Thank you all for you lovely comments on my last post.  Apologies for not responding to each one but it’s been a very busy few days.  I know I’m a terrible tease…so I today I managed to get photos of the new skirt to share with you.

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Please excuse those front creases…my hands are pushing the fabric! Doh!

I LOVE this skirt.

It’s so comfortable.  I doubled the width of the waistband and it sits so much better on me.  Waistbands are the bane of my life.  I usually find them hideously fidgety and uncomfortable, but this one is a joy!

Also the stretch denim contributes to the comfort and wearability of the skirt. This is from the Cloth House on Berwick Street in London.  I scored it on my last visit and at £12 a metre I really couldn’t leave it behind.  It’s wonderful. It’s quite a heavy weight but has great stretch and recovery, meaning I can bend and stretch without restriction.  As any mum knows this is a critical factor of any garment!

The back has a walking vent which means that even though the skirt is slightly pegged, you can still chase around should you need to!

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This is a better representation of the colour.

The pockets were cut on the cross grain.  Mainly because I didn’t have enough fabric left to cut them lengthwise.  But lets call them a design feature, shall we?

skirt1Even with the topstitching this is a really, really quick make.

I know from the comments that some of you have reservations about sewing with denim, but I have to tell you that I find it an absolute joy to work with.  It’s a very well mannered fabric.  It behaves on the machine, presses beautifully, and holds a very crisp topstitch. Even with the stretch this was a pleasure to sew. I heartily recommend it.

My only caveat would be to use a jeans machine needle.

jeans needle

It’s a thicker needle with a sharper point designed specifically to punch cleanly through all the layers of fabric.  It makes life so much easier and they are readily available…not remotely exotic.

I also think it needs to be said that there is no mystery or witchcraft around topstitching.  I lengthen my stitch to at least 4.0 and work out what I’m going to use as my guide for the line of stitching.  Sometimes its the edge of the foot, sometimes I use a specialist foot such as an edge-stitching or 1/4 inch foot.  It all depends on what effect I’m looking for.  I always make a note of what I’m doing because I can never remember which stitch length or guide I’ve used, and the note ensures all seams get the same treatment.

Then I simply take it slowly.  I’m very lucky as my machine has a slider on it which slows down the speed of the machine no matter how heavy footed you are.  But I was doing some topstitching for a friend the other day and her machine doesn’t have this function so I just kept a light touch on the pedal and got a great result.

The moral of this is that if I can do it, so can you.

But back to the skirt.  I have just a couple of reservations…

  1. should I raise the hem a bit?  I don’t want to be flashing my underwears* to the world, nor am I thinking as short as the Washi dress of doom, but I am wondering if it wouldn’t look a bit better a hem width shorter than it is.
  2. Should I peg the side seams a little more?  It’s a very comfy fit around the waist, but I’m suspecting it could stand just a little more tapering to the knee. I’m a classic apple shape, so I’m thicker around the waist with slender legs…perhaps a little more tapering would offset that imbalance somewhat.

I’d be interested to hear what you think…you guys always give the best advice. And, as I’ve ordered a sample of some red stretch denim from Ditto fabrics…

image from dittofabrics.co.uk

image from dittofabrics.co.uk

…I could always whip up another version with the alterations and compare and contrast. 😉 As this only takes a metre of fabric, it’s a pretty inexpensive experiment.

I think with a little tweaking this could become my TNT skirt pattern.  Its quick and easy to make, and economical with fabric. I could easily draft some diagonal pockets for the front.  Or a fly front to give it a more classic jeans skirt styling. And, of course, there are the front welt pockets already on the pattern.  Endless opportunities to experiment…all resulting in a very useful wardrobe staple that will get lots and lots of wear.

* underwears = under garments.  This word was coined by Button and has stuck.  Generally used in the phrase “Mummy, I can see your underwears” when I’m getting dressed in the morning and accompanied by much chortling .  I’m running with the explanation that it’s the fact that I’m only in my underwears that causes the chortling, not how I look in them! 😉  You never know with a 5 year old!

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