When I first read a Beginner’s To Making Skirts I fell in love with the Granville skirt, I have always wanted to make a wrap skirt. When I purchased a copy of a sewing magazine and it came with a free printed copy of the pattern too I thought ok this is a sign I really need to make this skirt at some point.
I had to decide whether I trace off the skirt from the paper pattern or the pattern sheets that come with the book. In my mind I’m thinking you don’t need 2 copies of the same pattern just give the paper pattern away. When I went to trace it from the book sheets I struggled a little, I love Wendy’s books but her pattern sheets can be a little confusing as so many designs and sizes are crammed into 3 double sided printed sheets. Plan B was so trace off the paper pattern and then give it away but when I pulled it out of the packet I realised you had to cut it and tape it in one section so you can trace the full piece. I then decided to be selfish telling myself “you paid for the pattern in terms that you brought the magazine, cut it and keep it!” and that is what I did.
For the fabric I used was a plaid fabric from Tessuti’s it is a cotton/linen blend which is actually what the pattern suggests you use. Tessuti’s were running a competition where you had to make an item of clothing from this fabric, I wasn’t sure if I would enter or not (in the end I didn’t as there were so many beautiful more complex pieces made) but at $15/m it was chance to try a new fabric and take me outside my comfort zone. I have never worked with linen before, never stitched with plaid and don’t wear white.
The skirt has various options you can make I decided to do the lined version with ties. The lining is a white cotton voile. In theory you can wear this version reversible but with the white lining I was never going to wear it reversed. When it came to the hem you were instructed to sew bias tape around the edges of the skirt so the 2 layers of the skirt remained separate. I initially stitched it this way until I realised it meant the 2 insides of my skirt would remain open between the layers leaving exposed seams that hadn’t been overlocked so they were all raw. I removed my bias tape and this time stitched it on the front of the skirt and rolled it back so the 2 layers were together and all inside seams were sandwiched between and not exposed. It means you can see the tape against the white on the inside but I don’t mind.
The opening gap in the side seams was a first for me. It was a bit relief when it came to pining the layers together to stitch the sides and top of the skirt to see that the gaps lined up. I had marked them on my pattern piece but somethings things go a miss.
I must have gotten a bit confused from the pattern illustration on which side to place my long tie which wraps the skirt around and my shorter tie. As a result my skirt ties up on my right and not the left like in the book. For me I think this is actually a better way as on the left I think it may get knocked against the crutch as I walk. The book says to wear it with the strap around on the inside of your body, I’m not sure if I will wear it this way as I am paranoid it will fall down. Personally I think I would wear the strap on the outside as it feels more secure.
In the book Wendy mentions Granville is where she went to college in the UK and it has a soft spot in her heart. In Sydney we have an education facility in a local suburb called Granville and it is in fact where I went to college and had my first proper job at so it has a soft spot for me too. I think the law is if you make a Granville skirt and you have a suburb called Granville you must go stand on the railway station and take photos… well that’s my story and I am sticking to it.
The photos on the railway were so much fun to do. The station is a fairly busy station but on a Saturday morning it is a little quieter. For the pole photos I was literally standing on a platform on my own whilst Mr StitchNSew was on the opposite platform snapping away. We don’t know if people were staring and we don’t care, the railway staff were great about it too as we weren’t going near the edges of the platform so they didn’t care what we were doing.
Size wise I made the largest size, it is just a fraction too big so maybe I could’ve graded down half a size. If I was to do this version again with the ties I would perhaps put belt loops to either on the inside or the outside to make it feel like it will stay up more. It may just be paranoia me but I may not have the hands to fix my skirt if it starts to fall down. I have only worn the skirts in the photos so far but it was pretty secure that day.
I have ambitions or a personal challenge really of sewing every skirt from a Beginner’s Guide To Making Skirts by Wendy Ward and now I have done 2 skirts from it.