February 13, 2022

Spring is Made for Twirling in a Brand New Handmade Skirt

I absolutely hated skirts as a kid. In those days, I was what would've been called a tomboy, and skirts were far too "girly" for me. My sister wore skirts, so of course, I had to be different from her. So skirts were not an option unless absolutely required by social decorum.

Somewhere in college, though, my opinion changed completely. I'm not sure how it started, though perhaps being on my own and no longer being told how to dress helped, but I discovered the wonders of a good skirt.

First off, they move with you. Unless you're wearing a tight pencil skirt, you have a wonderful freedom of movement; the only part that is tight is at the waist, so you can sit, stand, run around, without much restriction through the hips and legs. Secondly, they are great transitional pieces. In winter, tights and boots make them nearly as warm as long pants, and in the spring and summer, skirts offer amazing looseness and airflow to keep you cool. They are truly an all-season garment. And finally, the twirl! Watch any little kid in a skirt or dress and they will inevitably twirl around to make the skirt bloom out like a flower. And it's just as fun as an adult! Pop on a skirt, sway around, and tell me you don't have a moment of child-like wonder. I dare you :)

All that is to say, for all these reasons (and more), I've chosen skirts for our April boxes. Like March, April is a transitional month for weather, so the humble skirt makes a great wardrobe option. Plus, after months of cold weather, it's nice to show a little leg if you want to. For fabric, I've been doing a lot of light, pastel colors lately, so I wanted to offer some more saturated options this month. I took inspiration from early spring flowers like crocuses and tulips to settle on deep pinks, yellows and greens. I already feel like I'm in more of a spring mood just thinking about them.

So, without further ado, let's dig into the boxes!


Sew Essential Box: Brumby Skirt from Megan Nielsen

 

I knew I couldn't do a skirt box without the Brumby Skirt from Megan Nielsen. Back when I first started sewing, this was one of the first patterns I made, and it really helped me fall in love with sewing. And better yet, I still wear the skirt all the time! 

There are so many things to love about the pattern, but first and foremost are the pockets. Wildly oversized, they are everything you could ask for when you say "It has pockets". The curved opening is soft and stylish, and the fact that they are not patch or inseam pockets means that they hold their shape really well without adding bulk to the hips. Besides the pockets, the flat waistband adds a clean finish, and the exposed zipper in the back is a surprise twist that is fun and chic. Basically, this skirt has everything you could want, and with three variations, you can make it over and over again.

Because of the three variations, there are so many directions to go with in terms of fabric. Light and floaty for the long version, structured and durable for the short. I tried to split the difference and offer a variety so you can choose which look you want to sew. So here they are!

 

  • Indigo Washed 8 oz Denim - The short version of this skirt is ideal for denim. The structure of the fabric creates a lovely bell shape and topstitching adds detail and contrast. I've chosen a dark indigo wash for the skirt, all the better to show off topstitching, and the 8oz weight is just right for a structured skirt that still has some movement. If you are looking to have a classic denim skirt in your wardrobe, this is the option for you!
  • Posey Smokey Dotted Floral Dobby Viscose - It's hard to categorize this fabric. It's a floral viscose, but it also has a dotted dobby weave for a tone on tone detail. All of it combines into a unique fabric that will become a one of a kind skirt! The soft, semi-fluid drape of the viscose works for all versions of the skirt but will have the most twirl-worthy flow for the longer style. Plus, the deep green, dotted with orange and cream flowers, is soft, saturated, and truly lovely for the spring season. A gorgeous choice!
  • Magenta Silky Noil - I'm still finding uses for the versatile and oh so wearable silky noil. A combination of linen and rayon, this fabric has a soft, weighty drape that works well for all the variations of this pattern. And the color is divine. A deep, jewel-toned pink, it give a kick of color without knocking you out. You may not think a pink skirt is in your future, but I'm here to convince you otherwise. Go bold with this stunning choice!

Sew Select Box: Estuary Skirt from Sew Liberated

The swingiest skirt of our four options, the Estuary Skirt from Sew Liberated just brings me joy. I mean, the ladies in product photos just radiate sheer exuberance. Plus, the gathered skirt, with waist-defining elastic in the back, oversized patch pockets, and buttons down the front, looks effortless and stylish.

Designed to go with just about everything, this skirt is just what you need in your wardrobe. Paired with a graphic T or knit top, it's the perfect outfit for picnics, errands, and just looking amazing every day. Jazz it up with boots and a blouse or sweater, and you have an outfit for a good dinner out or stroll around town. Once you make it, you'll really want to wear it everywhere.

Inspired by the product photos, I couldn't resist using bright, bold colors and medium-bodied fabrics like linen and cotton. All the better to show off the swing and drape of this lovely skirt. So let's take a look!

  • Eggplant Yarn Dyed Linen Cotton - A mix of linen and cotton, this medium-weight fabric has a fuller drape that is perfect for this skirt. The beauty of linen is that the more you wash it, the softer it becomes. Plus, the cotton keeps the fabric from wrinkling too much. Eggplant yarn crossed with white weft thread creates the heather purple hue that is sure to set them apart from anything you can find in stores. A lovely spring-ready option!
  • Charcoal/Sky Blue Yarn Dyed Stripe Gauze - This single gauze, lighter and softer than the double gauze you may be used to, is woven with  yarn-died stripes and squares, almost as if it has been embroidered. Running parallel to the selvege, the stripes give you a vertically striped skirt, almost like a pinstripe, but better. Lined with a matching gauze (included in the box), this skirt will be floaty and light, just what you want for the spring season!
  • Toffee Washed Linen - This fabric is one of my favorites, and it's hard to resist using it for practically everything. The fabric takes dye beautifully, like with this bright (but not too bright) caramel yellow, and the washed texture has extra softness. A slightly slubbed weave adds texture, and a structured, lightly crisp drape adds volume, which is ideal this twirl-ready gathered skirt. A dream of a fabric!
    SHOP THE SEW SELECT BOX >>

    Sew Curvy Box: Reed Skirt from Grainline Studio

    I can't tell you how excited I was when Grainline Studio expanded their size range because their tailored garments are just so classic. Take the Reed Skirt, an on-trend not to the denim and corduroy skirts of the seventies and nineties. This pattern features a slight A-line shape and exciting options for customization. Choose a plain front with an invisible zipper back closure or opt for a button-front style with patch pockets. Or mix and match to create a skirt all your own. 

    The most tailored of the options this month, this pattern has princess seams to shape the skirt, and a curved waistband for a smooth finish. It's structured yet simple, stylish, and clean. It will look amazing dressed up with a blouse for work or dressed down (like in the photo above) with a simple tee. Only your imagination is the limit of how to style this versatile and chic outfit.

    For fabrics, this pattern lends itself to more structured fabrics to complete the tailored look. However, because it's springtime, I wanted to keep the colors bright and the fabrics breathable. This led to some great cotton and viscose finds that I think you'll really love. So without further ado. . .

    • Ochre Viscose Gabardine - With a twill weave and structured drape, this fabric acts similarly to denim, but with the softness and suppleness of viscose. In a bright ochre yellow, it is pure sunshine in a fabric, perfect for when the weather gets warm. The solid cloth will show off the style lines of the skirt, and the medium body will show off the A-line shape. A gorgeous fabric if you're looking to make a warm and wonderful skirt!
    • Charcoal and Gray Gingham Check Linen - Gingham worked for Dorothy and it can work for you. This yarn dye check (each square about 3/8") alternates black and gray threads for a look that is subtle and stunning. The medium drape of the fabric will give some flow to the skirt, and the dry linen hand will ensure it is cool and breathable as you move into warmer weather. A beautiful fabric for a beautiful skirt! 
    • Liquorice Green 8W Corduroy - Wide wale corduroy is making a comeback, but it will always have a 70s feel to it, especially this teal green fabric, which has great color variation due to the nap. It's straight out of the natural tones of the Nixon era. The large wale also works as a stripe, which helps to show off the style lines of the skirt, and the structure of the fabric will is perfect for this pattern. The corduroy itself has a velvety soft hand and will transition from winter to spring and beyond!
    SHOP THE SEW CURVY BOX >>

    Sew Indulgent Box: Fiore Skirt from Closet Core Patterns* 

    *Plus a surprise gift!

     

    What I love most about the Fiore Skirt from Closet Core Patterns is its changeability. Three different variations offer three distinct looks and yet they all feel cohesive to an effortless sense of style. So when I was looking for a skirt pattern to offer in our luxury box, I knew this was it.

    The wrap front is soft and understated; the flat front making it amazing for workwear or a night out. The quarter circle skirt variation is fun and flirty, ideal for pairing with tights and boots in the cold or sandals and bare legs in the heat. And the button front combines the best of both worlds for a looks that is casual yet elegant. It's three skirts in one, and this elevated basic is exactly what you need in your wardrobe. 

    In fabric, this skirt lends itself to so many types of fabrics, that it's really all about the color and drape. Inspired by spring flowers, I went with the deep hues of tulips and daffodils. Bold spring colors to outshine the pastels you normally see.

    *Plus, since this is the luxe box, you're getting a special treat! We plan to release some panties-making kits later this spring, and we're including the kits as part of this box. Make a fun pair of Iris Knickers from Tilly and the Buttons with novelty print knits and colorful notions. Included exclusively in the Sew Indulgent Box!

     

    • Black Currant Washed Linen - This color!!! The jewel toned hue, the color of berry jam, is a washed linen that is incredibly soft and delicately textured. Medium weight with a soft but fuller drape, it's the perfect fabric for this swingy skirt. Completely opaque, it's a bottom-weight that will transition wonderfully from cold to warm weather, and the body of the fabric will really show off the shape of the pattern. If you're looking for a bold and unexpected color, this is the fabric for you!
    • Ochre Seraphine Crocus Print Viscose Twill - I love the viscose twill from Atelier Brunette more than I can say. The cool silky hand has to be touched to be believed. And the semi-fluid drape hangs so beautifully, you'll want to use the fabric for just about everything. Printed with deep red, light pink, and dark blue crocus flowers, this fabric nods to spring with a bold and colorful gesture. A gorgeous print you're definitely going to want to wear!
    • Palm Green Tencel Twill - This fabric is all about the color. This botanical green, bluer than a sage, darker than a mint, is fresh and spring-ready. The fabric itself is a medium weight tencel twill with great body and a lovely, supple drape, ideal for this skirt. And it feels amazing against the skin! Silky and smooth, it will be a joy to wear!
    SHOP THE SEW INDULGENT BOX >>

    I seriously can't believe I'm already talking about April, but here we are. On the plus side, I do love spring and all the growth and warmth that comes with it. If skirts aren't your thing (and my childhood self would agree with you), we're reviving knit wrap dresses in our Tried and True series. You can never underestimate the versatility of a wrap dress, and the ones on offer are really gorgeous. 

    Lastly, while I have you, why not check out our new Mindful Sewing series. Started in January, this monthly series is a place to explore how to sewing fits into your life as a whole and focus on yourself as a sewist. Plus, if you sign up for the newsletter, you get access to a monthly community zoom. The next one is February 23, so there's still time to join!

    Until next time. . . 

    Happy sewing!

    -Mary

    Start Building a Handmade Wardrobe

    We bundle modern patterns, drool‑worthy fabrics and all the notions you’ll need — then deliver them straight to your door each month.

    Choose a subscription box