Friday, June 24, 2011

Self-Drafted "Larkspur" Skirt

I actually finished this skirt about a month ago in a class I took, but only got around to photographing it recently. It was lots of fun, but there are definitely things I need to jot down for next time so I remember what to do (can't rely on pattern instructions this time!).

...The Basics...

  • Pattern: Self-drafted Straight Skirt with slash pockets
  • Fabric: Alexander Henry "Larkspur" cotton; cotton lining (also used for pockets)
  • Other Goodies: grosgrain to stabilize the waistband, invisible zip at center back with tab hook & eye closure at waistband, lace at inside hem of skirt (from my never-ending thrifted ball of lace!)

...The Back Story...
On the lookout for a nice little outing, I decided to sign up for a 2-day class to make my own straight skirt at my local-ish fabric store. There was only one other student in the class - yes! Lots of attention. I didn't even think about brining my own fabric so while I was really happy to have an excuse to buy some it would have been nice to start digging into my stash (but I wasn't too upset about it hehe).

This is the happiest fabric I've ever come across. I love the colors and the watercolor effect they have up close. And I love birds and flowers, so what more could I ask for, ay? I didn't fully understand how the pockets were going to work during class so I cut them out of the lining fabric. I actually like the look of it against the busy skirt print. I paired the skirt with a blue top for a sky and garden outfit, see what I mean?!

Making the lone pattern piece that would become the front and back of the skirt (placed on the fold for the front) was pretty simple. I just needed my waist and hip measurements and then the length of the desired skirt. We figured I'd need a 22" length for just above the knee and 25" for just below; for this skirt I went for just above. I'm pretty sure my instructor never makes a muslin for anything, she just uses a 1" seam allowance until she figures out the right fit. So that's what we did. For my next version, I need to lessen the angle of the pattern so there's not as much fabric at the bottom (I had to take the seams in a bunch to get more of a straight skirt effect).

This is the back of the skirt with the waistband extended to form a tab, which is secured to the waistband by 2 sets of hooks and eyes. If I had to do it again, I'd just put a buttonhole on the inner waistband and an interior button on the tab. The photo above would look just the same except it'd be 10 times easier putting in a button and buttonhole! I think lining up the hooks with the eyes is the trickiest part...any tips?

I've done invisible zips better than this, but it's not that noticeable. And the tab doesn't look as neat and tidy as I was hoping for, but I'm fighting my perfectionist tendencies and am showing you anyway. (Of course, I still had to point it out so you'd know I know it needs work! One step at a time...!).

Here are a couple of detail shots of the pockets. This was my first attempt at piping (is it still called piping if it's not fabric-wrapped cord?) and I think it went well. They're little flowers that blend with the pocket, but they add a nice little something. Originally, I was going to have the birds peep out of the pockets, but when I cut out the lining fabric instead I at least got lucky and had this little bird peep out above! And there you have it.

...Now Sewing...
Considering things are pretty busy in my life right now I'm aiming for simple projects ahead. Up next is the Crescent Skirt from Sewaholic Patterns! I've had this one ever since it was released and as I read over the instructions last night everything seemed straightforward (and there's always Tasia's sew-along posts for guidance).

Here's a sneak peak of the fabric and my feline pattern weight, Gizmo. Doesn't the purple make the green in his eyes pop? All the pattern pieces are cut out so hopefully I can get this one done in a reasonable time frame. Until then, everyone!


  1. FABULOUS skirt! I really love the fabric! And that's great that they offered a sewing class. You're not the only one that hates sewing in hooks and eyes...I hate sewing snaps too...buttons are loads quicker! And such a cute pattern weight...I've got two of those laying around here :)

  2. What a great skirt with yummy details. Nice that you can ease into sewing for a nice break.

  3. Lovely! And that is such a happy fabric. I also love the lace "piping" (I don't know what else to call it, either...) and the restful pockets. Good job! :)

  4. Super cute skirt. The fabric is so pretty and cheery. With the contrast pockets and lace piping, it looks like an expensive skirt from the Anthropologie or the Modcloth web sites.

  5. Thanks ladies! Glad I'm not the only one to dislike hook and eyes (and have feline patternweights)! And I guess I'll continue calling it piping until told otherwise.

    And thanks Audrey! That's such a nice compliment. :)

  6. AnonymousJune 26, 2011

    LOVE IT! That fabric is fantastic.


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