As usual this flared skirt sewing project started with some serious fabric love. When we sourced our new cotton lawn range I could not wait to get them home. The designs are truly beautiful and the quality is second to none. I fell head over heels with this floral cotton lawn immediately. The digital print was bang on trend as was the grey backdrop.
I openly admit my magpie like behaviour when it comes to fabric. However, once the giddiness caused by the initial sighting subsides I like to carefully consider how it can be used to fill any gaps in my wardrobe. Time to refer to my #makenine list aka a plan I made at the start of the year to keep me on track with my sewing.
I decided to make a skirt. There is a distinct lack of summer skirts in my wardrobe. I grew out of the frayed denim skirt look around the time anyone last heard a Billie Piper song, but hadn't found a suitable, grown up alternative.
Maybe that is a slight exaggeration. There are a couple of A line and maxi skirts kicking around, but the pickings are slim.
I have never owned a flared skirt and decided it was time for this to change. There were some beautiful floral flared skirts on the High Street, which gave me the reassurance I needed that they are 'trendy'. (I do realise the irony of that statement by the way. 'Trendy' is probably the least 'trendy' word possible in 2017!)
The Sewaholic Hollyburn Skirt
Whilst browsing our website I discovered the Sewaholic Hollyburn skirt pattern. I googled the pattern to find images of other people's makes and decided it was a goer. I also read that it is a nice, simple make, which was just what I needed after my cocktail hour dress.
There are just four pattern pieces - front, back, pockets and waistband. Unusually the front is cut in two pieces and has a centre front seam, which I really liked. I think it helps the skirt to hang really nicely.
Sewaholic patterns are designed for a pear shaped figure so I never sit neatly in one size. I cut a size 8 based on my waist measurement, but didn't bother grading it in at the hips. I had previously made the Rae skirt by Sewaholic and remembered (accidentally) opting for a smaller size and wishing the skirt had been a little fuller. Plus I thought I could always take it in if necessary later down the line.
The instructions were super easy to follow and it was a very quick and simple make. Of course, I made a couple of little mistakes along the way.
Mistakes Learning Points
After sewing the pockets to the skirt I clipped one of the seams beyond the seam line. What a rookie error. Funnily enough this mistake was actually strangely satisfying. It made me realise I'm not such a rookie any more when I worked out how to fix it all by myself. I simply moved the seam line across - it wasn't even 1/8" so it really didn't matter. It made me think of some incredibly sound advice I read recently: 'you never stop making mistakes, you just get better at fixing them.' Never a truer word said!
I decided to line the skirt in our white polycotton, which had the added bonus of extra fullness. However, here comes rookie error number two. I cut the pockets out of the front skirt pieces - doh! No fixing that mistake, but a lesson learned nevertheless!
Thankfully there were no more errors, however, I did have to make some adjustments to the pattern and adding the lining created a little more work.
Adding the Lining & Waistband
To add the lining I sewed the invisible zip in place in the main skirt fabric first so it finished at the waist seam. I then machine stitched the lining in place along the zip edge.
Next I attached the waistband making sure the lining and main skirt fabric were carefully pinned in place. I used waistband stiffener on the waistband to give me a nice crisp edge. You can see a waistband tutorial I previously wrote including using waistband stiffeners here.
I was really pleased with the end result and think it gives the skirt a lovely finish inside and out.
To fasten the waistband I created a rouleau loop and sewed it into the waistband edge then sewed a cute little button on the other side. You can see a tutorial I wrote on rouleau loops here.
Finally I stitched in the ditch to secure the waistband (my preferred method since it minimises bulk at the waist).
When I came to pin the waistband to the skirt I noticed that the skirt was bigger than the waistband by about 1 1/2". I referred to the pattern instructions and noticed it mentioned that this may happen due to the skirt pieces stretching.
The suggestion for resolving this problem was to ease the fabric in, however, I thought this would create extra fullness at the waist - no thanks! The pattern instructions then go on to suggest stay stitching the skirt pieces. I would recommend stay stitching the skirt pieces before sewing them together to avoid the stretching out altogether.
I decided to take the 1 1/2" out of the centre front seam to make the skirt fit the waistband. This was very lazy of me and I knew 1 1/2" out of one seam was way too much. I thought I'd try it and see if I could get away with it rather than unpick all the skirt and lining seams.
I tried it on and I was right, taking this much out of one seam totally distorted the shape of the skirt. It looked really flat across the front.
I unpicked all of the seams and distributed the 1 1/2" evenly across them and the skirt hung beautifully. I am gradually learning to be more patient and do things properly through my love of sewing, but I'm not quite there yet.
I would highly recommend the Sewaholic Hollyburn skirt pattern to anyone. I'm absolutely thrilled with the finished skirt and can't stop wearing it. It feels so feminine and flattering and the length is just perfect on me (FYI I'm 5'6").
I also love the pockets, they are a nice shape, deep enough to be practical and add a little bit of extra detail. I'm never normally bothered about pockets, but these pockets got me.
It would look beautiful made up in any of our gorgeous cotton lawn fabrics, but any of our light or medium weight woven fabrics would also work well. I think a black version in our Prestige crepe would be a great wardrobe staple for winter.
Despite adding the lining and the adjustments I made it was a very quick and simple sew.
Have fun sewing!
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