Wednesday, 15 May 2013

New Look 6035 & Simplicity 1717 mashup in denim

Will I ever learn? Here's a skirt I made by neither taking notice of fabric suggestions or pattern instructions.

Basically I wanted some warmer bottom halves other than jeans and this is my first attempt. Having seen some very cute kind of angley (angular?) denim skirts on the Flickr group, I decided that one of these would be useful across the seasons and could be paired with virtually anything.

This is the pattern I wanted to make:

Not sure if you can see - the pattern cover says "oversized patch pockets are up to the minute trend".
"Well, that's me!" I thought ;)
Those massive pockets looked like a cool design feature. I also wanted dark denim, but I didn't want to order new fabric as I am cheap environmentally minded and on a budget, so I compromised on this mid-blue which I had just one metre of. Due to this skirt having front and back seams I just couldn't squeeze it out of the fabric.

So, I thought this pattern was kind of similar in shape:

Btw isn't this a great pattern? All of the pieces are classics!

Just side seams so takes less fabric (but note, denim not suggested!). Anyhow, I cut the pieces of this skirt and the pockets of the Simplicity. What I ignored because it was inconvenient should have given more thought to was a side zip and large pockets extending from the side seams are fundamentally incompatible, especially if you use the lapped zipper insertion suggested, which I did. The top stitching looked hideous cutting in to the pocket. So I unpicked it and inserted the zipper using the newly discovered bodged-by-Philippa-don't-ask-me-to-explain-how-I-did-it-and-hopefully-will-never-be-repeated method. I should mention here that both of these patterns would have been perfectly straight forward, and the one I made above was true to the packet measurements given size wise. I would definitely make it again (following  the instructions another time), all difficulties were caused by me!!

Nice smooth side seam!
Dodgy zipper insertion

The skirt gave me some useful top stitching practise (again not suggested on the pattern, but the denim looked awful without it), but my machine hates top stitch thread so it wasn't the most relaxing item to sew. I left off the belt loops partly for that reason, and partly because I was trying not to reproduce the classic western denim skirt. The inside has a few bird's nests of orange thread dotted about. This post pretty much sums up the situation. Lauren is a very experienced and productive seamstress, so remembering this post made me feel a little that way that when you have a cold and you meet your friend and she has a cold, you think, "at least I'm not suffering alone", and when you think about it that's not much consolation really :( Possibly, you are wondering why the inside of a garment matters. All I can say is it does to me :(  Rationally no-one's going to see it unless I have an accident, in which case I assume the inside of my skirt will not be a priority. So I will still wear it and attempt to be rational while doing so.

Conclusion: I am definitely getting a top stitching needle next time I feel the urge to top stitch, and might try using my old  non-computerised machine to see if that makes a difference, too.

Side view complete with long suffering face and small dog!
I am really glad I waited until the end of the day to post about this skirt, even if it means a few more wrinkles (and I much prefer photographs outside). It is a strange side-effect of having fewer clothes that anything new seems entirely out of character and an interloper among old friends. I felt quite critical of the skirt when I wrote the rest of the post but having worn it, it is very comfortable. I am really bundled up here with a winter jumper tucked in and leggings, scarf and boots. (It's 9c today. It's usually somewhat warmer in May so I had to resurrect some winter gear urgently!) I think it will fit better and be more flattering without all the layers, but it's so cold (even in the house) that nothing would persuade me to pose in cooler stuff!

Have you identified anything you need, or would like to make, yet this May?

Happy sewing, 'till next time!


  1. It's a lovely denim skirt - so classic and versatile. About a decade ago I had a similar (shaped) denim wrap skirt that I lived in until the poor thing was all but threadbare. I hope you get just as much wear out of this great new handmade creation.

    Big hugs & the happiest of Thursday wishes,
    ♥ Jessica

  2. Just dropping by to say hello - very cute skirt and I love the pockets!

    So, I am gong to be stalking your blog as I am your swapee :)

  3. I have been stalking your blog already!! I adored your wedding dress, by the way! I am so excited to be swapping with you. I wonder if Kerry put us together because we both love dogs?! Anyhow my email is feel free to send details of anything you would like/absolutely cannot stand to have!!

    1. Caramac. Oh Lordy, I miss Caramac!

    2. I will see what I can do ;)

  4. Your denim skirt looks really great and I'm sure you'll get tonnes of wear out of it. Pockets are always a wonderful idea :)