The dresses last week were just the beginning, as I have skirts and tops to catch up on as well. Let’s start with skirts!
I have made several over the last two years, although I only put them into regular rotation this year (last winter was way too cold to don such garments!). Skirts are great: they use very little yardage, they are easy to fit and construct and they have become easier to co-ordinate as I move toward purchasing more basics (as opposed to fabrics that are beautiful, but destined to become orphaned garments).
The Patterns: Burdastyle 8/2013.130, Silhouette 2913, Simplicity 1322, Burda 6835, Hot Patterns Lantern, Liesl & Co City Stroll, Style Arc Janet and Mary-Ann.
Skirts can be kind of boring. I am always looking for interesting shapes and details, and I found them in many of these skirts. My most recent skirt was from Burdastyle magazine and I loved making it. There is a front zipper closure, a wide waistband and an overlap at the centre front. It has a kind of eighties bell shape with slant pockets and sits near the navel. The hem does line up, I promise! It is difficult to fit skirts on my dress form, as her waist is much smaller than mine.
I used a beautiful wool for this skirt, in blue, of course, since most of my fabrics are blue or brown. I usually avoid pleats or tucks at the waist, but these ones are not so bad. They add interest to an already interesting skirt.
I used a cotton for the waist facing to reduce bulk. Also pictured is the front zip closure, akin to a fly front, but much easier to construct using a separating zipper.
I used the same cotton for the pocket facings. The skirt is unlined, which is unusual for me, but it is not strictly necessary here. You can also see my hand stitching to keep the front facings in place. I did the same herringbone stitch on the hem.
A view of the front closure. I used a large snap and hooks and eyes on the waistband overlap. The zip is angled quite steeply.
Buttons are just for show.
I really like this one. It is quite unique and fun to wear. Isn’t that why I do this?
Silhouette 2913: I made this one before in denim, but always planned one in a faux leather that I had purchased from Emma One Sock. It has been in my wardrobe for quite some time, but I had never worn it, until this winter.
Silhouette 2913. I still love the panels in this one and I still dislike the waist treatment.
I had to shorten this one quite a bit, which I did in the top panels. I like having the longer panels below. This was an exercise in extreme care whilst topstitching the faux leather. As with velvet, there are no second chances!
The waist treatment is something to consider if I take this one on again. I hate it. The pattern calls for fold over elastic, which is not widely available here, and certainly not in colours. I would much prefer a waistband, but that is for another day. Not sure if I would make this one again: it is quick to construct, even with the lining that I added. The shape may just be a bit too unique, although I have a beautiful brown (naturally!) faux suede that would work well.
Simplicity 1322: It turned out so nice, I made it twice!
These are view F. In hindsight, the A-line is a little wide on me. I may revamp the side seams a bit to bring in the excess width. The grey is a J. Crew suiting while the houndstooth is a lovely wool, leftover from the Style Arc Odette skirt. (I could only purchase full yards and needed more than one for that skirt). I lined these skirts, which complicated the construction somewhat, but was necessary. The finishing called for in the pattern would have been ugly.
The wool needed a cotton waistband facing in order to reduce bulk. I had leftover fabric from a quilt I made for my mother that I thought would be fun. And it is!
The second Burda skirt, also made quite recently, confirms my love of all things Burda! The patterns go together beautifully, they fit me well and they have details with a bit of an edge.
I love this skirt! I love the exposed zipper on the front (although it makes driving a little inappropriate!) and the shaping of the panels. There are seven panels in this skirt and it has a centre back zipper. Amazingly, I did not have to shorten the skirt panels! View B hits exactly at my knee. I did have to find a shorter separating zipper than called for in the pattern, as I did not want it to be wrapped around the hem. So, I have some extra zippers hanging around!
Exposed zipper and lining detail.
The skirt is fully lined, which I did by hand at both zipper closures. The fabric is called Galileo, a cotton brocade, purchased from Sawyer Brook in 2014. I purchased four yards, with the idea of making a dress and jacket. The dress was a major fail as the pattern was overwhelming. I sat on the remaining fabric for a long time before finding the Burda skirt in the 2016 spring release. I believe it to be a great match of pattern and fabric.
Galileo cotton brocade in blue (of course!). Stunning!
In the pursuit of interesting shapes, I came across Hot Patterns’ Lantern skirt. It has a hem band that gives it a unique shape that is difficult to capture on my dress form. I call it my Hallowe’en skirt (even though I made it last summer), due to my fabric choices: black linen from Designer Fabrics and orange bemberg lining (I have a lot of this for some reason.).
My linen needs to be pressed! This was an easy make, although I had to shorten it considerably. It is very loose at the hip and the waist is a bit too big for me. This probably explains the fact that I have worn it just once, to my Shakespeare book club last fall. I may give it another go, if I size down and shorten further.
Liesl & Co puts out great patterns that are easy to wear. I made the Maritime top last summer, and purchased the City Stroll skirt at the same time. I really like wrap skirts, or mock wraps (as shown above, with Simplicity 1322). I used a beautiful linen that looks a bit like denim.
The overlap is rounded and uses a facing to finish the edge. There are slant pockets and buttons used as a closure on the inside. It is unlined, although I used lining for the pockets. It is a cute, casual skirt, great for summer strolling. I tend to dislike summer styles, as they are often a bit sloppy, but this one allows me to appear a bit more pulled together.
Style Arc is one of my favourite pattern companies. Their patterns are classic yet current. I had a fabulous cotton from Marcy Tilton that was reversible.
Inside the Style Arc Janet. The gridded side of the fabric is a bit overwhelming, but works in the godet.
The Janet skirt offered the chance to use both sides of the fabric in a fun way. I like the godets and the interest they add to a basic panel skirt.
When I traced the pattern, I wondered if it was a doll skirt as the pieces were so tiny! Because of the wide waistband and the godets, the panels are quite small. The waistband took quite a bit of work to fit, but it fits well now. I lined in bemberg, as ever, this time in hot pink!
The Mary-Ann skirt has been made before, in what I call my non-threatening librarian look. I love this skirt, although I have yet to actually make it with the pockets! Neither of my fabrics would work with the pockets, as they were too thick.
Style Arc Mary-Ann in faux suede.
I have worn this one a lot this winter. It is a great shape on me and I love this fabric (even if it is polyester!). The neutrals of the fabric make it easy to co-ordinate with tops and the length is perfect. I made it ages ago, but it is another that just started to be worn this winter.
Waist facing in quilting cotton and a gorgeous grey bemberg lining. I love the stitching detail around the checkerboard squares!
The fabric was too thick to make nice pockets, which is why I left them off. The waistband had to be faced with cotton to reduce bulk. I believe the lining is hand stitched to the zipper and I am building better waistbands, although the corners could be tidier!
So, skirts! I have to say that my favourites are the two Burda skirts. They are just so unique and push me out of the non-threatening librarian zone. All eight skirts have been worn this winter, some more than others, but all are still hanging in the wardrobe.