D396BA07-6123-4A05-91D8-5A9C05B00DE3 Thewallinna and other creatures: Miss Chalmers Skirt makes it to Tokyo

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Miss Chalmers Skirt makes it to Tokyo

In most cases, the inspiration for a garment starts either from a pattern or from some fabric. This skirt started form the fabric. It was a 80cm leftover from this dress from a Japanese pattern book. 80 cm would only suit a skirt pattern and I started looking for a simple one which would show off the beauty of the fabric. My eyes were drawn to the somehow forgotten Home Sewn, a book including 10 patterns by New Zealand designers, one of which is Papercut Patterns.

What is really interesting about this skirt is the glorious curved waistband and front gathers! Don't you think it's such a flattering detail?


The fabric which I used, Nani Iro linen & cotton gauze, tends to wrinkle easily. To avoid this, I fully underlined the skirt with silk organza. But when I wore the skirt later, I realized that even underlined it wrinkles like hell!


But before I go into the sewing details, let me tell you about my photo-shoot experience.

It's been over two months that I've been living without my Mr Creature. Anyway, I am learning ways of taking self-photos: I bought a tripod, I read photo-related articles, I even signed up with a model agency to learn how to pose! But I feel very shy to take my photos on the street in front of other people, even though in Japan people rarely pay attention to what others are doing.

Today was a rainy day and I went downstairs and installed the tripod in front of my building.


After the very first picture, I was rudely bitten my mean mosquitos. After the third photo, the rain intensified. After the fourth photo, two cars drove into the tiny street where I live and while the men were unloading them, their wives where staring at me as if they never saw a foreign girl taking self photos in the middle of the drive! What were they thinking?

My neighborhood is considered very quiet and you don't see many passers-by, so it was Murphy's law that these two cars showed up. And so I quickly ran toward my tripod (captured on the photo below) to return to the apartment.


Four pictures, were not enough to choose from for the post, so  I re-installed the tripod on my doorsteps to take more photos.  Do you see how wrinkled my skirt became? The skirt was ironed 5 - 10 minutes prior to this photo being taken. Grrrrrrr... All I did was to go down from the second floor to the yard, stay there a few minutes and go back up!


I really liked the atmosphere on the staircase and started striking fancy poses when, out of the sudden,  my neighbor from the top floor was going down. Embarrassed, I chose not to take more risks and went inside.

Can you imagine that my neighbor sew me hugging myself on the doorsteps? (⊙.☉)7
Now more about the skirt. According to the size chart, I am a clear M. But to my great surprise, after altering the muslin, I ended up to fit into a XS?? I cannot tell you why - perpaps because of the amount of ease or maybe my hips shrunk? This will probably remain a mystery to me, but what I know for sure is that Papercut Patterns offer free international shipping!


Source: papercutpatterns.com

All in all, I enjoyed sewing this skirt. It's one of the projects that came together pretty fast without me having to spend ages altering muslins. It took me three nights to finish it, though, because I did tons of hand-sewing: the zipper, lining and waistband were all attached by hand.

Only when I was in the middle of attaching the zipper did I recall that I'd been intending to create a video tutorial on hand-sewn zipper insertion. I promise I will do it for the next project, because it contains a 60cm-long zipper :) You'll have lots of fun watching in spite of it being silent. Meanwhile, I can only show you a photo of what hides underneath the pretty lining :)

The zipper is attached with a prick-stitch and the end of it is fell-stitched to the seam allowance. 

I am so relieved that the temperature in Tokyo is getting down: from +35C to +31C! I am already in the mood for some autumn sewing and lots of wool is waiting for me in the closet.

Are you ready to start sewing for a new season?



31 comments:

  1. First of all, I totally understand your photo problems because I think the same happens to me when I go out to photograph my sewing or knitting projects (although I'm always accompanied by my husband who takes the photos). In an empty road suddenly cars appear, people walk their dogs, everybody at least take a glance if not stare... Embarasing, especially when my hubby shouts "Now, strike a nice pose, girl!" *^v^*
    The waistband is a very flattering detail, I agree! And I love your fabric, it's a shame it wrinkles so badly... But it's not that visible, so maybe the busy pattern covers it somehow. *^o^* All and all, a great skirt!
    It's been around 24 degrees in Poland for the past week so we can already feel the Autumn coming, I've been working on one dress for the coming season but still have one Summer blouse to finish.

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  2. ah, the trials of the blogger self-photo shoot! we all need buddies...


    i'm sorry it's wrinkling on you, but i think it's GORGEOUS.

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  3. Maider....MasustakAugust 25, 2013 at 6:16 PM

    It looks great on you!!!!! I can´t say anything bad :)

    Take pictures can be the worst part, I always wait that my partner is free, and he takes all the pictures, sometimes he gets angry with me for taking so many pictures ... I am a perfectionist...

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  4. Silvia - Sewing PrincessAugust 25, 2013 at 7:44 PM

    Taking self pictures can be quite embarrassing ;) I've been doing it recently and I would love learning how to pose. I like the detail on the skirt though I'm not sure it would be flattering on me. Here temperatures dropped especially in the evening

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  5. I love this-- the print is killer and it's such a great shape! I love it!



    I've found that Papercut Patterns have a crazy amount of ease. Check out the finished measurements-- they're pretty nuts!

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  6. Hahaha hilarious. Thanks for the Monday morning chuckles. The skirt looks pretty cool-I was a bit disappointed with the Home Sewn book overall-not too many usable patterns and the sizing isn't standardised. I've never used Papercut patterns but agree with the comments below based on the sizing issues I've seen in reviews. They seem to be drafted as ginormous as the big four!

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  7. You husband does a good job to encourage you :) I don't mind people watching me if somebody else takes my photo, but when it's a solo photo-shoot... (⊙﹏⊙✿)

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  8. We need a Meet-up group: Take my photo, I am a sewing blogger ^-^

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  9. Hehe :) He should be flattered that such a beautiful woman asks him to take her pictures ;) There are never enough of pictures with a finished garment, right?

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  10. Oh dear! I wish we could exchange a few degrees. +30C usually stays until the beginning of October. ()
    In fact, it can be an interesting idea for a post: Taking self photos!

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  11. I cannot say that I felt flattered by ending up cutting a XS but I am not liking so much ease (*´_ゝ`)

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  12. When using big four, I end up three or four sized down from their actual size chart (well, same as you or anyone brave enough to ever sew them).

    I hope my neighbor won't report me to the authorities as a disturbed person of foreign origins ⊙﹏⊙

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  13. Ha ha! I TOTALLY agree about the photos - why do people always appear once the camera comes out?! I always think you have great photos so it gives me hope that you hate taking them too! I love the skirt (that fabric is beautiful!) and it looks perfect for hot and humid Tokyo! I think I need to hunt down that book now...! Hurray for the change in the weather! Japan is always so beautiful in the autumn.

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  14. I love this post Inna, so hilarious!! When do you head off to Engand btw?
    I had the same problem with papercut pattern's pleated pants. I had to go down heaps and even then they were too big.
    But I will try again as they are a great shape. I had completely forgotten about this book and skirt. Thank you for reminding me. This skirt is great and looks super made up in the print. I love it with your 'boob tube'. Great styling and your neighbours will just be saying how uber cool you look.

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  15. I am more than happy to give it to you! I can copy the patterns which I like and sent it to SG. Please email me on thewallinna at gmail =)
    P.S. I totally hate taking photos...

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  16. I really have big troubles with the embassy. I tried to apply twice and both times they did not accept my application because we don't comply with financial requirements blablablablablabla This story makes my hysterical.


    To be honest, I am surprised Papercut have such a big ease since independent designers tend to be more realistic about the size and fit. Of course, I remember your trousers: they are cool! Do you wear them often?

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  17. Urrgh. That does sound hysteria inducing. Hopefully 3 times lucky! As long as you are over there in time for my next trip to France (you have time - it's not til next year) because I'm just assuming you'll come fabric shopping with me in Paris :) I love my pants but they are TOO big. I try to wear them sometimes but the fit is terrible.

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  18. What?! You are so sweet and kind! That would be amazing! Thank you, thank you, thank you! I have two copies of a book of Fair Isle knitting motifs that I could post to you in exchange? I'm not sure if you've already got it or would be interested, but it's yours if you'd like! I will email you in a minute anyway, so just let me know! Taking photos is the worst, especially with random spectators. I remember taking some photos in my flat (on the 23rd floor!) and realizing there were window cleaners staring as they went past - not fun!

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  19. Just act like you're famous and everything will be forgiven XD Totally agree with your ideas on making a meetup group for outfit shots XD

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  20. I am sure there are some photography geeks who would not mind to spend some time with girls in pretty dresses :P

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  21. Yes, I promise I'll come to France (Paris, or anywhere else) for a meet-up! It would be so cool!

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  22. Window cleaners... aiee.... Although, you posing in front of the camera is probably not the worst/funniest thing they've ever seen :)

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  23. True! I'm always very careful to scout out the window view now...! ;-)

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  24. heheheheh oh Inna!!! The photo experience from hell ;) At least you have a fabulous skirt to show for it!!! Glad to know I'm not the only one with Papercut sizing issues... So bummed to read about your moving dramas!! Hope it works out for you soon. Long distance is the worst :(

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  25. I hope my neighbors won't be scared of me when they see me next time ;) Long distance is fine as long as I know when it's gonna be over. We planned to move in the beginning of May... now it's beginning of September and ... limbo!

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  26. Despite your photo woes - gorgeous skirt! I'm shy with pics too :)

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  27. Actually a blogger's outfit shots meetup should be totally doable. Will get on it straight away. All we gotta do now is get thee to Melbourne XD

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  28. ahaha taking photos for the blog are kind of harrowing and you are brave to venture outside with a tripod :)
    The skirt looks pretty and fits so well, but wow the sizing is a bit crazy big.
    I am so looking forward to your hand picked zipper tutorial. I have just recently discovered that there is such a thing as a hand sewn zipper, which sounds more do-able for me than a machine sewn zipper because I have zipper phobia and I really like hand sewing. I am thinking of over-coming my zipper phobia by sewing a simple pencil skirt with a hand picked zipper.

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  29. I promise I will post the video tutorial soon :) It really is super easy and fun, especially if you like sewing by hand!

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  30. Я снимала сама себя в парке:) Кто-то вызвался мне помочь, кто-то спросил, не бомба ли это(я без штатива снимала), и все смотрели с интересом:))))))

    У меня осеннее шитье откладыается, так как надо паковать машинку и переезжать, и еще в евро-трип ехать:) Тряпочки уже запаковала:(

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