Time is flying - It's time for my second Minerva project, when it feels I only just finished the last one!

I've mentioned before that I have to wear black for work, which can be boring, to say the least. It's easy to fall into a rut of t-shirt, skirt, and cardigan. So every now and then I try to change it up with a different approach.

Enter Simplicity 1690 by Leanne Marshall:

Not being a watcher of 'Project Runway', I'd never heard of Leanne Marshall, but Google tells me she won season 5 of the show with a collection inspired by waves. The skirt caught my eye with its drapey panel on the front; for a moment I thought it could be a bit over the top for work, but hey - a day without dressing up is a day wasted!

I chose a medium weight polyester twill fabric for the skirt, and a light weight crinkle satin (can't remember the fibre content...) for the top, and here's the result:

I really like this outfit and can't wait to wear it to work! The skirt is deceptively easy to make - it really only took about 3 evenings to make, and the top took an episode of 'Homeland' and the film 'Hannah' from cutting out to finishing up. Super quick! And the fabrics turned out to be perfect - the skirt is just the right weight (not too heavy, not too light; therefore it didn't need lining), and the satin has a peach-effect backing which feels lovely against the skin.

As usual, I did make a few adjustments:

  • The instructions direct you to sew the zip in all the way to the top of the waistband, but I prefer a lapped zipper and a waistband that overlaps, which I then secured with a metal bar clasp:
  • After copious measuring, I decided to cut the size 14, which should by rights be a bit small for me in the waist, but with ease, etc, it fits fine. I also lengthened the skirt by about 3"

That mysterious white smudge is on the lens, not the skirt!

I used french seams to finish the insides of the skirt (click here for a how to), which makes for some bulky junctions in some areas, so I had to make sure they were trimmed down A LOT. It also meant that I couldn't gather the skirt with one run of machine stitching because it wouldn't pull through the seams and kept snapping, so I resorted to gathering it in sections. A little more time consuming, but a little less frustrating.

I'd definitely make this skirt and top again because it was so easy and so effective. And you can make it too with all the fabrics and notions in this months material list.

See you soon!