the dressy-yet-casual, goes-with-everything skirt

I have a couple of reasons for my absence most of this week. First, remember that bug that Asher and I caught over the weekend? My husband, Josh, succumbed to its ills just as Asher and I were recovering. So. Think lots of Gatorade and supportive Netflix watching. Second, Portland has been in the middle of a Pacific Northwest heat wave (so 90s) for over a week. Since we don’t have any official cooling system upstairs where my sewing room is, I can hardly stand to be in my creative space. So no sewing has happened at all.

That’s not to say, however, that I haven’t been sewing in the broader, more creative sense of the term. I’ve been scheming up projects for my fabric stash and bought a copy of the newest Colette Patterns design, the Myrtle dress. It’s a lovely, elegant number with a draping cowl neck. My challenge with this pattern will be adding sleeves. I’ll keep you posted.

The weather has finally settled down to a foreseeable forecast of 70s and 80s, and I couldn’t be more thrilled. I was not wired to handle high summer temps with no assisted cooling. (The other day I may have been heard to blurt in exasperation, “I hate summer!!” I know. I know.) So I’m expecting to spend the next couple of nap times at the sewing machine, hopefully without sweat dripping down my shirt.

Because I hate to leave you with nothing more this week, I thought to showcase one of my Knitcation entries. This is another Colette Patterns Mabel, this one made of a lightweight gray heather cotton jersey.


Here’s what I love most about this number: it is so versatile. I can wear it anywhere and feel pretty and comfortable. I’ve been wearing this skirt about twice a week and am continually thrilled with how wonderful it is. I can throw on a t-shirt with it and poof! I’m wearing a coordinated outfit instead of a hodgepodge summer survival suit. I can wear it with sandals or flats or tennis shoes. I can wear it to playgroup or the airport or the grocery store or a church activity. It’s literally the most versatile garment I currently own.

I’d add more pictures of me wearing it, but it’s late and I have only this photo Josh took the day the Knitcation results came in. But trust me that I really do wear it everywhere and try to turn over laundry quickly so I can reach for this skirt again and again. You could even say that this skirt gives me incentive to do the laundry. It’s magic, I swear.

***Specs: Another Colette Patterns Mabel skirt, lengthened by 7 1/2 inches total. I sewed version 1 with the version 3 kick-pleat back (meaning that the back pieces didn’t have to be lengthened as much as the front pattern piece). My fabric is another find, and at first I wished it were just a bit heavier and thicker, but now I can’t say that I have anything to complain about. I did notice with this skirt that the medium size I used was too big. The first couple of times I wore this, I felt like it was constantly in danger of falling down. So I bit the bullet and took out the serged seams to take it in about an inch total. I might make my subsequent Mabels in a small.***

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  1. Paws
    Posted July 31, 2014 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

    Hey Charlotte! What would you recommend as a good straight skirt pattern for a beginner? I’ve made several simple elastic-waisted skirts for my girls in the past few days, and I’m ready to make something for myself!

    • Charlotte
      Posted August 8, 2014 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

      I can’t rave enough about the Colette Patterns Mabel skirt. It’s perfect for beginners, even if you’re wary about sewing with knits. This skirt takes only a yard of fabric (even when you lengthen it like I did) and doesn’t require many technical skills (not even zippers!). It’s certainly worth the price of an indie pattern because chances are you’ll make a million. For wovens, I love Simplicity 1541. I used this one for my Christmas skirt last year, and was so pleased with the product. The princess seams may take just a little practice on scrap fabric if you’re nervous about it, but even with that the construction is simple and the result gratifying. I hope this helps! Let me know how they turn out!

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