Hey guys! I'm back here on the Minerva blog with my February make, and can you believe it - it's another sensible plain skirt! Last month I made the Pauline Alice Rosari skirt, this month it's the Pulmu skirt from Named Patterns.

It's been hit and miss with Named patterns for me so far - their Kielo dress might be my most favourite pattern EVER (in fact I think it is), but I really didn't like the Olivia Wrap dress on me. I do love a lot of the Named range though - so I thought I'd give them another try with their Pulmu Skirt. If I'm completely honest, I was in two minds about sewing the Pulmu as I was worried it would make me look a bit frumpy - but I was *really* drawn to the high-waisted style, especially with the belt.

The pattern recommends a lightweight skirting with 0-5% stretch - think crepes and cottons. I don't like the texture of crepe (I know, it's just a weird thing I have, like the same way some people don't like the texture of bananas), and wanted to make it in something a little more stable like a denim or corduroy. I'd done some lurking on t'internet and had seen a few made up in denims and linens so I chose this black Corduroy Fabric. I toyed with the idea of a colour blocked skirt, but was unsure at this stage whether this style of skirt would actually suit me so for the first one I decided to play it safe with plain black. Plus it would go with everything! I'd read the blog posts of other people who had made the skirt, and caught on pretty quickly to the fact that you can see the lining fabric at the side vents when the skirt is worn - so I chose a really cool Zebra Print Satin Fabric for the lining.

I graded between three different sizes from the waist to the hip - even though from the pattern line drawing it looks like there's quite a curve going on there already, my hips are a force to be reckoned with so based on the pattern chart measurements I went two sizes bigger at the hip than at the waist. It's actually a perfect fit - whoop!

I decided to topstitch the seams just to give it a little interest, because after all it's a plain black skirt and you know how much it pains me to abandon my prints! BIG MISTAKE. I pressed the seam allowances open and then topstitched, and this meant that when I came to sew the vents I couldn't join the seam allowance in the way I needed to in order to get a crisp corner. They have this lovely, crisp point on the skirt on the pattern envelope, and mine is an absolute train wreck. And I knew, JUST KNEW that my lining fabric would not be the right length for everything to sit nicely when the skirt was complete and sure enough, right at the centre back the lining was too short and was pulling up the hem.

I have sewn the skirt without making any adjustments to the length, despite Named drafting for someone that's about 5'9 and me being 5'5. I wanted to see how it fell without making any adjustments, because making adjustments to this design would be a bit of a faff. You could take it in at the hips, but then this would alter the shape of the side panels, or you could take it in below the vent opening at the sides but that would in turn shorten the length of the vent. I'm actually really happy with the length that it is, and will make future ones at this length too (and that's not just a cop-out to dodge having to figure out how to make the adjustments, either - promise).

The belt as per the pattern has D rings to close, but I didn't really like the look of them (how exactly do they work anyway? Do you have to keep tightening them?) and I prefer a nice tidy belt rather than one that dangles down the front of the skirt - I can just see it getting caught in the shredder at work. I swapped out the D rings for a buckle that I got off eBay for literally a couple of pounds. I then realised that I actually had no idea how to go about installing it, so took the best approach I could think of at the time - I sewed a buttonhole for the buckle arm to go through, folded the belt through and then got the husbeast to install a couple of rivets to hold the end in place. We then realised that I needed belt holes, and unlike leather you can't just go about punching holes through the fabric because there's going to be a fray party pretty sharpish and the whole belt is invited...

We then (and when I say 'we', I mean the husband) installed some eyelets for the belt holes, and midway through him doing the first one when I said 'make sure you get the front of the eyelet on the front of the belt' he then proceeded very sheepishly to try and get the eyelet out of the belt because he had, in fact, installed it backwards.

I'm calling this one a wearable toile, because I need to work on that vent opening. It's allowed me to figure out whether the style suits me (it does), and whether the length is ok (it is). To me the panelled design is just CRYING out to be colour blocked, so I think that will be next on the list. I actually do really love the shape of this skirt, and I don't think it's frumpy at all. In fact, I think I might have found a skirt pattern that I'll make a few more of - and there's not many of those around!

I'll be back next month with another make... and I promise it's not another black skirt!!

Sarah // Wanderstitch