I get all sorts of catalogues at the house for various clothing companies. I typically thumb through the ones from Nordstrom's and J. Crew, sometimes Talbots for shoes and the rest usually end up in the recycling bin without ever being opened. For some reason, this summer, I actually flipped through the Boden USA cataloge and all sorts of fun stuff caught my eye. But, the one thing that really stuck out was this denim pencil skirt.
I loved the color and the simple style, but knew that buying it was out of the question for several reasons: a) pencil skirts typically hate me, b) even if they didn't, I have no idea what their sizing is like and don't really care to investigate since it's all mail-order and c) it was $78 for a simple skirt. Thank God this caught my eye over the summer and not the spring because instead of being bummed, I decided to just make my own, using the Boden skirt as a handy inspiration piece.
After having good luck with McCall's basic a-line skirt pattern, I thought I'd try their straight skirt pattern (3830)that is so beloved on Pattern Review.
For the fabric, I had a dark lightweight stretch denim in the stash from making baby dresses this summer and had thankfully bought 2 yards because I liked it so much. Let me stop for a moment and expouse on how much I love this fabric. It's a really lovely dark navy with no distress marks, a nice stretch and I'm guessing some poly blended in, as well. Why? Well, I washed it 4 times to make sure all the excess dye was off of it and the sucker didn't fade in the least. At $4/yard, it feels like such a bargain. Love it! I'm going back to the shop to restock later this week.
I knew I wasn't going to line this skirt, but I still wanted the inside to be pretty. I was originally going to use a navy cotton for the facing and all navy notions, but when my local Joann's was out of navy bias tape, I completely switched gears. I keep walking by this vaguely psychedelic butterfly/flower print in the quilting cotton secion of Joann's and I'm drawn to it every time. There is no way it would work for a garment, at least for me, but as a facing, it was perfect. To tie it together, I used purple bias tape to finish off the back seams and navy hem tape at the bottom. The sides were sewn with french seams.
After all was said and done, I LOVE THIS SKIRT!! LOVE IT! Yes, I realize I'm ridiculously excited about a very simple garment, but I can't help it. I had a feeling that this was going to be a rousing success from the start and it's really nice to have it turn out even better than I had expected. With the exception of the shorter hemline and no belt loops, I think it's a good replica of the Boden skirt. And it fits me like a glove, straight out of the envelope! I love that it pairs equally well with tall boots and flats, sweaters and tank tops, for the office and for play. Such a simple piece, but one that I pretty much want to live in year-round.
The inside makes me as giddy as the outside. I know that no one will be able to see the fun print or that there is not a single raw edge to be found on this skirt, but that doesn't make me any less thrilled about it.
I'm planning several more versions of this skirt - I'm thinking one in black denim, one in a lightweight khaki cotton and maybe a few prints for summer? I've totally found my holy grail straight skirt pattern. :)
ETA: I forgot to post the cost for this skirt. Here's the breakdown:
Pattern - $2
Fabrics - $7
Notions - $6
Total cost - less than $20. :)
In all honesty though, I'm not really sewing to necessarily save money. It's great when things turn out to be so cost effective, but I have a few upcoming projects that aren't going to be inexpensive. However, this is a hobby for me. I love learning how to sew and being able to make things that actually fit my body, instead of trying to squeeze my body into something the manufacturers deem a "normal" size. Sometimes those garments are going to be simple basics made up with inexpensive fabrics and other times, it's going to be fun dresses and such in finer fabrics like wool wovens, jerseys and sweater knits. Those fabrics aren't cheap, but man are they gorgeous. :)