On my recent London trip I came across a lovely skirt, with a trim of different coloured tiny pom-poms around the bottom and two rows of ric-rac in matching colours above. Much as I liked it, it seemed very expensive (I'm a terrible cheapskate when it comes to buying clothes!) and it was black, which I don't wear.
Then I remembered that my local fabric shop sells pom-pom trim. So naturally I thought, "I could make one of those". This despite not exactly being short of other things to do at present. (This is the disadvantage; if I see something which I could make, I almost always want to have a go at making it!)
Making one turned out to be easier said than done. Despite the pom-pom trim being available in several colourways, it was impossible to find matching ric-rac. But eventually I came home with pom-poms, satin bias tape, two types of leaf-shaped trim, and a remnant of plain green cotton for the skirt.
I planned to make a ¾ circle skirt, but realised that if I made the pieces a little narrower then I could cut them with the grain running lengthways rather than across. So what I ended up with was more or less a ⅔ circle skirt, with a seam and zip at the back and two more seams at the front.
Of course I wanted pockets, and inspired by this 1950s Bruyère couture summer dress which I saw at the most recent Kerry Taylor auction, I decided to make them curved.
|Pocket inspiration 1, image © Kerry Taylor Auctions|
I based the pocket shape on Butterick 6055, but altered to make them flat instead of standing out from the skirt.
|Pocket inspiration 2 - Butterick 6055|
I overlocked the inner and outer curves and pressed the seam allowances under. Then I did two rows of top-stitching around the inner curve.
|Pocket ready to be applied to skirt|
The pockets were then pinned to the skirt, and sewn into place with a futher two rows of top-stitching. The skirt waistband covers the upper edge.
The skirt hem was just overlocked, as it was covered by the trim. I machine stitched along the top of the pom-pom tape, and overcast along the bottom. A word of advice to anyone thinking of making something similar - do not sew the pom-pom trim on first. Otherwise sewing the other trims in place will involve 10% sewing and 90% disentangling the thread from the pom-poms. Ask me how I know!
The satin bias was wider than I wanted, so I machine stitched along the centre, then folded it over and hand sewed the bottom edge.
|The bias trim machined and pinned in place|
The leaf trims were both attached by hand, with each leaf having to be sewn down separately. Suddenly the cost of the bought skirt didn't seem so excessive!
|All the trims in place - finally!|
The end result is worth all the work though. Initially I paired it with a white shirt and a wide belt, but then I realised that the colours made it perfect to wear with Butterick 6620.
|The completed skirt|
So now I'm keeping away from ready-to-wear clothing, in case I get any more ideas!