Just a little red skirt - and learning simplicity

By Victoria As-it-Seams - 10:29

And breathe...
Life is so full, isn't it? I often feel like a rabbit dazzled in headlights trying to decide what to do first.
Clean the house, or sew? Catch up on work, or sew? Spend some time playing with Missy, or sew? 
So I'm trying to teach myself to slow down, and be gentle on myself.
And make my sewing a little simpler and a little less experimental.
Quite simply, I don't have time, or head space, to rescue projects that go wrong.
Which is why this little red skirt is the right kind of sewing for 'right now'.

Red skirt akiko mano

This skirt has ticked a lot of boxes for me. About thrift, both with time and with fabric.
It's made from a remnant of red needlecord and a floral needlecord, both a gift from my mother, who is trying to de-stash her fabric stash.

This is rather funny, she clearly has/had the same fabric tendencies as me. And the bits and bobs in her fabric drawer have been there a long time. This floral remnant definitely has a seventies vibe. In fact the whole skirt does. But I kind of like that.

So, I didn't spend any money  on fabric (tick one), in fact I helped 'de-stash' and that always feels good.

And I didn't fiddle with a pattern either (or at least not much - because I guess I did add the floral panel which also forms a hem facing).

The pattern is from Akiko Mano's Linen, Wool, Cotton Kids, recently translated into English, and my new 'love.' Expect to see more sewing from this book!

I just love those four shiny red buttons! And the simplicity of the skirt, but the way the deep yoke also makes it look a little sophisticated.

Red skirt, Akiko Mano's Linen, Wool, Cotton Kids,

I need this kind of sewing in my 'sewing life' but it's also the kind of thing Missy needs in her winter wardrobe. A practical cosy skirt. 
We took a few photos outside, in front of our trusty fence. But honestly it was freezing!
Thank heavens for Missy's chunky Aran cardigan...Which in a funny way is also part of my mum's de-stashing efforts. She knitted that cardigan, all those chunky cables and fancy stitches...um and it only took her 40 years to finish it! 

It started life in the mid 1970s, as a cardigan for me. And then lay in a bag for four decades, after my mother lost heart and couldn't face knitting the button band. Don't you know that feeling? When something's almost finished, apart from a button  hole or a hem, and you've lost interest and just can't face that final hurdle?
(I do this all the time. In fact I'm even doing it with this blog post. It was my intention to take more pictures, to show you how I faced the waistband with the floral fabric too, and that clever button closure. But I just don't need another 'to do' on my list right now. I'm keeping this simple)

Finally my mum knitted the button band, in 2014, and now her little grand-daughter can be a seventies girl from head to toe, in her cord skirt, Aran cardigan, oh and a granny knitted handmade scarf (and no, that didn't take 40 years to complete...)
So what's next on the Akiko Mano sewing pile? Oh plenty, plenty....come back and see! I'm enjoying this simple Japanese, follow-the-instructions sewing... (for now, anyway..come back soon and see if I can keep it up...) 

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  1. Oh, I really love both of these pieces - the skirt is so perfect with the little yoke and buttons! Simple but not too simple. And the sweater - that is an heirloom!! Beautiful!

  2. Both are great, the wide yoke looks great and the flowers match perfectly.

  3. Horay for your Mom for finishing a WIP!!! But I don't see a seventies vibe in the skirt, it has a very flamenco dancer feel in my opinion. Great piece!

  4. Absolutely lovely! I think simple is often best of all! And way to go to your mom! So awesome! Missy looks so cozy and huggable! :)

  5. Gorgeous skirt! And lovely cosy cardigan! I love the all outfit!

  6. I do absolutely love this skirt. Everything about it - the colour, the fabric, the waistband, the hemline. The lot. Simple is best, really. One of the most often worn items in my daughter's wardrobe right now is a skirt with lace hem. A rectangle piece of fabric with lace at the bottom. Which looks super sweet and she cannot resist it! Good on your mum for making such a lovely cardi - and for keeping it for 40 years so that she could finish it in time for Missy to enjoy :)

  7. So true...Sewing should be fun and relaxing! I really liked the post! The skirt is really prety! :)

    1. Thanks for visiting! And yes I do find that sewing is my relaxation - until I hit those moments when I'm swearing and wielding a seamripper!
      The skirt has been worn a lot , which is always a good sign!

  8. What a beautiful skirt - I love the warm colours. And wow, that cardigan was a long time in the making! Makes me feel less guilty about the pile of unfinished things on my sewing table :)


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