Tagged: 30 before 30

Sewing the Simplicity 2226 Skirt

I’ve been yearning to start sewing again. I’ve had a break from it for about four years, as I have focussed on learning other crafts. When I started watching the BBC’s Great British Sewing Bee I knew I had to get my sewing machine out and make something!

Choosing a pattern

Because its been so long, and I never really mastered the basics when I was sewing before, I needed to find an easy pattern to get me started again. Skirts are generally easier to sew than other garments as they have fewer pieces and are easier to fit (no boobs or limbs to get in the way!).

I saw the Simplicity 2226 skirt in a pattern catalogue and decided it would be THE ONE. I think its a fun and versatile skirt that could look good in lots of different fabrics and patterns. Having now made it, I would like to re-make one in a black crepe for work.

Image of Simplicity skirt sewing pattern

The pattern is labelled ‘Learn to Sew’. After sewing it, I think its a bit advanced for a beginner, and I wouldn’t recommend it for a first sewing project. However, it is still quite straight forward and covers a lot of different aspects of constructing a garment within the one relatively quick project.

From start to finish, I think this pattern took me eight hours to sew and cost me approximately £15 in materials. The pattern itself cost me about £4.50.

Fabric and trimmings

I made my skirt from 100% cotton craft/quilt fabric in red with tiny white stars and teeny weeny dots. The fabric is quite thin and a bit floaty. Again, now I’ve made it I’d choose a slightly heavier weight fabric for another skirt as this one is billowy, but fine for summer.

My cotton was £6.99 per meter and I used just over 1.5 meters. I can’t find a makers name on the selvage, but if you are interested Favourite Fabrics on eBay sell it: Tiny Scattered Stars in Deep Red.

You will also need a zip, bias binding for the pockets, matching thread, fusible light-weight interfacing and a hook and eye fastener.


The sizing is dreadful! I measured myself and was horrified to come out as a size 18! I usually buy size 12 clothes or sometimes a 14, so size 18 seemed alarmingly different. I looked online for advice about the fit of this pattern, and found the amazing Noodle Head blog that has a Simplicity 2226 Sew Along. Her sizing recommendations gave me the confidence to take the plunge and sew a size 14 (which fits brilliantly!).

Cutting and sewing up

I traced my pattern pieces in case the sizing was wrong and I needed to pick a different one. The pattern pieces are clearly labelled and are easy to cut out if you have a big table to work on.

Photo of paper pattern pinned to fabric

The sewing instructions varied in clarity – things like inserting the zipper could have benefitted from more pictures as I found it a bit mind boggling just reading the instructions. However, it was generally well written and was simple to follow.

The finished skirt

Photo of completed skirt

Photo of completed Simplicity skirt
I’m sorry about the poor quality iPhone photo!

I’m so proud of this skirt! There were lots of new challenges I had to get through to make it, which makes it even more satisfying to complete! I know I will wear it in the summer, as its the perfect relaxed summery skirt. I can’t wait to get started on my next sewing project (the New Look 6843 A-line skirt)!

Has watching the Great British Sewing Bee inspired you to start sewing?

Iceland Adventure!

Photo of the northern lights behind a church

I have news! I’m going to Iceland in March and I cant wait! This trip marks many changing things in my life: letting go of the past, and taking control of things. I’m no hippy-tree-hugger, but I do believe we are all in charge of our own happiness. Without goals and things to look forward to, I find it hard to make sense of time, and that makes me prone to feeling down. One of my 30 before 30 resolutions is to visit a country I’ve never been to before, and Iceland has been on my list of places I’ve wanted to go for years. So why not make it 2013, and do something really exciting, and memorable to change things up.

I’ve booked some amazing trips while I’m there: a northern lights tour, whale watching, a day at the Blue Lagoon, a trip to the Gullfoss waterfall, geysers and a snow mobiling safari on a glacier! I’m beyond excited.

Photo of a whale
Photo of ice in the sea
I found some amazing photos of Iceland on the Creative Overflow site. They are really inspiring me to get skilled up on my photography before I go.

Have you been to Iceland? Do you have any tips or recommendations for me?

Hitting the Sales

Photos of toiletries bought in the Boots sale

I’ve hit the sales today, and picked up some tasty bargains! Here is my run down of what I have picked up today. Today is the only day I am sale shopping, as I am starting saving for a very special trip from now on… more on that another day!


I’ve had my eye on the Liberty – Hello Kitty collection for several months, but somehow I have resisted until the sale. I really wanted the blue wash bag to make up a set (I got a mini and a big one last year) and this one is just the right medium size for travelling. It had sold out online on Boxing Day, so I went to town to see if I could find it, I did, and I ‘found’ some other goodies while I was there…

Hello Kitty Liberty Wash Bag

Photo of a blue patterned wash bag and contents

The wash bag comes with body butter, body scrub, bubble bath and one of those net scrunchie things (given to my Mama to clean her greenhouse with!).

Hello Kitty Liberty Make Up Bag

Photo of the contents of the Hello Kitty make up bag

This make up set comes in a little pencil case featuring the pink paisley Hello Kitty design. There is a lip gloss, lip tint and a mini palette of eyeshadows. I’ve not swatched these yet, they look OK though (if you ignore the bright turquoise one!). I want the case to use for my work make up bag (to keep my emergency items close at hand).

Hello Kitty Liberty Brush Set

Photo of a set of make up brushes

This was an impulse buy… With sets like this the brushes tend to shed a lot, but we’ll see. If they do, I will put my existing brushes in the pouch. I’ve been getting really frustrated with how dusty and dirty my brushes get when I’m travelling and I cant fit them in my normal make up bag. I’m hoping this little set will help sort out this problem. I like how the brushes have a little plastic cover over them to stop bits getting to them.

Here is a detail shot of each of the Hello Kitty fabric designs:

Photos of Hello Kitty Liberty fabric

Other goodies:

Photo of a set of lipsticks
Soap & Glory Wowed Mouth lipstick set, half price

Photo of a f.c.u.k diary set
FCUK The Date Planner Set, half price

Fox and Feather

This is a tshirt I have lusted after for months and months it seems, and I found it reduced in the Fox and Feather sale!
Photo of a tshirt with large lettering saying Smitten with Kittens

And finally…

I’m working on my 30 before 30 list on this one. I have ordered a new Canon 60D DSLR! I shopped around and asked for some recommendations, and I found a great deal 🙂 My Christmas bonus covered it *just* so it really is more like a Christmas present to myself. I am stupidly excited about it arriving and getting to play with the HD video and all the different features it has compared to my 400D.

Photo of a Canon 60D

So that’s my sale haul! Seven items in total, there could have been more, but I restrained myself. Have you been to the sales?