Category Archives: Skirt

Ikat Everyday Skirt

Ikat Everyday Skirt

Yikes, three blue printed makes in quick succession? At least this is a different kind of garment! You might have noticed a distinct lack of skirts from me until now. I’m not really sure why that is, as I wear skirts pretty often and have a few RTW ones in regular rotation. I suppose maybe it’s because I don’t see many skirt patterns that particularly inspire me, and I’m quite particular about waistband level and flare amount on my skirts. It’s something I’m keen to put right now though, and this awesome little pattern is a good kick-start to some skirty sewing.

Ikat Everyday Skirt

This is the Liesl & Co Everyday Skirt. I was tempted to go the self-draft route for my dream skirt, but this pattern is basically it: flat side panels for hip-skimming effect, pockets tucked into in a front-shifted seam and a flat-fronted waist with just the back elasticated. There are some very cute versions of it in the blogosphere which sealed the deal: Kelly, youandmie, Fa Sew La. The PDF pattern is really good – unusually, you cut the pieces out first, before sticking together. This saves both paper and tape – the printout is only 20 pages. Top marks for that, Liesl!

Ikat Everyday Skirt

I didn’t bother with a toile as it’s elasticated at the waist, and cut straight into my lovely Michael Miller ikat print, which I bought a while ago on Fabric.com. It’s a quilting cotton, but good quality and with a little stretch/give which makes it very comfy to wear.

Ikat Everyday Skirt

Making the skirt up was really fun and the instructions are great. It’s got a particularly good way to add the faced front waistband – you sew it to the wrong side of the skirt first, then fold it over to the right side with the seam allowance tucked under and topstitch. This is the opposite way to how waistbands usually go on, but it makes way more sense, giving a cleaner and more accurate finish since you don’t need to stitch ‘blind’ from the RS to catch the loose folded edge underneath. I’ll be adding it to my list of go-to techniques.

Ikat Everyday Skirt

I got a little bit confused about how to finish the last side seam with the elastic enclosed, but just ended up catching it in the side seam which seems fine. The pattern recommends sewing two channels and using thinner elastic, but I just went for one piece of wide elastic (as I recently bought a whole reel in bulk), topstitched down the middle so it doesn’t twist.

Ikat Everyday Skirt

Even though I sized down to a small, the skirt ended up a bit too big so I had to pull the elastic quite tightly at the back. This gives me a bit of bunching at the back and also pulls the side seams backward, but it’s not toooo noticeable because I matched up the pattern pretty well. Next time I’ll reduce the width of both the front and back pieces by an inch or so. I also probably cut it a shade too short since I like it near my natural waist, oops.

Ikat Everyday Skirt

GRATUITOUS POCKET CLOSE UP. It’s a good pocket, perfect size and position.

Ikat Everyday Skirt

Tidy guts, all allowances overlocked, except I just missed catching all the pocket tops in the waistband. I’m really happy with this pattern: I need more skirts in both prints and solids so once I’ve tweaked the fit I think this’ll be a TNT for me. I can imagine it’d be great in loads of fabrics, from chambray to floppy viscose – even a ponte knit perhaps – and will transition well into cooler weather with tights. Truly an everyday skirt!

Recent sews and The Shop

Tania culottes

Here are the final things I made during the end of Me-made May. First, a pair of jazzy culottes! I love culottes: the practicality of breeze-resistant shorts with the cuteness of a little flippy skirt is a winner to me. The pattern is the new Megan Nielsen Tania culottes, bought from M is for Make.

Tania culottes

The pattern was really fun to put together – it felt almost like magical origami creating the pleats and crotch with simple folds and lines of stitching. The only thing I mucked up is the waistband with some wobbly topstitching – I might unpick and redo it neater. I also haven’t properly finished the bottom edge yet because I’m terrible at hemming, so it’s just overlocked for now.

Vintage fabric

The fabric is a vintage piece of 70s polyester with a gorgeous Scandinavian-looking mountain print. I love how the patten drape makes the peaks point up and outwards, a little reminiscent of fireworks. Just don’t make the mistake I did of ironing interfacing onto polyester with a hot iron – I burnt a clean plastic-scented hole through my first waistband piece, and luckily had just enough fabric to cut another. I’ll definitely be using this pattern again; in fact I’ve just bought some jersey that I think will make a great no-zip-required version.

Feather tee
Vintage fabric

(Excuse my face, I appear to have the dead eyes of someone who’s been worrying for three weeks straight..) This is another Scout, although radically different from my last one. The front is made from a vintage silk scarf, which was happily just the right size for the pattern piece. The sleeves and back are the same grey jersey as my ballet dress. Very pleased that this turned out just how I imagined it. The Scout tee is such an amazing pattern: so simple but hangs so well despite having no darts or shaping, and the possibilities for creative variations are vast.

Vintage fabric

Finally, a fail. I tried to take photos but they looked too awful to share! It was supposed to be a Sureau dress by Deer & Doe, made from a super soft piece of vintage cotton with an abstract tulip print, above. It seems in sewing that lots of small mistakes can add up to a big mess of a garment, which sadly I think happened here. I chose a size too big so the fit isn’t quite right. The neckline was gaping so I attempted a shoulder-line fix, then added a half collar which sits wonkily. The sleeve caps billow at the back. The skirt twists annoyingly to the side. I’m not sure if I’ll try and fix it some more, or cut it down into a skirt maybe. It would be a shame to waste the pretty fabric completely. Perhaps I should start making toiles before cutting the real fabric.

theshop1

All of the fabrics came from The Shop on Cheshire St, which I visited with Jen one lunchtime (check out Jen’s blog for some much better photos and info, this unprepared blogger didn’t have her camera). It is indeed the treasure trove that countless bloggers promised: walls lined with shelves of vintage fabric, with even more stuffed into drawers and baskets underneath which you’re encouraged to rummage through. There’s everything from recycled curtains to half-finished handmade skirt pieces, plus loads of large pieces of 2-4 metre long cottons and polys, perfect for skirt or dress projects.

theshop2

There’s also a great line in vintage notions, and basket upon basket of vintage silk scarves at around a fiver a pop. At the back are curtains, cushions and clothing and there’s also plenty of knitted scarves and crochet blankets. Prices are eye-poppingly amazing, ranging from a few quid for the smaller bits to no more than £15 for larger pieces (my take-home stash that made everything in this post was only £18). You’d be hard pushed to find such a lovely variety of prints in new fabrics for those kinds of prices. Find The Shop at 3 Cheshire St just off the top of Brick Lane – I’ll be back to replenish my stash very soon.