Autumn is here. The temperature, so recently warm and nice has dropped, and there is a crispness to the air, and a promiss of winter coming. What better time to be inside preparing and sewing up warm garments to suite the new season. First skirt up: wool skirt, Butterick B5859.
I must admit I really LOVE autumn. – the sunny days where you can see for miles through the clear air, and the beautiful colours that appears all around me. Intense colours of yellow, orange and auburn. I also love the quiet evenings when I can cuddle up in the sofa under a home-made blanket and knit and watch TV. Even the rainy days when the world goes all grey and mystic -those are great for staying inside sewing. -But maybe that’s just me.
Winter wardrobe preparations.
The change in season means different things are required of my wardrobe to keep me warm and nice, while still looking sharp. I love wool, and most of my autumn and winter makes are in wool or wool blend. In a wool skirt or dress you still get to show off some legs, and at the same time keep nice and warm.
Today I will show you one of my favourite autumn/winter wool skirts.
The bell-shaped skirt
These are the changes I made:The original pattern for this wool skirt is the Butterick B5859 but I made quite a few changes to this pattern. The original pattern is a knee length bell-shaped skirt in sort of a 1940s style, but when I made my wearable muslin I wasn’t satisfied with the way it looked. It was OK, but no more than that. This could have been because of my fabric – a rather crisp but light weight cotton fabric without much drape. A lot different from the wool twill I was planing on using for the finished skirt. But I decided to make some changes to the pattern to get the look I was after anyway.
I cut of some of the width at the bottom of each panel, given it a more subtle bell-shape -instead of the axe-shape the original pieces had. I also cut some of the length of the panels in front, making the skirt 10 cm shorter in front than in the back. I also added a lining, and pockets at the side seams, as I think all garments should have pockets (more or less).
When I stitched up my real skirt I used a wool tweed from my stash, that I’ve had around for ages. I don’t remember what the original intention was for this fabric, but it has a nice weight to it, and there was just enough for a skirt- but not much else. The weaving has a black/white fish-bone pattern. The fabric used for the lining is a polyester satin -pretty standard lining quality. I also rejected the lappeled zipper and went for a hidden zipper. I must admit I’m a sucker for hidden zippers. When sewn up correctly it’s so nice and well, hidden. I usually just use my regular machine foot when sewing on hidden zippers, as I haven’t gotten around to buying a invisible foot for my sewing machine, -and probably never will. My way works just as well. If you are interested you can find the tutorial here at Willys Syrom . (It’s made by my friend from Det Store Symesterskapet -Willy. The tutorial is in both Norwegian AND English).
The lining was of course made a little shorter than the actual skirt -around 5 cm I should think.
Here is a close up of one of the seams. I serged the seam allowance separately on the skirt, but went the easy road and serged them together on the lining. This works fine, and was a lot quicker to sew. The hem of the skirt is finished by hand for the main fabric, but the lining is just left with a overlocked edge. I guess I should get around to hemming the lining one day too, but so far it just haven’t been prioritized. The skirt was a little shorter than I first thought, that’s why there is one about 1,5 cm folded up at the hem. It isn’t the most beautiful hem I have ever done, and I’m considering covering it with a ribbon or lace for a nicer finish.
I guess I also should have used a pocket facing inside the side pockets, as the black satin tends to show when I sit down. The pockets was drafted free-hand without a pattern, and as a result they are just a tiny bit shallow (I forgot the seam allowance when drawing them). This is easily fixed next time I use this pattern.
The finished skirt
The result is a lovely, yet practical skirt I can use through all of autumn and winter – and I have. I must confess this is a make that is more than 3/4 year old. I actually made it in January this year. It has been worn A LOT! It looks especially great with a brightly coloured pair of tights or high heeled boots. (Unfortunately I put on some weight since then, and it’s just a tiny bit to tight at the waist to be comfortable.)
I have also made up that same pattern in a white cotton twill with a single colour flower pattern for summer wear. I can show you that one some time in the future.
So what do you think? What are your best thing about autumn wear/sewing?
Pattern: Butterick B5859
Fabric: Wool twill from my stash
Notes: Made changes to length, shape of panels, added pockets.