Tag: John Smedley

The Schwarzwald Skirt Collection Autumn/Winter 2013 – Skirt Two -‘Forest Foliage’

This is the second skirt from my ‘Black  Forest’ skirt collection using Burdastyle 12/2012 #105 skirt pattern. This pattern has only two pattern pieces, is beginner friendly and can be made from less than one metre of fabric which make it pretty fab IMO!

Burdastyle skirt pattern 12/2012 #105
Burdastyle skirt pattern 12/2012 #105

The autumn coloured leaves in the forest inspired me so this skirt is aptly named ‘Forest Foliage’.

The Black Forest foliage, Germany
The Black Forest foliage, Germany

I used a wool knit by Italian designer Missoni bought at this year’s Hollander Stoff Markt in Germany. I love the autumnal colours!

P1280743 I wasn’t sure whether a wool knit would work for this pattern but I didn’t alter anything and it seems fine. Phew!

P1280729 I used the same Petersham ribbon for the waistband as I did for my first version of this skirt. I also lined it with a viscose lining using the same pattern pieces as the outer fabric.


My main concern with this fabric was whether I could match the stripes up at the seams, but I think I just about pulled it off on the side seams!

The misbehaving back seam!
The misbehaving back seam!

The stripes on the back seam with the zip refused to play nicely though! I unpicked the zip a few times but couldn’t get those deviant stripes to behave themselves and sewing invisible zips into wool knits isn’t a barrel of laughs I can tell you! Finally I surrendered to the wonky stripes!

Clingy fit!
Clingy fit!

Overall I’m happy with how this skirt turned out! The fabric is really comfy to wear and importantly for this time of year, it’s also cosy and warm! The fit of the skirt in the knit is a bit clingier than the other two skirts I’ve made from this pattern – as you can see in this semi-action photo above.

A bonus of using the Missoni fabric was that I could use the selvedge edge as the hem which eliminated a step in the sewing process and speeded up the making of this skirt. Much appreciated! Cheers Missoni!

To round off this ‘Black Forest’ skirt collection, I’ll post the final of the skirt trio next week. Until then, here’s a sneak peak of ‘Twinkle, Twinkle Little Skirt’!

'Twinkle, Twinkle Little Skirt'
‘Twinkle, Twinkle Little Skirt’



My love affair with John Smedley

John, ‘How I love thee, let me count the ways!’

P1260809  P1260692

John Smedley and I go way back, in fact for the majority of my adult life!

P1260264 P1260277

You could say he is the third wheel in my marriage!


But don’t worry, my husband knows all about him and he loves him too!

P1250876 P1250879

Of course I’m talking about the iconic British knitwear brand John Smedley.


Smedley knits have formed the basis of my wardrobe and accompanied me through my life’s greatest moments, for the past twenty years.


Meeting my husband, moving and working overseas, having my children – John was there for all of it. He has been one of the constants in my life

. P1250108 P1250060

These days as my sewing hobby builds momentum and I’m making more and more of my own clothes, John Smedley knitwear is probably one of the only ready-made items other than jeans and footwear, that I still go out and buy.

P1250782_2 P1250776

The simple, clean lines of the pieces and the classic styles make this knitwear timeless and endlessly versatile and so it’s easy to use it as the backbone of my hand-made wardrobe.

P1230830_2_2 P1230821_2

I would be hard-pushed to find a better outfit partner than John!

P1250843 P1250840

Whatever new item of clothing I make, I can always find a Smedley knit to complement my look and create my own style, whether it be in sumptuous Sea Island cotton or fine Merino wool.


It’s not only the versatility of the range that has kept me loyal over the decades though, it’s the brand’s dedication to only using the highest quality materials.


As a mother of young children, I can say this with confidence because my Smedley knits are tested to the limit on a daily basis.


They’re all machine-washable so they are low maintenance and they always manage to live to see another day! My oldest John Smedley jumper is a classic black rollneck that is a ripe twenty years old and it is still going strong! In fact it’s hard to tell which of my John Smedley knitwear collection is the most recent because it all still looks like new.


Even more incredibly, John Smedley products are still made in the original mill that the brand was founded in well over two hundred years ago, in the beautiful Derbyshire countryside in Britain. I love this.


I grew up in an era when there was a pride for things that were made in Britain. The high street was full of British made goods and this was seen as a mark of quality.

P1250923 P1250919

Sadly many British clothing retailers have now turned to overseas production. So the fact that John Smedley have continued to produce in Britain and the company is thriving, is testament that this is a high quality brand in it for the long haul.

P1250461 P1250421

Is it any wonder that I’ve stayed faithful to these woolies for all these years, they are truly investment pieces!

P1260857 P1260859

BTW all the clothes shown in this post apart from the jeans, a t-shirt and John Smedley knitwear, were all made by me. Also I  am not sponsored by John Smedley, I just genuinely like their stuff.

Have you got any favourite brands or clothes that you couldn’t live without?

%d bloggers like this: