Kati emailed me to ask if I would help test one of the patterns in her new Midtown Collection while I was working on my Belcarra blouse. When I saw the design lines of the Mariska skirt, my thoughts immediately jumped to the spots and stripes silk twills I had left over in my stash after making my Tessuti Awards entry back in 2012. Ever since making that spots-and-stripes dress, I’d always wished it was a bit easier to dress down so I could wear it more often. Using the leftover fabric to make a spots-and-stripes skirt seemed like a great alternative. As an added bonus, the skirt that was beginning to take shape in my imagination seemed like it would perfectly pair with the white blouse on my sewing table (when the finicky Seattle weather cooperates, of course!).
So, I gave Kati an enthusiastic YES! and began working on yet another sewing project with yet another deadline.
Even with the impending move and a three-month-old little girl, things were going quite well, and I was sure I was going to finish the skirt well before Kati’s pattern testing deadline. The zipper was even in with days to spare…
But then I tried on the skirt. And I liked it. I like it a lot. I liked it so much that the optional lining that I had originally decided to leave off in order to speed the making of the skirt now seemed like a necessity. The skirt was too nice not to line. By the time I’d dug back through my stash to find the leftover silk crepe de chine I’d use to line the spots-and-stripes dress, prepped it, and sewed it in, the pattern testing deadline had passed.
But, my skirt was now lined, and I had still been able to send Kati my thoughts on the pattern and instructions before the deadline passed, even if I didn’t have a finished garment to show off (yet again!).
Though I really liked the skirt as is – it’s wonderfully swishy and swirly – it sounds like she made a bunch of improvements to the pattern after receiving feedback from all of the testers. So, the skirt pattern you guys would make would be even better.
I really wanted a nice but subtle finish to my seams since most of the flounce seams are not hidden by the lining due to the high-low nature of the hem. I wasn’t sure I had the time to deal with French seams again so soon. I thought serged edges would be substantial but disappear against the busy print, but I was also a bit nervous as to how the silk twill seams would behave through my serger. I ran a scrap piece of the silk twill through my serger and everything seemed to do just fine, so serger it was. For the rest I machine hemmed the lining, hand sewed the waistband lining down to the skirt, hand picked the zipper, and hand hemmed the flounce.
The instructions call for a hook and eye at the waistband, but I decided to use two cute little white buttons to play off the polka dots. One question – is there a proper way to directionally sew a waistband button hole if you’re going that route? I sewed mine perpendicular to the direction of the waistband (up and down, if you will), but after I was through, I realized my jeans waistband buttonhole was sewn parallel to the direction of the waistband (side to side, if you will). I chose perpendicular so that the buttonhole would disappear behind the button, but perhaps it’s best to sew the buttonhole in the direction that it’ll have the most give?
At least one of us is happy for the camera! Generally, she’s such a happy baby. But, there’s something about these photo shoots that just gets her pout on. Maybe she’s camera shy? Or, maybe it’s just that she’s already practicing that perfect model pucker for the camera?!
Now for my favorite part – the giveaway. Kati of Kate & Rose has generously offered to give one of you a pattern of your choice from her recent collection! Perhaps you’re more of a Giselle dress or Zsalya top kind of person. No problem! (By the way, have you seen the stunning floral Giselle dress that Kati made?! Oh la la!) If you’d like to be entered into the drawing, just leave a comment below letting me know. I’ll pick a winner at random next Wednesday, May 14th at 7 am PDT. Good luck!