Bonus Skirt!

I secretly love when there’s leftover fabric after cutting a project. Especially when it’s a lot… it’s a challenge to see what can I do with the extra! It’s like a bonus garment. Because I often change my mind about what to do with a piece of fabric, sometimes I have more than I need for the planned project. This happened with the wild and crazy fabric that I used to make this wild dress.

simplicity 8498 vintage dress pattern

Which means, it’s time for a bonus project!

I made a Hollyburn Skirt, view C the shortest and most flared version. I did keep the pockets, because why not? Pockets are awesome and unexpected in a skirt like this. (And the opening will blend in with a print this distracting. You can hardly see them!)

wild skirt! hollyburn skirt, view c

Here it is, modelled with my Blank Canvas sweater:

hollyburn skirt and blank canvas sweater

And a closer look:

hollyburn skirt in yarn-felted fabric

Too bad you can see the remote in this photo, as the shape of the skirt looks really nice in this shot. Not the greatest photo-taking day but I wanted to get these up!

crooked shot of hollyburn skirt

The lining is hot pink! I didn’t have enough navy on hand, and I had hot pink. I wanted to line it as the back of the fabric is brushed, like felt. It would definitely stick to tights.

hot pink lining

How the lining is sewn:

sewing lining into the hollyburn skirt

I sew the lining to the other side of the waistband, then fold the waistband along the foldline. (Check out the Hollyburn sew-along posts on Rachel’s blog, My Messings for more on sewing the skirt with a lining.)

hollyburn skirt with lining

I stitched in the ditch to secure the waistband so there is no visible topstitching. I let the skirt hang before hemming so the lining can settle and stretch.

I hemmed the skirt with a topstitched hem, because there’s so much going on with the fabric, the hem stitching blends in, more or less.

topstitched hem

I’d originally cut the whole skirt from the same fabric, but when it came time to sew on the waistband, I thought it was just too much. I decided to toss the printed waistband and re-cut a new piece in solid navy.


Here’s a silly photo of me showing the waistband. Hopefully it gives you an idea how nice a contrast waistband would look with a tucked-in blouse for spring and summer.

The navy isn’t a perfect match, it’s a bit darker and less blue than the background of the skirt, but it’s not offensive to me.  I love the solid waistband. It looks like a belt from far away, it will help border the loud print, and it’s flat and not lumpy, like the main fabric.

hollyburn skirt

I really like this skirt. I like the dress more, but I quite like how this little bonus project turned out! It’s a good reminder that I want to make solid Hollyburn skirts too. This bright novelty skirt is nice, but a couple of solid grey or navy Hollyburn skirts would be a very useful addition to my wardrobe.

The flare of the Hollyburn pattern is perfect for the weight of this fabric, the silky rayon lining feels great to wear, the navy waistband draws attention to a small waist and feels flat to wear. It’s so cute!

And it goes perfectly with orange sweaters, which is great because I seem to keep knitting in orange.

hollyburn skirt and orange sweater

So there it is – a bonus skirt! Have you made any great bonus projects from leftover fabric recently?


47 Responses to Bonus Skirt!

  1. A Bouquet of Buttons January 29, 2014 at 6:09 am #

    Lovely! I’m also in love with bonus fabric. I made this long gown( ). But while I was making I decided that after the one occasion I’d be wearing it to, I would cut it short ( ). And now I have some fabric waiting to be turned into a skirt or a shirt. I’m still doubting

    • Tasia January 29, 2014 at 10:26 am #

      So cute! I really like the shorter version. I like both, but the shorter one is a little more wearable for more occasions where the long one is so formal. I don’t know what I’d do with the extra myself, my first instinct is to make a skirt, because a sequin skirt is so fun especially with sweaters! Although you could wear a sweater with the dress. Good luck deciding!

  2. janet January 29, 2014 at 6:17 am #

    I love the skirt. It will go with so many tops given all the colours in the fabric. Did you also have a zipper in the skirt? I wonder if wide elastic could be used as a waistband and then the zipper could be omitted for a quick sew skirt.

    • Tasia January 29, 2014 at 10:24 am #

      Yes, there’s a zipper. There has to be, you couldn’t sub elastic because the waistband is cut to fit the waist. Adding elastic would make it smaller than the waist, with no room to stretch over the hips. Plus it’s flared, so the upper hip area wouldn’t stretch to fit over the widest part of the hips. So nope, it wouldn’t work for a quick-sew skirt! The good news is the Hollyburn pattern is pretty quick to sew even with the zipper.

  3. MrsSmith January 29, 2014 at 6:34 am #

    Cute! I love the way you lined it!

  4. autumn January 29, 2014 at 6:46 am #

    cute! and i’m the same way – bonus when there is extra fabric! what i do, though, is i find i have enough to make something for my daughter, aha! my most recent bonus was when i made a colette violet – then made a figgy’s ayashe blouse for my girl ;) that makes me feel all proud that i’m working from my stash, LOL.

  5. Becky January 29, 2014 at 7:01 am #

    I always struggle with what to do with my leftovers, especially when it’s a distinctive print! Which is a problem, since I consistently overestimate my fabric needs. I’m currently on a Thurlow-making binge, in the middle of two at once (close enough thread colors for the serger) with a third cut out, and somewhat recently finished a fourth pair. Turns out the cutting layout is a lot more efficient than I estimated when I originally bought the fabric for them a couple of years ago! So for the olive pair that I made earlier this month, I made a little skirt from the leftovers. The un-started grey pair leftovers will get paired with a few other things in my stash to make a Colette Cooper bag. The two I’m currently making are both lightweight denims, one in charcoal and one in blue, and I still need to figure out what to do with those. Maybe I’ll just see if I have enough to squeeze some Thurlow shorts in too, lol.

    • Tasia January 29, 2014 at 10:23 am #

      You’ve got it all planned out! A Cooper bag is a good idea for leftovers, smart.

  6. Kelly January 29, 2014 at 7:47 am #

    I love this fabric as a skirt! I also love leftovers, but do sometimes get a little too frugal when cutting out my main garment if I see there may be enough left over for a skirt. I’m forcing myself to cut self bias, as a primary example, even if it sacrifices a potential second garment. It’s great when it happens, though, and I often end up liking the bonus piece more than the original!

    • Tasia January 29, 2014 at 10:22 am #

      Oh yes, I do that too! I think, hey, if I really jam these pieces together, I could cut a second garment at the same time. To the point where I’m pinning and re-pinning the pieces to make the best possible layout and wasting time. Good point about making the best possible first garment, even if it sacrifices the potential for a second garment.

  7. Samina January 29, 2014 at 8:28 am #

    I liked the dress version of this fabric, but I really love the skirt version! I could totally wear this version of the Hollyburn skirt – it’s just the right combination of eye-catching without being too loud for me. Kudos!

    • Tasia January 29, 2014 at 10:21 am #

      Thanks! I was thinking about your comment, because I think the dress version is easier to wear than the skirt.. and I realized that loudness in garments has a lot to do with where you like to wear your colour. I prefer allover print or colour & bright up top, so it’s harder for me to wear a bright skirt, because I want the top to be even brighter to balance it out. Anyways, I’m glad you like it~!

  8. Seattlerain January 29, 2014 at 8:43 am #

    Wow, I loved the teaser swatch, swooned when I saw the dress, and yelped when I saw the skirt!! You inspired me to buy a really bright floral wool this past weekend.

    I don’t like leftovers much because I usually don’t get enough to make a second garment. Or if I do, I don’t know what to make! Great use for remnants in your skirt!

    • Tasia January 29, 2014 at 10:19 am #

      Woohoo! So awesome that I inspired you to buy bright fabric. Floral wool sounds fabulous!

  9. Levone January 29, 2014 at 8:47 am #

    Love your skirt! Good call on using a contrasting fabric for the waistband.

  10. Emily January 29, 2014 at 9:54 am #

    I love extra fabric too!! Although I tend to have scraps that are almost big enough for another project, but just little enough that I can’t make it work :(. Recently, though, I figured out how to piece together scraps à la quilting to make “new fabric,” which worked quite well:

    And your skirt is to die for!! Now I *know* that I need some Hollyburns in my future…

    • Tasia January 29, 2014 at 10:19 am #

      What an awesome top you made! When you said you pieced scraps together, I pictured something more patchwork-like but it’s really modern and cool-looking! Great idea to make pieced fabric to achieve that colourblocking look.

      • Emily January 29, 2014 at 12:37 pm #

        Thanks! It was fun and super easy – I basically just used the strip-piecing technique quilters use, but with a serger for the knit

    • Jodi August 19, 2014 at 10:12 am #

      Thank you for the “scraps à la quilting to make “new fabric”” instruction.
      I want to sew sweaters together to make a piece of fabric big enough to make a skirt/dress from a pattern. I have a lot of sweaters I can use of varying sizes and colors. They are wool, wool blends and cashmere. Some are light weight and some are heavier. I can sew by hand and use basic stitches on a machine. I need good and simple directions. Any suggestions you can offer would be great!

  11. maddie January 29, 2014 at 9:55 am #

    Gosh, I wish I was a more resourceful seamstress and used my leftover fabric. I have a bad habit of putting it in my stash (or throwing it away. shhh!!). I’m with you in that I like the dress better (I’m a sucker for any dress), but the contrast waistband adds a nice touch. It breaks up the print.

    • Tasia January 29, 2014 at 10:13 am #

      It’s easiest if you make something with it right away! Otherwise yes, it’s so easy to fold it up and put it away. Out of sight, out of mind!

  12. Sushidog January 29, 2014 at 10:08 am #

    I made a dress a while back out of some gorgeous contemporary tweed; I loved the dress and wore it a lot, and then I got in shape, lost a load of weight, and couldn’t wear the dress any more. But I realised I had enough for the fabric left over to make a tweed pencil skirt, which is warm (Southern Ontario is _cold_ this year!) and practical but also rather sexy in a librarian-ish way;

    • Tasia January 29, 2014 at 10:17 am #

      Great skirt! Totally sexy in a librarian-ish way. Stay warm! :)

  13. Joyce Hamilton January 29, 2014 at 10:13 am #

    I actually love the skirt more :) I’m really a skirt and sweater person, I guess :) I didn’t understand the solid waistband until I got to the part about it being flat – so good call on that one. Also, when wearing with a sweater or longer, untucked top it doesn’t even matter!

  14. Katherine January 29, 2014 at 10:42 am #

    Sooo pretty! I love the contrasting waistband, and how perfect is it with that sweater?!! Triple win – dress and extra skirt with the fabric, plus amazing outfit.
    On my last two trips abroad I bought most of my fabric in 3 meter + pieces in hopes if having extra skirts….I have to finish my hollyburn skirt after seeing this one…maybe tonight!

    • Tasia January 29, 2014 at 10:44 am #

      This was a 3 metre piece of fabric too! I got a short A-line dress and a Hollyburn View C out of 3 metres, and I didn’t cut them at the same time which can usually save fabric. Good luck finishing your Hollyburn skirt!

  15. Jo January 29, 2014 at 10:53 am #

    Yes! I just posted this dress which I was able to get a wee top out of too, I linked it in the post…
    It really is so satisfying, it is such a bonus! On the flip side, sometimes I don’t want a second garment from the same fabric as I want each garment to be unique. I think your skirt is great! I want another hollyburn! Love all the little touches :)

    • Tasia January 29, 2014 at 10:59 am #

      That is a good point about not always wanting a second garment from the same fabric. That’s where sewing for someone else can be a good thing, although, you have to decide whether you want them to look like you too! Another good way to use leftover fabric without making identical garments is to use it for parts of the inside – facings, linings, inner waistbands, pocket bags. Or do something like this – a great way to use leftovers in a completely different looking garment!

      • Jo January 29, 2014 at 4:52 pm #

        Great link on using leftovers. I regretted throwing out my knit fabric scraps after that! And yes, saving leftovers for facings etc is the best- on my hollyburn I used some leftover floral cotton to face the waistband and it is my absolute favourite detail! :D
        It’s great feeling like you’re not wasting a thing :)

  16. Fiona M January 29, 2014 at 10:54 am #

    Lovely skirt – Hollyburn is a beautiful skirt pattern.
    Great tip on adding the lining too.
    Is there a new pattern in the pipeline for us Tasia? It’s been a while!

    • Tasia January 29, 2014 at 10:56 am #

      Thanks! And yes, there is a new pattern in the works, I’ll mention it during the month-end blog post as well, but it’s coming next month! I did a few things differently for this new pattern which meant it took longer to get through the pipeline. Can’t wait to show you guys!

  17. Virginia January 29, 2014 at 12:08 pm #

    I have to admit, I like the skirt more than the dress (but maybe I’m just more of a dress person).

    • Virginia January 29, 2014 at 12:09 pm #

      *Skirt person. I’m also not at my best today.

      • Tasia January 29, 2014 at 12:13 pm #

        I knew what you meant :) That may be why I like the dress better, I *am* more of a dress person! I like the ease of choosing just one piece to wear. Not like choosing a skirt and top is complicated, but it’s nice to just put on one item and shoes and be ready.

  18. Natasha January 29, 2014 at 12:19 pm #

    I absolutely love the crazy print of this fabric! I love having extra fabric…but then for some reason I never end up making “seconds”…although now when I make a skirt I like the idea of making a matching cropped top when it’s a fun print I’m working with…that way I can mix and match!

    Natasha ~ TashaDelrae

  19. Mary K January 29, 2014 at 1:21 pm #

    I’m not a fan of leftovers—that’s why I have such a stash and so many project boards and no finished (let alone started) projects. Because I’m so consumed with the fact that I’ll have leftovers, I keep waiting for the best project to use all the fabric.

  20. catherine January 29, 2014 at 2:13 pm #

    Love it Tasia, well done. You have a great eye. I love how all the stuff you make coordinates so well.

  21. Amanda January 29, 2014 at 3:36 pm #

    Bonus fabric is the BEST!! It’s almost like you can be more creative with it and experiment because the “real” garment is already made – which sometimes means you can make something unexpected that you wouldn’t have otherwise :) Love the skirt with the sweater – you’re totally inspiring me to knit orange lately! I actually already had an orange cardi in my queue… maybe it’ll get bumped up lol ;)

  22. Debbie Iles January 29, 2014 at 5:45 pm #

    Those colours look really lovely on you. I love a bit of bright in the winter! Great skirt too.

  23. Laura Mae January 29, 2014 at 8:18 pm #

    I love getting extra projects out of leftover fabric bits and pieces. Somehow it feels like I am getting something for free!

    Gorgeous colors, by the way!!

  24. Ada January 29, 2014 at 8:25 pm #

    I love this skirt, and I love how well it goes with your awesome sweater! I actually don’t like having leftover fabric because I get flummoxed by the possibilities of what to do with it and I feel like I’m being wasteful if I don’t do something with it… I guess I just prefer planning things out!

  25. Wagyu Burger January 30, 2014 at 12:44 pm #

    This looks great on you! Just cos I’m not a crazy floral skirt person doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate it on other people :) I am currently searching for a plain fabric to make the Hollyburn, but I keep getting distracted and buying prints (for other things) …

  26. angela January 30, 2014 at 12:55 pm #

    I love it! Great idea of being resourceful with what you have available on hand. Like the pink lining, and I will check out that pattern for making skirts.

  27. Onna January 30, 2014 at 2:06 pm #

    Cute skirt!

  28. Nicole February 13, 2014 at 3:05 pm #

    I am seriously in love with this skirt. It’s so beautiful and cheerful! It’s been so cold and gloomy in Seattle lately I think a bright lined skirt would be just the thing…. except of course for the crazy winds we’ve been having all week. Not so skirt-friendly =P


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