Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Simplicity 9546 - Final version - Concert skirt

Hello again!

I was delighted to have finished this version of Simplicity 9546 just in time to wear to my eldest daughter's concert this Saturday:) The concert itself was maybe the best she has ever played in, and I really enjoyed wearing something I had made. I am sorry the photo is not better. I was hoping to post a picture wearing the skirt but I ran out of time for photographs before I left, and there has been no time to take a photo since! I am not going to wait any longer for the right moment as I want to move on to other stuff.

I used a heavy jersey of unknown composition and origin extracted from my stash shelf. The satin waistband  is cut from a skirt I bought at one of our local charity shops, as is the zip. I really like giving new life to discarded/donated clothing and it helps keep costs down (unfortunately like most people I do not have an unlimited clothing/sewing budget!).

The main differences between this and my first attempt are that I added 4 inches to the length (note to self - I then cut 1.5" off prior to hemming), and hand picked the zipper using this Threads tutorial.  I was so worried about inserting a zip in this jersey by machine. For some reason I was convinced it would bunch up. Anyway handpicking a zipper is really easy and on this fabric pretty much invisible (see photographic proof below!).

The waistband has no wiggle I promise. This stunning photo was taken on my bedroom carpet and the skirt seemed to take on a life of it's own once laid on the floor!

Somehow I managed to resist Threads idea of highlighting my zipper by sewing little pearl beads all the way down it ;) My only concern is strength - if I have a wardrobe malfunction I will be sure to report back, but since the style is flared I am hoping there will be little stress on the zip area (which I fused a medium weight interfacing just in case). I used a flat black hook and eye for fastening as I was going for a smooth look. My trial version will not be worn unfortunately, but as this one is my only winter skirt (I do not have a winter dress either!) this definitely will be. Yes, I have got through months by rotating two pairs of skinny jeans and occasionally digging out my cords (v. cold weather) or black trousers (smarter occasions). I will explain in a later post why my wardrobe is so thin. Sewing people always seem to put at the end of a pattern review (which this loosely is) whether they would make the garment again. Well it's an easy pattern and the shape is classic and flattering. I actually felt like quite a lady in this skirt. So yes, I would make it again, in a pale colour (linen?) for a classic summer skirt or maybe in soft denim for a casual look.

Other Sewing News I have continued with my pledge to complete sewing for friends and family from the 'pile of guilt' that sits in my sewing corner. Here is what I did before making my skirt: shortened my youngest daughter's black circle skirt, mended my eldest daughter's ripped lace shorts (just want to say here, the lace does have a lining!), repaired the zip/fly of my husbands suit trousers. The pile is shrinking and when I look at it now I feel much better. I am rather ashamed that I had to make a public promise in order to get these small jobs done. Maybe I will change. Or maybe I will always love garment sewing and not be so hot on mending ;)

Other Sewing News 2 I was getting really into Spring clothing planning last week (that sounds a bit grand - there was no actual plan but I was doing a lot of nice fantasizing about fabric/pattern combinations), and then it snowed on Saturday and has continued to in little flurries ever since. To some readers this may not seem all that shocking depending on where you live, but  for us in the UK at this time of year this counts as a weather event. People were getting stuck for hours in their cars and all sorts. If you are really interested these graphs show our usual seasonal average. It has completely destroyed my desire for little cotton and linen things, and made me long for FLEECE. Not a sentence you will see often. What I need is a virtually full length zip-up hoodie (clearly this falls within the dog walking category of my wardrobe), but crucially it must look cool(ish). None of the usual pattern companies seem to print such a thing, then I found Ottobre design magazine, published in Finland where they surely know a thing or two about keeping warm. I have ordered the 5/2012 edition and the 2/2013 edition (in case there is a heatwave by the time they arrive) from here. I haven't seen much on blogs about these magazines apart from at 21 Wale where Joy has had quite a lot of success from them. I am hoping for Burda but with less lines. I will let you know! In the meantime, if you have used these magazines, I would love to know!

Happy sewing, 'til next time!


  1. Skirts like this are akin to the bread and butter of a timeless wardrobe. Both the length and timeless black hue make it a closet workhorse that will partner splendidly will countless other garments and for more types of events than you could shake a stick at. Absolutely lovely work on your new skirt, dear Philippa, it's beautiful!

    ♥ Jessica

    *PS* Thank you very much for your wonderfully nice comment on my vintage outfit post today. I wonder if that particular pattern is called different things on each side of the pond and perhaps that accounts for why we both know it under different names?

  2. Hmm yes that would make sense. Whatever the pattern, it's a great dress! X