Monday, 6 July 2015

Clematis Flower Skirt

I made this pencil skirt quite a while ago now, probably in the Spring of 2014, but it has come into circulation again now that the sunshine has arrived and the legs can come out to play.  

This more recently sewn yellow top has a nice acidic tone that balances well with the clematis flowers on the skirt.  This acid yellow colour is to be seen throughout the high street collections this Spring and Summer and is is enlivening many of the greys, khakis and softer natural tones in my own wardrobe. Often I will have something in my wardrobe for a while and then, when suddenly I make or acquire another complimentary garment, the whole outfit comes together and is renewed.  I love it when this happens! 

To start with the skirt, this beautiful cotton fabric was a small off-cut or end-of-roll from a furnishing fabric bargain bin, so this lovely climbing clematis print is probably more usually spotted clambering up curtains or scrambling over sofas.  However I think it works really well here and is exactly the sort of supersize floral print with a bit of a dramatic edge that I'm enjoying this season.  The cotton's slight sheen has softened considerably in the wash (just put straight through the machine on a 40 degree cycle) but the flowers' soft citrus and grey colours have stayed perfectly true.

The shape I wanted for the skirt ended up being a very rough hack of a pencil skirt pattern I found on the internet.  It is one from the Great British Sewing Bee published for download here and is about as simple as it gets, with a side zip, waistband with hook and eye fastening and no split or kick pleat.  It is slightly tulip shaped with a nipped waistline at the top, curvy over the hips and then draws inwards to just on the knee.  But it is perfectly easy to walk in without a split at the back and without this extra bit of work it is a doddle to make.  I wouldn't have had enough fabric to make any design details such as this anyway, but I think the bold flower pattern needs a very simple outline and I'm happy with the look.  I lined it with a lightweight cream satin that is non-static.  The hem is hand stitched for a neat finish, but all in all that was the most time consuming thing about it (and a heck of a lot less work than machine sewing the full skirted Flame Lace creation I made back in May!).

Moving on to the yellow top, this is also cotton but with a loose weave almost like linen.  The pattern is Simplicity 1430, with a nice geometric keyhole detail at the front neckline.  The shoulders are slightly cut away, which I realise now means that when wearing a normal bra I am constantly yanking the bra-straps up to hide them.  If I use this pattern again (which I will, with one already cut out in coral pink and another lined up in sky blue) I'll insert a couple of little bra strap stays inside to keep them from straying, or maybe I'll widen the shoulders a tiny bit.  Although the shape is nice as it is.

The back is simply fastened with a single button and loop at the neck.  I've used an antique, cut glass button here as I like the geometric shaped, cut glass along with the 'V' keyhole at the front neck.  Un-noticable to anyone but me, however that's the kind of detail that makes me happy. There are splits at each side seam at the hem, which you can't see here, but making it a flattering hemline to wear over a waistband.  The shape is as easy to wear over jeans or capri pants as it is tucked into a skirt and it has become one of those versatile, go anywhere tops that looks slightly more put together than a plain t shirt, but is as easy to style. 

Overall I'm pretty sure this outfit is just as happy walking around on me as it would have been on home furnishings!  

The grey and neon bag in the top photo, (now showing the patina of much use) is Primark (purchased last year in 2014) and the nude peep toe shoes are Clarks.  Sunglasses are from Bench.


  1. Cool colours for summer - cool outfit!

  2. Thank you! It's great when an outfit comes together from old and new things. Sarah x