Paris Is Always A Good Idea

…except maybe when the Seine has burst its banks, the city has just had its worst snowfall for decades and all travel in/out/around the city is in chaos. But the Eurostar and Airbnb was all paid for, and I was damn well determined to go and have a good time. The snow boots were packed, and off we went – and it was fabulous! Lots of blog pictures were taken, lots of fabric shopping was done, and a good time was indeed had, despite the cold. And I found the BEST pair of mittens in a thrift shop that actually keep my always-cold hands toasty warm – something that I haven’t experienced in years so I am a very happy bunny.

Of course I just *had* to take advantage of all the beautiful architecture that Paris has going on, and I basically acted like some sort of diva strolling through the city with a photographer (the husbeast) following me around taking pictures ? So here’s the first (of many) Parisian photoshoots… a very non-patterned, non-crazy black skirt ?

I know, I know – ANOTHER plain solid item! Whatever has become of me?

It has a cool lining, I promise…

This is the Pulmu Skirt from Named Patterns, and it brought me several visits from the drama llama. My first attempt was to make the skirt from a tartan fabric, and have the front and back panels cut on the bias and the side panels on-grain. Just, y’know, for a bit of visual interest. Pieces were cut, sewn, and the skirt (minus the zip) was tried on in front of the mirror. Apart from looking crap (that ‘visual interest’ turned out to be an eyesore) nothing sat right and I ended up with all these ripples at the side of the skirt from cutting the panels on the bias – it stretched out all weird. So yeah, lesson learned on that one, and it went in the bin.

I started again, this time with a black corduroy. I cut all the pieces and stored them, as usual, in a plastic ziplock bag (this is the highest level of organisation and tidiness that features ANYWHERE in my life). We then went out for a bit, and upon coming home I found my nice Ziploc bag in shreds. Along with several of the pattern pieces (the traced ones, thankfully, not the originals) and even the poor cardboard pattern envelope got some attention in the form of a chunk out of its corner. Thanks, Leela. I know it’s Leela because she has this weird obsession with chewing all things paper and plastic and tissue. Especially snotty tissues, filthy animal. She may look cute, but she’s a sewing-pattern-chomping machine. She shows no mercy.

**she literally spends 95% of the winter months asleep under that blanket. The other 5% of her time is spent eating and pooping, and barking at the postman. Life’s necessities, obvs.**

So upon assessing the damage and retracing the half chewed pattern pieces (as I hadn’t yet traced the darts, and she had eaten that bit of the template), I set about sewing the skirt. Then I discovered she had also chewed a hole in one of the back fabric pieces as well – so had to cut another one of those. Thankfully I had spare fabric! I then set about marking the darts on all the pieces only to then realise that I’d cut two back lining pieces that were exactly the same, rather than mirrored. OH MY GOD THIS PROJECT IS ACTUALLY CURSED. I soldiered on, knowing that this was a Minerva Blogger make so I had to finish it., come hell or high water or further visits from the drama llama.

Overall, despite my bad choice of lining (SATIN IS SO SLIPPERY – WHY DO I DO THIS TO MYSELF) and also despite the unexplained uneven hem lengths at the front and back (but only on one side – I have no idea why, and lost the will to fix them so I just left it wonky), and even more so despite dramas with the topstitching – I actually really like this skirt and will be making more.

Head on over to the full post here on the Minerva Crafts blog to read about the construction of the skirt, including:

  • Dramas with the husbeast trying to install the eyelets in the belt
  • Why you shouldn’t topstitch those side seams

I’ve upped my beret game since the last time you saw me wearing one – I spent a bit of time gawking at people (and probably creeping them out) on the Paris Metro when we were there for the weekend. So you could say I’ve learned from the pros. This beautiful bit of architecture you see here (I mean the building, not me) is the Hotel De Ville, which actually isn’t a hotel but a City Hall. It was damn windy and icy cold on the day we took these pics (the corner of the skirt is rebelliously flapping in the wind in most of these pics), but we just had to go with it as we had a lot to cram in the short time we were there.

Saying that, at the time of posting this ‘the Beast from the East’ has now been battering London with snow for a few days and with highs of zero (ha!) and lows of ‘feels like’ -12C, I can confirm that THIS IS COLDER AND THERE IS NO WAY THAT I WOULD STAND OUTSIDE WITHOUT GLOVES AND A COAT TO TAKE PICTURES RIGHT NOW. BIG. FAT. NOPE.

Coming up next week on the Wanderstitch blog… the lowdown on my fabric shopping in Paris! Lots and lots and lots of pictures of fabric, I promise (and some words, as well) ? Subscribe below to make sure you don’t miss out!  

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32 thoughts on “Paris Is Always A Good Idea

    1. Thanks Nancy! I’m really pleased with the fit. Will definitely be making another! Couldn’t resist using a patterned lining ?


  1. That’s lovely! Some plain black garments are essential even in a wardrobe of pattern and colour. I must get my two pairs of essential black trousers done, I really need them right now, and they have been sitting staring dolefully at me since December. Disgraceful.
    I’ve never been to Paris, but it will happen.


    1. Thank you! Yes you’re totally right, we do need those boring-but-necessary basics don’t we. They are just not as fun to sew ? sounds like you better bump those trousers to the top of the pile! Paris is such a beautiful city, it’s been many years since I last went. Glad I went in the winter when it’s quieter though, rather than the summer when it’s rammed with half of the U.K. ?


  2. Love your blog, and style. I don’t do linings in skirts, and just put hand lotion of fairly thick, and run a tad on my tights. This works great. Cathie near Montreal!


    1. Thank you Cathie! ? Really glad you enjoy the blog ???? Wow I’ve never heard of that trick – I’ll have to try it! Ooh Montreal, nice… what’s fabric shopping like out your way?


  3. Oh gawd, that Drama Llama!!! ? curses aside, it’s a great skirt and if I’m not very much mistaken, a zebra print lining? And cute pooch, I’d quite happily trade places (not the chewing paper part obvs, I could do without that kind of roughage!) x


  4. Love your skirt. I’ve been checking out your make up bags. How on earth do you get the zip corners so neat?


  5. Love your black skirt! It looks gorgeous – very chic 🙂 The belt and top stitching around pocket are the creme de la creme.


    1. Thanks Kathleen! I am really happy with it. I love the look of the topstitching, I’d like to put it on the next version too but must remember NOT to topstitch the seam allowances down otherwise sewing that point at the sides becomes a nightmare!! ?


  6. I’ve been thinking of making this one and your’s is helping, you look hot!
    Also that llamma might be the distillation of my personality most days lol


    1. Ahh thanks Laurel! Definitely go for it! (But don’t topstitch those seams… ?) I’m for sure going to make another ??
      Haha that llama is brilliant isn’t it ??


  7. Love your skirt, Sarah! It looks fantastic! Fabulous photos too – boots, beret and Hotel de Ville – tres French, tres chic!


  8. Absolutely love that skirt! And two thumbs up to Husbeast for the fortitude to play personal photographer–the photos here are lovely. Cannot wait to see the fabric haul! I don’t know why, but I love seeing other people’s fabric collections… Maybe it’s like shopping vicariously…?


    1. Ahh thank you! I’m definitely going to make more of this pattern. Thankfully, the husband does actually enjoy taking pictures, so it doesn’t feel like too much of a chore 🙂 (although we are defo looking forward to summer when his hands don’t get frozen in the icy winter winds!)
      YES – I *love* looking at other people’s fabric stashes 😀


  9. I was reading your blog on Minerva and noticed your comments about the skirt length, does the pattern not have any shorten lines ? I am only 5ft tall (or small) and couldn’t leave this full length, do you think it’s possible to shorten this pattern and keep the pattern proportions


    1. Hi Carmella, no there aren’t any shortening lines 😦 I reckon you *could* shorten it, but you’d have to be careful about where you did it. Depending on how much you wanted to take out, I’d say your best approach would probably be to split the difference between the hem (although not too much here so that you keep most of the vent length so you can still move your legs!) and just below the hip. You are going to have to redraft the triangular side panel and also the main front/back, which I would say is why there are no shortening lines because it requires a lot of re-working – but that’s not to say it can’t be done! I’d definitely give a toile a go and see how it looks, it would be worth it as it’s such a lovely pattern!


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