My new pal Ellis


Hello from a rather damp & windy Auckland! We are in the midst of a large landscaping/decking/gardening extravaganza at the moment so OF COURSE it’s raining cats & canines. After literally months of dry weather. Sigh.

To remind myself of sunnier days , I’m sharing not just my lily white legs but a new skirt, huzzah! I seem to have all sorts of problems finding great skirt patterns, maybe I’m very particular (ok, no maybe about it), but for something relatively simple, I struggle.


So when I saw the Ellis Skirt from Cashmerette I was definitely interested. Who doesn’t want a perfect denim skirt? I know I’ll never again achieve the sartorial perfection that was 11 year old me, rockin’ my blue denim skirt with a yellow Pickaberry tee shirt & Bata bullet sneakers but still , I can give it a crack right?

Somehow the denim skirt morphed into something a little more formal. I work full time in a law firm (I’m the accountant, they don’t let me loose on clients but I still need to look reasonably smart, no casual Fridays for me) so the reality is I’m in work wear for the majority of the week . Except when I get home & change. I remember reading one of those “french woman” articles, where basically you are reminded that no matter what you do you will never be as chic as a French woman, because for starters you’re not French (or thin, you don’t smoke or wear high heels or have a lover. Or two.) and one of the woman interviewed commented how much she enjoyed coming home & changing out of her formal work suit, into something casual. So not yoga pants a ratty tee & slippers then, oui? Non. The casual was a pair of wool pants, a cashmere sweater & loafers. I did at least chuck out a pair of legging with a hole & several rather dubious tees…

Striking a pose, or did I drop an earring down there?

Anyway, after looking at my work wardrobe ,and trying to bring some semblance of sense to my sewing I thought the pattern would work perfectly with some stretch cotton sateen I’d picked up at Spotlight. The stretch would give the comfort & recovery of denim, while being work appropriate, win!


I really love the colours in this fabric, and some leftover green linen from this wee dress worked perfectly for my pocket lining.

The cotton sateen is a dream to sew, stable & robust, but I felt like some of the traditional denim skirt top stitching details, particularly on back pockets would have been lost on such a busy pattern. In fact I ditched the back pockets all together , what the heck am I ever putting in those?

Yeah, booty call …

But I did top stitch around the pockets , back yoke & down the front , it does give a nice crisp finish.

How cool is this fabric???

I cut a straight Size 20, its a wee bit loose around the waist because the fabric is a little more forgiving than denim , but this was fine, and given we’ve had morning tea four mornings out of five this week at work possibly a very good idea? I made View B, lengthened to view A Length, without belt loops or back pockets.

The skirt works well with a tee & cardi, to make it cooler weather appropriate I’ve also teamed it with a sweater & boots, I think it works!

I spend a lot of time looking for lost earrings apparently?

Like other Cashmerette patterns, the PDF came together well, instructions are clear, and I want to make another. I have an amazing stretch corduroy cut out (I know, naughty starting another project after cutting out, I’m a rebel, what can I say?) and some cool black denim that says make me. I wish work didn’t cut into my sewing day so much?!

Sheila Ryan x

It’s Mothers Day here in NZ, I’m very lucky to still have my Mum around, she’s 83, took her first plane ride at 80, has recently learnt to play Mah Jong & theirs no stopping her. Mum has sewn all her life , we had plenty of home made clothing growing up , it’s only now I sew myself I realize how much effort she put into our wardrobe. She’s still amazed I have finally taken to sewing , only about 30 years after she hoped? We gave Mum tickets to the Mousetrap (I got my LOVE of books, reading & Agatha Christie from my mother & I will thank her till the day I die for that) and a lovely infinity scarf I made in Liberty jersey. In true Ryan style we forgot to take a picture.

I’ll leave you with Tuppence, I suspect she wants to be painted like those French girls (what is the French thing this week?)


And Tommy mid photo bomb!


Have a fab week people 🙂

Kristina xxx