Sorry for the kind of blurry photo – the rest of them are better! We were in a slight hurry to get to a birthday party, and since this picture best shows the shape of the Beignet skirt I’m running with it rather than retake the photos. The birthday party was lovely, and I got to wear my very recently finished Beignet (so recent I, ahem, didn’t finish the self-tie or the beltloops. They’re coming soon).
Fabric: Pinwale cotton corduroy from Fishman’s Fabrics in Chicago. Beautiful quality fabric, like everything from that store (though often on the expensive side by US standards). I cut the pieces out so long ago, I don’t know how much I’ve used, but I think at least 3/4 yards of a full 58″ width, possibly a little more for the odd facing piece. I still have fabric left over, though no plans for it yet! For lining I used remnants of kimono silk left over from a theater production. Beautiful stuff!
Pattern: Colette Patterns Beignet. I’ve had this pattern for a long time, so it actually has the watercolor illustrations of the first round, which I sort of prefer anyways. First, but not last time making this, for sure.
Techniques: In-seam pockets, fully lined, bound buttonholes, twill tape for stabilizing waistline.
I started this skirt over a year ago, and meant to finish it for a Sew Weekly challenge on buttons. For someone who enjoys the process of sewing very much, and in her perfectionist tendencies decided that all twelve buttonholes must be *bound*, it was a bit of a foolish endeavor to undertake in a week. So – the night before the challenge deadline I conceded I would not in fact have time to attach lining to shell, hem it all, and construct the 9 remaining buttonholes. And so it was put away.
Clearly I finished them eventually, but my goodness, there is a lot of fiddly steps to the bound buttonholes! After you’ve actually measured out and attached all the little pieces (which I decided would have the wales running in a horizontal direction and therefore needed much precision in applying) and then sliced and turned and steamed and stitched down flaps…. Then you have to make all the corresponding windows for the backsides! They did turn out lovely though, and in many ways I enjoy doing these fiddly bits – making corners for myself, as Kristen called it – but definitely best done not under time constraints.
The fit of this skirt is lovely. It curves beautifully over the lower back, and I think it’s a flattering shape. I will definitely make more of this – I’m thinking a sturdier cotton drill, unlined, with fun bias binding on all the seams for the next one. At the same time, I will probably also make some pattern changes, and also deviate from the instructions in the same way I did this time. For example, the width of the skirt front facing is absolutely killing me. I realized it when constructing the inside windows for the bound buttonholes, and then remembered that I’d seen this problem with other people’s skirts: the facing is too narrow. If you notice in the second buttonhole picture up there, the buttonholes should not be that close to the seamline attaching the lining. Not only did it make it very difficult to properly construct those little windows, but it’s not structurally very good.
I also made steps to reduce bulk over how the pattern is written. For example, all my seams are pressed open instead of to one side, including by the pocket where I just snipped in to the seamline above and under where the pocket is attached. Since the corduroy doesn’t fray super crazy, I also turned up just once for the hem. It won’t really show since the lining hem covers it. Finally, though the pattern doesn’t specify how to attach the twill tape, I chose to butt it up against the waist seamline, but only be caught in the understitching, as I thought it would get too bulky to have it sewn into the actual waist seam and folded back on itself. Oh! I changed my mind – here’s the new “finally”: Finally, I anchored the pocket seam allowance to a skirt panel seam allowance, since the pockets kept flipping back in the wrong direction while I was trying this on. I just laid the skirt flat, and pinned where the pocket could be attached to a vertical seam allowance – if that makes sense?
As mentioned, I used remnants of kimono silk from a theater production to line this skirt. I had to piece several of the panels in order to have enough fabric, but look how lovely it is! I think it was a good choice for the soft corduroy since it provides some body (the silk being a little on the sturdier side). Unfortunately it also makes the skirt just a little lumpy in a way, since the corduroy is so very soft. That’s why for the next Beignet I want to try a sturdier fabric and not line it.
Criticisms aside, I really do like the shape of this skirt, and look forward to making it again. Not to mention how happy I am to have both this fabric out of my stash, and finally – this skirt out of the UFO-pile!