Whilst I was making my coatigan in that gorgeous tweed last month, the fabric happened to lie next to a length of Avoca wool I treated myself to at an Embroiderers Guild meeting where Fabworks had a stand. The two fabrics went so beautifully together that as soon as I had finished the jacket, I started cutting out the skirt…
The wool is absolutely gorgeous, it’s Donegal Tweed herringbone in a stunning peacock blue. It’s made by Avoca for Fabworks. Fabworks call it ‘Strut your Stuff Peacock’!! It feels wonderful, drapes well, and the colours just perfect for me! I’m running out of superlatives…I love this fabric! It was a bit of a treat, well a lot of a treat really, it’s £30 a metre, but it’s so beautiful I’m sure it won’t be the last length I buy. When I bought this the assistant had clearly sussed me straight away as she gave me a roll of tape with the quote ‘I can resist everything except temptation’ running down it!
I decided to use a new pattern, Newlook 6876, I don’t remember buying this, in fact I’m pretty sure I picked it up from the swop pile at the Sew North meet up. I’m not sure how old it is either as the number no longer correlates to this pattern! It’s a simple straight skirt with either a zip and a back pleat or a button back. I decided to make the button back.
I decided to be honest with myself and remeasure the important bits,namely waist and hips. One reason being that with a button down back, I really didn’t want it too snug! I came out as a clear size 16, despite all my RTW being a size 12, I looked for the finished garment measurements for the hips but there were none I could see, so I duly cut out a 16…I made up the basic skirt and tried it on as I was about to attach the waistband, it was huge! I ended up taking at least 1/2″ off both sides, I tried just tapering it off to the side seam at the hips, but I ended up with a funny looking bulge mid thigh – not a good look! In the end I took it in right sown the side seams.
I lined it with some fabric I found in my lining stash, I’m not sure where I got it, which is a shame as it is rather nice, it’s one of those linings that actually feels quite heavy and drapy. I attached it at the waistband before handstitching the waistband down and then hand-stitched the lining sides to the button bands.
I stitched the buttonholes and the buttons on next. The buttons are navy ones from Samuel Taylors. The only bit I struggled with was the buttonhole on the waistband, with all the layers and interfacing I couldn’t physically get it under my buttonhole foot, I stitched one as near as I could but it was really too off-centre to use. I stitched a decorative button over the top of it and a trouser hook and bar underneath. The only other fastening I added was a press-stud just under the waistband as it tended to gape a bit there.
I hemmed the skirt with bias binding which is my preferred method for any bulky fabrics as there’s only one fold over, so I was surprised how bulky it looks in the photos, I don’t think it’s that obvious in real life fortunately.
I’m really pleased with my skirt, it feels very comfortable, it hangs nicely at the back too. I haven’t worn it out yet and time will tell with the button back makes me nervous – I’m too old for a dress malfunction to be amusing! I was tempted from the start to stitch up the back, just opening the top two and bottom two buttons…we’ll see! One interesting point with the buttons, I cannot button the skirt up at the back, I just can’t do it!! My fingers won’t work! I have to swizzle it round to the front, button up and then swizzle back again! I even checked with the picture that I hadn’t done the buttonholes on the wrong side, as that is what it feels like.
…and I do think it goes well with my Coatigan 🙂