Carmen Flounce Skirt by DesignerStitch Patterns

When I look at my hand-made wardrobe, there are a few designers whose clothes I seem to be attracted too and testing* for DesignerStitch patterns is always up there for me. This newly release skirt was a no-brainer for me. Classy, elegant, fun and flirty were all words that came to mind when I saw the line drawing for the Carmen Flounce Skirt**, mostly because fabric choice dictates the overall outcome of where and how to wear this skirt.

                                          

I chose to use duchess satin (100% polyester) for my skirt as I wanted and elegant skirt that would pair up well with a number of tops in my wardrobe. This skirt requires fabric with a considerable amount of drape to show off the lovely drafted flounce but with some body so they don’t flop or droop. The duchess satin is also medium-bodied so I didn’t require lining, it has a nice luster and best of all it is durable, wrinkle-resistant (to some degree), and machine washable.

As always, the pattern is really well drafted and instructions are great. DesignerStitch patterns feature all the sought after features to make sewing a quicker and successful experience. The beauty of the Carmen Flounce skirt is that it comes in a range of sizes, two different lengths with the choice of either a standard waistband or a high torso waistband and also offers the ability to be made in a stretch fabric. There is a centre back invisible zipper, not necessary to install with the knit version.

I made an AUS 12 in the longer length, with the high waistband and the optional tie. Everything aligns perfectly during construction although some patience is required to hem the flounce, which is surprisingly long. The flounce is actually drafted such that there is no need to gather any fabric, and for some reason, gathering is one of my least favourite sewing techniques.

I’m really happy with both the fit and the final look of my skirt. If you love wrap skirts but don’t like the potential for accidental exposure, this skirt is a mock wrap.

Other tester versions have been amazing and I am contemplating a more casual tencel denim version for spring. Stay tuned for that!!!

Although I paired my skirt with a RTW simple silhouette, the skirt is perfectly accompanied by the Eleni Top from DesignerStitch Patterns, and to make your life easier, you can purchase the Eleni Top at the same time (for a complete outfit)  and you save 50% on the Eleni Pattern. Use code “carmeneleni” at checkout, whilst the skirt itself is currently at an introductory price of only $6.00.

 

*The pattern was provided to me free of charge for testing but all opinions expressed are my own and I received a copy of the finalised pattern for taking part.

**This post contains affiliate links to DesignerStitch Patterns

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Black and Gold Sequins become a Midi Pencil Skirt

I was very lucky to get a fabric store voucher for Mother’s Day way back when, and didn’t waste any time spending it, especially as the store was having a sale.

I came home with some things I had been eyeing for a while, especially this sequin number. Without really knowing what I was going to make with it, I purchased 1.5m, I’m not quite sure of the fabric content, it doesn’t really matter either.

Fast forward 6 months later I am finally making something with it. I didn’t want to over complicate things and make a dress, or a busy skirt, so decided on a maxi skirt. The fabric has a little stretch so I cheated by making something with an elastic waistband.

sequin skirt front

                            sequin skirt side 2 sequin skirt back 4

First I made a pattern using my waist, hip and length measurements. I used a black performance cotton lycra (90% cotton/ 10% elastane) as the lining, cut to the same measurements and constructed in the same manner as the outer fabric. I have read a million times that it is often better to remove sequins in the seam allowance before sewing but mine were not that densely packed together and I just used a heavy duty needle (denim needle) to sew and didn’t have any problems. There wasn’t a symmetrical pattern repeat so I just went with what I had.

sequin fabric

I got as far as attaching the elastic waistband and tried on the skirt and it just felt and looked BLAH!!!!! I slept on it, not sure what to do, and next morning chopped off the length to a midi version instead and narrowed the skirt by about an inch on either side seam and pegged it from hip down. I think the fabric had more stretch in it than I originally thought and just was a saggy hot mess. Probably not helped by the fact that sequin fabric has a bit of weight behind it anyway and drags.

Anyway, I cut the lining in the same way, attached a new, narrower 3cm wide black elastic waistband, and used hemming web for the sequin fabric hem. Oh my goodness, why have I never discovered this before for hemming tricky fabric, it made everything so much easier and I had a nice crisp hem. The knit lining was just cut across at the bottom and the hem left unfinished as I still wasn’t sure on how the skirt would go once worn plus it doesn’t fray, and more to the point I was finishing this up the night before wanting to wear it to a function.

Normally I like to serge the seams but I didn’t with this as I wasn’t sure if the sequins would blunt my serger blade. Also the knit lining doesn’t fray so didn’t bother with that either. For construction I used a narrow zig zag stitch with a slightly longer stitch length than normal.

sequin skirt side 3

It is a really quick garment to sew and fits like a glove once fitting issues are sorted. I feel so glamorous and glitzy for such little effort. The sequins are definitely more gold as seen in the fabric close up photo than yellow as they appear in the others.

Midi Skirt in Black and White

This is this photo I saw on Pinterest from mesewcrazy that inspired this particular project. After my recent debacle with the McCall’s dress I wanted a quick, satisfying project. Mesewcrazy made her skirt from plaid and lace and although I knew I didn’t want those particular fabrics I did like the contrast colour hem band. I found this perfect sateen but wish they had it in another colourway for my hem band and so instead decided to just make my skirt out of one fabric.

I self-drafted this skirt and used printed sateen squares (97% cotton/3% spandex) in black/ivory fabric. Briefly I cut 2 rectangles of fabric for the front and back at about 36 inch long with 4 inch additional for each pleat (3 on front and back). I pinned the pleats so they were evenly spaced, about 5 1/2 inch apart and stitched the pleats about 4 inches from the top to avoid the poofing which I find unflattering on me.

midi skirt front 2

midi skirt backI initially wanted pockets in this skirt but found they didn’t lay flat for some reason so omitted them in the end. I added a 10 inch (25cm) black invisible zip to the side seam with a hook and eye, but find that something weird is happening at this side. I normally fuse some interfacing on the zip seam but didn’t this time and therefore don’t think it sits quite right. I have worn this skirt once already and it didn’t phase me too much, I just try to iron it as flat as possible.

My waistband was 22 inch long and 4 inch wide. I interfaced one side of the waistband and folded in half and attached to the skirt. I hand stitched the waistband down on the inside.

I found once the dress was assembled it was a little loose so ended up taking it in about 4cm from either side. Since wearing and washing it once, I still feel it needs to be taken in some more.

The skirt length was a guestimate and I ended up turning up the hem 4.5cm and hand stitched for an invisible hem. I’m not sure if this is the correct length on me. Any suggestions?

I am happy to add this separate to my wardrobe and think it will get lots of wear but I think now I need to sew up a nice white, boxy crop(ish) top to complete the look.

As I’m all about scrap busting this year I decided to immediately sew up a clutch with left over fabric although will probably never wear the two items together as I think it’s too much. I completely lined the clutch with black cotton sateen (96% cotton/ 4% spandex) from the stash and used a 14 inch invisible zipper (stash) although would have preferred a metal one. The clutch pieces were cut to 24 x 14 inch measurements and then I essentially winged construction but think it turned out really cute. While I was at it I thought I would also make some hair bows for my girls. So I’m really happy with my efforts and the scraps were literally scraps and went straight in the bin.

midi skirt with purse

 purse with bows  inside purse