Sunday, 13 January 2013

Cardigans of glory! Awful DIY! Oh, the humanity *faints*

Hello, folks! I've neglected to post for over a week again. Bad Blogger skills indeed. Somebody needs to slap my wrists. I'll ask Tanya to give me a hefty whack when I go visit her at the end of the month (which is going to be AWESOME) Maybe corporal punishment will encourage me to stick to my 2013 resolution. I categorically do NOT mean that in a 50 Shades way, just so you know. This post is not cryptically suggesting that I've suddenly developed BDSM tendencies, rather just optimising my search engine potential because, y'know, sadism is so friggin' now.

But I digress. Alongside piddling on with my dissertation (which is finally coming together), editing an historical novel by the lovely Dawn Kane, getting back into the swing of reviewing for Media Wales, trying to pull together features ideas for the next issue of the Phoenix, pulling pints at the pub, planning my new tattoo  and attempting to uphold some sort of rudimentary social life, I found the time to nip into the newly-opened Cardiff Fashion Quarter and pick up this gem of a cardigan.

I particularly love the old man and his cane. What a bargain at only 20 squids! This may be a bit of a narcissism overload, but I think this cardi was destined to rest on my shoulders. The lady who served us there was such a winner, too. Oli and I had a 45 minute conversation with her about her second-hand furniture business and the joys of tackling car boot sales at 5am. If any of you are in Cardiff soon, take a trip down. The place is magic.

Cardigan - Cardiff Fashion Quarter, blouse - charity shop, shorts - DIY-ed, necklace - Lunacy boutique, boots - Eccentrix.


I cracked out my sewing machine again and designed this super-cute little panel skirt which is insanely easy to make, so I thought I'd put together what is quite possibly the worst DIY tutorial on the interweb and show you all how easy it is to put one of these together. A lot of people I know run in fear at the mere mention of a sewing machine, thinking that you need to be some kind of a design whiz to put together something even remotely wearable. Not so, chums! Making your own skirt from scratch is a blast. I'm one of the laziest shoddy-job people on the planet when it comes to whipping up garments, so if I can do it SO THE HELL CAN YOU.

You will need:
- A sewing machine (because hand-sewing is a shirtcut to hand-cramp)
- 1.5 - 2 metres of fabric (depending on the desired length of the skirt)
- Thread in your chosen colour
- A 10-inch zip
- Scissors
- Tape measure, pins and marker
- A straight, flat thing (a ruler might help...I used a box lid) to draw your pattern
- Wrapping paper

First of all, measure around your waist. Then, take that measurement and divide it by six. Take a piece of wrapping paper (mine was a piece left over from another circle skirt pattern and draw a line that matches this 1/6th of your waist. From the middle of that line, measure vertically the length that you want your skirt to be and draw a straight line down. At the bottom of this line, double the top measurement and draw a line where you want your hemline to be. For instance, I have a 30 inch waist, so my top line was 5 inches and my bottom line was 10 inches (duh). Then match up the top and bottom lines so you are left with a trapezoid shape, like so...

Cut this pattern out, allowing 0.5 inch or so seam allowance. Then pin this panel to your fabric. I took the lazy route and folded my fabric twice so that with just a couple of chops I had four identical panels. I'd recommend doing this if your fabric isn't too thick. Cutting is boring.

So you've got your six panels. Now you need to pin them together with the right sides touching, taking care to not yet make the skirt into a full circle. You should have something that looks like this:

Now sew, sew like you have never sewed before! Sew directly up, and backstitch over the beginning and end to make sure your skirt doesn't fall apart whist you're wearing it. That's inconvenient.
You can now make your waistband, which is super-easy. Take some of your leftover fabric and cut out a long, thin rectangle that is slightly longer than your waist measurement and double as wide as you want it. Now fold it over, pin, and sew. Don't worry about the whole right sides together, turn it inside out malarkey. The nasty edge will be hidden within the skirt.

I stopped taking photo's here because a) I got too carried away with making the damn thing and b) I'm an idiot. SO - fold the tops of each panels in and pin the waistband to the top of your skirt with the ends at each end of the unfinished skirt. Sew that shit together.

Now measure how far the zip goes down on the two end panels and mark with a pencil. Pin the bottoms of the two end panels together to that mark and sew up. Now, I am far too tired to even begin talking about how to insert a zip, so I'll just assure you that it's far easier than it looks and advise you to click here. That there is the way to make a zipper look pro. I don't do that - quelle surprise, I take the lazy option which involves just pinning it on the inside and hoping for the best - but I'd advise reading that tutorial and learning the correct way before chucking that out the window and taking the slacker route.

Finally, go around the edge of your hemline, folding up about 0.5inch as you go and sew like mad. Expect a bit of ruffling - circular hems are a bit of a bitch.

Et voila! You have a panel skirt! You might want to iron the seams too. I personally don't, as I don't own an iron. Ya rly.

If any of this made little to no sense to you, please let me know. I'm hoping to do more tutorials in the future and confusing the hell out of people isn't what I want to achieve so feedback would be aces!

Adios chums!

Betti Baudelaire xxx


  1. The cardigan is AMAZING and great work on the skirt :)

  2. I am in love with your cardigan! I need it in my life too! I'm pretty sure its destiny was to lay on my shoulders instead?


    good job on the skirt too! I really need to get me into making some clothes! I'm just scared of the sewing machine :') and all the measuring malarkey is just too much for me! haha!

    I will give you a whack, but it will be a hypocritical whack since I haven't done a blog in a while either!

    SEE YA SOON! x

  3. Fairplay Bet you are one gifted lady! We must have a craft making day this week!! I'm going to text you right now actually!!!!!!! That skirt is fabulous and I love the colours you chose!

    Also, that cardigan is fab-daba-doozey in picture as much as in the flesh, I am so envious I might have to sneak in your wardrobe and steal it for the day sometime ;)

    Anyways, I'm back to life this week now so lets make it happen baby!!!!!!!!!!!11
    Muchos love xxxxxxxxxxx

  4. I really love the outfit! Great blog, so I'm a new follower =)