I really shouldn’t have made this skirt – at least not yet anyway! I’ve got two other WIPs on the go and I really should be focusing on them. One unfinished project is a quilt wallhanging type thing and the other UFO is sewing 6 dining chair covers, but they’re soooo boring to do that I got a bit distracted! This pattern is the brand new Safari Skirt pattern that has only just been released by so sew easy. I had to sign up to Craftsy to download my pattern which is a potentially dangerous and expensive thing to do! So many things to spend money on!
Anyway, this skirt appealed to me because it’s a straight denim style skirt and I wear this type of thing a lot. I also liked it because it was an opportunity to challenge myself and learn new skills. It has a fly front zip, flat felled seams, top stitching and pockets (I’ve only ever sewn patch pockets before). It’s classed as an intermediate pattern but there is great pattern support with clear written instructions and YouTube tutorials to help you.
The things that were supposed to be challenging were really quite straightforward but that didn’t stop me from making some stupid rookie mistakes. Things I really should know better by now. More on them in a minute.
For this skirt I started with some army green drill cotton that I’ve had in my stash for about 6 years or more. It’s not particularly nice but it’s the perfect weight for this project. I thought I can always get some better fabric if I like how the skirt turns out.
My first stupid mistake was to not measure the test square on the PDF until after I printed out all the pattern. It came out ever so slightly bigger than it was supposed to but I don’t like wasting paper so I thought it’ll be fine! I measured myself between a size C and D (whatever sizes they are) but cut out a size C to take into account the slightly bigger than it should be pattern.
My second mistake was not realising that my fabric was not the same on both sides. You can’t tell from the photos but some of my fabric is inside out! I could always pass it off as a design feature – it’s not that noticeable! The back got assembled first. There were quite a lot of pattern pieces for this as you can (hopefully) see in the photo.
There are also a couple of panels running along the bottom. Each of the panels were joined by a flat felled seam. I got better at these as I went along. As you can see from the above photo, my centre back seam is slightly bulbous because this was one of the first ones. I really couldn’t face unpicking it and starting again so I left it. The yoke seams matched nicely though so I was pleased with that.
What I was really chuffed with was my fly front zip. It went in perfectly first time and looks quite professional!
After I had assembled the back and front I pinned the side seams and tried it on. It was massive! I liked the length though but I had to draw the side seams again. I don’t think I drew them very symmetrical, but again, not very noticeable.
The side seams were actually French seams that were top stitched down from the outside to make them look like flat felled seams. Well one side was anyway. Because I had to hack some fabric away to make the skirt fit me I ended up with one uneven, badly fraying edge and after I French seamed it and top stitched it looked AWFUL! There were bits sticking out of the seam all over and I had to start again. The edge was too wonky to do a French seam on so I did a standard seam, pressed both seam allowances to one side and top stitched that down instead, which looked much neater and gave the desired effect. But…..
I got a bit carried away with my pinking shears, trimming the badly frayed seam allowances down, that I didn’t notice the skirt itself getting in the way. I’m not sure what I can do about the holes.
Everything else after that was fine. Love my pockets and the cheeky lining!
My phone, keys and all sorts fits in there nicely so I’m dead pleased with them. And I think I’ve done a good job on the top stitching too. The waist band went in nicely, although to fit the pattern on to the fabric I had to cut the back waistband into two small pieces rather than one large one. I also didn’t have enough fabric to make the belt loops that were supposed to go on at this stage.
Overall though I must say that I really enjoyed making this skirt. I finished it on Saturday afternoon and I’ve been wearing it since then (I’m wearing it now as I type). It took a week to do but that’s only because I have to snatch sewing time when I can between all the other things that need doing. Unlike other projects I never lost momentum with it and am quite excited about making another one in some proper denim. I say this but I have never, not once, made the same pattern twice, which considering the amount of effort I put into pattern prep (I always trace, I never cut the tissue) is a bit ridiculous. Perhaps this will be the first pattern to break that?
Now, back to those chair covers…