Yellow Boxes Skirt

And finally I’ve got around to photographing my Yellow Boxes Skirt which I’ve nattered about so much in previous posts but not actually documented properly. I’m only posting one photo because the back is super-simple and I’ve also been sitting down so it’s crushed at the moment 🙂

Yellow Boxes SkirtThis is the Nita Wrap Skirt pattern from Sew DIY. It’s a nice easy sew – pretty straightforward as it’s mostly straight seams, some topstitching and some (in my case theoretical) stitching-in-the-ditch. As with the Lou Box Top by the same designer, the PDF pattern is clear to work with and the instructions and sewalong are also good. I did get myself in a muddle with the waistband pieces and interfacings, however, and ended up with notches on the wrong end. I felt the instructions could have been clearer here because evidently something went wrong – I’d felt confident in what I was doing at the time, but clearly I’d got in a muddle. I suspect I got confused with right side/wrong side for the bits that are cut-1-on-flat and with which is the ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ side of the iron-on interfacing. Beginner’s errors, I’m sure, and next time I’ll pay a little more attention and make some notes for myself. But no harm done really as the waistband strips are all just long rectangles of fabric and with the large print and small waistband height, it’s not really noticeable that the back waistband is upside down in comparison to the front.

Assembly, however, was very clear, although note that when she says “Press the long un-notched edge to the wrong side a scant 5/8 inch” in the sewalong, she really does mean “scant” and I would be inclined to say she actually means “1/2 inch” – mine was a bit too accurate it seems, and the result was 3 hours carefully handsewing down the waistband on the inside because my stitching-in-the-ditch missed the inside waistband fabric entirely.

The version I made was actually halfway in between the mini and midi versions – about 2 inches lower than the ‘mini’ length. Sew DIY patterns are designed for a taller woman than I and I made the error of assuming that ‘midi’ meant mid-calf and ‘mini’ above-knee while I was aiming for below-knee. However, in actual fact I’m guessing ‘mini’ means mid-thigh and ‘midi’ maybe is actually below-knee. Either way, this has ended up a bit shorter than I had hoped for and while it works OK, I do feel that this fabric design really needed a little extra length. I find that the large print makes the skirt feel shorter on me than it actually is and it also isn’t really given a chance to shine, whereas before I hemmed it I felt the length was good for the pattern as well as on me. Ah well, lesson learned there. I also feel that the significant difference between the front and back hems needed to ensure the bottom edge of the skirt is parallel to the floor shows up quite strongly in this large-scale geometric design and I feel it looks a bit uneven even though it isn’t.

I did have some problems hemming this, although more to do with our uneven floors and my curves and Djelibeybi being tired and my having cut the thing too short to start with, so I’ve invested in one of those chalk-puffer-on-a-stick things for future skirts which I’m hoping will make the whole hemming process a bit less fraught. I’ve ended up having to make the front hem about half the height of the back hem, which resulted in more hand-sewing to ensure the back didn’t flop down because to keep the topstitching looking even it needed to be the height of the shorter hem all the way around. I probably should have just recut the hem, but was rapidly losing the will to live by then and just wanted it finished.

I chose to use the tie closure partly for simplicity of sewing (not feeling quite brave enough for buttonholes just yet and I always find D-rings feel a little insecure) and partly because I’ve shrunk 1/2″ all round in the past month so wanted something that could be easily adjusted as needed. Theoretically this is working fine, but I’ve found that there actually isn’t a whole lot of spare space between the first and second ties so I’m probably going to have to, say, take in a side seam or two fairly soon to keep on wearing it. In hindsight it probably would have been sensible to have gone down a waist size and used the ‘modesty panel’ front pattern piece to ensure coverage, but ah well. Not the end of the world at all.

Without the modesty panel, the skirt does open up a bit at the front when sitting down. I don’t have a problem with this if wearing stockings, but it makes me a little uncomfortable without. Not because it’s indecent, but because of my own personal issues. Still not used to baring my legs in public and even less so leg above the knee. I’m thinking of adding a second press-stud beside the tie just for peace of mind and because when the tie’s been worn for a little it does soften a touch – not to the point of coming undone, but the lower front panel drops slightly so doesn’t line up with the upper one any more. I just feel a second press-stud would help to keep these in line as well as reassuring me that it won’t all come adrift 🙂

Anyway, the result is that I like the pattern, even if I feel this skirt isn’t totally a winner. I’m definitely plotting another, winter version though – currently thinking maybe the maxi length in a sort of wool suiting and trying the lining with it?

Pattern: Nita Wrap Skirt by Sew DIY, mini skirt version + about 2 inches in length, tie closures

Size: 18 (waist) grading down to 14

Fabric: Birket 100% cotton from Ikea

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