Tulle Skirt by Rebecca Page

I know little girls love to have big fluffy skirts that they can play dress ups with and twirl but I’m sure secretly some adults do to. I think as the lines of fashion become more blurred and there aren’t really as many rules anymore, I thought to myself, why not make myself a big, poofy skirt too.

Rebecca Page recently released the Tulle Skirt for Ladies** which I tested, not really quite sure how it would fit into my wardrobe. I originally envisioned Hollywood glam but as you can see, inner rock chic took over. The pattern itself isn’t very difficult, it’s just time consuming because of the layers and having to gather each later. I chose the less gathered version because of my fabric choices and knowing that they would make it full on their own. This is a fitted waistband pattern, not an elastic one, and there is an invisible zipper at the back. The size range is XXS to 5XL and although labelled a beginner pattern which is probably correct, I think it could get tricky for a beginner.

                                      

My lining is black top pop poplin (100% polyester) and my first layer is black polyester netting (100% polyester) and quite stiff, adding lots of body. My top layer is black crystal organza (100%  nylon). My waistband is made from black winston satin (100% polyester), I wanted something that would add a bit more glam. The skirt is also designed to be tea length so keep that in mind if you want something longer, you will have to allow for extra fabric. Given my fabrics are poly’s this is a wash and wear type skirt that won’t require any special care and maintenance which is great for me.

I’m not going to lie, care is required when sewing on the waistband as I got my under layers caught from underneath a couple of times. Also I hemmed my lining as instructed, the netting I just cut as straight as possible and with the organza I didn’t want to do any treatment that would shorten the length such as a rolled hem and leaving it raw wasn’t and option because it frays. I essentially used a really narrow, short zig zag stitch which worked out perfectly. This is perhaps something to keep in mind if using different types of materials for the different layers.

Check out my zipper, it’s invisible!!!

               

I think there are lots of variations/hacks to be done to this pattern. The instructions include a ribbon hem finish but you could also add a separate ruffle piece at the bottom, maxify the skirt or even to each layer a different length. For now I will stick to my one version. I now it’s too early to talk about, but this may also become my festive season skirt this year.

Although this is a relatively time consuming sew, I think the outcome is great, not to mention the feeling of satisfaction and happiness when you wear it for the first time.

**This post contains affiliate links to Rebecca Page Patterns

 

 

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Linea A-Line Skirt by Wardrobe By Me

It’s time for me to start thinking about my winter wardrobe because there are definitely gaps. The tester* call for the Linea A-line skirt (**affiliate link) by Wardrobe By Me had me thinking of a warm winter midi skirt I could wear with boots but when I was fabric shopping nothing really caught my eye.

I saw some sierra manhattan crepe knit (95% polyester/5% elastane) and thought this would make the skirt trans-seasonal anyway and the fact that it is an unusual colour for me to wear would challenge me. This skirt pattern requires stretch fabric as it has an elastic waist and the pocket edges need interfacing to stop them stretching out, which is also mentioned in the instructions. I chose to make a size 12 view B which has pockets, in the longer skirt option although there is a shorter skirt (view A). View C is a flounce skirt, equally as cute too. The front and back panels are made up of two pattern pieces sewn together down the middle. I wasn’t sure whether to top stitch or not on either side of the seam as I didn’t want to ruin my skirt. In the end I did and am happy with the resulting skirt.

               

I tried styling it with a white top however I wore this to easter lunch with a black long sleeve top, tights and boots, and felt quite chic in both. Maybe it will be quite a versatile colour after all.

I like a-line skirts as they are flattering but the little details on this pattern elevate it to an awesome pattern. My future sewing goal for this skirt is to get my wool version sewn up before winter is over.

*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.

The Artiest Skirt by The Eli Monster as a Brand Ambassador

Being a Brand Ambassador is a great way to sew lots but also to try new patterns and designs. I’m all for a maxi skirt and decided this month to make The Artiest Skirt (**affiliate link). It is indeed a maxi skirt with optional pockets that uses up lots of fabric!!!!

Keep in mind, this skirt is very full and although requires lots of fabric, having panels gives that same effect without having to cut a circle skirt. The other advantage is that it has a back zip closure with a waistband so the bulk at the hips and waist is minimised with all the fullness at the bottom of the skirt.

Usually when I want to sew something I peruse Pinterest for inspiration and for this skirt found some images I really liked. For my pattern size E, which equates to AUS 12, I needed about 5 metres of fabric, which is a lot. I thought I would do a plain skirt (read single colour, non-directional print). When I got to the fabric store I couldn’t find any fabric like I had imagined and then stumbled on this printed crepe Jungle in navy 148cm (100% polyester). Not what I was after – it’s both directional and multi coloured!

It was on sale so that helped the decision along however when I went to get my 5 metres cut there was only 3.5 metres left on the bolt. The lady at the counter kind of convinced me I would be okay because of the width of the fabric and although I still wasn’t sure, I went with it. I don’t think she realised how much flare the pattern pieces had. Anyway, fast forward a week later and I prepared myself to cut the fabric.  I was trying to be strategic because I only had one chance to get this right. I cut the front and backs out first and then the side panels, thinking I could probably piece together some fabric at the bottom and it wouldn’t be visible. Lo and behold, there was no need. The pattern pieces literally just fit on the fabric, going into the selvage slightly which is okay as that’s the seam allowance anyway. I will also mention that I chose not to add pockets, blasphemy!!!

So 3.5 metres later and I have a full maxi skirt that swishes amazingly and feels really feminine with some scraps left over probably to make a little camisole. I wonder if I could get away with this looking like a maxi dress then when worn together, time will tell!

I did make one minor adjustment to the skirt as this size was too big when at the zip insertion stage, and that was to take out some width from the centre back. I took out about 6cm at the waist and tapered to about 3cm at the hip. Not an ideal way to do this but next time will alter each pattern piece separately. Also although my invisible zip looks great, I do have some bubbling at the bottom which smooths out when worn, but my main concern was because this fabric is lightweight, I should have interfaced the zip area as I normally do. The instructions don’t have you do this but I highly recommend it.

I do highly recommend The Artiest Skirt Pattern if you want a flowy maxi skirt without the trouble of cutting a circle skirt and it’s currently on sale for $7.00. I’m sure you could even use up less fabric when using a non-directional fabric, providing it is wide enough. You know the feeling when you put on an item of clothing and feel really feminine and good in it, this is how I feel in the Artiest skirt.

**This post contains affiliate links to The Eli Monster Patterns

The Stevie Skirt by Rebecca Page

With summer fast approaching, it’s time to swap out our winter wardrobe. Miss 7 is growing like a weed and is in need of some new clothes for the season. I decided to test* The Stevie Skirt by Rebecca Page (**affiliate link) as it’s a really quick sew, a versatile pattern that can have different looks depending on fabric choice and beginner friendly with great instructions.

                              

The size range is massive, from 8-inch doll, girls newborn to 12 years and ladies XXS to 5XL. There are four different length options (above the knee, knee, midi, and maxi) and to top it off there is a special launch price for the all-inclusive BUNDLE (ladies XXS to 5XL, girls newborn to 12 years, and 18-inch dolls) for $12.90 until 23.59 GMT on 15 October 2018. The girls pattern individually is currently $6.00.

Suggested fabrics are those with a minimum of 30% stretch. I used some rayon spandex tie dye ink and made the knee length version. I chose to make the “yoga” waistband and omit the elastic but it is a tad loose on her. I think more so because the fabric doesn’t have great recovery. Anyway, she didn’t want me to alter it and says it’s okay and the fact she has already worn it to a birthday party and the day after that suggests she is happy.

I have more of this fabric left over and am contemplating a maxi or midi version of my own. I believe it’s a wardrobe necessity for all seasons and the skirt shape is extremely flattering on all body shapes.

*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 Rebecca Page Patterns

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

Nita Wrap Skirt by Sew DIY

I have been a long time follower of Sew DIY, authored by Beth. Her style is simple, practical and effortless. She has already released a number of patterns but at the time was working on the Nita wrap skirt. My reason for applying to test* this skirt was driven by fabric in this instance.

                                      

I have had this twill (unknown composition) in the stash for goodness how long, always envisioning a skirt but wasn’t sure of a pattern. The design of the wrap skirt is perfect as it is a simple silhouette which makes up for the busy print. It has an angled front and three length options as well as three closure options.

The pattern comes in sizes 00 to 20 with printing layers and everything fit together perfectly. There are instructions provided to line the skirt if you wish to do so, there are waist darts, and a built in front facing. Medium-weight woven fabrics are recommended for this pattern.

I went with the midi option and construction is actually quite quick. My fabric had enough body and wasn’t transparent so I omitted the lining. I did stall though when I couldn’t find my D-rings and had to venture back to the shop.

This test round up is well over a year late, it was run through February of 2016, but like always I usually like to complete a garment with the completed pattern and instructions before posting, needless to say, that hasn’t happened. I even bought fabric for version 2, some wine coloured suedette.

I haven’t unfortunately worn this skirt as much as I thought. The print is quite loud and other than the top pictured, I don’t really have much else to wear it with so will need to sort that out in the future. Likewise, it has been a bit impractical for day-to-day wear considering it’s a wrap skirt, sitting on the floor or chasing after kids isn’t the most classy of looks to have too much leg showing. I did add a snap about halfway down the angled front to help with this.

Overall, it’s a great pattern with excellent instructions and I will get around to making another version eventually but it’s my lifestyle that currently limits the practicality of this silhouette.

*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.

 

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.