Monday 11 November 2013

Charlotte Kelly Skirt

Hello Everyone! I hope you all had a fabulous weekend. Last weekend I set up my sewing room and I am pleased to report that I am now back in the (sewing) game. I am also equally pleased that I am finally able to share with you my latest make - the Kelly Skirt by Megan Nielsen.
I've called this my Charlotte Kelly skirt because it is pretty much an exact copy of inspired by a skirt made by Charlotte from Charlie Says So. Charlie's wore her skirt to the Birmingham meet-up earlier in the year and I loved the black and red combination so much that I set about purchasing the materials required to make my own, right there and then. The main fabric is a cotton linen blend from Barry's Fabric Superstore in Birmingham. This was my first time working with a linen and I must say, it was a delight to work with.

This skirt has been a work in progress for a very long time. It came together pretty quickly and I actually wore it to the London meet-up on 3rd August...seen here with Paddington (proof it was summer - look at those bare legs. I feel chilly just looking at this picture now)

However, I had a serious problems with the fit of this skirt and I realised just how bad it was after I spent the whole day of the meet-up tugging my skirt down! Basically, what happened was I tried to be a little bit clever. I struggle with skirts that are fitted at the waist and prefer to wear them on my hips. So although I loved the Kelly skirt pattern, I was unsure if the style would suit me. To overcome the waist issue, I planned to extend the waistband so that it would fall to my hips instead. Turns out this was an error. You can see from the picture below that the result was a massively gaping waistband (excuse the flesh on show!!)

I have since learnt that there are differences in waistbands for skirts that sit on the waist and those that sit on the hips. Waist-waistbands are straight, whereas those that sit on the hips are curved. Makes sense, right? This was a revelation to me when Rachel explained this to me - thanks Rachel :)
After the meet-up this skirt was put to one side for several months until last weekend, when I picked it up again. I pinched in the waistband at each side and lined up the resulting fold with the side seam so that it looked like part of the pattern. I pinned both sides to check the fit then pressed and hand sewed the fold in place. I generally avoid hand sewing wherever possible, mostly because I'm lazy, but I was glad i did it on this occasion because the end result was pretty neat and it really didn't take that long. I just can't believe it took me so many months to apply this really simple fix!
A few close-ups of the details, firstly these beautiful buttons which came from Birmingham Rag Market. I was a bit scared about the seven button holes required for this skirt, but once I had done a few practise goes it really wasn't that bad. Honest. I think that if I make this skirt again, which I quite possibly will, I would interface the button planket as well as the waistband, just to strengthen it.

Also my favourite feature...there are owls in the pockets! OWLS!! Yes I copied this from Charlie too, but come on, owls are my thing, it had to be done. And I'm sure I would have come up with this idea anyway left to my own devices. Maybe.

So there we have it, a very red Kelly skirt, finally completed. I'm a bit sad I left it so long and it is now autumn, because this was lovely to wear in the summer as it is so light and comfy. Oh well, next year! Now is the time to wrap up warm in tights and scarfs, and it works just fine with tights too. 
On the topic of winter, or more precisely Christmas (apologies for the C word...!), if you fancy taking part in this year's Sewist's Secret Santa you have until Sunday 17th November to sign up, so pop over to the link and find out what the fun is all about (and there are some handy dates there too so you ca plan your shopping!).
K xx


  1. Yay! I'm so glad you altered it so you can keep wearing your lovely skirt. Those buttons are swoonworthy! Glad you're all settled in to your new sewing room too

  2. This looks as amazing on you as I thought it would! Excellent work Kat and well done for not giving up and fixing it in the end...what a great wardrobe staple!

  3. What a lovely skirt. The fit looks great on you. Love that red linen and the buttons are so pretty. I've heard good things about Barrys. Must make the trip to Birmingham at some point.

  4. Your skirt is lovely! I was nodding along at what you've said about the waistband. I get that gaping waistband on single piece wastebands too. Could you wear it with tights and boots? It's too nice to put away!

  5. DUUUUUDE. Good work on going back and amending the fit. That's always a tedious thing to do but so worth it in this case because you look freaking cute as. I love the hidden owls. Also, your new photo location is lovely! Worth the move alone, I dare say ;)

  6. Cute skirt, love the buttons and the owl fabric for the pockets !



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