Spring has sprung! I whipped up these four spring skirts from a single pattern – Butterick 5613. How cute! The top two are View A, a gathered skirt with side seam pockets and a matching sash, and the bottom two are View C, a pleated skirt with a deeper waistband. Each skirt probably took me about 2 weekends to put together – not bad at all.
Above is the pattern art – the pink skirt all the way on the right is View A (corresponding to my two cream colored skirts), and the yellow one on the left is View C (my pink and black/white skirts). I made a few modifications as I’ll describe below, but overall I followed the pattern pretty closely. Lots more photos below!
For the gathered skirts, I made the waistband a little deeper than the extremely shallow (only about an inch in height!) waistband in the pattern. I also added about 2 inches to the width of the waistband, as I wanted the skirts to sit below my natural waist, simply because that’s where I like my skirts to hit. Since the skirts are gathered, I didn’t have to adjust the width of the bottom pieces to match the altered waistband — they’re just gathered slightly less than they would have been otherwise. Who cares!
For the pleated skirts, I also added about 2 inches to the width of the waistband to make the skirts sit a little lower on my hips. I adjusted the bottom pieces to match, adding the extra width at the side seams. I changed the folded pleats (in the pattern) to box pleats because (a) I really like box pleats, and (b) the pattern had all the pleats going in the same direction instead of being centered, which I thought looked weird. I stitched the pleats in place for about 3 inches below the waistband, but the remainder of the pleat is simply ironed in. And yes, that means I have to re-iron them after each wash. Sacrifice for fashion, baby!
I love how the black and white skirt looks with this green cardigan. Cute! Classy!
A few detail shots — here you can see how I topstitched the stripes onto the cream colored skirt. The stripes are cotton tailor’s tape, which is probably not supposed to be used as decoration, but whatever! It works and was affordable, so there you go. : ) (Note to self: Grosgrain ribbon is expensive!)
For the gathered skirts, I topstitched the waistband about 1/8″ above the gathered seam to catch the underside of the band and hold everything in place. I then added some purely decorative topstitching at the top of the waistband to match. I used relatively heavy interfacing inside the band, so it’s pretty durable and will hopefully hold up well over many washes.
My first side-seam pockets! Let me tell ya, this was confusing as hell the first time I tried it. The pocket is sewn in 3/8″ from the fabric edge (not the usual 5/8″) so that the outer skirt fabric can fold into the pocket a bit, and the pocket seam is actually hidden 1/2″ inside the skirt. Nice. Can I do this again without instructions nearby? No way! It’ll take a while to get the hang of it, I think.
Can you see how nicely my invisible zippers are going in these days? I’m getting there! : ) The pleated skirts (as in the pink one above) have a little hook and eye on the inside above the zipper, and the gathered skirts have two small buttons in the waistband at the center back. I’m learning that hooks and eyes have a tendency to un-fasten during wear… don’t ask me how I know this! Hence the move toward more buttons in the future.
I’ve worn these skirts a few times with tights and boots (and a slip! totally necessary to avoid major static problems!), but I’m looking forward to warmer weather and wearing them al fresco. : )
The trees are *finally* starting to bloom up here… Happy Spring everyone!