make at a time when I didn’t like putting in zippers, buttons, or elastic.
When Isabel was little Rosalie and I used to come up with elaborate projects to celebrate her birthday. There were treasure hunts and fancy cakes. One year we tried to make a maze from our bedroom door to the kitchen by hanging sheets from the ceiling (that was not our most successful project – it’s hard to stick a sheet to the ceiling). But the year she remembers most fondly, the one she still talks about today, was when we played princess with her for the entire day.
This weekend she asked us to recreate that favorite childhood memory with her. Sadly she started feeling sick soon after she completed her costume and had to go lie down, so you won’t get to see her pink and white princess outfit. But I took pictures of me and Rosie.
My top is knit from this pattern.
The closure on this dress is a bit complicated. I had five beautiful buttons I wanted to show off – just enough for the top of a dress. But the buttons run out at my waist as the skirt begins, which wouldn’t leave enough of an opening to get into the dress. I fixed this problem by having the front pleat snap shut. I sewed up a little bit at each fold just to help it lie flat, but the pleat is mostly open when the snaps are undone, leaving plenty of room to get into the dress. Then I snap up each edge of the pleat and cover it with a belt, and it looks like an ordinary box pleat.