Victory Patterns Madeleine Skirt
Posted on Saturday the 30th March 2019 by Wanderstitch
Hi guys - Sarah from Wanderstitch here again! Another month, another make - this one is a skirt that's perfect for the changing seasons.
I'm not really a great fan of skirts, especially summer ones, but there's something about corduroy skirts that just lure me in. Last year, I made the Rosari Skirt by Pauline Alice (you can find that post on the Minerva Blog here), and this time around I've used the same corduroy to make the Madeleine Skirt by Victory Patterns.
I knew the corduroy was a winner from my previous make - it's super soft, a nice true black, and the perfect weight for colder weather skirts and trousers. Even after pre-washing, it didn't lose any dye or go all fluffy.
The Madeleine skirt is an unlined circle skirt with braces (or suspenders, depending on where in the world you're from!) with big deep pockets.
You need 60 inch wide fabric for this skirt - the pattern pieces won't fit onto 45 inch wide fabric - so bear this in mind when you're choosing yours! Any bottom weight fabric will work - denims, twills, corduroy and heavier cottons will be perfect. You'll also need maybe half a metre of pocket lining - yep, half a metre, I told you those pockets were big!
Some interfacing is also needed, for the waistband, but you could use either sew-in or iron-on depending on your preference. I used medium weight sew in for mine.
The skirt is a super simple make - perfect for a beginner or a first attempt at a skirt. It closes with a lapped zip at centre back, but clear, step by step instructions are included in the pattern to help you through. You'll definitely want to use a nylon zip that's the same colour as your fabric for this, as I found that my lap lifts up ever so slightly.
Let's talk about topstitching thread for a minute - there's a fair bit of topstitching on this skirt, so you'll need some heavier thread. I use Mettler Topstitch Thread and also a heavier needle with a larger eye. You'll only want to use the heavier thread in the top needle - stick with your regular thread in the bobbin. An alternative method - but one that's MUCH harder to unpick should you get it wrong - is to use your regular thread on a triple stitch instead. In a nutshell, this means you're sewing a regular straight stitch (the same as you'd use for the seams) but each stitch is gone over three times to create the illusion of a thicker thread. But like I said, this is a pain to unpick, so only use it when you're feeling good about getting it right first time. Sewing the decorative curves on the pockets of the Madeleine is NOT the time to be testing out the triple stitch - straight lines are much easier.
I didn't interface the braces, because I wanted them to be quite soft and fluid, and I'm happy with how they turned out. I'm also pretty happy with my topstitching on the pockets - it seems to be mostly in the right place! Don't worry, a cut-out guide is provided with the pattern for that topstitch curve so you don't have to completely blag it!
I chose some beautiful Metal Buttons for the front of the braces and centre back closure, and used some flat plastic ones for the inside of the back waistband where the braces join. You can go crazy with the buttons on the outside, but you're definitely going to want to use flat ones for the inside - after all, they're going to be pressing against your back when you're sitting on a chair so you don't want anything chunky.
Hemming circle skirts can be a bit hit and miss because you've got to ease in the fullness, but I find using bias tape makes the whole thing considerably easier. Plain black bias tape is easy to come by, and I use half-inch/12mm width for hems. One inch wide tape seems to be the most popular, but it's too wide to use for hemming clothes - unless you're planning on faffing around trimming it down (and I speak from experience, it IS a faff), just buy the half-inch stuff.
Overall I'm really pleased with how the skirt turned out - it goes perfectly with a polo neck or shirt, and can be worn with tights in the winter and without when it gets a little warmer. It's a winner!
Sarah // Wanderstitch