I’m excited to introduce the next pattern from Sewaholic Patterns today… the Gabriola Skirt!
The Gabriola Skirt is a flared maxi skirt that sits at the waist and falls to the floor.
Many maxi skirts are shaped like a tube, straight up and down with no curves, but not this pattern. It’s flared to create a curvy A-line silhouette, narrowing the waist and elongating the body. Angled panels around the waist flatter the figure and look especially good in striped fabrics. Sew the yoke panels in a contrast fabric, or choose one fabric for the entire skirt. Looks great in printed fabrics as well as solids. A centre back zipper makes this skirt easy to construct with a very sophisticated result.
I am about 5’3″ or maybe 5’4″ at the most, and I’m wearing flats in nearly all of these photos. And I don’t look short! I think it’s a myth that shorter women don’t look good in long skirts. We totally do!
The floral print above is a lightweight viscose fabric, way lighter than I would normally choose to wear on my bottom half, and yet it works perfectly for a skirt like this. There’s enough flare so it doesn’t cling to the hips and thighs.
The striped fabric is a cotton-hemp blend that’s a little more crisp, so you can see how the silhouette will look in different fabrics.
I love this newest pattern. This is one that I’m super excited to wear personally. I’ve waited forever to bring the samples home and wear them!
What inspired this pattern? I’ll tell you!
Two years ago, just before our road trip (because I remember wearing it in Salt Lake City) I bought a printed vintage 70’s cotton maxi dress, in a very loud purple and yellow print. I loved wearing a long skirt. I loved that it was A-line and because the skirt extends all the way the floor, the A-line is dramatically full and swishy. Yet this print is so wild and distinctive, you can’t wear it too many times like you could a more basic colour. (That and there are purple and yellow volcanoes on it.)
What if it was a skirt, instead of a dress? That way you could create more looks and outfits using the skirt as a starting point. I added more flare to the hem than the inspiration dress and the result is a skirt with gorgeous drape and movement. The new pattern design was inspired by the original dress, but it’s a more sophisticated garment.
Now that’s a pretty black skirt! It’s basic in colour, but in a sophisticated cut. Great for soft fabric with drape. The drapier, the better! Although it’s equally nice in a slightly crisper fabric. The striped cotton-hemp blend is more of a medium weight, with a coarser hand, and it’s still an awesome skirt. Even better in a way because it’s more durable and stands away from the body.
I’m on the short side, and many people consider maxi-skirts for tall women only. Not only do I not feel short, but I feel great in this skirt! I’m wearing flats in most of these photos. I hemmed it so it would touch the floor in flats, but swing above the ground slightly in heels.
Long skirts are so dramatic, and in summer, easier to wear than pants! It’s better to have a loose, swishy skirt than pants clinging to your legs in the heat.
It’s a really beautiful skirt that’s not that complicated to sew. If you can put in a zipper, you can make this skirt.
What does the name mean? The Gabriola Skirt is named for Gabriola Island, an island off the coast of Vancouver Island, close to Nanaimo. It’s pronounced ‘GABE-ree-oh-la’ not ‘GABB-ree-oh-la’ in case you wondered! I’ve been on a Vancouver Island theme for pattern names, and much like Salt Spring Island, Gabriola Island is home to artists, potters and glass-workers, bed and breakfasts, scuba diving, even an alpaca farm. (I saw them, the alpacas, they’re literally reachable from the side of the road. If you are brave enough to try patting an alpaca, that is.) The beach has sandstone rather than sand, it’s very beautiful. Exactly the right place for wearing a long skirt in a casual outfit.
This skirt is all about dramatic length. That’s the design and the vision for this pattern. However, a couple of pattern testers suggested that this skirt would be great shortened to knee length. I haven’t done it, but it would give you even more options for this pattern if you make shortened versions of the Gabriola skirt.
- Floral viscose print from Télio
- Black rayon/nylon blend (89% Rayon / 11% Nylon) from Télio
- Paisley viscose print from Télio
- Striped cotton hemp blend from Bolt Fabric Boutique in Portland, Oregon.
Photos by ImageryWorks – Leanne Scherp and Susannah Street
I hope you like the new pattern! Click here to visit the shop. Thanks for your support!