Let me just start off by saying I LOVE this Kelly skirt pattern. It’s incredibly simple – 5 pieces, and the skirt sections are nice and rectangular (which is magical when it comes time to make flat pattern alterations, especially to the length). Easy and fun to sew, and super duper flattering. I love it and I want to make its babies.
And I love my denim version – I really really do – but DAMN GIRL we got off to a rough start
I bought this denim at Mood while I was NY (I’m starting to sound like a broken record… sorry! I told you I bought a lot of shit while I was there, deeeal with it haha). While I can’t tell you exactly what it is so you can find some for yourself (although George might, he found it and squirreled it away for me because he is awesome), I can say that it is a lovely light/medium weight, dark dark denim with no stretch. The color is super rich, and it has a nice body without being super heavy and stiff. Also, I bought like 3 yards of it. Expect more denim-wear, aha
So, like I said – this is the Kelly skirt. I made this lil’ dude before in corduroy. I wanted to make this immediately after that silk near-disaster, as something easy and mindless that didn’t require a lot of focus. Plus, my wardrobe was desperately missing a denim skirt, as my faithful denim Ginger is just way too big for me to continue wearing at this point. Kill two birds with one stone? Don’t mind if I do!
Well, I don’t know what I did wrong here, but the making of this skirt was a HOT MESS from practically beginning to end! You can’t tell from the finished skirt, because it’s awesome (and I’m totally tooting my own horn here, dgaf. toot, toot), but there was lots of screaming and cussing during the process. I know, I cuss even when I’m thrilled with how things are going – but I’ve never cussed AT my machine until this. Sorry, Nina :\
My biggest issue was that top stitching thread. My machine was NOT having it, and kept throwing fits at me every time I tried to sew. If you think the topstitching looks good – well, that’s because I ripped out out several times. I had a lot of practice at that point! Good thing denim is forgiving when you hit it with the steam iron, because I had a big ol’ denim needle and everything. The machine just kept flipping it’s shit over the thread – I had to use all-purpose (aka, regular) thread in the bobbin, which caused the tension to freak out in a major way. I probably spent about an hour fussing over the bobbin tension, trying different threads and needles and changing the numbers and… ugh. That was the biggest issue. I was so concerned, I actually asked the Bernina store if my machine was behaving normally or if I needed to take her in for a check-up. General consensus was that the machine was being finicky due to the thread, that these things happen, and next time I should try a topstitching needle (me: oooh, those exist?!).
So, I spent foreeeeever messing with that, and ripping seams and restitching and re-ripping, and finally I had my waistband on – topstitched and everything. I put the skirt around my waist to check the fit. Uhmm… I know my last skirt was a tiny bit big, so I sliced off just the tiniest bit of size for this time… and it was TOO SMALL. Like, a good half-inch smaller than my actual waist measurement. Wtf?! I don’t know what I did, but I must’ve fucked it up somewhere. I also couldn’t let the waistband out at the seam allowances because I’d aggressively clipped the corners for when I turned them out :X
In the end, I unpicked the old one and cut a new waistband. It wasn’t too painful to do – especially with that steam press interfacing fusing masterpiece I now have. YEP. I also ripped out one of the front plackets and sewed it slightly narrower, to give the skirt a little bit of extra room up top.
I also had problems with my button holes. The machine just wasn’t having it… especially when I tried to make them vertical. I ripped out 4 button holes before I just let them be horizontal. I also had problems with top stitching the hem, but I won’t get into that. I can just be an idiot sometimes.
After seam-ripping my button holes open, I don’t really like the way the threads are hanging out there everywhere. So sloppy! Soooo, I bought myself a button hole cutter. FANCY. I can’t wait to use it!
You may notice that I didn’t have enough buttons – the pattern calls for 7, I had 6. I compensated by only putting one on the waistband, and sewing a hook and eye below it so it wouldn’t gape.
The topstitching did turn out nice in the end, after MUCH finagling. Just a little tip – when you’re topstitching, increase the stitch length slightly (for me, I go from 2.5 to 3). It makes for a prettier stitch
And hey, here’s a little surprise – polka dot in the pockets! This is the same Marc Jacobs fabric I used for my Miette wrap skirt.
One last thing – remember when I said I only had 6 buttons for this skirt? Wellllll, I was trying to jump on Landon’s back and unfortunately I broke the bottom button. Haha! I mean, split the shank and everything. So now I only have 5. If the hem stitching looks mis-matched, it’s because I pinned the skirt together at the bottom for the pictures and I didn’t do quite a good job. I promise that shit actually matches… I spent a good 45 minutes futzing with it, you know OH, and in case you were wondering… that is totally an original Stray Cats shirt, and it is totally awesome.
This will be great for Me-Made-May – I LIVED in my denim Ginger last summer. So glad we can finally be reunited, even if it’s a different pattern