Monday, 2 January 2017

Hacked Charlotte Skirt

Start of November 2016 feels like a long time ago now. A lot has happened since. I wanted to make a sexy, spooky Charlotte dress for the Simple Sew bloggers meet up and to wow all the boys on Bonfire night (!). I was familiar with the pattern after making my first which was both a blog and office winner, so thought knocking together one in crushed velvet would be a breeze. Well, it didn't happen. There was no velvet Charlotte and there was no wowing boys.

What I'd forgotten about crushed velvet was its highly irritating desire to roll at the edges. Overlocking the seams to stop this just stretched the crap out of it and I ended up with an awful seam line lump right the way around the midriff. The fabric clung to my tummy and wasn't nipping in under the bust, so the illusion was small tits big tum which I wasn't really fancying as my new nickname.

The logical thing to do was to unpick the crap out of it and make separates. The top fitted around the bust much better without the skirt pulling it down, but sadly it was just too short to be salvageable. There's flashing a bit of midriff, and then there's wearing things that just don't fit. The bugger would have needed hemming too after the unpicking drama, which would have made it even shorter! I fancied maybe attaching something to the bottom- but that's exactly what I'd done to start with and that hadn't worked. A circular skirt rather than fitted would have worked... But I've already made that dress!

I had a lot to take out of the waist of the skirt to make it more of a wiggle shape, then opted for a simple elastic waistband. To avoid having to hem (cheater) I attached a wide lace trim on the bottom. Usually save that fancy shit for underwear so quite liked the chance to have it on show. My mom said it looked like an underskirt, followed by 'But I bet you don't mind'... She knows me.

Was surprised how well I'd managed to make something out of something so close to getting binned, even if it took me the best part of a month to go back and have a go. It's not remotely adventurous, but better than a total fail.

(-3°C up there, almost as cold as my hands)

Going to think twice about velvet in future. It's still a bitch to sew and also this skirt rides up like hell as the inside is so smooth. Was going to wear it for gigging but the thought of tugging down between each song was enough to put me off. She might be up to a coffee date in summer when I can get them ghost legs out without tights.

I've got a little new years' sewing list though, and 'make something spooky' is on there. Velvet gotta be the spookiest of them all so not sure how I'm gonna keep away! For fitted dresses I think the trick is not to have a waistline seam and instead cut all in one piece, which is totally doable. Also maybe use a velvet that is a bit more heavy duty and not cheap as chips. I'm currently loving Madame Tifaine's Deer and Doe Zephyr Dress. Looks proper swish!

Happy New Sewing Year friends, bloggers and secret admirers. I have a few exciting projects in mind for this year... #Sassy17 #Spooky17 #Sexy17


Location: Meersbrook Park, Sheffield
Currently Listening to: Can't Win 'Em All, Hanni El Khatib


  1. I think your skirt looks great, I love the lace hem and you did a fab job of bringing it back to life and not leaving it in the corner (like I do). I've never sewn with velvet, it scares the crap out of me!

    1. Thanks! Proud of myself for doing something with it! Scares the crap out of me too!! Haha xox

  2. Well played. Looks super smart and by the sounds of it complex to make!

  3. It looks so fab! Can't believe it was such an ordeal yet you still managed to get a great skirt out of it at the end - huge props for persevering! I've definitely found that using the ever-so-slightly more expensive velvet makes working with it much easier, though it can be a bit hard to find the good stuff. Can usually get decent velvet from the grab bins at Abakhan :)
    Happy spooky 17! X

    1. Haha thanks Shauni! Definitely want to make something similar out of better fabric. Got an Abakhan trip lined up so fingers crossed! xox