The Five-Month Skirt

JupeGrise1Long time no see, huh? I haven’t stopped sewing and knitting of course, but I needed to put blogging on the back burner for a moment. I hadn’t imagined I wouldn’t come back here for over two months, though… It was really weird (and not in a good way) taking pictures of myself again… By the way, my hair looked smashing in the mirror, but in the pictures it looks like a hot mess, whatever.

JupeGrise2This skirt took two months in the making and still had to wait for close to three more months to get its blog post. I like that this allows me to speak about it more knowingly than if I had blogged it right away. When I had just finished it, I felt like it was going to be easy to wear and to match with the rest of my wardrobe, now I know I was right! I also know that one should never try on a high-waisted skirt so close to the end of the year festivities and their obligatory overeating: a skirt that fits perfectly at that moment might not fit so well the rest of the year! My skirt is now a little too big at the waist; I might add a second row of snaps to make it tighter in the near future.

What I don’t like in writing about a garment so long after its completion is that I have to make much more of an effort to remember the technical details. But here goes…

JupeGrise3It’s a Burda pattern from a few years ago; this was my second time making it. The first time I used a shiny pink fabric, so even though I still really like that first skirt and find it very flattering, it’s not that easy to wear. I wear it a lot in my free time, but it doesn’t feel right for work. So when I found this corduroy remnant at Tissus Passion, one of my favourite fabric shops here in Brussels (it doesn’t look like much, but there are gems to be discovered there!), I immediately thought of that pattern.

JupeGrise4Like the first time I made a size 36, which corresponds to the size of my waist but not of my hips (my hips are between a size 40 and 42), and, despite having to wiggle my way into the skirt to slip it on, once I have it on there’s enough ease at the hips for it to be comfortable.

I underlined the skirt pieces with some grey Bemberg rayon lining I had in my stash to prevent them from clinging to tights without having to bother with a lining (come to think of it, I don’t think a lining would have been that much more trouble) and it is very effective: to the exception of the waist that bags a little like I mentioned, I never have to readjust the skirt when wearing it.

JupeGrise6I used a thinner fabric for the hidden parts of the waistband, front fly and pockets: a cotton poplin (I think) with tiny grey flowers printed on it, also from my stash (I got it at a fabric swap). This was both because I didn’t have enough corduroy and I feared the corduroy was too thick to work in those places. Also, it looks pretty.

I took advantage of the underlining to hand sew an invisible hem, catching only the underlining with the thread. And I replaced the hidden buttons of the pattern with snaps, and the faux welt pockets with functional patch pockets.


See? Functional!

One of the reasons it took me so long to finish this skirt (aside from the fact that I am a very slow sewer) is how scared I was of messing up the fly front zipper. The first time I made that pattern, I didn’t know fly front zippers were supposed to be that difficult and I didn’t have a problem following the instructions of the pattern, but ironically this time I had read in so many places how scary they were that I started to fear that step. I read a few online tutorials that confused me even more, so I went back to Burda instructions… and everything went, if not perfectly (you can see there’s a small bubble of fabric at the top of the zipper), pretty well! So now I am kind of mad at people who make things seem so insurmountable when they aren’t. No, fly front zippers are not that difficult, you just need to go step by step. And while we’re at it, sewing knits is no more difficult than sewing wovens!

I still have a cardigan, a dress and a blouse to show you, let’s hope it takes me less than two months to come back again!


20 thoughts on “The Five-Month Skirt

  1. Elle est vraiment très jolie ! Après pour la braguette, je fais partie de celle pour qui tout est insurmontable en couture, donc ça l’est peut-être vraiment pour ces personnes 😉

    • Pffff, je suis certaine que tout te paraît insurmontable, mais que rien ne l’est réellement! 🙂 Et je ne dis pas que je sais tout faire et que tout est facile hein, juste que certaines personnes font paraître (sans le vouloir sans doute) les choses bien plus compliquées qu’elles ne le sont en réalité! Une des premières robes que j’ai cousues était en jersey, je ne savais pas que c’était réputé être difficile donc j’ai juste suivi le conseil d’une copine qui m’avait dit d’utiliser un point élastique et tout s’est très bien passé, alors que si j’avais lu avant de coudre cette robe ce que j’ai lu par la suite, me connaissant je pense que je n’aurais jamais osé m’y attaquer… :-/

      • Oui je vois ce que tu veux dire, c’est un peu comme pour l’informatique, apprendre des langues étrangères etc… Mais je t’assure, qu’est-ce que je me sens bête souvent quand je vois que je mets 3 plombes à comprendre un truc que les gens comprennent en 3 secondes 🙂 Heureusement que je pige tout rapidement en broderie, ça compense 🙂

  2. Oh, if I could pluck this skirt right of your closet for myself, I would! I love that V-shaped yoke, and the way the back darts and pockets sit.

    And oh my gosh, I feel you on the being mad at people who make thing seem insurmountable. I’ve only been sewing since the end of 2013, and at the beginning, I only sewed “beginner” things because everyone else made things sound so hard! I developed a fear of invisible zippers a few months in, even though my first project ever had a perfect invisible zipper, because everyone talked about how finicky they were, and I was like, there is no way I will ever attempt fly-front. Now I’ve made a freaking pair of JEANS, and they fit wonderfully and you would never know they’re handmade. Now I try to remind myself, that sure, I might fail when I try out these more advanced techniques, but chances are that if I’m careful and follow good instructions, I will probably succeed and be really proud of myself! Our only limitations are the ones we set on ourselves, which is why I don’t even really like to call myself a beginner or intermediate or anything like that.

    • I saw your jeans and I’d pluck them right out of your closet! 😉
      I’m the kind of person who has a hard time trying new techniques because I’m so scared of failure, so people making things seem harder than they are doesn’t help, to say the least! Glad I’m not the only one who is so mad at them! 😀

    • Came here to agree about people making things sound too hard! Totally! Your skirt is mega cute. Let’s agree not to listen to those negative people, they are so annoying. Haha

  3. AHHHH I’m very glad that you’re back. I’ve been missing your excellent posts. Because you’re back right? and this is a lovely skirt!

  4. Elle est jolie ta jupe ! j’aime beaucoup le modèle. De devant on dirait presqu’un short un peu large. Les poches de derrière et la taille haute sont top. J’ai ce même genre de tissu et je ne savais pas trop quoi en faire mais tu viens de me donner une idée pour l’automne prochain 🙂

  5. One of the things I love most about being a beginner (at anything) is hat pretty much every technique is new and will require learning, so nothing seems scarier than anything else. It’s only later that certain skills seem more advanced than others. So ironic.

    Anyway, that skirt is lovely and I’m not at all surprised you’re getting a ton of use from it. I love the way the waistband curves at the back.

    • I personally kind of hate being a beginner at anything because I feel that there is too much to learn and it’s going to be sooo long before I master anything, but you’re right, at least nothing seems scarier than anything else. Plus as a beginner I don’t feel guilty or inadequate not knowing something, which is kind of liberating! 😀

  6. I love the shaping on the back of your skirt and the patch pockets are so cute! I totally get what you mean about making things seem more difficult than what they are. The first ever piece of clothing I made as a teenager was a pair of trousers, roughly drafted off an existing pair in my wardrobe. I had no idea that trousers were supposed to be “difficult” so I ploughed ahead and they turned out fine. I also made my first buttonhole this week and quickly discovered they weren’t as scary as I had thought.

    • Oh yes, buttonholes! Every time one of my projects features them I stall before that step because I’m so sure my entry level sewing machine will not be able to handle them… and of course, to the exception of that one time where buttonholes were a pain to make because of the thickness of the thread (denim topstitching thread), or that other time were it was the shifty fabric that was the problem, every time everything goes smoothly!

  7. Pingback: Enfin Lupin! | Rue des Renards

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