A while back Cath Kidston released a Jubilee inspired range called ‘London calling’, which included this lovely guard skirt @ £35. I had full intention of buying one but they sold out in about 2 days. I was sad about this, but life goes on and you can not cry over spilled milk. This year I visited the NEC’s creative craft fair and bought quite a lot of fabric, as well as participated in a few demonstrations. One of my favorite stalls does not sell their merchandise online, so I always look forward to buying their well sourced fabric. This year they had a lovely Jubilee themed selection by makoweruk. This is the same company who designed that lovely Brighton fabric that I am hording. One of their fabrics jumped out at me.
So it’s not exactly the same as the guard skirt, but Cath also did a ‘London sites’ fabric that had the London eye on it, and suddenly I was imaging owning my own guard skirt after all. I bought 1m for £11. Bargain. Then all I had to do was find an appropriate pattern. The Cath version has side pockets, elasticated contrast waistband and it is lined. The fabric was pretty thin so it needed to be. I looked around but then I had an operation and all thoughts of sewing went out my mind.
In May, Cath Kidston reissued their Guard skirt. Edward bought it for me, as a present. I kind of forced him into it, but he knows how grateful I was and still am. We were going to a friends wedding over the Jubilee weekend in Bournemouth and I wore that lovely skirt 2/4 days we were away.
It really is a beautiful skirt- and it sold out very quickly again so I am very lucky. The only issue I have with it, which other people have blogged about as well, is the amount of excess fabric. Having an elasticated waist band means the fabric can bunch up under things and I have to wear a top over it to rain it in. I know this is the reason it was £35 and not the usual £60 you may expect to pay. I still love that skirt.
But I had the Makower fabric not being used and my good friend and bully Pilar suggesting I needed to sew something. I had bought a skirt pattern with the high hopes of using it, but then stored it away with all my other patterns. That pattern is Simplicity 2226. There are lots of versions of this skirt all over the Internet.
Here are a few of my favorite Blogged here, here and here. I love how the skirt can be made as quirky or as simple as you like by manipulating small details. I have been struggling with the idea of sewing something new because after loosing weight ALL the items of clothing I painstakingly and lovingly made no longer fit me :( I will be reluctantly selling these items on ebay (or if you are interested contact me) but I decided it was time to accept I am slim enough and clothes can be made without worry of them being to big/small anytime soon. My body has completely changed and I have found committing the fabric, and time needed to get to know it quite scary! Usually I make dresses. I hardly ever wear dresses strangely enough. I tend to wear jeans and tops, or skirts with shirts. With this in mind I concluded a skirt would be a good compromise. No worry about talking the top in/out and only half the amount of fabric needed. Win, win! With some research I found that a very awesome person had done a Sew along for this pattern! I am year to late, but It helped boost my lacking confidence and it was very well explained, which we can all agree most simplicity pattern instructions are not. More sew alongs please!
And here we are, me prating about in Stratford Upon Avon wearing my fully finished Simplicity 2226 view c with bias binding finished pockets, contrast pockets and belt loops and added contrast bias binding waist band for detail. I call it, Alice underground. As the pattern calls for 1.5m of fabric (short length) I had to use contrast pockets, which I would rather have not done. I used 0.50m of my Cath Kidston for Ikea blue with red spots to give it a more ‘Cath’ feel.
Because I have been sewing for some time now, I always try to add something a little harder to the pattern and finish the inside as neatly as the outside. Here are some close up pictures of the finish and detail. I used Bias binding where the pockets ended to give them some strength as I know I will be shoving my hands in and out of them all the time (like the child I am) and I serged as I went (really helped by the sew along) to make sure all the seams are neat. Next time I will use the `French seam’ method on the side seams as suggested by Noodlehead in the Sew along. There of course will be a next time- it is already on the sewing table :) This skirt is so wearable and needed no alterations making it a very quick project. I cut a straight 10. I worried about it being to small because of where is sits on the waist, but after making a mock up of just the waist band I realized a size 8 would also have been okay. I am 36, 26, 36 for all you ladies wondering what size to make.
Main fabric £11, Contrast fabric £2.50, Bias binding £2, Zipper £2
£17.50 seems very reasonable to me compared to £35 for a unfitted skirt….
Which one do you like? (the answer for me is both)