Friday, 15 January 2016

2 Skirts and a Cape - from Ikea?

I'll warn you now - this is a bit of a rambling post, taking in everything from Ikea to Vincent Price, 80's Butterick to pattern matching, but stick with it - you might have some fun!

I've written before about how I usually end up overspending whenever I visit Ikea, and more often then not I end doing most of said overspending in the fabric section. This time I had a reason to be buying fabric, as Mr Needles was getting a long held Halloween request for a cape fulfilled. He's a big fan of horror movies, especially those from the 60's and 70's, and wanted to conjure up a Vincent Price look for Halloween - a combination of this:

Vincent Price in 'Masque of the Red Death'

and this:

Vincent Price in 'Witchfinder General'
I drafted my own pattern using the ever helpful (though at times a bit complicated) Natalie Bray - the cover (picture below) actually features the diagram for drafting a cape:

I used this pattern for the hood, which I lengthened to get the right amount of drapey, spookiness necessary:

I'm terrible at estimating fabric, and nearly always overbuy and this was no exception. He'd requested it be nearly floor length, so after playing around with the pattern pieces on the floor of the living room, I estimated about 4 metres would be enough. 

Pattern making in action - when only newspaper is big enough for your pattern pieces.

 Next stop Ikea, where I found  this plain red, medium weight fabric for only £4 per metre.

Lenda from Ikea

The cape was basically lots of long straight seams, and I wasn't going to bother with lining or anything, so it went together pretty quickly:

At the halfway stage

Hood fitting session with Mr Needles
And just to add a little touch of the baroque, I added this closure made of buttons from my stash:

Here's the finished product, on Halloween night:

I only really got these pictures - too busy having a good time!

So that was the cape. But what about the skirts mentioned in the title? Well, the overspending and over estimating on fabric came in handy, because I was able to get a couple of skirts for myself out of the leftovers and a sneaky remnant I bought at the time.

First, a pencil skirt using this 80's pattern:

I really liked the idea of the pockets - always handy! - and the button back closure. Here's how it looks:

The skirt seemed a little baggy at first, so I took it in a little through the side seams. Fits great, but the only concern is that now I have to be careful with any bending, as any extra strain on the buttons can be disastrous. I've already popped one, and sent it flying across the room! If I made it again, I might replace the buttons with a seam and zip.

Close up of button closure
And pockets are always a great addition:

So a piece from the remnant bin at Ikea also managed to come home with me - 1.5 metres of this over sized check:

Berta Ruta fabric from Ikea

I decided it would be perfect for the other skirt in this pattern, but without the back buttons, and the checks would make some really interesting lines:

Because of the limited amount of fabric, the back and front seams match, the sides not so perfectly, but you can't win 'em all!:

And again, pockets! - which I cut on the bias, so no need for any pattern matching:

I've worn both of these skirts at least once a week since I made them - they're just really handy to throw on with a t-shirt or sweater.

Hope that wasn't too long for everyone - see you soon!


  1. I love that you managed to get Vincent price, Ikea & pattermatching all in one lost! That cape looks brilliant!! Your pencil skirt is gorgeous too, so flattering. In fact I'd love both those skirts please! I need to check out the fabric section next time I'm at IKEA.

  2. I wore button back skirts in the 80's, lots of safety pins didn't sew then! These look fabulous as does the cape :-)

  3. Lovely skirts and that cape is fab! I always end up over spending in Ikea too, things just have a habit of finding their way into my trolley.

  4. What brilliant makes! The cape is fantastic, and I love both skirts. I haven't come across a pencil skirt with pockets before, and it's a genius idea. I over spend in Ikea too, it's hard not to! In fact, I've been trying to muster up the energy to go to my local Ikea, but it hadn't happened yet. I wish they did click and collect!!

  5. Each piece is fantastic! I love the large-scale gingham skirt; it's so bold and chic!

    1. They've scaled back the fabric sections at US Ikeas to almost nothing. I used to find some cool stuff but we don't get all of the same products that you guys do. I remember trying to find that awesome eyeball print you used one time but it wasn't available here. I guess I need to go on a fabric-buying expedition across the pond!

    2. I'm in that big blue box more often than I should be, so I'll keep an eye out for anything interesting. I'd be happy to send anything - just let me know.

  6. Stumbled upon your blog!IT's cute! I love all your projects! ;)

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