Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Copy-Cat Skirt and Awesome Bike Bag

When I was out on Saturday taking photos of Mindy's Picnic Blanket I realised I was wearing one of my favourite summer skirts and that I'd never actually blogged about it.  I made the skirt pre-blog, over my Christmas break in 2007 - yes that's right, the skirt is almost 5 years old! Working out how long ago has scared me slightly!

The skirt was inspired by a skirt that my mum had bought in a shop, and I really liked the patchwork look of the skirt with the stripes in all different directions. I spent quite a while looking for fabric, but as the stripe repeat on her skirt was wider than on any fabric I could find and I was worried about it all looking too much the same. So instead my skirt is made up of two different fabrics in similar colours, one of which is a seer-sucker, which gives the skirt extra texture.

I 'drafted' the skirt myself by making a simple gore shape similar in measurement to the gores on my mum's skirt, I made about 5 copies and and then chopped up the gores into randomly divided sections (to make two gores per combination). From there I made up pattern pieces for all the bits of skirt, as the pieces have ~1 inch pleats in them where they're seamed together. That's right - every single piece in this skirt had a pattern piece, that was a lot of cutting, and then even more stitching! I think at the time I worked it out as 3 seams for every join in each gore! (I still have all the pattern pieces in my pattern stash)

But I didn't mind all the stitching, as I love how the skirt turned out. I also loved the price tag. This was one of the earlier items I made for myself and I was particularly chuffed that I had made my own interpretation of a skirt that cost about $200 in the shops for less than $20! And 5 years later mine is still going strong but I think my mum's has worn out.

I also wanted to take a moment to share something slightly newer than my skirt; my bike and even newer bike bag, since they were great props for the photos. I got my bike back in April and have been enjoying riding it very much! My previous bike was a 'boys' bike and I really struggled getting on and off it. I'm really loving having a step through bike again and being able to hop on and off easily! Also, MUD GUARDS! So good for riding in the rain or on wet roads!

However even more excitingly is my new bag, I got one of these Basil Elements Shoulder Bags. I really wanted a pannier bag now the weather is warming up; it sucks having a bag on your back when it's hot. However most of the pannier bags I've seen look like they're a real pain to carry around when they're not on the bike, and since I usually use my bike to go somewhere and then will want to carry my bag with me when I get there I need a bag that's easy/comfortable to carry around. So when I found the Basil Pannier bags online I was VERY excited! I ended up buying it from a local bike store as it meant I could see the bag in person before committing to buying it. It functions just like a normal bag when it's not on the bike, and then clips on my rack when I am on my bike - win win!

I don't buy many fabric based things these days, but I'm so happy with this bag. I've had it less than a week , but so far it's great! I did find pannier clips available for sale on the internet however, so have been contemplating trying to make my own pannier bag sometime... I should probably try making a regular bag first to get the hang of it though shouldn't I?!


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  2. Lovely!!! I love the close up shot of your skirt - looks like a lot of effort went into that! Do you wear anything underneath to protect your modesty (so to speak) or do you find A-line skirts are pretty good at staying put?
    I'm a HUGE fan of step through bikes... I'm considering buying one for this summer for myself :) Mr poppykettle has THREE. And they all live inside, which is frustrating at the best of times. It also means I need a place to store MY bike, should I decide to get ones. You bike bag is one of the nicest I've seen by far!! Thanks for the link. I like the idea of a basket up front... but don't know how practical that would be?? Mud guards are the best invention, ever :)

  3. The skirt looks great! I still wear one of the first skirts that I made when I was 14 - 21years ago!

    I love the bike bag - I didn't know such things existed. I am going to get one!

  4. I learnt the magic of mud guards while cycling in Vietnam a few years ago.
    Your bike bag is awesome. We're upgrading our back pack bladders for another cycling adventure.
    Love your bike and skirt.


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