First there was my 'Comfiest Skirt Ever', and now it's the 'Best Denim Skirt Ever'. These are bold claims, are they not? Of course, I'm open to finding a comfier skirt or a better denim skirt, but at the time of writing, both these statements are holding true for me.
When I blogged about the Ponte de Roma version, I told you there'd be more knit pencil skirts on the horizon. My intention was to dig about in my stash for something suitable, but before I had a chance to do so, another piece of fabric that is perfect for this pattern turned up instead. This faux-denim knit fabric was spotted on the shelves at the recent Fabric Godmother open day. The owner, Josie, kindly allowed me to choose some fabric as a thank you for me helping out, and this is one of the pieces I took away with me. I saw something similar in a different fabric shop years ago but didn't get any, and I've kicked myself on several occasions since when I remembered it.
Lemme tell you about this stuff. The right side has a indigo-denimy look, and back is cream. The dye transferred something chronic so I washed it at 60 degrees as soon as I got it home. The fabric came out a slightly lighter shade but the washing had stopped the transferring. The listing for the fabric says 100% cotton, but I'd be surprised if there is no elastane/lycra content as this stuff has an amazing 4-way stretch and recovery. It has a much chunkier feel to it than the Ponte de Roma, so I was keen to find out what kind of look it would bring to the pencil skirt pattern...
Just to back up a sec: the pattern I'm talking about is the knit pencil skirt pattern from the Gertie Sew Vintage Casual book. It consists of just one pattern piece that you cut twice on the fold, and has an elasticated waistband. My first attempt making this pattern helped me to determine that I should lower the waistline by 3cm and raise the hemline also by 3cm. I made one final adjustment by making the waistline slightly curved rather than straight, which would help the waistline sit correctly at the lower position.
When I had a fitting of my Ponte de Roma version, I found I needed to remove 4cm of the total circumference. I'm glad I didn't make that a permanent adjustment on my the pattern piece because this time round, I found the fit to be perfect with no alteration of width required. I think I did slightly straighten the side seam from around the knee level to the hem though. For this denim version, I finished the waistband as the pattern instructions suggested, which gives a really clean finish with no visible anything (see above).
The only other thing I can think to note is the topstitched hem. It's a total hot mess because I used an 80/12 thickness needle with chunky top-stitching thread, a combination that my machine HATED. It made awful clunking noises at regular points, but I refused to halt this project long enough to buy a proper, thicker twin needle. I had to stop and restart stitching several times so there are sections where there's overlaps of stitching, and parts where the needle refused to pierce the fabric (see above) and the back has heaps of birds nests (see below). But I'm pretty sure that the messiness is only noticeable up close. At some point I may uptick the whole hem and redo it, but it certainly hasn't stopped me wearing it yet.
Perhaps I should qualify this title with 'yet' at the end of it, although I already think the title is long enough! The only niggle I have with this skirt (aside from the messy hem, which really doesn't bother me) is that this skirt does start to migrate up a little bit, for some unknown reason. But generally it stays in place far better than pretty much any skirt I've ever worn, so I can forgive it this one misdemeanour. Maybe if I took more off the top and added it back to the length, then the curve of the side seam would match the curve of my hips more accurately, or something. I may try that next time...
Even as it stands, this is by far the nicest denim(esque) skirt that I own. Now that I own this, I'm seriously thinking of donating my denim high waist bow skirt to the charity shop because I have worn it exactly twice since I made it three years ago, and both those times did not feel very relaxing. What's the best denim skirt you've ever owned? Was it self-made?