To pocket, or not to pocket? (A self-drafted suede skirt)


Well, it’s been a while! My ankle and I survived skiing, and just about survived the vast amount of cheese-eating that seemed to accompany it. We’re talking two fondues in one week, people. It was getting to the point where I wouldn’t need skis; I could’ve just rolled down the slopes of Meribel like a gigantic wheel of brie.

Anyways, although I’ve been back 8 days and have a growing heap of sewn items to be blogged, I had to wait until yesterday to get out and about and take photos. It was J’s birthday so I surprised him with a picnic at Hampton Court, because he’d never been and I’m a bit nutty about the place. Seriously, it’s the best Tudor-cum-Baroque palace around.

I just love imagining the scandals and tensions – political, familial and sexual – that simmered and sometimes exploded behind those very windows…

In honour of the occasion I sported a double me-made look, my Rise Turtleneck paired with this self-drafted faux-suede skirt. I’ve drafted stuff before, but never quite properly – it’s always been a bit of a eyeballing game. Button-up skirts, particularly in suede, have been everywhere over the past few months. At first I was tempted to use Pauline Alice’s Rosari pattern, but I wanted the additional seam lines in the front and thought it’d be a good challenge to draft it myself. I started by drafting myself a skirt sloper and then added A-line insertions, before cutting up the insertion lines and through the darts to create panels.

It was a cinch to sew up, in spite of my taking excessive care with my seam allowances and having a great time top-stitching the panel lines. I wrestled somewhat with trying to square the front of the waistband where it meets the button band, which surprised me, as pernickety perfectionism usually loses out to ‘I need to wear this Right Now’ in my book. But I took this as a (good?) sign of sewing maturity and connected it to the fact that this is my product through and through.

Ok, so the sun came out and I forgot to adjust my exposure, but I like my hair in this photo too much to care… 🙂

I’m also very slightly bothered by the lines – I have always had trouble finding RTW a-line skirts that fit because there’s a 12-inch difference between my waist and hips, and this same fact meant I had to either curve the panels inwards at the top or opt for a more extreme flare shape. I went for the former option, but if I were to use this pattern again I would seek to soften the transition from curve to flare, whilst retaining the close fit in the waist to upper hip area.


So it may not be perfect, but this skirt makes me happy! It’s one of the best things about sewing, the ability to transform a vision in your head into a wearable reality. The entire creative process, from designing and drafting to top-stitching and button hammering, was hugely satisfying. The only issue now is that my original vision featured front patch pockets, pockets which are noticeably absent from the current incarnation. I can’t decide if I should leave as is (which seems fine) or pursue the original idea and add on those pockets. What do you think?


Anyway, skirt, J and I had a super day at the Palace. It wasn’t of course his only present; I’d also organised a surprise party for the night before, which featured another of the past week’s creations… Here’s the birthday guy with his very homemade McLaren P1 cake.

For explanation on why a McLaren cake, see this post.

I only wish when it came to cakes I had the same ability to conjure up the ideas of my imagination!  x




2 thoughts on “To pocket, or not to pocket? (A self-drafted suede skirt)

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