Hello lovelies! How do you like my new skirt?

Myself, I am pretty thrilled with it! It’s Butterick 6285, one of Gertie’s patterns. I bought it for the top, the skirt being a pretty simple thing to draft and I wouldn’t have considered it worth buying a pattern for. It’s a full circle skirt, but with four double box pleats – two front and two back – making it very full and giving it wonderful movement.


The fabric is a jacquard-print sateen from Spotlight that I bought on impulse at one of their sales. I was there buying 8 metres of fleece for a planned dressinggown and needed a more exciting purchase to bolster my spirits. Full credit to my partner S for finding this shoved at the back of everything after I found a bolt with only 1 metre on it and was sad. He is truly an excellent fabric hunter, and the envy of all the other women trapped in Spotters. I saw the fabric and immediately thought of this pattern and couldn’t get it out of my head.

The pattern is cut on the cross grain – made necessary by the large sweep of the skirt and also lending extra springyness to the skirt – and it’s a real fabric hog. It calls for just on 4 metres for my size, and I used it all – if you’ve got wide fabric it leaves an annoying strip of unusable scraps. Oh well. The pockets I did in a plain white broadcloth I had in the stash, which is nice and tightly woven and perfect for pockets. They peep out a bit and I wish I’d used navy to make them less visible but oh well. I really like the way the pockets sit at the exact right point to add to the flounce of the skirt. The pleats are also places perfectly, and help avoid that weird droopy fold at the front that a lot of circle skirts get.

Technically I am sized out of this pattern – my waist measurement is something like 3″ bigger than the largest size. However going off several reviews, especially Heather’s, I knew that this skirt was drafted big – 3″ too big, exactly. WHY people insist on putting extra ease in circle skirts where it can’t do anything but cause them to droop from your hips, or shift around, I will never understand. However, I shouldn’t complain as it meant I could make the size 22 right out of the packet – in fact I even took a wedge out of the centre back seam for my swayback.

The back has an invisible zip, and a hook and eye. The skirt is actually a bit loose in these photos. The last skirt I made I put the hook and eye in a bit tight, so I think I overcompensated on this – or perhaps I just hadn’t eaten as much the day I took photos. My stomach is the first place to show any temporary or permanent fluctuations for me so… [shrug] It fits ok still but if it stays this loose I will tighten the hook because it does shift around a bit. The hem is just a short 1cm turnup because I didn’t want to loose any length – I initially cut the skirt out 1″ longer but then realised my addition was wonky so went back and cut it as per pattern.

How do you like my photo location? I liked this skirt so much I didn’t want to do another boring wall shoot. Instead I ventured out into my neighbourhood. I tried a couple of other spots which were ok but the lighting  conditions weren’t right, but this path worked out pretty great, I think! Except that I need to stand more off the path so those dang signs aren’t in shot. It’s amazing what you don’t notice in the tiny viewfinder, when lining up a shot. Or is that just me? I walk this path every day on the way to the train, and even though it’s a fairly busy thoroughfare, on Sunday afternoon there were only a couple of people there. I just brought my phone so I could pretend to be checking messages when there were people, and waited for them to pass. I thought I would be terrified of being in such a public place but it was actually really fun! I scouted another couple of places which are promising but closer to a main road (but also closer to my house) so we’ll see if I’m brave enough for those another time.

Back to sewing. The lining is a thick mystery fabric I had in my stash – it’s short because I only had a couple of metres and that’s all I could get. It’s hefty enough that it adds to the swoosh of the skirt in a very pleasing way. I cut it by folding out the pleats in the pattern and cutting the lining from that, as Gertie does here. All edges were overlocked and then sewn.This skirt went together quite quickly, even with the marking and pressing and sewing of the box pleats. It took me most of a Sunday but that was because I stopped and started a lot. Perhaps three or four hours, from cutting to done, not including the muslin?

I think this pattern is very well drafted, and actually quite worth paying for! Which is saying something for a circle skirt pattern. The only quibble I have is that it never tells you to take the basting out of the pleats. It shows them sewn up the whole time. Looking at Gertie’s example and going by my own preference, I took the basting out but I see that some people have left it in. All fine according to preference, but it is an oversight in the pattern not to say.

Look at that glorious box pleat. Wrinkling over the bum not so much, I think I might need to steam that area a bit, since it’s got extra curve because of the wedge I took out.

As you can see I didn’t bother to pattern match, because I couldn’t be bothered. It would be easy enough to do if you cared. I also sewed a small bar tack at the base of the zipper because I find my skirts have a lot of strain there and the seam often pulls apart.

My top is also me-made – yet another Kirsten Kimono tee, with fabric from Rathdowne remnants that I bought on my recent Melbourne visit. I don’t remember what, it feels a bit crepey and maybe a bit rayon-y? It’s very comfortable to wear. I took yet ANOTHER inch out of the front centre of my pattern and it’s finally sitting right, I think. I need to go back and adjust the sleeves back down thought because the scooping of the front has swung them up. They sit ok in this light fabric but I’d have wings in a thicker fabric.

I am really in love with this skirt – it’s so easy and simple to wear, with very little bulk around the waist (I trimmed those box pleat seams at the waistband very aggressively) but it’s full and it is SO fun to move in. Honestly maybe I should have taken a video because this thing is so lovely in movement. Instead, here’s an attempted spinning shot:

I feel glamorous and elegant in this. I probably have enough skirts for now but I would definitely make this again if I could find the right fabric, and I’m excited to make the top from this pattern as soon as I stash dive and find some fabric for it.


17 thoughts on “Malmaison skirt

  1. That is a lovely skirt. It looks great on you.

    BTW if you noticed a rude lady staring at you in town the other day, that was me, sorry! I was going to say hello but I’m not a quick thinker in these situations and then it was too late.

    1. Thank you! I didn’t notice, I am notoriously vague when in public. I often don’t hear people calling my name, and if I see someone I know I almost never recognise them – or I go half a block and then I think ‘wait! That was my old childhood friend. Dang’. So you’re not alone in your slow thinking 😛 If you see me again and you can process in time, call out and hopefully I’ll hear it! 🙂

  2. Oh, that fabric is gorgeous. I am so, so jealous of the entire outfit. Indeed, I just added the skirt pattern to my cart. I haven’t sewn in. . .let’s not talk about it, but a fun skirt might be just the ticket.

  3. That skirt is stunning – it reminds me of the skirts they sell at Review. It’s the perfect length and just right amount of flounce. I love it!

Whadya reckon?

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