Osaka skirt

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In a nutshell:

A terrific little corduroy wrap skirt that very nearly went horribly wrong… And there’s nothing Halloweeny about this post, unless you count the autumnal colours I used.

Pattern:

The Osaka Skirt from Seamwork Patterns. This is a reversible wrap skirt with a cute asymmetric hem at the front. There are three panels (back, left front, right front) and each panel is broken into an upper and lower section. Here’s the line art:

sw-osaka

Fabric:

Some brown needlecord from my stash for the main fabric, and some red polka dot cotton, also from my stash, for the lining. Both were leftover yardage from things I made ages ago. This was a real stashbuster!

New skills learnt:

Can’t say as there were any with this project. I chose it to be something quick and undemanding I could whip up at the Sew Brizzle gathering in August. I did, however, learn about the importance of following the cutting instructions (more on that later!) and I made the largest buttonhole EVER!

Changes I made:

  • The original pattern is colour-blocked with different fabrics for the top and bottom panels of both sides of the skirt, but I chose to work with just one fabric for each side. What can I say? I’m just not all that big a fan of colour-blocking.
  • My skirt isn’t reversible because of the buttons I chose, and where I chose to site the large button (a good couple of inches lower than the pattern markings). I had originally intended it to be reversible, but I think that would work best with fabrics of a similar weight for each side of the skirt. I just can’t see cord as a lining fabric, although I suppose it might feel nice against bare legs. Also, that monster, statement button would show through on the other side as a gert big bump. Not a good look!

What went wrong:

Oh yeah, so I was all smug congratulating myself on having chosen an easy pattern I would both want to wear, and that would be quick to complete on my sewing afternoon at Sewn. All was going well on the day and I really thought I might be on track to be wearing it home. I stitched together all the lining parts and the main parts.

And then I went to sew the lining and skirt together, and this happened:

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And all of a sudden I realised that in my smug assumption that I could handle an easy project like this with my eyes closed, I had not paid enough attention to the pattern instructions. Specifically, the cutting layout. I had two identical layers, when I should have had mirror images. Doh! I should have cut the pieces for the lining on the reverse, and it was now too late to do anything about it.

I contemplated cutting another lining, but I’d just spent all that time sewing the pieces together and I loved the contrast of the plain brown cord and red polka dots. Really autumnal. There wasn’t enough red fabric left in my stash, anyway.

Jen from Gingerella could see what a pickle I’d got myself into and came over to offer me her help. In the end we decided that perhaps the best thing to do would be to trim down the excess fabric (about 3cm difference on the side and bottom of each front piece, as shown in the picture above) and just sew the damn skirt together.

So that’s what I did. Yay!

What went well:

Surprisingly enough, despite the monumental cutting cock-up, I consider this skirt a real success. Here are some pics of me wearing it yesterday. Excuse the wrinkles, but I’m not bosom buddies with my iron and I’d worn this a couple of days since last washing it. Cord is great for not showing the dirt! You’ll also have to excuse the slightly transparent nature of my top. I hadn’t realised that until seeing these pics.Note to self: wear a vest underneath in future!

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As you might have noticed, I had to move the large button down by a considerable amount to retain the original asymmetric shaping of the wrap after screwing up the cutting, but I actually really like the way it looks at the top. Definitely a happy accident in the end!

Overall verdict:

I’m really happy with this skirt and it’s found its way into regular rotation in my wardrobe.  I love how comfortable it is, and easier to move around in than my usual straight skirts. I was a little concerned I might flash too much leg but it seems to behave itself very well, perhaps because of the more structured nature of the fabrics I chose.

And apparently brown, corduroy and mini skirts are all bang on trend right now, so I’ve unwittingly made something fashionable! Being a fashionista is not something I particularly aspire to, but it is nice when the things you like are deemed trendy. For a short while, at least…

Changes for next time:

  • Joining the two parts of each panel together to make just three pattern pieces. Since I’m not doing the colour blocking, why bother with having that seam?
  • Using a more slippery lining fabric for another autumn/winter version. This lining fabric has an annoying habit of riding up when wearing tights. It’s not too much of a problem as the wrap style keeps it hanging fairly freely, but I think it would work better with a satin lining. It’s fine over bare legs though. Maybe in the spring, once I’ve had a chance to sunbathe a bit…
  • Adding some length. This is pretty short at the back. Fine at the front, but I think I’d find it more wearable over bare legs if it were a couple of inches longer. For reference, I’m 5’7″.
  • Using an oversize eyelet and strap for the main fastening. What can I say? I’m a sucker for a statement fastening!
  • Following the cutting instructions! I couldn’t possibly make that same mistake twice, though, right?

Costing:

Pattern: Seamwork credit at $3.00 (therefore £2.30)

Fabric: Fabrics from stash, and leftovers from other projects so definitely free!

Notions: Buttons 1.19, Thread 1.75

Total cost: £5.24

This was definitely a winner in terms of creating a cheaper than RTW item that I know I’ll wear loads. Yay!

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Woo, check out my lining!

 

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