Hi everyone, it's Kate here from @timetosew and today I am sharing with you my hacked version of the Hettie Skirt from issue 8 of Fibre Mood pattern magazine. Because I host regular Fibre Mood social sewalongs on Instagram Live, I am often trying out new styles. Sometimes they work out, sometimes they don’t, and sometimes they need a lot of tinkering as I go. My skirt looked quite different from the original by the end!
Fabric and pattern choice
Textured solids are my favourite kind of fabric for separates. There’s enough detail to keep it interesting but not make it too challenging to make an outfit! This Tencel / cupro blend is lovely to wear. Mine is in night green but there are also plenty more colours available on the Lamazi website under Romance Bark Crepe.
Hettie is meant to be a 2 or 3 gathered tier maxi skirt, fitted at the waist with an invisible zip and button closure. The techniques involved which I demonstrated on the sewalong:
- Inserting an invisible zip
- Making and finishing a shaped waistband
Working with a fabric with a fluid drape
As you'd expect, fluid drape means slippery fabric. I suggest cutting on a single layer, and stay stitching curved edges if you are going to be handling them a lot. Keep your work on the sewing table as much as possible to keep the edges from stretching out (i.e. try to avoid letting the pieces drag off the table and into your lap). On the upside, the good news with this fabric is that the fraying is quite manageable.
Hettie skirt style adjustments
Maxi skirts are not something I wear a lot (not cycle-friendly!) so I chose to make this midi length. Due to the need to demonstrate a zip and centre back seam insertion during the sewalong, I left the yoke length as drafted. However, not surprisingly it looked off relative to the gathered tier. And a straight horizontal line did not feel flattering to my rectangle shape - my waist / hip ratio is tipping towards 1:1. To try and give you a true representation, you can see from my dodgy mirror selfie here.
I spent a lot of time messing with re-pinning a different line on the yoke after I googled “skirt yoke” for ideas. Eventually, I shortened both the front and back yoke and gave the front a small curve as well to add some interest. But because the yoke became so short I couldn’t define the curve as much as I wanted. A short yoke would also look better with a facing instead of a waistband but I didn't fancy redoing the whole zip again!
By the way, note that the actual pattern drafting is good (e.g. notches match, seams line up, measurements are correct etc.) and I have no problem with my body shape. The beauty of sewing is being able to adapt to your personal preference and try different things.
Notes on making waistbands
Fitting and ease
The amount of ease (2cm) I found to be exactly right at the waistband. Not too tight that I can’t eat, but not too loose that it’s falling off. I call myself a size “9” (in between UK size 8 and 10) at the waist, with a waist measurement 72cm. So on the pattern when I trace the size, I just draw my own line between size 8 and size 10. The finished measurement is then halfway between that of size 8 and size 10 (i.e. 74cm).
If you are making a toile of a skirt or trousers with no elastic waist, I strongly suggest you put in the facing or make the whole waistband. It sounds like a lot of work, but having them in really does affect the final fit in terms of the waist.
Finishing and construction
There are many ways to finish a waistband on the inside. The fastest way is to overlock the bottom edge, then stitch in the ditch from the right side like this diagram
However, because this skirt has a button tab, I decided I wanted to finish the waistband cleanly. So I deviated from the instructions folded under the raw edge then hand-stitched in place. You can see how this is construction is slightly different from the instruction.
And that's all I have to say on the skirt! I like it for summer styled with a tee and hat, and after wearing it around for a bit I can verify the fabric feels nice to wear. Thank you to Lamazi for providing the fabric, and I look forward to sewing together the leftover cuts for something else later on.