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A Christmas Wishes Skirt by Karen

Hello all! It’s Karen here, and though you can usually find me over at Hyacinth Bloom, today I’m reviewing some Festive Fabric that the lovely people at Minerva Crafts sent to me.

What sort of sewing project comes to mind when you see this fabric? Perhaps you might think to make some decorative Christmas bunting, or maybe even gift bags ready to fill for Christmas morning. But me, I thought: skirt. Yep that’s right, as soon as I saw this fabric I knew it needed to be a skirt. This is the Christmas Wishes Fabric in the green colourway. One of the reasons I knew it had to be a skirt was because of its colour. It’s a lovely dark forest green, which will pair nicely with my bright red Christmas jumper. I am indeed one of those peculiar people who enjoys wearing festive themed clothing throughout the month of December. I currently own three Christmas jumpers and enough Christmas earrings to see me the entire way through Advent. Last year I made myself a Sew Over It Vintage Shirtdress in this adorable Gingerbread Man Fabric. What, therefore, could be better than adding a Christmas skirt to my collection?

What took the most time was in fact choosing which skirt pattern to use. I knew that the skirt needed to be comfortable (as Christmas tends in our house to involve quite a lot of sitting, chatting and eating). I also knew that the skirt couldn’t be cut on the bias because of the directional nature of the print. The fabric is a woven polycotton, and it is also actually rather stiff with little or no drape. After an amount of dithering I eventually decided to have a go at ‘drafting’ my own skirt pattern. (I say drafting, but really I just cut out a bunch of rectangles that were approximate to my measurements). I chose to create a button-up gathered skirt (with pockets, because you always need pockets). To do this I needed a waistband piece, a back piece, two front pieces and pocket pieces.

The width and length of the rectangles I cut was the result of how much fabric I had to play with. (The fabric is relatively narrow). With the fabric folded in half I cut two large rectangles. One of these I cut along the fold line to create the front pieces. For the second of these I cut a few inches off the selvedge side of the fabric to create a slightly smaller back piece. (The pieces I cut off then became interfacing for the front button plackets). I used the pocket pieces and construction method from the McCalls M6696 Pattern, which I have made up several times this year so am most familiar with.

The fabric pressed well during the construction process. The stiffness of the fabric certainly lent itself to a crisp finish. The pockets and majority of the seams were finished with pinking shears and a zig-zag stitch. (Though the fabric doesn’t really fray so wouldn’t require that much finishing if you didn’t want to). For the gathers I used the dental floss method, which sees you creating a channel for the floss with a zig-zag stitch. When one end is securely fastened, the other end can be pulled tight to gather the material. The result is the same as using gathering threads, but without the frustration of continuous snapping. I opted to hem the skirt using a contrasting white ribbon as I think it gives a neater finish and I quite like the look of it. For the finishing touch I just used a handful of green coloured Fish-Eye Buttons as my fastenings.

I’m really happy with how this Christmas skirt has turned out. This Christmas Fabric is perhaps not one that immediately seems an obvious choice for a garment. I’m not entirely sure that this fabric would work as a full-on garment like a dress, but I think it works pretty well as a skirt. The stiffness of the fabric gives the skirt a more voluminous shape than you might achieve with a more drapey fabric. It was an easy fabric to work with and is also incredibly budget friendly, meaning that this is a great place to start for a beginner dressmaker. 

Perhaps this isn’t the softest or most professional looking garment in my handmade wardrobe, but it is a great deal of fun. And isn’t that what you want at Christmas?

With many thanks to Minerva Crafts for this festive addition to my wardrobe, and seasonal greetings to you all!

Thank for reading,

Karen @ Hyacinth Bloom

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