the sensible skirt and her wayward sister


I guess it’s #tbt since I’m writing this on a Thursday evening and I’m playing catch-up with two makes from August. Time flies! What follows, dear friends, is some truly mundane sewing talk. These were two fairly straightforward makes that used up stash fabrics.

I made these two skirts just before starting my new job. The one on the left, as you may guess, has been worn to work, while the other I’ve slipped into after work. I’m definitely one of those people who crave a work uniform. Not that the floral skirt is somehow wildly inappropriate, it just doesn’t fit in with my idea of what I need for work. That, and I need a contrast between work and not-work.

The orange skirt was made with the leftover linen from the Adelaide dress. I managed to use up all of it. It would have necessitated smaller seam allowances if the sizing hadn’t turned out totally misleading. The pattern is New Look 6231. That pattern envelope… Let’s just say I talked myself into believing the pants might work. I even muslined them but gave up as soon as I tried them on and discovered just how gigantic they were. I really didn’t have the patience to size down. The muslin is in the corner somewhere…

New Look 6231 skirt and RTW shirt (don’t judge)

The skirt was, of course, much easier to size down. I will be completely honest, dear readers: I don’t love this skirt. I do like the simplicity of the design — it just has two darts in the back. But I just don’t like how low it sits, so I think it’s fair to say I’m half-resentful of how practical it’s proved for work. I don’t think I’ll go with this particular pattern again. I think I’m more likely to re-make the Colette Meringue skirt without scallops and with an added waistband. And, possibly, pockets. That’s a plan. Do I recommend the pattern though? Eh… not really. It runs big and I think you can find many several similar skirts out there.

The other skirt is only really wayward in the fabric department. The pattern behaves well and, I think, is worth sewing up. It’s a By Hand London Anna hack you can find here. It would have been especially cool if BHL treated us to a PDF of the pocket pieces because this sewist ended up on the small side drafting them on her own. Well, I guess at least I won’t overstuff them.

The hem: oddly lumpy by nature, it seems.

I still haven’t told you what’s so wayward about my fabric. It’s a very unruly polyester. Somewhat stiff but still really slippery. Overall, not fun. Especially if, like me, you don’t always learn from past mistakes and decide on a nonsensical hand-sewn hem. Don’t (hear that, future me, don’t). Finish that hem on the machine or your it will resemble the exhibit above even after some serious ironing. The Anna skirt hack itself I highly recommend. I might try it again with a nicer fabric.

You’re probably not getting a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde vibe from these photos but to me that difference between the work skirt and the after-work skirt is pretty meaningful. But more on that another time.

Do you have any simple skirt pattern recommendations to share? I’d love some new ideas.


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I write about sewing, knitting, and may sometimes be tempted to talk about books.

5 thoughts on “the sensible skirt and her wayward sister”

  1. I love the look of your burnt orange/brick coloured skirt. That’s a shame you’re not happy with where it sits though. I keep thinking of remaking the Colette Meringue skirt as I wear the one I made loads, I added pockets to it but not waistband. I love those colours in your floral skirt and the pockets!


    1. Thanks! I’m two minds about the burnt orange skirt. I think the overall shape is very wearable, but I really would like the waistband to hit a bit higher. Pockets wouldn’t hurt either 😉

      The Meringue skirt has such a great basic shape, too. But I definitely needed to do away with that scalloped hem — it’s really not my style. I like that they did a tutorial on adding a waistband at one point. And guess what — I did actually at one point follow that tutorial and I have a waistband drafted, and even some slash pockets. All that I’d actually need to do now is cut it and sew… 🙂

      Speaking of scallops — I love the fabric you chose for those Burda shorts!


  2. You know what? I love posts about simpler/standard/less flamboyant/as you like items because at the end of the day, that’s what I really need a lot of the time. So I am more than happy to read these kind of posts or other people’s about basic t-shirts or knits. It’s really handy. Besides, how could an orange linen skirt and a blue flowery polyester skirt ever be mundane? 😉 I know what you mean about a work uniform. If I were still working full-time I would zip up a fair few Everyday Skirts because they are really practical (and have good pockets, yay), but that’s about all I’ve got.


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