What is your summer sewing style? Do you find the warm weather inspiring, with visions of summer dresses and skirts and swimsuits floating through your head? Or do you take a break during the season, trading indoor hobbies for outdoor fun? I’m somewhere in between. I love doing quick, easy projects in the summer. Part of this is that my sewing room has no AC, so the faster I can get out of there, the better. But also, summer clothes are usually less involved and faster to sew – I’m talking tank tops, swing dresses, shorts – so they’re great projects to quickly knock out in a day, then wear the next out in the lovely weather.
With this simplicity and speed in mind, I began my search for the best theme for June. Looking back on the past few months, we’ve done some pretty complex projects. Raincoats, leggings, overalls: all technical sewing projects that are great challenges, well-suited for winter months indoors. But now that we’re heading outside, I think it’s time for a great palette cleanser of a theme. And that’s where knit skirts come in!
You don’t see them in stores all that often, but I love a good knit skirt. The slip-on ease makes it easy to sew and easy to wear, and the breezy style is ideal for hot weather. I know a lot of people out there aren’t always skirt fans – I wasn’t one until my twenties (!) – but I’ll do my darndest in this post to convince you otherwise. Knit skirts are more forgiving than shorts, more casual than dresses, and make great beach coverups. They can be dressed up with heels, dressed down with flip-flops, and look amazing for both work and play.
The four skirts I’ve chosen for this theme are stylish and wonderfully customizable. All four feature different lengths, so you can decide how much leg you want to show (and shave), and all four are destined to become summer wardrobe staples.
Plus, in the spirit of short, simple projects, we’re also giving you yardage of heather gray jersey and a link to a free t-shirt pattern! The extra fabric can be used to make the t-shirt if you wish, or you could use it for a whole host of things, from another skirt to underwear to a pair of bike shorts to wear under your skirt for extra protection. The choice is up to you! And, honestly, who doesn’t love getting some great fabric as a bonus?
So, without further ado, let’s take a look at the patterns for this month!
Sew Fearless Box: Brume Skirt from Deer & Doe
There’s always one pattern each month that is the genesis for the theme. The one that I saw and thought, I must find more like this so I can build a box around it. This month, it’s the Brume Skirt from Deer & Doe, the knit pencil skirt of my dreams. When I worked outside of my house and had to dress in business casual wear, pencil skirts were my essential wardrobe piece. My style leans pretty sharply towards Mary Tyler Moore in the Dick Van Dyke Show, so pairing a pencil skirt with a cardigan, a camisole, and a pair of flats was all I needed to feel chic and put together.
The Brume Skirt would’ve fit in perfectly in my wardrobe from then, and heck if I’m not gonna add it to my work from home wardrobe anyway. I love the pieced styling of the skirt, with the center front panel, and the curved hem on the back. The skirt has a body-con feel, but isn’t so curve hugging that you can’t move around or walk. And because it’s made out of a forgiving knit fabric, you know that you’ll be comfortable all day long.
With the choice of two lengths, a mini or a below the knee midi, you can pick the style that’s right for you. The mini would be great in the place of shorts when you want to feel just a little bit more dressed up and it will work all year round; just add tights and boots when you need some more coverage. And the midi length is perfect for work or brunch or, heck, just running errands. The longer length gives great coverage, a must for when you’re going from hot weather outside to freezing AC air inside, and need just a little bit of extra fabric. I know many of you can relate!
For fabric, I chose fabrics that are on the thicker side, to work well with the pencil skirt shape, but not so thick and heavy that you can’t wear them all summer long. That meant lighter scuba and medium weight jerseys, all in light colors for those bright summer days. Here they are!
- Daffodil Yellow Crepe Scuba – Isn’t this color a ball of sunshine? A lighter, slightly muted yellow, the color is unexpected for a skirt, but honestly all the better for it. It’s bold, joyful, and fun, all things we could use a healthy dose of this summer. The fabric itself has a pebbly crepe texture on its face and a smooth back so it feels soft against skin, and it has two-way stretch, so the skirt won’t inadvertently “grow” on you over time. The full-bodied drape will hold the pencil shape nicely and slightly spongey hand means it will skim over your curves without showing any panty lines. A unique fabric to make a one-of-a-kind skirt!
- White and Black Pucker Tweed Knit – Everything about this fabric is an illusion. To the naked eye, it looks like a black and white wool tweed or even quartz, but it’s actually a polyester-rayon puckered double knit. What does that mean exactly? The fabric looks like it’s been slight shirred, with little bumps and ripples that flatten out as the knit is stretched. They run parallel to the grainline, making them perfect to run vertically on the pencil skirt, stretching and fitting to your body for the ultimate knit skirt. The black and white face looks luxurious and chic, like a Chanel suit, and that means this skirt will be perfect for work, whether you’ve already gone back to the office or will have to do so in the upcoming months. Either way, this will be a great addition to your work wardrobe!
- French Blue Rayon Jersey – This medium weight jersey is one my favorite knits. With a soft drape but beefy hand, it works for so many applications, from fitted tees to dresses, and yes, for pencil skirts. The thicker feel than your typical rayon jersey gives it opaque coverage and panty-line protection while the coolness of the rayon feels wonderful against the skin, especially in summer heat. Plus, the French blue, muted yet deeply saturated, is stunning and will add just the right amount of color to your outfit. A gorgeous choice!
Sew Confident Box: Knit Gored Skirts from Jalie Patterns
I knew when I went looking for knit skirt patterns, I could turn to Jalie for a great pattern. They specialize in knitwear and are known for how wearable their pieces are. Like I predicted, I found more than one knit skirt in their catalog, but I decided on the Knit Gored Skirt for its sheer adaptability.
This pattern is quite possibly the only knit skirt pattern you need. It has six different variations so you could make it over and over again without repeating yourself. Its basic construction is an eight gore skirt with a narrow elastic waistband, but the pattern offers a trumpeted mini skirt, an simple A line skirt, a godet hem skirt with impressive flare, a flounce hem skirt, and a longer trumpet skirt. Honestly, what more could you ask for?
Each variation of the pattern has its own unique look, and you can style it to perfectly complement your style. Maybe you want a trumpet skirt that will flare when you twirl or maybe you’re looking for a short skirt to throw on for the beach. Or maybe, when things start to open up fully, you want to take a Latin dancing class and show off your cool godet skirt. All of it is possible with this pattern!
Because of the gored style, I knew I needed to use fabrics with lovely drape and that drove me towards rayon and modal jerseys as well as ITYs. All three have fluid to semi-fluid drape that is ideal for all the variations of the skirt. So, let’s look at the ones I chose!
- Navy Blue Rayon Jersey – Though medium weight, this fabric features a lovely semi-fluid drape that will show off the gores of this skirt beautifully. Soft and silky, it has a slight sheen that will catch the eye on the seaming of the gores, and the deep blue navy is both a neutral and a nice hit of color. Paired with a white t-shirt and a pair of sandals, and you have the ultimate picnic outfit. Plus, the color is great for work as well!
- Black and White Cracked Clay Printed ITY – I love the naturalistic look of this fabric. The pattern has the shape of cracked clay that you would get in the deserts of the South and West, but the black and white coloring gives it a modern feel and the stripes add even more visual texture. The ITY itself is silky and cool to the touch, with a fluid drape that will skim over the body, even on the hottest and sweatiest of summer. A stunning summer skirt in the making!
- Terra Cotta Modal Cotton Jersey – I didn’t realize I had a clay theme in this box until writing this post, but I’m okay with it. Especially when it involves this love terra cotta color! The reddish orange is so lovely, and with a slight sheen from the modal, it looks like freshly glazed pottery. The cotton modal blend is both cool and moisture wicking, ideal for summer days. The cotton also gives the fabric a little bit more body than the other two, though it still is a very soft drape, so if you’re looking to show off the flare of the trumpet skirt or flounce, this is the option for you. Create a fun and flirty skirt with this lovely knit!
Sew Curvy Box: Gorgeous Gore Skirt from Style Arc Patterns
It has been so long since we used a Style Arc pattern, but the Australian company’s shop is a treasure trove amazing skirt patterns. Do Aussies wear more skirts than we do here in North America? Are they on to something that we haven’t discovered yet? Since they get some pretty hot weather, I’m going to trust that they know what they’re doing and follow their lead.
This Gorgeous Gored Skirt is very similar to the gored skirt from Jalie, but with some notable style differences. For one, it has a wide waistband that extends to the high hip, mimicking the band on yoga pants. This means a comfortably soft waist band that won’t bunch up or pinch even on the hottest of days. And the waistband is completely faced, so that might itch in hot weather.
The other big difference is the shape of the skirt. It has six gores and flare outward rather than in trumpet shape. This means the skirt will be cool and floaty as you walk, always a nice feature in the summer. The looser fit of the skirt means you can wear bike shorts or bloomers underneath because we all know summer chafing is real and I’ll do my best to help you prevent it ;)
Like the Jalie skirt, this pattern calls for knits with lots of drape, like ITY and bamboo jersey. I also wanted to pick fabrics that would show off the gores and feel great against your skin. The three I found are favorites in the shop and I think they will be amazing when transformed into this skirt. So here they are!
- Raisin Ecovero Spandex Jersey – If you remember from our boxes last month, ecovero is very similar to viscose in both hand and drape, so it was a no brainer to use it for this skirt. The knit has a semi-fluid drape, silky soft and cool hand, and a slight sheen. In this raisin color, somewhere between a clay and a mauve, you have the makings of a wonderful summer skirt. The muted color will transition from hot days to cool nights and will pair with t-shirts and blouses alike. A gorgeous color for a Gorgeous Gore Skirt!
- Black and White Paisley ITY - ITY is really a wonderful knit for flared skirts as the smooth hand and semi-fluid drape really complements the pattern style. This ITY combines all that goodness with a fabulous print, a large-scale paisley that is bold without being overpowering or busy. Plus, black and white goes with absolutely everything. Trade your little black dress in this summer for a little black (and white) skirt. The wardrobe staple you never knew you needed!
- Jade Bamboo Cotton French Terry -One day, we’ll stop using our all-time favorite bamboo cotton french terry, but today is not that day! This fabric is just too good, too versatile, not to use as often as we can. Thin and lightweight for a french terry, this fabric boasts a soft, almost fluid drape that makes it perfect for this skirt. With a little more body than the other two, it will show off the flared shape of the skirt nicely, and the four way stretch will ensure that you’re super comfy when you’re wearing it. One of our favorite fabrics!
Sew Indulgent Box: Axel Skirt from Megan Nielsen
The Axel Skirt from Megan Nielsen (another Aussie!) is all about the hem finishes. I’ve come to look to the pattern company for patterns that don’t just offer minor variations, like sleeve length or leg width. No, this company essentially gives you multiple patterns under one name, like the Ash jeans giving you four different styles of jeans. The Axel Skirt is no different; it’s three completely different skirts in one!
From a simple knit mini with a waist sash to a split hem pencil that can be worn both backward and forward to a knockout handkerchief hem, you have three distinct skirts to choose from, not a single dud in the mix. The mini skirt simple yet eminently wearable, a great alternative to shorts for hanging around the house or hanging out outside. The pencil skirt is your swiss army knife of a skirt, the right outfit for basically everything from lazy Sundays to busy workdays. And the handkerchief hem? Well that skirt is your statement skirt, the date night skirt, the one you throw on when you want to feel bold and confident!
Another beauty of this skirt pattern is how the fabric affects the look. Thicker knits, like scuba, hold the shape of the pencil skirt nicely and create a really stunning look for the handkerchief hem. Drapier knits, like rayon and bamboo, work just as nicely for a softer look. So, of course, I had to offer both options so you can find the exact look you want. So without further ado. . .the fabrics!
- Black Sueded Scuba- This unique scuba knit boasts an ultra-soft, brushed, suede-like face that will be a dream to wear. And unlike a lot of scuba, it's thin, lightweight and has a flexible yet soft drape. The medium drape of the fabric will really show off the handkerchief hem, while the silky jersey backside will feel lovely against your skin. Fool everyone into thinking you bought an expensive suede skirt all while you know it’s a wonderfully comfy knit!
- Blush Copper Fern Print Ecovero Jersey – I fell head over heels for this patterned knit. In fact, if you scroll back, you’ll notice that the color scheme of this entire month is based on this fabric. The teals, pinks, oranges, and blues inspired me so much, I had to look for it in all the other options! And honestly, how can you not love the botanical feel of this jersey. The red leaves, blue fronds, all on a pale pink background, are simply inspired and I’m swooning. Oh, and the fabric feels amazing too. Soft and silky, with a semi fluid drape, a skirt in this fabric will be truly a statement piece in your wardrobe. And super cozy to boot!
- Avocado Ecovero Jersey – The avocado green is super saturated and veers towards lime in certain lights. A bold choice, this fabric will make a killer skirt and will brighten up any outfit. I see a simple white t-shirt and espadrilles for an amazing brunch outfit. Plus, the ecovero has a fluid drape and dry hand to keep you cool and breezy all summer long. A sumptuous fabric choice in an unexpected hue!
Whew! What a month! I hope by this point I convinced you of the beauty of the simple knit skirt, but if it's still not something for your wardrobe, don't worry, we have another summer staple in our Classic Series. We're reviving our shift dresses, which were originally intended as vacation wear and are therefore ideal for June and beyond. The simple style and loose fit of a shift dress means it is a simple project to put together and gives you a breezy layer of sun protection for the beach, picnic, or just walking around.
That's all she wrote for this month, so head to the shop for more details on each box. Pick your fave and get ready for some fantastic summer sewing!
Until next time. . .