Tag Archives: skirt

New for spring…and a call-out for San Francisco local knowledge

A+ skirt with Julia cardigan // Behind the HedgerowInspired by an upcoming blogger’s weekend in Paris (more on that very soon ūüėČ ), I decided to make a spring ensemble to rival the sunniest day!

Early tomorrow morning we’re off to San Francisco (eek!!!) – and right now it’s 10.30pm – and I haven’t packed yet – so this will be a brief post filled with brightly coloured pictures and me looking a bit awkward in front of the camera (out of practice!!).

A+ skirt with Julia cardigan // Behind the Hedgerow

The Skirt…

…is the A+ skirt by Make it Perfect patterns. ¬†It’s a classic a-line shape with a top yoke and different versions to include pockets, button placket, or ribbon detail. ¬†Overall the pattern is well-drafted and clearly explained. ¬†Just a few things to note:

  • The top yoke is unlined. ¬†I thought this wouldn’t have enough structure so I added a facing using the same pattern piece as for the yoke itself. ¬†I also used some fusible interfacing on the facing piece. ¬†A quick fix for a more structured waist.
  • I lined the skirt. ¬†I attached it to the seam line of the yoke/skirt (wrong sides together) and this worked well.
  • My measurements were in between a small and medium and I made the medium. ¬†Now that I try it on I think it’s a bit too big. ¬†With a skirt like this you want it to be pretty snug so it stays in place.
  • I love the pockets on the skirt but I find them a little too low.
  • I do love an a-line shape in skirts but, for me, this one is a bit too flared. ¬†I’m being really picky because it’s only marginally wider than I would like.
  • The zip insertion and instructions are great. ¬†I almost always do an invisible zip but¬†I think I now might be a convert to the lapped zip!

A+ skirt with Julia cardigan // Behind the Hedgerow

To make this my perfect a-line skirt, next time I would use the facing and lining as described above, make the yoke piece slightly narrower which would bring the pockets up a bit higher, size down to small, and make the a-line shape a little less pronounced.

The cardigan…

A+ skirt with Julia cardigan // Behind the Hedgerow

…is the Julia Cardigan by Mouse House Creations. ¬†This is the second time I’ve sewn this pattern. ¬†This is the first version I made.

julia-cardi-title-image-21This is one of my most-warn cardigans (and that’s saying a lot considering it doesn’t even have pockets!!). ¬†You can read a full pattern review here.

With such a love for this pattern,¬†I didn’t change much in this version. ¬†In fact, the only thing I changed was the sleeve length (long sleeves to 3/4 length sleeves). ¬†The fabric itself is much thinner so it drapes a bit differently but I think I’ll love this one just as much.

Overall, I love my new cheery spring outfit. ¬†I can see many sunny days sipping cocktails in the sun…

A+ skirt with Julia cardigan // Behind the Hedgerow

And now onto our holiday…

Yup, we’re off to San Francisco. ¬†I’m American, I live in England, and everyone I meet here assumes I know San Francisco like the back of my hand. ¬†The truth is I’ve never been to California at all! ¬†We’re visiting some dear friends but that’s not to say I won’t have plenty of time for fabric and haberdashery shopping! ¬†So, do any of you out there have any not-to-be-missed suggestions (fabric or otherwise)?! ¬†Where to get the best Japanese food? ¬†Is Alcatraz worth doing? ¬†Any good day trip ideas with kids? ¬†If you want to follow any of our shenanigans and discoveries make sure to follow on Instagram.

A+ skirt with Julia cardigan // Behind the Hedgerow

Thanks to you all for reading and here’s hoping that spring and sunshine will be filling your days!

Laura x


Simplicity 1617 for Minerva Crafts Blogger Network

Simplicity 1617 // Behind the Hedgerow

 Make this pattern if:  you want the effect of a peplum skirt but with the practicality of having pockets.

Don’t make this pattern if: ¬†you like your summer skirts floaty and breezy.

I’ve been on a bit of a skirt sewing mission at the moment (and I have at least two more to come). ¬†I’ve never found a favourite go-to skirt pattern and I think it’s about time I did!

The Pattern

So, today I offer up Simplicity 1617 as part of the Minerva Craft Blogger Network.  I was initially drawn to the pockets in views A, C, and D.  I made view D.

These over-sized floppy pockets turned out to be the trickiest part of this project.  I assumed that they were patch pockets sewn to the front of the skit but nooooo they actually look like this!

Simplicity 1617 // Behind the HedgerowI actually like this but it meant that I got myself all in a muddle when trying to work out how to get them on!


I also got the sizing a bit wrong. ¬†I made a size 10 – one size smaller than my measurements – because previous Simplicity patterns have come up too big. ¬†Well, pretty predictably it ended up being too small! ¬†I let out the side seams as much as possible and think it just about works. ¬†Take note – they don’t say “err on the side of too large rather than too small” for nothing! ¬†It would have been much easier to just take it in a bit on the sides.

Simplicity 1617 // Behind the Hedgerow


This skirt is made from a lightweight chambray cotton.  Chambray is made with different colours in the weft and warp (in this case blue and white) to give it a two-toned effect.  You can read lots of interesting facts about chambray in this post by imagine gnats.

It’s quite lightweight – a bit lighter than I expected – so I added a lining. ¬†Although this fabric did work for a skirt I think it may actually be more¬†appropriate for a top. ¬†You can see a great version of Vogue 1323 made up in this same chambray over on Yes I Like That. ¬†(This pattern is going straight to the top of my to-sew list!).

Perhaps a better choice for this skirt would be a slightly more stable stretch denim. ¬†That little bit of stretch wouldn’t go amiss over the ole’ hips either ;-). ¬†I just bought this from Minerva for a different project but think it would be perfect here.

 The Verdict

To be honest, the jury’s out on this one. ¬†The overall shape, with the flapping pockets, is reminiscent of a peplum skirt and, nothing against peplum skirts (Chinelo¬†from Great British Sewing Bee fame¬†has made some stellar versions) but they’ve never really been my cup of tea.

Simplicity 1617 // Behind the Hedgerow

But just because I don’t normally wear a particular style doesn’t mean I should dismiss it altogether, right? ¬†I haven’t worn this skirt out and about yet but I think that once I have it’ll be love or hate!

Simplicity 1617 // Behind the Hedgerow

So I guess this post, even though written about a completed garment, is actually a work in progress. ¬†I’ll let you know how things work out!

Simplicity 1617 // Behind the Hedgerow

Thanks for reading,

Laura x

Sew a summer skirt 101 [Minerva Craft Blogger Network]


Sometimes I wonder exactly who you are. ¬†Yes, you! ¬†Perhaps you’re all seasoned sewists who check in on me now and again in an “awww, isn’t she cute trying to sew” kind of way; or maybe you’re absolute beginners looking for a little guidance from a fellow sewing enthusiast (and I sincerely hope there’s a lovely mix of both types out there).

Simplicity 1616 // Behind the Hedgerow

Whatever your level or background, we all love a simple skirt, right?!  Well, that is exactly what I have to share with you this month for the Minerva Craft Blogger Network.

The Pattern

The pattern is Simplicity 1616. ¬†Yes, it’s as basic as they come but it’s also an incredibly useful staple. ¬†It has versions for both knit and woven fabric and, especially if you’re new to sewing, it walks you through the (very few) steps to create the skirt – sew side seams, sew on waistband, hem, DONE! ¬†It really is that easy! ¬†I made this skirt in way under an hour and still had time and fabric left to make a matching one for Margot.

The waistband is a fold-over yoga-style which means you can throw this baby on in a seconds flat…and it’s ridiculously comfortable!

Simplicity 1616 // Behind the Hedgerow

The Fabric

If you’re going to make something as simple as this then it’s important to consider the fabric carefully. ¬†A basic solid colour skirt would be acceptable but this techno-bright digital floral graphic is waaaay more fun, I think you’ll agree!

Simplicity 1616 // Behind the Hedgerow

This is a heavy(ish) weight polyester/spandex jersey fabric. ¬†The print is fun and vivid, the feel is slippery yet weighty and it’s listed on the Minerva Craft site as Scuba bodycon – which I found somewhat scary and slightly intimidating. ¬†I had to double-check with Minerva to make sure it would be suitable for a simple skirt.

It turns out it’s perfect for this skirt. ¬†I made view A but shortened it by 15 inches. ¬†For Margot’s skirt I used the skirt part of the pattern from Kitschy Coo’s Skater Dress and drafted a waistband based on her measurements. ¬†Again, easy as pie – and one happy girl!

Simplicity 1616 // Behind the Hedgerow

One word to the wise, especially if using this fabric for children’s clothes, it will pick quite easily so, if such things bother you, take care.

I’ve crossed a line

This innocuous little project has also seen me cross a sewing line that I thought would never happen Рmatching mother/daughter clothes!  I cringe even when I type out the words!  What have I done!?

Simplicity 1616 // Behind the Hedgerow

Well, if I’m totally honest I can’t say I’m that surprised. ¬†Ever since I’ve seen Trine (Groovybaby…and Mama) sew up some fabulous ensembles for her and her daughter I knew that matching clothes could now officially be classed as cool and acceptable (at least in my world of what’s ‘official’ and what’s ‘cool’). ¬†What about you?! ¬†Are you rushing out to buy bolts of fabric destined for matching outfits or are you currently un-subscribing to this blog with the mere suggestion of such a fashion faux-pas?

Sum up

These things are true:

  • Summer is around the corner (at least for us Northern Hemispherers)
  • Time is always the most valuable commodity
  • Swishy skirts add fun and frivolity to life
  • If you have a daughter, you can now be twins!

Do you need any more persuading! ¬†It’ll be the best 45 minutes you’ve ever spent sewing something so simple!

Simplicity 1616 // Behind the Hedgerow

Thanks for reading,

Laura x

PS – Have you noticed some changes around the blog?! ¬†I have now moved from wordpress.com to wordpress.org! ¬†Way-hey! ¬†There will be more changes in the coming days and I’m working on my own little giveaway as well! ¬†Stay tuned and in the meantime feel free to have a fresh look around.


An unexpected new skirt

Japanese skirt - wearing, looking down

While trawling through my Bloglovin’ feed the other day I saw this post from Sanea Ishida and thought to myself, ‘that skirt looks familiar.’ ¬†Sure enough, it’s the very same Japanese skirt that I started to make for myself….over a year ago!! ¬†I got as far as the muslin stage and my enthusiasm for this wrap-around-but-not-really-wrap-around skirt waned.

After seeing Sanea’s version I was inspired to dig mine out of my Projects in Progress box (euphemism for failures, boring sewing jobs I don’t like doing, and any other half-completed project that I no longer had the energy or desire to complete).

Japanese skirt - hanging

This skirt is from Simple Modern Sewing: 8 Basic Patterns to Create 25 Favorite Garments¬†by Shufu To Seikatsu Sha. ¬†It’s described as casual – which it certainly is – and I’ve channelled that casual vibe by leaving the edges of the ties unfinished so they’re all nice and frayed. ¬†Ha! – that makes it sound like I planned the whole thing out. ¬†In reality I just didn’t take the time to do the ties correctly. ¬†This muslin version is made from cheap muslin fabric from Ikea and at some point I guess I thought it was salvageable so I dyed it blue. ¬†I’m hoping it looks like a lovely chambray fabric (even though the un-dyed polyester white thread is kind of a give away about the dying).

Japanese skirt - waist detail

As far as I remember this pattern was pretty straightforward, although I did manage to sew the opening on the wrong side.

Once I dug it out of my box, all I had to do to finish this version was to iron it and hem it.  I stuck with white thread (so the whole skirt was more consistent) and used a twin needle.   I really like this feature.

Japanese skirt - hem detail

Conclusion – so, hey!, I have a new skirt today…something I didn’t expect when I woke up this morning! ¬†Do I love it? – no, not really. ¬†Because of the fold in the fabric to create the wrap around effect it adds extra bulk to the waistline – something I could really do without. ¬†Will I wear it? – you bet! ¬†If I continue to convince myself it’s Chambray rather than dyed muslin then I think it’s kinda cute. ¬†I also really like the length – something I wasn’t really sure about until I started wearing it.

Japanese skirt - side view, wearing

See that extra bulk around the waist? It’s all due to the fabric – I pinky swear!

Do you have projects lurking around somewhere that are only half-completed? ¬†Go ahead, get them out!! ¬†Maybe, like me, you’ll be plesantly surprised!

Thanks for reading,

Laura x