No, this is not me being early – this is last year’s skirt! I was going through a period of not blogging when I made this, and this skirt isn’t very exciting so it never made it up here. But I just made a similar skirt and I wanted to reference this, so here it is!
I found this rad Christmas cockatoo fabric at spotlight last year, and decided I had to have it. I have now bought several more Australian-animal Christmas fabrics, that may or may not make it into garments. I feel fine about having these in the stash – any time I see an Aussie-centric Christmas thing I buy it, pretty much on principle. I was initially going to make a shirtdress out of this other fabric I bought, featuring kookaburras. I was planning to use Simplicity 1459.
However, it will definitely need an FBA and maybe other adjustments and I didn’t leave myself enough time to muslin it, and then I realised I wanted to wear it to my work Christmas party which was in early December, leaving me even less time. So I decided to fall back on my backup, and just make a simple skirt.
I used the waistband of an Ottobre skirt which I have made a million times, although it looks like only three have made it to the blog. It was the first Ottobre pattern I made, I think I traced it from Sue M’s magazine although I think I’ve since bought the edition – it’s 5/2007. I know it fits me, although I have historically had to make various adjustments depending on the fabric, because the waistband will sit differently. Also I think my waistband has been getting bigger over time, because when I traced it I added seam allowances, but I usually just sew it on the overlocker which means I don’t need as much. Anyway, long story short, it’s a curved yoke which I find much easier to tweak to fit my actual body, rather than a straight one.
I wanted a gathered skirt, with a decent amount of flounce and from memory I had limited fabric – I can’t remember exactly how much, maybe 2 metres? I ended up just cutting the fabric in half, lengthways. Then I sewed it together, and gathered it to fit the waistband, and sewed it on. Tada! I put in a side zip rather than a back one because I didn’t want to have to think about where to split the fabric, and I had uneven panels because I’d cut the waistband out of one of them so it was shorter. I didn’t think about it and ended up with the zip on the left side (the front and back yokes are different), which is annoying and means I have to zip the skirt up with the zip facing the front, and then scooch it around to sit right. I also didn’t bother to think about adding pockets.
To mazimise length and cut down on sewing time (I was now down to the day before the party) I just serged the hem and turned it up and sewed it. I did line the yoke with a facing, just using some random lining fabric from my stash, adn then top stitching that down along the yoke/skirt seam.
I can’t remember if there were any fitting issues with this one, it’s too long ago now. I do know the back dips – it’s a bit exaggerated here because of my posture but also does happen in real life. I think this is because the yoke sits out from my swayback, so the weight of the skirt can pull it down. I should have shaped the waistband there more, I guess. I think it needs for the bottom curve of the yoke to be smoothed out and less curvy – you can see that bit kind of sits out of line with the rest of the curve.
I wore it to my work do, and also on Christmas day, and it was a hit. I know there were things I was unhappy with when I first sewed it – it’s certainly not the most elegantly constructed skirt. But given I can’t remember what most of the issues are, I’d say it’s a good lesson in focusing on the things that matter and not getting caught up in little imperfections, since my goal is generally ‘wearable’ rather than ‘couture’.
I’d still like to make the kookaburra dress for this year (I probably should get moving, then) but if I don’t – or even if I do – I’ll happily pull this skirt out over the holiday season. I’d wear it all year if I could.