Summer Stripes

Honestly, what does one wear to work when it’s 24 degrees plus outside but the air con is on full blast in the office?  It’s a question I’ve been pondering for a few weeks now… You don’t want heavy trousers or dark tights on the London Underground in the summer, but then you don’t want a short skirt in a freezing cold office..  Quite the conundrum.

After a few weeks thought, I’m starting to think culottes and midi length skirts may be the answer. However, I’ve realised I have shockingly few of both of those in my wardrobe, so here goes Project Iz Makes Summer Clothes 2018 (name tbc)!

The Pattern.

For the first time, I thought I’d draft myself a skirt, without a pattern.  I knew I wanted to make a gathered skirt and really that’s only a rectangle of fabric.  However, I see this dress as a mash up of the Deer and Doe Myosotis Dress and the By Hand London Orsola Skirt

For guidance on width, I used the Deer & Doe Myosotis Dress skirt pattern piece but lengthened it a good four inches.  Then for the waist tie, I cut a piece about 3 inches wide and as long as the piece of fabric I had left (about 1.5 metres).

The Fabric. 

I had some left over black and white stripey material from my Deer & Doe Myosotis Dress.  It was really lovely to work with the first time so I thought I’d use up what I had left.  My best guess is it’s a viscose/polyester blend of some sort.

It’s a little sheer, so (as with my Myosotis) I think I’ll have to wear a slip with it. It’s also really floaty so I’m fairly concerned about how it’ll work on the tube… am I going to have a Marilyn moment?!  Highly likely.

The Make.

A really quick make, I’m now fully converted to the self-drafted skirt! My first step was to cut two rectangles for the front and back skirt pieces (using the Myosotis skirt pattern piece for guidance on the width).  I then cut a length of material for the waist band.

In terms of construction, I first sewed up both side-seams, leaving space for a lapped zip on one side.  Honestly, I didn’t have a black zip in my stash so I ended up using a green one – it’s a little noticeable but I was on a sewing-roll and couldn’t be bothered to go out to buy another zip!

I then inserted the zip leaving about an inch spare at the top of the side seam.  My next step was to gather the skirt front and back, which I did using the dental floss method (my fave of all gathering methods – it’s a dream).  I then measured my waist (65cm), worked out where the middle point of the waist band piece was and then marked 33cm on each side of the mid-point with a point.

I attached the gathered skirt to the waistband at these markers and sewed the two together.  I then took a leaf out of the By Hand London Orsola skirt book, and sewed the ends of the ties right sides together and pulled them the right way out.  I sewed the middle waist band to the skirt, which I slip-stitched (I didn’t have quite enough material left to stitch-in-the-ditch). Then, all that was left was to hem it; I took a couple of inches off the length and used a two cm hem (1cm turned under).  Despite being such a floaty material, it was surprisingly easy to iron and hem.


Overall, I’m really pleased with how this turned out.  It was a pretty quick make (about an afternoon) and I really think that it will serve its purpose of being summery but also appropriate for an air-conditioned office.  Only time will tell!  All that being said, I’ve realised I’ve made a skirt that doesn’t go with any of the tops I already own.. Well done Iz.  Oh well, that’ll be my next make 🙂


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