Of all the items I’ve made of late, my Beignet skirt by Colette Patterns makes me the proudest. Despite the disasters that befell it, I think it looks really quite professional. But I’m not sure I love it! I mean, I love how it looks, but I’m not sure I love how it looks on me. You see, I’m not really a skirt person, yet something about the flattering lines of this skirt seduced me. I was mostly inspired by this gorgeous denim number by Tassadit of Rue des Renards.
I had a metre or so denim left over from a Colette Laurel dress (unblogged, as yet) so this seemed like a good use for it. There’s something so satisfying about sewing in denim: It’s so well-behaved.
I have to confess that I’ve had this pattern for a few months but, as I’d been getting my quick fix from sewing garments in stretch fabrics, I was a little daunted by it. I was worried that the final skirt might not be very flattering due to the high waist (and my post-baby lack of one), and I couldn’t face making a toile of all seven panels and twelve button holes!
So I planned to fit it as I sewed, and it kind of worked. It feels a little wider around the hem than the pencil fit it’s supposed to be, but if I’d altered it too much it would have lost the style-lines created by the close fitting high waist.
I used topstitch thread as decorative finish and to strengthen the seams and I found the buttons on my first visit to MacCulloch & Wallis, just off Oxford Street. What a treasure trove! I lined the skirt with a polka dot cotton lawn, and used denim for the facings to help it keep its shape. I omitted the pockets as in-seam pockets tend to add bulk where you least want it. I’ve also not added the belt hoops as it looked a little too cluttered with a belt on too. Do you think it needs them?
So where did it all go wrong? Well, I accidentally snipped through the lining when I was trimming seams and had to fix it with bondaweb. Then I wasn’t sure how the length would suit me, so I had to wait until it was finished to decide to shorten it to above the knee, by which time the lining was too long and needed taking up too. That’s why the buttons go right down to the hem! All of this could have been avoided if I’d used the shorten/lengthen line on the pattern before I cut the fabric. Hmmm, the pitfalls of not being able to try before you buy!
Overall, it’s taken me three weeks from pattern cutting to finishing. It’s probably the most complex garment I’ve made so far, and a testament to finding fifteen minutes here and there to sew the next stage. I’m ridiculously proud of it, but I only hope I’ll wear it as much as it deserves.