Monday, July 7, 2014

The Alder Skirt

At the beginning of the year, I listed the ways I hoped to expand my sewing skills.  I was itching to start sewing basic clothes.  You see, I started sewing with quilts as I loved (and still do) the combination of geometric design with color/pattern.  I was not that girl who made their own skirts or Halloween costumes.  It never crossed my mind.

Anyway, I was thinking in January that it's time to sew some very basic things for myself.  I started with PJ bottoms, which were semi successful.  More recently, though, I saw several posts with the Alder Skirt, from Imagine Gnats, popping up.  I can make that...right?

After a semi-successful trial run with IKEA fabric, I dove into the shop's stash of Essex Linen Navy and Vintage Happy Orange Hangers and I started cutting.  After an evening of manic stitching, a skirt was born!


I dig it.  It has a little pleat in the front, which makes it quite roomy.  Pleats would have scared me except for the little top I made for my niece.  I had mastered the pleat and was ready to fly to pockets.


What do I know about pockets!?!?  I freak out if a bag pattern has a pocket.  The 241 tote (here and here) is my least favorite thing to make just because of the exterior pockets.  These were different, though - not those awful rounded bottom pockets I was used to, but pretty straight forward rectangular piecing.  I was feeling confident at this point.


Now, here I got very brave.  I originally used fully Essex Navy for the whole bottom of the skirt.  However, I'm a shirt-out girl and then you couldn't see the orange pretties when I was wearing the skirt.  So, I took out the scissors and cut off the bottom 1.5 inches of Navy and replaced it with orange Vintage Happy.  It's SO much better with the addition of color.


Over the weekend we had a photo shoot in the back yard to show you all the finished skirt.  I have to say, this is one of the funniest things we have ever done.  Ever.  I was crying laughing at my other half with his faux Italian accent, flashing the camera all over the place barking instruction.  He even finished with a very dramatic "its a wrap".  Oh, I couldn't keep a straight face...so you won't see a photo of the full me here.  Clearly.


It is supposed to fit around your hips, but my skirt continually inches up to my waist.  So, when I made the original IKEA tester, I had used the size chart in the pattern and stitched according to that guide.  However, when my skirt inches up, it became very roomy in the hips.  This version I made one size smaller and it suits my hips and waist.



It's very comfortable, flowing but stays put in the Galway breeze with the heavier linen fabric.  I'm quite happy with the finished product and would absolutely make another if we were to take a trip somewhere warm.  Rachel's pattern is very clear, easy to assemble and has great step by step instructions.  So much so that with minimal thought I could make my own with no previous garment sewing experience beyond my niece's tops.  I would absolutely advise, though, making a tester in not-so-precious fabric to be sure you have the right size for you.  Beyond that, the Alder skirt is an absolute hit around here!





19 comments:

Sarah said...

Looks like a job well done! You should have posted the full facial cracking up shots too though.

Lucy @ Charm About You said...

You photo shoot sounds hilarious! Beautiful skirt and great idea to put the print at the bottom too!

kathy said...

The orange hangers at the hem pop.
I find quilting to be repetitive, whereas, garment sewing is one new step after another.

Linda Coleman said...

Love the orange pop. Great job

quirkyhannah said...

Ohh I love that! Well done you it looks great! Think I need to practice the Colette Ginger then think this is next on my list.

Henry's Shed said...

Hurrah! It is beautiful - well done! I love the orange :) xx

Sarah said...

lovely job missus x

memmens said...

Well done on sewing clothes for you and making them successfully too (always a bonus!). Love the trim on the bottom of the skirt.

Erin @ Billy Button Design said...

Sometimes patterns are scary but really they are easy . Well done getting out and showing off that Galway tan!

tomomi mcelwee said...

That's a very pretty skirt! Well done to you. Love the colour combination!

Nicky said...

Where are the outtakes!? Show them all so we can join in the fun!

Great little skirt though - so it's all homemade from now then?

Wendy said...

it looks great! I agree, it needed the pop of colour on the hem. Clothes patterns are such weird sizes, it's so hard to guess what you might be, and also slightly depressing as they seem to be a lot smaller than shop-bought clothes so the slimmest of girls ends up being a size 28!

Anita said...

Very cute! Love the pop of color!

Strawberry Patch said...

Yay for dressmaking Cindy!

Karen said...

Very cute!! Love the fabric combination :)

Leanne said...

What a great skirt and linen is the perfect choice. I can only imagine what fun you had with the photos.

Katy Cameron said...

It looks fab, well done!

Sarah Carey said...

I love it Cindy!!

Sarah said...

Great sewing and it fits you really well. Skirts don't suit me so much. I'm too big to look nice in a lot of clothes that people are making. This skirt really suits you, and looks really nice.

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