January 15, 2019

March Means the Marvelous Midi Skirt

 Midi Skirts - March Needle Sharp Box

I think I've already used this blog to wax poetic about the versatility of a skirt. But if you didn't catch it, let me tell you why I love them: they're versatile, they're easy to dress up or down, and they easy to make and fit!

I'll admit right now that I was not always a skirt person. For my high school, you had to wear skirts, and to me, this was the worst thing that could've happened to me (Ah, the melodrama of 14 year olds, right?). Skirts were too girly, too frilly, too impractical. Pants were wear it was at. 

But after four years of forced, then not forced, skirt-wearing, I was converted. A short skirt was just as good as loose shorts in terms of coolness and freedom, a long skirt was perfect for cold weather (and for avoiding shaving your legs) and a midi skirt was the best of both worlds. It works well with tights and boots in the winter, and it goes great with sandals and bare legs on hot days. And it's fashion that works for all ages and all sizes!

So this month, we're featuring the ever so lovely midi skirt. The four patterns that we've chosen offer different takes on this inimitable piece of clothing, from loose and flowing, to structured and almost trouser-like, and a couple in between. So let's look at the options for this month.

Lightweight Box: Dominique Skirt from Tilly and the Buttons

Some might call it simple, but I love gathered waist skirts. Perhaps I have a soft spot since the first thing I ever sewed by myself was a gathered skirt, but I'm holding strong on my opinion. The elastic waist is incredibly comfortable, and the design allows you to really play with color and pattern. Paired with a simple top, you've got an instant outfit that you'll love to wear. 

The Dominique Skirt, from one of our favorite pattern-makers, Tilly and the Buttons, is a lovely gathered waist skirt with some creative design details. Both the ideal project for a novice stitcher and a satisfying quick make for more experienced dressmakers, this pattern has a couple of views you can choose from. First there is a straigt skirt with either a knee length or above-the-knee hemline and the option for turnover top patch pockets. Or you can choose he flared version that's cut on the bias and has the option of adding belt loops and elegant sash.

Inspired by Tilly and the Button's brightly colored photos (and website), we've embrace color and pattern for this box. So let's take a look at the fabrics we've chosen!

Lightweight Box Fabric Swatches

  • Deep Mint Viscose Twill - A lovely bright, yet cool color, this mint green makes us happy. Perfect for your St. Patrick's Day outfit, it will pair with al sorts of tops, and add a pop of unexpected color to your wardrobe. Plus, the fabric, with its viscose content and twill weave, has a soft drape, and fine hand that will work with either the straight or bias cut skirt. A great simple sew to brighten up your outfit.
  • Red Ikat Dot Pebble Crepe - Pebble crepe has a nubbly texture that adds visual interest and is also soft on the skin. With a bright color and a geometric, ikat-style, dotted print, this fabric will speak for itself in the skirt you sew. If you've never had a red skirt, let me tell you that they are amazing. Far enough away from your face if you fear being looking flushed, a red skirt makes you feel daring, sassy and cheerful, like a jolt of caffeine to your wardrobe. I really can't recommend making one for yourself enough!
  • Dark Blue Tencel Chambray - As a kid, the only skirt I would wear was a jean skirt, probably because it looked the most like pants. This fabric is our take on the jean skirt, without the bulk of denim. This tencel has the look of a dark wash denim, but a nice, lightweight hand and soft drape, like if you took your favorite denim and washed it a thousand times until it felt like your favorites bedsheets. And who wouldn't want that in a skirt?

Medium Weight Box: Salida Skirt from True Bias

True Bias's latest release has the same seventies vibe that I really love in their patterns. I feel that their whole catalog consists of modern takes on retro classics, and I really dig the aesthetic. 

The Salida pattern combines a feminine gored skirt shape, which hugs the hips and flares out from the leg, with more tailored, menswear inspired elements. It features a soft V-shaped yoke at the front and back, a high waist, and a front zipper fly, and it comes in two different lengths. The combination of these elements makes it incredibly versatile and great for all season wear.

So, now, let's look at the fabrics: 

Mediumweight Box Fabric Swatches

  • Evergreen Rayon Gabardine - Having not lived through the seventies, I don't have any bad associations with gabardine fabric. In fact, I think the weave is kind of awesome. It has all the qualities of a simple twill, but with the added durability and wrinkle-resistance. And, with this gabardine, it's made of rayon, trading the scratchiness of polyester for the soft hand and drape of rayon. The rayon also adds a lovely drape to the medium weight fabric, making it great for the flared part of the gored skirt. And the color is lush: rich, deep and earthy. A great choice of fabric all around.
  • Hydrangea Blue Twill - If you want a brightly colored skirt, you really can't go wrong with this beautiful blue. To me, it's the color of early summer, a reminder we could surely use as we sit in the middle of winter. The twill weave of this fabric is perfect for this pattern, and I feel like the softer color is unexpected on such a structured pattern. And if you've been paying attention to our fabric choices, we love to play with this contrast. Because if you're going to sew your own clothes, it's so much fun to surprise!
  • Heather Charcoal Linen - When a pattern calls for linen, we really can't turn the opportunity down. We love linen! Honestly, anything that softens and gets better with age is cool with us. So this heather charcoal medium weight linen was a no-brainer. The heather weave adds great texture to the fabric and the medium weight means it will have just the right amount of drape for the flares. And the color will go with just about anything! 


Curvy Box: Wattle Skirt from Megan Nielsen Patterns

When Megan Nielsen released her Curve patterns over the summer, we were thrilled see size inclusive versions of her much loved designs. The only problem was that the Curve sizing was only available in PDF format. But now, we've collaborated with Megan Nielsen to offer paper versions in our boxes, and we couldn't be more excited!

The Wattle Skirt pattern is a set of classic skirts with unique crossover closure at the side seam. (Megan Nielsen really does rock a good closure). The skirt sits on the natural waist and features hidden closure at the left pocket. It also features three skirt options, two waistband options and multiple lengths.

Because of the all the options the pattern provides, the fabric choices are different for each option. Therefore, keep in mind that some choices will not be suited for all views. But no matter which view you want to make, we've got a great fabric for you! Let's take a look:

Curvy Box Fabric Swatches

  • Black/White Tencel Plaid - This plaid, a monotone black on white grid pattern, is stunning. With a medium weight but very soft drape, it will work for all views and look great doing it. The plaid will be gorgeous on the bias or will give a classic kilt look on the pleated skirt. And no matter which view you make, you'll have a versatile skirt that will pair with any color top!
  • Super Blooms Printed Canvas - This canvas, from Cotton + Steel, is not what you think of when you think canvas totes and purses. No, this fabric is lighter and drapier, making it a great choice for the bias cut skirt in View A. The blooms form a stripe pattern that add to the effect of the bias cut. And, don't worry, we're giving you enough fabric to pattern match the stripes.
  • Dark Ferns Rayon Lawn - Ferns were everywhere last year, and we plan on keeping the look alive and thriving (pun intended). The dark print is verdant and rich, a dark background printed with large green fronds. The rayon lawn is thin and lightweight, with a fluid drape, making it ideal for all views if you desire a loose fitting, flowing skirt. And who doesn't want that as Spring and Summer approach?

Heavyweight Box: Azara Skirt from Deer and Doe Patterns 

I've been eyeing the Azara Skirt ever since I learned to sew. It's everything I want in a skirt. Simple, clean lines, unique design details, a fitted waist but easy drape, and a timeless quality that just can't completely be defined. 

With two versions, one with a button front, the other with a plain front and invisible zipper closure in the back, this skirt is fully lined (with silk lining, no less) and is perfect for nearly every occasion. And with that in mind, we've chosen three fabrics that, we think, will go with everything, and make your outfit sing.

Heavyweight Box Fabric Swatches

  • Indigo Cotton Linen Chambray - With a jeans wash, this fabric is anything but a regular denim. Thin, lightweight and soft, the cotton linen blend is a dream of a fabric. The subtle pattern made by the chambray will add interest without hiding the angled style lines, and the color can work both dressed up and down. With this choice, you'll have your new everything skirt!
  • Black Bamboo Twill - If you haven't noticed, we love bamboo. Eco-friendly and great to sew, it makes a wonderful fabric. This fabric, a bamboo twill, has a lovely soft drape and soft, lightly brushed surface. From afar, it looks like wool, but it feels so much more heavenly. In a jet black, this fabric will create a classic black skirt perfect for work and the weekend.
  • Navy/Heather Lake Wool Plaid - The heaviest of our choices, this fabric looks like a solid color from afar but up close, you see the navy and lighter blue tartan pattern. Softer than pure wool due to the addition of cotton, this fabric will be warm for the winter but light enough for the warmer months. If you don't have a wool skirt in your wardrobe, now's your chance to sew one!
Because we are out of town this week, at the New York Fabric Show, to pick out fabrics for the next six months, swatches will ship a little bit later, around January 24.
And one last thing before we go: As we grow, we need a little bit more time to process the boxes for shipment, so going forward, the boxes will ship on the second of the month instead of the first. A minor change for you, but a huge difference for us. We thank you for your understanding in advanced!!
Until next month, happy sewing!!



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