I have visions of swishing about in linen, being at one with the seasons but it never quite works on me. Until now. I found this delicious olive green linen in Edinburgh Fabrics (the colour is undoubtedly closest to the photos from Cyprus), but didn't quite know what I would do with it, until I found Simplicity 2258 in the sale box in the shop! The packaging shows the full length skirt in green and as I sometimes have an issue with imagining the finished object this helped me visualise and I knew that it was going to work.
I bought 2.10m of the fabric, and just as well I did. The pattern calls for 1.8m, but as I had to lengthen it by a whopping 10 inches to get my desired look I needed every centimetre of extra fabric. As it is, I had to join the back, as I couldn't get the new length out of the fabric I had, but the subsequent joint is one of my favourite things about the skirt. Some people have said that it would also be cool if the yellow bias binding was on the outside, but I love it as a secret detail and love the simplicity and (gasp!) plainness of the skirt. My wardrobe is very colourful and patterned, and it's lovely to have an item that's easy to partner with other things.
If anyone wants to know how I joined the two bits of the back skirt, it was very simple. I just attached the two linen pieces to one side of the bias binding, I then stepped the seam allowances to make it less bulky, folded the binding to cover all the rough edges and put yellow thread in the top of my machine and green in the bobbin and just sewed. I took a wee bit of time to decide how to do this, and am glad that I took my time and did something I love. When I walk, the yellow shows and it adds a special touch there.
I did check the finished measurements for ease, and seeing that there was a lot of ease in the finished garment I made it several sizes smaller (if following the pattern I should have done a 16, but did a 12 instead) and it's perfect tightness and I can bend and everything (always a bonus) but it's me wearing the skirt rather than the other way around! I did find that the split, due to my lengthening the skirt, became very constrictive, and I wore it on holiday on Cyprus, found it wasn't going to work and that it would prevent my wearing a garment I loved, so I have just painstakingly unpicked the french seams (sob!) and have lengthened the split by 9cm and it's much better. I also used the pocket pieced to round off the bottom of the skirt, I prefer the round hem rather than a square finish.
I think this is without a doubt my most achieved item to date. It's almost perfect (I had real trouble neatly hemming those sharp corners at the bottom) but there's nothing I would change. It fits like a dream and I feel absolutely wonderful wearing it! I call that a success and it's wonderful to have a garment that just works.
I love the ties and am glad I added them. I also rounded off the ends of these to make it softer, rather than a square end and I think these little details do sit better on linen, rather than being too square! Maybe that's just being overdramatic...! Simplicity 2258 is a winner for me, though, I would make all of the patterns on the pattern envelope. So it was a bargain for £4!
Have any of you made anything you particularly love recently?
Thanks to my brother, Donald, for taking these brilliant photos - much better than anything that's been on this blog before! (If you check out his link you'll see that these photos are a great departure from his normal style, but I think he's moved into fashion photography very well! Pity about the awkward model....!)