Hey everyone! Happy (late) Easter! I hope everyone’s holiday was good and maybe included some Cadbury eggs or carrot cake! Our Easter felt pretty low key but was very nice. Thanksgiving has always been favorite holiday but in the past few years I’ve started loving Easter more and more. I’m not ready to say it’s beaten Thanksgiving out of its top spot yet, but it sure is making a valid argument to do so. As a Christian , I love the whole reason behind the holiday but I’m also starting to really appreciate the bang for your buck ratio of Easter egg hunts and especially Easter dinner. Thanksgiving has So. Many. Sides. Not to mention all the expectations! Easter dinner is a just so much simpler and I’m starting to really appreciate that!
Another favorite thing is the tradition I’ve made to make clothes for all of us for Easter Sunday. I have a lot of fun brainstorming and then making outfits for my little family. Of course, it can also add some stress as it did this year, but that’s just because the calendar punked me! Easter seemed to fall so late that I thought I had all the time in the world. I eventually crashed into reality and scrambled to get it all done in about a week. But we’re here! It got done! Phew!
But the way things went it probably wouldn’t be the worst idea for me to start planning next year’s Easter outfits like right nowish.
But anyway. I’m planning on having separate posts for the girls’ outfits and then for the boys’ ties. But this post is all about the skirt I made for me!
Oh this skirt was going to be a lot of things, the first of which was easy. But I went and did what I do and got in the way. So it was not, in the end, easy or basic, as I had intended. But it turned out cute and I’ll certainly wear it so I guess the extra mental exertion spent on it was worth it.
Really, truly, when I started out I intended to make a simple rectangle skirt, which is as easy as sewing a couple lines and then adding elastic. But it seems every step of the way I made small changes which added up until I really did have to stop and think about construction and logistics. The first way I wanted to steer away from the basic rectangle was when I decided to add a ruffle to the bottom. I’d seen it here on this blog post (I mean, not that it’s an original thought or anything, just executed in a really cute way here). I loved that it took a basic rectangle skirt to the next level on the cuteness factor and, let’s be real: ruffle=easy. I was in.
I got my fabric all laundered and laid it out for cutting and here I had to pause. A ruffle obviously needs to be wider than the fabric you’re attaching it to, otherwise there’s no ruffle, duh. So there’d be some extra fabric and pretty quickly I knew that pockets were the answer. They’d perfectly use up that extra, unused square of fabric. Not to mention that’d mean I’d have pockets! But I’ve had pockets fail me before when all they do is make it look like my hips are twice the size than they actually are. So I didn’t want side seam pockets, I wanted slash pockets. And some of my favorite and most used slash pockets are from my Hudson Pants pattern. But they are made for a fabric that has stretch and the fabric I used has none. So some changes were in order.
Here’s what I did: I added three inches to the top of my already-altered-to-be-a-skirt Hudson pattern pieces (this was so I could just fold the top edge over to encase the elastic instead of having a separate waistband piece). I folded my fabric so each end met in the middle to make one fold on each side. I placed the pattern on the fold but then scootched it over about three inches (which is what worked for my size/fabric length). I needed to give it some extra space to account for the lack of stretch and I wanted the waistband to be gathered. There was no exact science to this; I just did what worked with the piece of fabric I had (which was a yard). If I’d had a longer length of fabric, I definitely would’ve extended this more. I left just enough room on the ends to cut out the pocket pattern pieces. Here’s a rough drawing of it:
It was definitely less technically correct and more of a “make it work” moment.
I started assembling the skirt, first by getting those pockets all sewn up. Then I prepped the ruffle. When I made my girls Easter skirts, which I’ll talk about in another post, I needed to hem the fabric because it was fraying terribly but I couldn’t afford to lose any length, so I did a bunch of trial and error and Googling and realized my serger can do a rolled hem! Actually, I’m pretty sure I’ve done it before but it’s since been lost in the recesses of my mind and has been very exciting to rediscover it. Especially because it meant I could use it for the ruffle in my skirt.
Eh??? So I got my regular ruffle and the little teeny ruffle at the top of the ruffle which is just so darn cute if I say so myself. Definitely a success and something I hope to repeat soon. I really love it.
So anyway, as I was getting the skirt all constructed, I was handling the fabric enough to know that I wanted this skirt to have a lining.
I got my fabric at Hobby Lobby. If you remember, I let things get right up to the edge of panic so I didn’t have time to order anything online. I picked up this light dusty rose and white speckled fabric. I am no pro when it comes to more delicate fabrics but I think this may be a georgette? It’s kind of a mix between crepe and chiffon. It’s lightweight, thin, has good drape and no stretch and will snag if it’s offended. It’s the slightest bit sheer and when I picked it, I honestly wasn’t worried about that. It seemed opaque enough. But have you ever worn something that’s so lightweight that it feels like you’re flashing everyone just because of the sheer lack of feeling? Like, I don’t feel this on my body, therefore it must not be there. After handling the fabric for long enough, I knew it was too light for me to feel confident wearing it especially since I’ve noticed that every time I wear clothes I seem to be chasing after my three children (correlation?) and no one wants to feel exposed while chasing after three children, let me tell you. I knew I needed a lining.
I hurried to Joann and surprised even myself by picking up 3/4 of a yard of white swimsuit lining to line my skirt. Yes, I mixed a knit and a woven but it seems to have work just fine! The lining is very slightly stretched to meet the overskirt and maybe it helps coax the waistband in place? Maybe not but it worked! And the knit wears really well-it doesn’t cling to my legs like I’ve had happen with woven linings.
Adding the lining was the last place I veered away from Keeping Things Simple and once it was attached to the outer skirt, I just pinned the top of the skirt down about 1 3/4 inch, sewed it and then inserted my 1 1/2 inch elastic.
I definitely used my skirt-hacked Hudson pattern to make this possible, but I also had to figure things out as I went along and I had a lot of fun trying to figure out how to make all my changes work! It was a fun project and was relatively low stakes which made me comfortable playing around and taking some risks with things. Before I discovered indie patterns, I did a lot more pattern figuring and it was fun to return to it, even if only in a very small and safe way.
And I ended up with a skirt that I like a lot! I only own a couple skirts but they are so convenient to wear while nursing that I’m really glad to be adding another one to the mix! It’s definitely going to get a lot of wear!
I also made my shirt! I went a lot of years avoiding white shirts just because they get dirty so easily. But in the last couple years I’ve realized how invaluable they are. Especially where I’m at postpartum size-wise, I knew a nice white tee would get a lot of use, so I bought a yard of white cotton modal jersey from Style Maker. It’s definitely more of a splurge for me at almost $20/yard. But I only need one yard for a short sleeve tee. Plus I wear knit tees more than I wear any other type of shirt so I knew it’d be worth it.
I did take a bit of a risk and used the fabric to make a Stellan tee, which I’ve made before but only once and I don’t even still own it. I don’t regret making this a Stellan; it will still get a lot of use. But I do think I’ll buy another yard of white or off white and use it to make my Tried and True tee pattern which is the Hey June Union St. Tee. It has a v-neck variation which I think is my preference for tees. But the Stellan is really cute. I made a size Large here, but cut the XXL neckline, just to give a tiny bit more space to my neck. I also hand-tacked the sleeves rolled up just because I prefer the look and don’t want to be messing with my sleeves the whole time I’m wearing a shirt. Crazy, I know. The hem is cute and curved but I do think the shirt looks best tucked in.
Pattern: Top-Stellan Tee by French Navy; Skirt-heavily hacked Hudson Pants by True Bias
Size: Top-Large; Skirt-8
Alterations: Top-using a larger size neckband; Skirt-hacked the Hudson Pants pattern to be a skirt then hacked that to include a grown on waistband and a ruffle, and to accommodate a non-stretch fabric (more info in post above)
Fabric: Top-cotton modal jersey from Style Maker Fabrics; Skirt-maybe georgette? from Hobby Lobby with a lining made of swimsuit lining from Joann
Cost: Top-$19 for 1 yard of fabric; Skirt-$10 for skirt fabric, $4 for lining, $4 for elastic
Would I make this again?: I would! I really like how the skirt turned out! I think it’d be fun trying it in a rayon and omitting the lining.