Monday, 14 July 2008

Girly Style skirt

Fresh off the sewing machine is this twirly denim skirt I made for my little girl. It's a nice simple shape, and lovely and full. I chose a shirt weight denim so that it wouldn't be too bulky and heavy with the pleated top and elasticated back. It's trimmed with the gorgeous Lecien floral bias tape I bought from Kitty-Craft recently.

I've been itching to use this bias tape for ages, and think it looks lovely against the dark blue denim. I love the loose pleated detail on the front of the skirt, and the pattern has also enlightened me as to a better way to use elastic in a waistband - instead of just a single length of wide elastic, the back waistband has two channels for two lengths of narrow elastic - much better, and far less prone to twisting annoyingly!

The pattern came from this book, a recent acquisition which is full of gorgeous patterns for little girls:

Girly Style Wardrobe
ISBN 457911132X

I can see me using this pattern again and again, especially now I've fathomed the maze of green and black lines to trace off the correctly sized pattern! I really like the variation in the book with a lightweight cotton underlay peeping out from underneath (there's an image of it at the end of this post).

In proper seamstressly fashion, I used my sewing gauge for the first time - indispensable for adding seam allowances (great for Japanese patterns and my Ottobre booklets) and especially for pressing the hem allowance on skirts and tops.

Florence, who seems to be something of an expert as finding handy sewing gadgets, kindly sent me mine - thanks for initiating me, I'm a convert now!

This pattern is a really quick make, even if you do it the cowboy way like me, guessing your daughter's waist measurement whilst she's asleep then finding it's far too big in the morning and having to pull it apart! (not the first time I have discovered how woeful my guesstimation skills are!)

So now that my daughter has the beginnings of a handmade wardrobe, is my maternal guilt assuaged? Not at all - now I'm feeling bad that I haven't made anything for my boy for a while, so straight after finishing the skirt I shopped online for yarn for that pirate jumper (Debbie Bliss DK cotton seems to be a suitable substitution for the Rowan Handknit Cotton, and is a fraction of the price). Last time I tried intarsia the results were shocking, and I had to rip the cardigan, so wish me luck with this one!


  1. Cute skirt. I bought a bunch of Japanese patterns quite a while back. I love the styling...I don't really sew hence I have a hard time figuring the patterns out but I even just love browsing through them.

  2. Gosh! I am really impressed with all the clothes you are making, and this skirt is lovely. I've seen the Japanese sewing book on Etsy before, are the pattern easy to understand if you don't read Japanese? Also, did you buy the book from Etsy or somewhere else?


  3. I love the skirt to, the border makes all the differents!Thanks for sharing...
    And Good Luck.
    Regards Laura

  4. Thank you!

    Mary - I bought the books from YesAsia - if you're interested, there should be a link to the listing if you click on the photo of the book or the title. The free postage was a deciding factor! There's a great seller on etsy and ebay that sells them too - drop me an email if you're interested and I'll pass on the details. I have absolutely zero knowledge of Japanese, but find the patterns easy to follow as they have such great diagrams (to be honest they're often clearer to me than some of the paper patterns in envelopes written in English by the big names!). Hope that helps!

  5. Very sweet. Love the pocket detail! Never heard of a gauge before, but I have a 1/4 inch foot which I *love*!

  6. Hi Helen,

    I found your link in the end (got too excited whilst seeing all the lovely clothes you have been making) and the free postage is excellent. I will definately be getting this book.

    Thanks for sharing!


  7. Check out my blog, please :))

  8. What a sweet skirt, I have one of those gauges from my Mum's sewing basket but never knoew what it was for!
    Intarsia sounds tricky, looking forward to seeing how it goes.

  9. Your little one is so going to be the best dressed this summer. Lovely.

  10. cute cute cute

    is there a 'grown up' version

  11. Very cute skirt - I will have to have children so I can make things from japanese books because my western frame will never fit the adult clothes.

    Love that bias tape :)

  12. Lovely skirt. If I had a skirt like that when I was little, I would be wearing it every day! If you ever need any help with Japanese, you are always welcome to ask me! ;D

  13. What a great skirt. I love the bias binding ou used, did you buy it or make it yourself?

  14. I love the skirt, the bias binding goes with it really well. Also love the little cardigians on the previous post. The crochet trim looks sweet. A friend tried to teach me to crochet but I kept doing it too tight and we gave up!
    Maria x


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