Simplicity 2226 - The Single White Female skirt

I'm sure that the Germans would have a word that perfectly encapsulates the combination of emotions that include pride, pleasure, chagrin, embarrassment and a more than a whiff of shamefacedness. I've made myself the cutest little skirt, and it's turned out just so well. I've finished it off perfectly, it fits well, and looks just as lovely on the inside as the outside. I'm just so embarrassed to post much about it though because, well, I've totally copied it from another blogger.

Sigh. The shame of being a copy-cat

In my defence I bought this fabric and pattern last year, long before I ever planned to have my own blog. I first found Karyn's blog when I was researching the Wiksten tank, and I loved her fabric choices (she owns a fabric shop and has beautiful taste). When I was reading back through her old postings I found her version of Simplicity 2226, and just fell in love with the fabric - a gorgeous charcoal cotton called For The Birds, by Jay McCarroll, printed with slightly irregular polka-dots in neon pink, black, white and green. I remember thinking that if I ever saw something similar I'd have to make myself a cute little full skirt with pockets. And then I found some - I couldn't remember if it was the exact same fabric, but I loved it and so I snapped it up. And the pattern. Did someone say Single White Female - oh yeah, I did.....

Anyway, my Magic Eight Ball tells me it's pretty unlikely that we will turn up to the same event wearing it, considering I live in Melbourne, Australia, and Karyn lives in Toronto, Canada, but even still I'll do my best to focus this post on the pattern construction details than my copycat end product!

Having just recently made a Simplicity skirt with a wide, fairly high waistband I thought I'd be a similar size (Simplicity 10). I did my usual test run of cutting and making up just the waistband first, and compared it to my 2451, and found it to be just a little smaller. So to play it safe I decided to do the side-seams with a 2/8 seam allowance to just give a little extra room which turned out to be just right. There is plenty of info on the web about this skirt - there was even a sew-along a couple of years ago which was quite useful. I noticed on a lot of finished 2226 skirts that the skirt seemed very full in the back, so I decided to take about 1.5 inches of width out of the back centre seam on each side to reduce the fullness of the gathers, and I kind of wish I did the same with the front.

Tis full enough I think
I really liked the construction of the pockets, and sewed the bottom edges with french seams, and also frenched the side seams. Because I reduced the width of the centre back pieces I was able to cut the centre back along the selvedge of the fabric which meant I didn't have to finish the centre back seam AND I was able to get both the front and back pieces out of one width of fabric. I also did a lapped zipper because I really liked the look of my Charlotte skirt zipper. I also increased my seam allowance on the centre back to 7/8 inch to make inserting the lapped zipper a little easier.

This pattern is marked as a beginner pattern, and whilst it was basically easy to construct, I think there are a few little extra steps can be taken to improve the finish and make it look less hand-made. The instructions say to run 2 rows of basting stitches to make the gathers - I initially only did 2 rows, and they just looked terrible. I unpicked it all, and added another basting row - vast improvement. Note to self - never just do 2 rows, always 3 rows of gathering stitches!

I also didn't do the top-stitching on the waistband, or the belt loops. I finished the lower edge of the waistband in bias binding and then stitched in the ditch, and finished the hem with hem-tape and a double row of top stitching. Initially I cut the longer length but because the fabric is a crafting weight the heaviness and bulk of the fabric looked pretty daggy. But I think a lighter voile would actually look very pretty and drape really nicely with the longer below-the-knee length.

It's a very cute skirt, and looks good tucked or untucked, bare legs or with tights. I didn't line it, so would probably need to wear a slip under it with tights to prevent it sticking to my legs - I wanted it cool and breezy though. I'm really pleased as the green perfectly matches my recent knit Banksia!

Grey, pink, black, blue and green - whats not to love?
And just because there has been no-where near enough gratuitous pointless cat shots on this blog lately I've added a selfie of my and the fat puss enjoying the winter sun - bliss!

And again - huge apologies and all inspiration credit to Karyn - I'm sorry to seem like a creepshow sewing stalker!