Thursday, 10 July 2014

Broderie Anglais Skirt

It's just like it looked in my head!
Do you ever get that thing where you mentally plan an outfit, and then realise you’ve included an item of clothing you don’t own? I do this all of the time – mostly it’s with stuff that I used to own, but don’t anymore – I have a moment of ‘oh, those shoes would go perfectly with this’, rummage around to find them, and then realise I threw them out five years ago...

Very occasionally however, this happens with clothes that have yet to exist – and on Friday, I’d just had my nails done (shellac nails, they're awesome, unless you have nails that grow super fast like mine do...), and was deciding what outfit would best match them to wear to my grandmother’s the next day (for her 90th birthday party... in which I hid in a corner because nobody told me about the dozens of strangers I'd be forced to share the room with... even if they were all old and adorable), when I thought I should wear the white, gathered broiderie anglais skirt with my denim jacket… at which point, I realised I didn’t own said skirt… BUT THIS WAS NOT A PROBLEM.

Broderie Anglais makes for a gorgeous
and super easy hem
A quick nip to the fabric shop, produced a remnant of broiderie anglais, the only bit they had in the shop – fortune was drawing us together. And at home, I made a simple gathered skirt, with an elasticated waistband. I lined it in pale blue lining fabric (because I have tonnes of the stuff) which gives it a really cool icy look – the waistband was just a strip of poly cotton, and because of the beautiful edging on the broderie anglais, I didn’t even need to hem it! It was super quick and easy to make, I only overlocked the lining, to keep it light (and because I’m lazy!).

The only hiccough came when I went to insert the elastic into the waistband… and realised I didn’t have enough! And it was late, and the shops were closed! SO I did what any sane person would do… and stitched two pieces of short elastic together to make a long piece of elastic! GENIUS. Well, sort of. It was really old elastic, and it wasn’t really stretchy enough, so whilst it did well enough for one day. I’ve now replaced the elastic in it, it's much better!
Polycotton waistband is super comfy - this also has the
new elastic in... so it fits a lot better

Overlocked lining fabric, in a very pale blue - I love this
lining, it was super cheap, but it's really soft
Sometimes, I feel like I need a bit of quick and easy sewing – some instant creative gratification as it were – I’m working on bridesmaids dresses and my wedding dress at the moment, and whilst they are lovely – they are hard and slow work, and this was just what I needed to have that moment of ‘yes, I can still create’. I sew as a tool to creation really – I like designing and creating clothes, sewing is just a way to get me there (read a bit more about this here). That being said, I’ve fallen more and more in love with sewing as this year has progressed, particularly with hand sewing, but much as I love it, it’s slow progress, and sometimes it’s nice just to be able to go ‘look – here’s what I made!’. This skirt was perfect for that gratification, it took me less than an hour – and is exactly as I’d envisaged it (also, last time I got that feeling, I totally made pants! But Mr P says I’m not allowed to put them on the blog, even if I didn’t model them… such a meanie! (I just realised how confusing that could be… pants as in knickers… not as in trousers))

So not a skater skirt... also I just saw that
pin and wondered why my dressform has a
belly button bar (although I do, so it
makes a bit of sense)
Interestingly, I think broderie anglaise is called ‘eyelet’ in America? It’s cute whatever it is. This skirt was totally a sucess - you know why? Because not once did my grandmother make any comments about the length of it - she's never insulting (unlike Mr P's grandmother, who always is, hilariously so) she just always says how I'm lucky I have the legs to pull off 'skater skirts' (bearing in mind said 'skater skirt' would be anything more than half an inch above the knee) but not this time! She also gave me a huge bag of fabric and clothes to re-use/re-fashion (posts on that at a later date) - my Grandma is the best!


  1. Beautiful fabric, and the lining underneath matches perfectly!

    1. Awww, thanks for saying so! And thanks for popping over.

  2. Thank you for sharing this skirt at City of Creative Dream's City of Links on Friday! I appreciate you taking the time to party with me. Hope to see you again this week :)

    1. Thanks! I've been blog-absent for a while, but am hoping to be back this week!