Thursday, July 28, 2011

Layered rusty-red wool skirt

So, using the leftover bit of fabric from my rusty-red wool skirt, combined with the cut-off from when I decided to make my long skirt shorter, I made Cassie a little layered skirt.  Using the same pattern as I did for my own skirt, Vogue 8363.  I even managed to reuse the cut-off lining as well for the lining for this skirt, and covered a button the same way... and now I really have used all of this gorgeous Japanese wool/silk fabric!
I only had tiny scraps of suitably coloured thin cotton left; so not all of the seams in this skirt are Hong Kong bound, but the most visible ones are.  I really debated whether or not to even go this extra step, for my daughter, being a typical teenager, is still learning respect for her clothes.  I can almost guarantee that this skirt will be discarded in a little puddled heap on the floor of her room unless I am there to explode and guilt-trip her into picking it up immediamente!  However, I eventually decided that the fabric was indeed worth the small time and effort put into finishing off the seams properly, and that it was high time she experienced a bit of sartorial classiness in her apparel.  Plus it might inspire tidiness and respect.  Plus it might inspire her to try doing this in her own sewing creations.  Plus I could use the practise...
So anyhoo, I went there, and finished off most of the inner seams.
She has shown her approval by wearing it out with her friends already; high praise.  So I'm happy!
Now I'm sure the thought has occurred, are matching mother/daughter outfits a common occurrence in this household?  Well, actually no.  I'm not that sort of a Mum that needs to have a mini-me...  this is only the second time in her life I have made us matching garments, and this has been for the same reason each time, a largish bit of leftover fabric that was of too good quality to leave.
I think we will probably both take good care to not wear our skirts at the same time!
Oh, and on a sewing note I have gone back to edit my review to include the following... another reason I really like this new Vogue skirt pattern.
The skirt front has four darts, two each side of the centreline, and each skirt back has two darts each also, making eight hip-to-waist darts into the waistband overall.  For somebody with mine (and Cassie's) figure type. a small waist compared to our hip measurement, or pear-shaped; this is a very helpful feature for getting a good fit.  I sewed in an extra 3mm off the waist-end of each dart, which left only about 1.5cm extra to be taken in off each side seam at the waist.  With my usual Vogue 7303, which has only four darts overall, each dart has to be much more drastically taken in, and the side seams also.  Having those four extra darts meant for a much more even distribution in removing the excess.
To illustrate: below is my skirt; not Cassie's that is pictured above, but hers is very similar... the hemline with the bias finishing is at the left of the picture and the waist band is at the right underneath the lining which has been pulled up to reveal that side seam.  See how much excess width is taken in off each of those side seams from the hips to the waist?  Well, about twice that is usually required when the pattern has less darts on the fronts and backs.  Yes, I could just measure out and put in some extra darts myself, but I'm an extremely lazy seamstress in many ways, and have always just gone for removing the extra width off the darts and seams already there!  Having this pattern, with the extra darts marked in, all evenly spaced out ready for me is a much more attractive option to me!  And yes, I sometimes do opt to leave that excess seam allowance there like this, and not cut it off.  Especially in the case of a special skirt like this that I intend to last most of my life anyway.  Just in case I ever do need to let the skirt out.


  1. Cassie's skirt looks wonderful too! I really like the layered look.

    Isn't it great having all those darts, makes for easy fitting I think. I too have the big hip small waist issue so can relate to the use of patterns with this many darts.

  2. This skirt looks great too. I like the layered look and the way Cassie has styled it.

    Did you have two layers all the way to the waistband of that gorgeous fabric or did the bottom layer have a top hidden section out of another fabric? Just curious.


  3. I really like the texture and shape of this skirt, it looks great

  4. I love the idea of leaving the extra fabric 'just in case' and thank you for explaining how you take in the waist using the darts.

    I also loved your comment "I think we will probably both take good care to not wear our skirts at the same time!" Reminds me so much of my daughter and myself.

  5. Thankyou!
    Sewingelle: I added another photo in my post to illustrate the under layer which is half the wool/silk fabric (the lower half) and half lining (the upper half)... I only had these two short pieces of the fashion fabric, each too short for a skirt by themselves. Additionally, two layers of this fabric into the waistband would have been way too thick.

  6. Another great creation, I like both the simple version and the version with just a little something extra to it

  7. Very nice! That is a great fabric!

  8. Wonderful idea that two-layered skirt!
    I do wonder when the offspring finally learn to hang up their clothes. (Luckily, I only have to face this problem now when they're visiting.)

  9. I really like the 2-layer skirt; what a great way to use precious fabric that is too small for a regular skirt.
    My daughter actually does pick up her clothes now. I despaired for years that she would never learn. Time and being on her own most have done the trick, guilt and bribes sure didn't.

  10. first: gorgeous daughter, gorgeous skirt, gorgeous, stylish outfit!!!! boring comment, but what else is there to say!

    second: i'm doing a couple of posts on how to get more use out of sewing pattern dollar, and wondered if you would feel comfortable if i used a couple of your pix of your many lovely versions of Butterick 4985 to illustrate? i bought that pattern after seeing it's potential via your creations so that's why i'm asking. i can't find a contact e-mail on your site so i'm leaving a comment - feel free to write me at

    thank you and hope you are having a great day!! stephp

  11. You made me lol about the pile of clothes......sounds so much like my middle daughter! Your daughter is as beautiful as her mom and the skirt is so it!

  12. Yours is classic and chic; hers has a youthful twist to it (along with the way she has styled it) both skirts are gorgeous. As are both models. I've noticed my skirts with two darts on each side seem to fit better. At some point this year I'm planning to draft my own skirt block so maybe I ought to include two darts ... hmmm ...

  13. Cassie is a beautiful girl and I like her skirt as much as I do yours. May she surprise you with the care she takes of it. I know my mother made me a wool suit out of very similar fabric when I was 18 and I have cherished it.

  14. Cassie's skirt is fabulous - great use of an offcut. She has a great sense of style just like her Mum.

  15. How clever to make this sleek layered skirt from left overs. It looks most luxurious and unlike a left over!