Do you have a favourite item of clothing that you pull out year after year? Every summer I reached for my Top Shop Chambray Skirt, it was older than my Son (he’s going on eleven) and had been worn to death. It went with everything and had just the right amount of flare, the perfect summer staple. This year I realised it was not only starting to look a little past it but was also getting too small for me (or rather I was getting too big for it!)
The great thing about sewing your own clothes is that you can wish something into being, and so I set out on a quest to replace my treasured skirt.
The fabric wasn’t a problem as I had two metres of Chambray that had originally been destined to be a Colette Laurel. However, when I looked closely there was a fault running through it, so although I wouldn’t get a dress out of it, with a bit of creative cutting it would be perfect for my skirt.
Next I needed to find the perfect pattern, it needed front pockets, fitted around the waist, flaring out over the hips and ending around the knees. The Sewaholic Hollyburn skirt pattern ticked all the boxes. Here’s the description:
‘Especially for beginners, this is the perfect flared skirt! A wardrobe essential, the Hollyburn Skirt has just the right amount of flare. It sits right at the waist for maximum figure flattery, and features super practical pockets!
Based on the popular Lonsdale Dress pattern, this skirt pattern includes three different lengths with three different amounts of flare. The shorter the skirt, the more flared the silhouette! Additional details add emphasis to the waistline, with optional button tabs to feature pretty buttons, or belt loops to show off your favourite belts.’
I made view B, which on someone of average height would fall just below the knee, I cut a size 14 but shortened the length to a size 0. I didn’t bother with the belt loops or tabs as I knew I wouldn’t be wearing anything tucked in. It was really easy to put together, but I hit a stumbling block when I came to attaching the waistband. My skirt pieces were a good couple of inches bigger than the waistband. Now normally I would just chop the extra off the side seams and go from there but this time I actually looked at the instructions. Tasia suggests easing the extra fabric in, something I never would have thought of myself but thinking about it makes perfect sense! I basted the skirt to the waistband, easing in as I went, after a while unpicking a few tucks I finally got it to fit and stitched it down proper. The whole make was really straightforward, only taking about three hours (including half an hour easing in the skirt) and I had an almost perfect replica of my old faithful skirt!
I can’t believe it took me so long to try the Hollyburn, it could be made up in a load of different fabrics, the drape or body of which would achieve very different looks. I’ve already got a few versions of the skirt in my sewing queue.
I decided to have a root around and see if I could rustle up a top to go with my new skirt. I found this length of cream and black polka dots in my stash. I turned to the tried and true Grainline Scout woven tee, of which I have four. I don’t know what size I cut but each time I have ended up taking them in quite a bit at the side seams (I should really recut the pattern). I did get a little carried away with my overlocker though and came perilously close to disaster. When I tried it on it was a little too snug around the hips! I managed to salvage it by shortening it by a couple of inches and I actually prefer it at this length. (I have learned my lesson and since stitched side seams on my regular machine and actually tried things on before loping off the excess with the overlocker!)
Anyway, so pictures, excuse the crumples, I had been wearing it all day!:
I now not only have a replacement for my well-loved skirt but a fab spotty top to go with it! I Have also managed to sew another three and a half metres from my stash making my summer stashbust tally at five and a half metres!
This has started me thinking about other much loved clothes from the past that I can recreate, top of the list is a pale blue gingham shirt that I lived in while at University, but that would mean buying more fabric so I guess that will have to wait until the end of the stashbust!
Have you got any loved clothes from your past that you’d like to recreate?