embracing the grey, novum machine and martha stewart skirt

The Novum was in the charity shop, and I am still wondering why I got it! – there was a logic at the time.  The machine motor sounded fine but , I thought it best just to get it repaired properly and hope it wasn’t a dud.  I should have inspected under all the grime, as there is some surface rust, not a lot, but enough.   Curiously the machine was made in Ireland which was nice to know, and it had a basic booklet, and it also had some extra feet and fittings so that’s handy.

grey novum


It also has some corrosion on the chrome (why oh why do I feel the need to rescue these things – I am beginning to learn to walk away) but the rubbing with aluminium seems to have smoothed out a lot,. I am less happy with this machine than the Brother Jones, as its a bit tatty here and there and the threading goes to the side, and also the bobbin winder does not work(I cannot loosen the needle), and the light fitting needs to be replaced – however on the other hand, it does sew evenly and beautifully, it has the presser foot adjuster and feed dog adjuster also but it doesn’t feel as nice as the Brother!  The other reason I thought it a good idea to have an extra machine, is for these ‘sew social evenings’ so people don’t have to lug over their machines……. and I don’t have to unthread and lend my main machine…. and its good to have a machine I don’t feel too precious about for others to use!  So that’s justified its presence, and not quite the cost of repair.  Eitherway, it is now part of the ‘better not get any bigger’ collection, and one way to get to ‘know’ a machine is to do a project from start to finish.

To do a test run project, I thought I would try out this skirt from Martha Stewart, its supposed to be done in a leather/suede type fabric, and has been sitting on my pinspiration pinterest board for a long time now.  I had got this tweed fabric in the charity shop, and I am a sucker for tweed.  There was just enough, and it is cut on the cross grain.

martha stewart no sew wrap skirt in tweed


Originally I was going to cut the skirt and just bind the hem, but then I figured the tweed could do with a bit body and also lining, so then I thought if I sewed the lining onto the skirt  and then turning it inside out it could give a nice finish – which it did, I then pressed and top stitched the scallops.   I had a few options on lining and was going to use cotton, but finally decided on ‘polester habotai ‘silk” lining as it could look well on the turn over without being too flashy.  I am really glad I did, I adore this skirt love-it love-it love-it.  I had low-to-no expectations, and am so pleased with it, and I would highly recommend it as an easy-ish quick make and it gives the quirky twist to a tweed skirt.  Its incredibly comfortable, although I did cut it to big.  I added an extra 14cm to the overall width to be sure but I really did not need this (it just means the first wrap goes around my waist more to the back) and could have just gone with the Martha pattern (I am a uk 12-14 in a skirt).  The other adjustment I made to the pattern was to add a seam allowance all around to allow for the ‘hem’.  

martha stewart no sew wrap skirt in tweed


Wearing the skirt as a back-wrap didn’t seem as comfortable for me as putting it to the front, so I pinned it in place,to decide the placement of the ‘poppers’ (I had thought of buttonholes I thought it would take from the simple look of the skirt), and although it may not have needed it, I put a quick stitch on top to keep the top of the pleat in place which works on keeping the fold of the wrap even (does that sentence even make sense……..hope so …picture below in any event).  If I was to make it again, I would interface the waist area.  

So a grey skirt sewn on a grey machine, and I have finally bit the bullet and decided to stop dying my hair (a habit from my 20s) not too sure how much grey is there but I am sure time will tell.