Summer Sewing Project #1: Julija’s Skirt, Finished

Happy Monday, everyone! My first summer sewing project is complete! Having a plan worked. I made a realistic list, then scheduled time with myself to sew. Because of this I’ve actually accomplished something in the time I hoped to finish.

Here it is, Julija’s Skirt! (Named for the shop in Antwerp where I bought the fabric.)

lime and neon coral stripe anemone skirt-2

The pattern is the Anemone skirt by Deer & Doe, which I made here. I liked the A-line shape and the fit, and removed the peplum flaps to reduce bulk.

Project Planning

For this fabric, I wanted to choose a pattern that showed off the stripes. I love the look of a straight or pencil skirt with stripes, but knew that I’d want a little more movement for cycling. The Anemone skirt pattern is great for stripes because the hemline is reasonably straight due to the panels. Instead of the A-line shaping happening at the side seams, each panel flares out equally so the hemline isn’t a curve from centre front to side.

lime and neon coral stripe anemone skirt-3

I lowered the waistline by 4cm as the original design is extremely high-waisted.

I meant to lengthen the skirt, in fact I’d planned to lengthen the hem by 2″ (5cm) total. To save time I didn’t lengthen the pattern piece but planned to make my cutting line 5cm below the pattern edge.

I cut one piece with the lengthened hem, then the phone rang. When I came back to cut I happily cut straight across the pattern edge on the next piece, instead of 5cm below the line! As a result, it’s a miniskirt. Tip of the day: don’t take breaks while cutting, or answer the phone!

lime and neon coral stripe anemone skirt-7

So it’s a teeny bit short for my usual tastes. Awesome if you are standing, less awesome if you plan to sit or if you drop things. It’ll be better to wear with tights in cooler weather.

I cut each piece as a single layer, then realigned it with the stripes on the bottom layer.

lime and neon coral stripe anemone skirt-4

Because this fabric frays a lot, I preserged all of the pieces before sewing the seams. To ensure I didn’t cut any off and make the skirt smaller than intended, I dropped the blade on my serger. That way it serges as normal but doesn’t trim anything off.

lime and neon coral stripe anemone skirt-5

I didn’t notch any of the notches – usually I clip 1/8″ to 1/4″ (3-6mm) into the seam allowances – but not on this fraying fabric. I left the pattern pieces on top of each piece as long as possible to identify which was which, and worked with one set at a time. I didn’t worry about lining up notches but focused on stripe alignment instead. I basted each seam, checked the stripes, then sewed it permanently.

When working with a fabric like this, file your nails and keep your hands smooth if possible. All of those long floats that make it so beautiful are easily snagged!

Another change was to sew a regular zipper instead of an invisible one. It’s hard to line up stripes on an invisible zipper insertion, and with this many stripes crossing the seam I wanted it to be perfect. I inserted the zipper into centre back before sewing the skirt panels. The instructions want you to do it the other way around.

lime and neon coral stripe anemone skirt-6

Super glamorous storage facility photoshoot. I like taking photos here because it’s relatively empty and the white walls are simple, but sometimes the blue doors get in the way. I liked this photo because of the sparkling sun and also because it looks ordinary. This is real life, exactly what I wore this day, doing regular things.

lime and neon coral stripe anemone skirt-1

I think it’s better with a belt. The waist is still high, but not as extreme as the original pattern design. It has enough ease that it stands away from the body like a slight bell.

lime and neon coral stripe anemone skirt

My one complaint besides the slight shortness? The fabric motifs aren’t centred at front and back. Now, I centered the piece over the fold, and aligned the centre back edge evenly from the selvedge. If the fabric had been woven with the design centred along centre front fold, I would be fine! But it isn’t. So double check the centre fold of your fabric is along a nice-looking centre mark of the pattern. Not much I can do now, especially working with a small amount of fabric, and you can barely see it.

lime and neon coral stripe anemone skirt-8

Actually, now that I’ve added the last photo to make my point, I can see the diamond along the neon yellow line is centered, and so are the zigzags below it. So maybe that’s just the nature of this fabric. Some striped sections line up, some don’t. Same with the back in the photo below, the zigzag line below the neon green stripe nearly continues across the back seam.

lime and neon coral stripe anemone skirt-10

It’s one of those picky things that only people who sew notice or care about! You don’t really see anything out of sorts on the finished garment.

lime and neon coral stripe anemone skirt

Bikeable? Yes, but it’s a bit precious and special to me. It’s possible and if I do wear it cycling, I’ll be careful. The beautiful woven fabric has long floats that snag on everything, and if it’s catching on my hands and nails while sewing I’m sure it won’t hold up to getting on and off a bike seat.

Verdict? A+, would sew again. I turned something I liked the first time around into a garment I truly love. I thought about what I didn’t like as much the first time: the wing-like peplums and the extreme high waist, and adjusted it to suit my tastes.

I also thought about what I’d wear on top and knew I had grey and white tops to match with. I have plans to knit a grey sweater, and I love the neon colours with denim blues.

lime and neon coral stripe anemone skirt-9

That’s my goal with personal sewing projects this year: plan carefully, decide what I need from my clothing in terms of fit and serviceability, and plan how I’d wear the final garment. And then, sew! It’s easy to get caught in overplanning and overthinking. There will always be things you could improve for next time, but you don’t get to the next time if there is no first time!

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52 Responses to Summer Sewing Project #1: Julija’s Skirt, Finished

  1. Hanne July 6, 2015 at 6:43 am #

    Great Skirt, Tasia! I hear you with the length of skirts. Mine are usually a good 10 – 15 cm longer in summer than they are in winter. Thights make me feel a lot more secure with short skirts!
    The fabric is beautiful, I now have to contain myself to not go out and buy it since Julija’s is a 5 minutes walk…
    Enjoy your skirt!

    • Tasia July 6, 2015 at 6:32 pm #

      Thanks! I know right? You would think it makes more sense to have longer skirts in winter and shorter in the summer, but I prefer the opposite. What a nice store to have only five minutes away! If I had any fabric store within a five minute walk I’d be in serious trouble. At least if you do buy it, you know what it’ll look like in a skirt! :)

  2. Anske July 6, 2015 at 6:45 am #

    Amazing! Looks like the fabric is specially made for this skirt! Amazing thing to remember antwerp by!

    • Tasia July 6, 2015 at 6:30 pm #

      Thanks so much! I’ll never forget the day of a million fabric stores, that was a lot of fun and now I have a lovely skirt to wear and think of Antwerp. :)

  3. Hayley July 6, 2015 at 6:52 am #

    I love the skirt, that fabric is fabulous! I too, have made errors like that when cutting. Since it’s striped, if you have fabric left over I’m sure you could add a hem band to make it a bit longer if you wanted.

    • Tasia July 6, 2015 at 6:29 pm #

      It’s so easy to do! I should really make a second set of pattern pieces, one for the mini length and one with the lengthened hem, so I have options and don’t have to measure down and add.
      I could add a hem band, but I probably never will! I’d want it to line up with the stripes horizontally, and then I’d have to seam it into separate pieces, and that seems like too much work when I’m pretty happy with the result as is. We wear tights for the majority of the year here (or I do, anyways) so it’s just the next few months where it’ll be a mini on its own. :)

  4. Louisa July 6, 2015 at 7:22 am #

    What a fantastic choice of fabric and a great fit! Well done, it looks gorgeous on you.

    • Tasia July 6, 2015 at 6:27 pm #

      Thank you! An A-line skirt is a nice forgiving shape and easy to fit. The seamlines make it easy, too.

  5. Louise July 6, 2015 at 8:27 am #

    Perfection -what a beautiful blend of fit, finish and style. You chose well and look terrific! Great colors, too.

    • Tasia July 6, 2015 at 6:27 pm #

      Thanks so much! A little planning goes a long way.

  6. Mandykatt July 6, 2015 at 9:26 am #

    The skirt looks fabulous! Perfect for this hot hot weather, but as you said, will work super over tights this winter too.

    I love your new hair colour as well!

    • Tasia July 6, 2015 at 6:27 pm #

      Hey thanks! :) It’s not super obvious in the photos, you have a good eye!

  7. Shannon July 6, 2015 at 9:29 am #

    This is so pretty! I’m usually drawn to fuller skirts, but I find that I don’t wear them as often as more subtle A-line shapes, and this one is super flattering! I’m actually quite tempted to buy the pattern now. I also love the fabric! It’s so perfect for a summer skirt.

    • Tasia July 6, 2015 at 6:26 pm #

      I know the feeling! This is a good basic shape. The original pattern has hip peplums (for lack of a better explanation) and while it’s an interesting design element, I like it even better as a plain A line skirt. It’s a nice easy quick pattern and I’ve made it twice with lots of notes, things that might help if you plan to make it too.

  8. nique et July 6, 2015 at 9:55 am #

    That skirt is bananas. B-a-n-a-n-a-s !

    • Colleen July 6, 2015 at 10:24 am #

      OMG, I love your nod to that episode in “The Office.”

      • Tasia July 6, 2015 at 6:22 pm #

        I don’t know the reference but I’m hoping it means something good :) or at least funny, since it’s The Office!

    • Tasia July 6, 2015 at 6:24 pm #

      I’ll take that as a good thing! :)

  9. Susan July 6, 2015 at 10:09 am #

    Thanks for the serging tips! Good idea and nicely fitting skirt!

    • Tasia July 6, 2015 at 6:24 pm #

      Dropping the serger blade is a trick I’ve used a few times in the past few months! Same with pre-serging. Serging: not just for plain old seam finishes!

  10. Colleen July 6, 2015 at 10:24 am #

    I really love this material, love it more that you bought it in the old world (because it looks so…old world, which I adore).

    Yes, it’s short but you look adorable. But, it also seems like it’s natural habitat is definitely going to be with tights or leggings, in which case: not too short at all.

    Happy summer!

    • Tasia July 6, 2015 at 6:23 pm #

      It’s neat to have a piece of clothing to remind me of holidays. Yup, grey tights or leggings will be how I’ll wear it in a few months and for most of the year! I’m knitting a slouchy cabled pullover in grey that’ll be perfect with it too.

  11. PortDoverPatti July 6, 2015 at 10:54 am #

    WOW! Absolutely lovely. Thanks for the info and letting us see your learnings and your finished product. You look great in it.

    • Mandykatt July 6, 2015 at 2:34 pm #

      Sorry, OT, but I’m from Delhi, so “Port Dover Patti” stood out to me. : )

    • Tasia July 6, 2015 at 6:20 pm #

      Thanks! Yup, always something to learn from every project.

  12. Katryna July 6, 2015 at 11:39 am #

    I love this!. That fabric has me seriously swooning. I love your tips for pattern matching the stripes too. Wonderful work.

    • Tasia July 6, 2015 at 6:20 pm #

      Thanks! It’s cool fabric eh? Now I wish I’d bought the blue option too. I see lots of mismatching stripes out in the real world so I like to take the time and match mine up when I sew. :)

  13. Renée July 6, 2015 at 12:50 pm #

    Beautiful. A great combination of fabric and pattern choice. It looks great when you stand but I’d be in the same boat with being more comfortable in the winter with tights at a mini length.

    • Tasia July 6, 2015 at 6:19 pm #

      Oh yeah, it’s definitely better for standing, not for moving boxes or picking up dropped pins. I think grey ribbed tights would look cosy with this skirt!

  14. Dale Odberg July 6, 2015 at 1:04 pm #

    I love the lines in this skirt! Well done.

  15. Sarah July 6, 2015 at 3:37 pm #

    This is gorgeous – chic and modern. I think your stripe matching is smashing!

    • Tasia July 6, 2015 at 6:18 pm #

      Thank you! Choosing a pattern with mostly vertical straight seams makes it easier.

  16. Laura July 6, 2015 at 8:44 pm #

    Adorable skirt, and thanks for being human and admitting that you messed up when cutting it out!! Been there, done that! We probably all have! The skirt looks great on you, I really like the fitting on the top.

    • Tasia July 7, 2015 at 9:20 am #

      Oh yeah, we are all human no matter how long we’ve been sewing! Especially when you work with distractions. Most of the things I need to correct or unpick happened when the phone rang, or I was trying to do two things at once, or I was thinking about something else the whole time. Focus – I need to work on it!

  17. Janou July 7, 2015 at 12:44 am #

    Great to see the finished product! I didn’t really like the fabric, but I do like it as a skirt.

    • Tasia July 7, 2015 at 9:19 am #

      Thanks Janou! It’s interesting that we can love a fabric and not like the finished product, or not like a fabric but like the finished garment. Better in a skirt than a jacket eh?

  18. Sandra July 7, 2015 at 6:38 am #

    Hi, love the skirt and is that a bright new hair color I see in the pics? You are rocking it!

    • Tasia July 7, 2015 at 9:17 am #

      It is, you have a good eye! Thank you!

  19. Karen July 7, 2015 at 6:44 am #

    I am hoping to make a couple of maxi skirts, one for a 6yr old and the other for a 4th old. Is an A-line pattern that flares equally on all 4 seams better than one that just flares at the sides? I have only used the second type but your skirt looks so good I am wondering whether it would be a better design for young active kkds. Incidentally the fabric I am hoping to use is a man made look alike silk fabric, cut down from a dress found in a charity shop.

    • Tasia July 7, 2015 at 9:17 am #

      I have no experience sewing for 4 or 6 year olds, but I’d imagine a-line skirts are the same for women and children, or close enough! It’s not that one type of pattern is better than another, they’re just different. If you are using a striped fabric like I did here, then having seams that flare equally is nice so the hem is closer to a straight line. It’s also easier to line up the stripes on straighter seams. So it all depends on your fabric choice really.

  20. Thewallinna July 7, 2015 at 7:19 am #

    This can be a great skirt for a date :)

    • Tasia July 7, 2015 at 9:08 am #

      Totally! A date with more standing than sitting :)

  21. Annette July 7, 2015 at 7:52 am #

    Love your skirt and the choice of fabric was right on! Thank you, Annette

    • Tasia July 7, 2015 at 9:08 am #

      Thank you! I think it’s a good match of fabric and pattern.

  22. Lauren McGill July 7, 2015 at 3:43 pm #

    I had never thought about how a regular zipper could be less hassle than an invisible zipper to insert into striped fabric! Great observation!!!! I plan to use it. :)

  23. Tzipi July 8, 2015 at 7:59 pm #

    Hi Tasia love this skirt and your blog. Thinking about starting to chronicle my sewing adventures on a blog. Do you take your photos on your phone or a more sophisticated camera?keep blogging. It’s inspirational thanks!

    • Tasia July 9, 2015 at 2:46 pm #

      Most of the blog photos are taken with my phone to make it quick and easy. Sometimes I’ll switch to a better camera for a tutorial if I have a hard time capturing the detail. On our webstore, the more recent images are taken by a professional photographer, the older ones are point-and-shoot self timed shots.
      I’ve found it helpful to keep a record of my work, even if no one is reading at the beginning it’s nice to have a reference for yourself. You get to see your progression, and you’ll end up photographing yourself more than normal which is nice to look at the whole garment from a distance!
      So glad you enjoy the blog!

  24. Peta July 13, 2015 at 1:39 am #

    Love this skirt and fabric – it looks fantastic on you. I like your idea about lowering the waistline – can I ask did you line it, as in the original skirt or make a facing? You’ve given me some ideas for a summer skirt! Thanks so much.

    • Tasia July 13, 2015 at 8:49 am #

      I lined it, exactly like the original pattern. I used the same pieces with the new lower waistline to cut lining as well as the main fabric. A facing would work too, but in this case I needed the lining to cover up the long, snaggy floats on the back of the fabric.

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