Wednesday, 9 September 2015

The Best Denim Skirt Ever (Made by Me)


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. 


Fabric:

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...

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. 


Thoughts:

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?

21 comments:

Jos said...

Love your skirt!

Minnado said...

Fab skirt I love it. My best denim skirt is a vogue 2147 in denim. Closely followed by a "tate" skirt from a magazine pattern made about five years ago and still much loved x

Scruffybadger said...

Zoe, what a cool skirt and I love that you've top stitched it to. And reassuring that everyone else gets birds nests too!! ( I thought it was just me!) but I have this fabric coming my way too - so excited!!!

Helen Le Caplain said...

Bold claim - but I think one you can rightly make. Love the colour, the cut and the fit is just fab!

Frankie Carson said...

Don't ditch the bow skirt it's stunning! It's the most beautiful denim skirt I've ever seen! Save it for date nights! Or Christmas! Or your funeral!
Save the bow skirt!
Frankie
Ps new skirt is lovely as well x

Sew little time said...

I am wearing my best ever denim skirt at the moment. It's a blue ginger doll piggy skirt. Don't know what is happening with blue ginger doll but if you can lay your hands on the pattern it is perfect!

Sew little time said...

Gah! Damn you autocorrect! Peggy skirt.

Sew little time said...

Gah! Damn you autocorrect! Peggy skirt.

Sew little time said...

I am wearing my best ever denim skirt at the moment. It's a blue ginger doll piggy skirt. Don't know what is happening with blue ginger doll but if you can lay your hands on the pattern it is perfect!

Sew little time said...

I am wearing my best ever denim skirt at the moment. It's a blue ginger doll piggy skirt. Don't know what is happening with blue ginger doll but if you can lay your hands on the pattern it is perfect!

Kathryn said...

This skirt looks great! I need to get me some stretch denim - sounds perfect. I don't have any denim skirts at the moment but my favourite was shop-bought, years ago, and was a Moss mini style skirt in dark denim with a gold sheen running through it. Hmm maybe time to make a denim moss mini!

janemakes said...

Great skirt! I have several me-made denim skirts, I'm wearing one of them at the moment, a smart(ish), work version. I almost bought some of that stretch denim at the Fabric Godmother on the open day but I was worried about the colour transfer warning! Now you've confirmed that a good wash sorts it out I'll get on and order some. I know that awful clunking sound well - I often get that when using a twin needle and it always terrifies me!

Mother of Reinvention said...

I have never made a denim skirt. Your one is lovely and great photos. I really like your blouse too. That Gertie pattern is just not working for me, I made one in Ponte and it is just so frumpy. I see a back seam coming up. Knit pencil skirts are just so comfy and easy to wear. I am going to persevere until I get a proper pattern sorted. Yours are such an inspiration. I love them both. Xx

Jeanette Madden said...

Nice skirt! I love the floral shirt you are wearing. I bet you sewed that as well. The red stripe top in the other photo also looks great with the skirt, and it's very flattering on you tucked in. Keep up the good sewing.

Fabric Tragic said...

I reckon I'm wearing that exact fabric but in a deep navy blue. I made Hudson pants from it, and unlike my first hudsons which were super stretchy ponte this stuff just doesn't have the same stretch and recovery especially vertically which makes me think the shifting northwards has to do with the stretch. Anyway my denim skirts have ranged from fitted to wrap to a-line and the perfect one has yet to be found....

Fabric Tragic said...

And ps, if I'm twin needling and it effs up and I have to restart I don't overlap stitches, I leave long tails (even if I have to unpick an inch or two) and use a needle to pull the top threads to the wrong side and knot them, then it still looks like one continuous stitch pattern from the right side....

griffinfoodandsewing said...

I'm actually sitting in a denim skirt I made this weekend and was about to blog about! I didn't even try to use a double needle. No way with this fabric thickness and my machine :) I decided to just go with a single line. Not as classic, but I love this skirt!

Louise Perry said...

My favourite denim skirt ever is from topshop in 1999! I lived in it for years. It was really thin and light denim shirt weight probably and a A-line maxi. Loved it RIP lovely skirt! Though shamingly I bet I still have it somewhere squirrelled away in case it ever fits again! Must declutter.

Tracy Kay said...

A lovely looking skirt Zoe, well done. Do you think the fabric would suit being made into your Dolores batwing dress or a similar Coco dress?

Zoe said...

@Tracy Kay, thanks! I think this denim stuff might just work for a Coco or some kind of hoodie, but it's not suitable for a pattern that requires drapey knit like the Dolores pattern.

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