So last year, when I was pretty new to the blogosphere, one of the things I really wanted to participate in was the Sew Bossy initiative! Since I can often be a bit indecisive about what to sew and I love surprises, I figured it would be fun. So when Melanie of The Seeds of 3 put the call out for a Sew Bossy partner, I didn’t hesitate for a minute. After some discussion and admiring of each others’ styles, we exchanged our patterns and materials and…well, up until now, that’s been it.
I know, I know. It was a year ago! I don’t really have any good excuses for why it took me so long to get around to sewing up Mel’s vision for me. When we packed up all our things to move to New Zealand, I found her little box with all its ingredients for a skirt, and dutifully packed it all into my suitcase. And once I got a sewing machine here, I set to work on finally making her bossy dreams come true!
And here’s the result! The pattern she sent me was the Asymmetrical Folds Skirt pattern from Stitches magazine, along with a gorgeous blue linen and a cotton houndstooth for the facing, interfacing, thread and a kit to make my own buttons!
I sewed it up in a size L, which is actually slightly smaller than my body measurements – there are no finished garment measurements on the pattern or instructions, but I found some comments online saying it ran a bit large, so I thought that would be my best bet. I shortened the pattern pieces by about 4″, using my Kelly skirt as a guide for length, but it’s still a bit too long because I have to wear it on my hips, rather than my waist, due to the way the skirt fits. Because I like a bit more security in my wrap garments, I stole an idea from a RTW skirt I sadly no longer have in my possession – an inner, hidden button to secure the layers together.
I also used 5 buttons, not four, to secure the skirt. Making the covered buttons was my favourite part of the whole process – they turned out so well! I had no idea they were so easy to do, but they’re genius. Cover all the buttons!
You can see above my five little buttons, and their placement – which varies quite a bit from where they were supposed to be placed, according to the pattern. The pattern actually says to sew the buttons on first, before the buttonholes – I highly recommend you don’t do this. Doing the buttonholes first allows you to place the buttons in the best spot for a good fit. I did the buttonholes first, tried the skirt on and then adjusted until it felt like it fitted in the best way, then marked the button placement with chalk through the buttonholes onto the skirt. Since my buttons were shank buttons, and quite small, I used an extra button up the top for more stability. I also ironed squares of extra interfacing onto the skirt behind the buttons before sewing them, for extra stability. Despite this, they still pull on the skirt a lot when I sit down. I’m not sure how to fix this.
Here’s the skirt with the folds, as I chose to do them. According to the pattern, the last fold should lie opposite to the others, but I thought that looked a bit weird, to be honest. I had to fiddle with the folds for a long time before I was happy with them – since I shortened the skirt so much, following the original markers for the folds would have meant a very tiny skirt front! So I just winged it and folded them until they looked even.
Can I stop and be honest for a moment? I don’t love this skirt. I mean absolutely no disrespect to Melanie, she chose a skirt that is totally my style, and the fabric choices are spot on. I love the idea of this skirt. But the actual pattern design itself lets it down. I haven’t made it clear in any of these photos, but the facing is a bitch. A total, utter, bitch. In fact, I don’t really know what the deal with it is – in every photo I’ve seen of this skirt (including the promotional photo on the sale page), the facing has been showing a bit above the waistband. I don’t know if this is by design, as the pattern certainly makes it sound like it shouldn’t be showing – there are instructions to understitch it and everything. Despite understitching it, adding extra buttons that should help keep it in place, and pressing the shit out of it, I have to spend about 5 minutes after I put it on tucking the facing in. And even then, at the back, due to the way the skirt curves, it’s nigh on impossible to get it fully invisible. I’m sorry, but having it showing just looks bad to me – like you’ve made a mistake with the construction.
Also, since it doesn’t fit on my waist (it’s way too big if I wear it up there, and there’s only so much you can wrap a wrap skirt around you before things look weird), I have to wear it on my hips, which feels a bit uncomfortable – like it might ride up and swivel around. It’s possible that, with some darts and adjusting I could get the pattern to fit around my waist, but given the other problems with the pattern, I’m not sure I’ll bother.
I hope that I haven’t seemed too ungrateful with the pattern Mel sent me – she nailed my style, and the colour of the linen is gorgeous (and a dream to press and stitch) – and I will still wear the skirt, since my husband loves it on me and I do like the way it looks in photos. All in all, I’m glad I got the Sew Bossy experience – it’s a really cool idea!