Doppelgangers

Chardon1The vermilion Chardon skirt I made two years ago is one of those garments I reach for constantly, both in summer and winter. So when I found this vibrant green cotton at Les Tissus du Chien Vert earlier this year, I thought it would make a perfect new glaring Chardon that I knew would get a lot of wear.

Chardon2I made this skirt in early May, so I can already tell you that it did indeed get a lot of wear, as did the t-shirt I’m wearing in the pictures, sewn a few days before. The t-shirt is also my second time using a pattern (and it’s also the same t-shirt I’m wearing in the pictures of the post about my first Chardon!), a two-piece tee (one front piece, one back piece) from this Ottobre magazine.

Chardon6I finished the t-shirt differently from the first time, by substituting a narrow neckline/sleeve band to the neckline/sleeve binding. Other than that, it’s the same as the first one, but serged instead of sewn by machine (except for the top stitching, made with a double needle). It’s also exactly the same kind of slinky rayon knit as the purple one, but two years of experience made it way easier to cut than the first time around.

As for the skirt, I decided to bind all of the seams with bias tape, and I have to say I was pretty proud of the result! I was afraid it was going to be too bulky at the pockets, but it isn’t, so I’ll definitely use this method again in the future.

Chardon3I did screw up somewhere in sewing the pleats, though, which are a little wider (and less deep) than they should be. At first I made them the correct size, but when I tried on the skirt before attaching the zipper, I felt like it was going to be too snug. So I let out each pleat by a few millimetres to gain a couple centimetres. And of course, when I tried on the skirt a second time, this time with the zipper, it was way too big at the waist! I unpicked the zipper, and since I couldn’t be bothered to unpick and redo the pleats for the second time, I simply cut off the excess at the centre back seam and re-inserted the zipper.

Chardon4Despite this silly mistake, I’ve been wearing these two garments a lot, both together and separately. The outfit I’m wearing in the pictures is the exact outfit I had been wearing all day at work, hence the wrinkled skirt.

I’m really happy with the finishing of both garments, especially of the inside of the skirt. It’s so pretty it almost feels like a waste to keep it hidden. It’s such a shame that I can’t wear it inside out… Or could I?

Chardon5

Red Hot Chardon

Chardon4Two Deer&Doe patterns down, six to go! Oh how I love those patterns…

This is the Chardon skirt, of course. I made view 2, with the belt loops. I used a red cotton sateen with subtle stripes from Sacrés Coupons in Paris that I’ve had in my stash for a couple of years. The fabric has a slight stretch to it, which let’s hope won’t cause the skirt to stretch out of place (the interfacing I used should prevent that), and it was a joy to work with.

Chardon1The pattern, too, was a joy to work with. There were few pieces and the instructions were very clear. To the exception of the part that tells you how to attach the belt loops: the pattern doesn’t explain exactly how to sew the loops on. I had no problem doing that without the instructions, but the pattern is aimed at beginners and I know that as a beginner I would have been kind of lost.

Chardon2The skirt was really easy to put together, if not a bit time consuming when it came to the pleats. But I’m a very slow sewer, so this might be just me… About the pleats, looking at the pictures I realise I might have done a better job at pressing them before the shoot. Ah well, I’ll do that before wearing the skirt at least!Chardon3I cut a size 36 and the fit is spot on. I didn’t make any modifications. At first I wanted to add a lining, but I finally opted not to when I couldn’t find enough yardage in my stash. And I was really glad I didn’t bother with a lining when the time came to sew the zipper… I’m kind of zipper challenged, you see, so I had enough trouble inserting it without a lining! I almost gave up and hand-picked it instead of machine-stitching it, but I held on and I did manage to get a nice result in the end.

Chardon5I was afraid the waist would end up bulky because of the thickness of the fabric and the pleats, but it looks ok on the finished skirt. Though I had to understitch the waist facing and it still wouldn’t stay tucked inside so I invisibly hand stiched it to the waist, which solved the problem.

Chardon6My favourite part was finishing the hem with bias tape. It was so easy yet looks so nice! I’ll surely use that method in future projects. I used a red and white polka dotted bias tape which looks so cute against the red of the skirt even though it’s not exactly the same shade. Confession time: I had planned to use another bias tape (with another motif) whose shade was closer to that of the skirt, but I cut it too short… and then I couldn’t for the life of me sew two pieces together to get more length! I tried and I tried and got it wrong every time… so I finally gave in and went to buy some at the fabric store. I felt so lame! Oh, and of course there was a massive sale going on at the otherwise too expensive store, so I may or may not have bought a few metres of fabric that went to join a now overwhelming stash…

Chardon7Well, at least now I have a skirt I love (and cute new fabric to boot!) and I know I’ll be wearing a lot. I recently came to the realisation that, even though I consider red to be a wardrobe staple (it’s kind of a neutral, isn’t it?), I didn’t own any red pieces except for my new playsuit (do a T-shirt and an old frumpy cardigan really count?). So that’s one gap filled!