Project 1: My denim skirt (with pockets – I love pockets). Making a plan and a pattern.

I had really wanted a lovely denim skirt for years. I bought one half price from East about 7 years ago and then lost it on the Tube (just to be clear – I wasn’t wearing it at the time – it was in a bag that I forgot).

I have a skirt that I love. I bought it over 10 years ago as an undergraduate and it is just my favourite thing ever. It has six fairly flared skirt pieces a yoke and a simple side zip. I thought that seemed manageable. So the pattern for the denim skirt came mostly from that skirt – but I realised it REALLY needed pockets. I love pockets – everyone needs pockets. From keys to money to smart phones – pockets are the absolute best feature of clothes (other than being warm). But my love of pockets did add a few complications!


To make the pattern I used my daighters IKEA drawing paper – it comes in big rolls and it is what I had about (I also used her washable crayola pens – they come out really well from her clothes and then I could actually see it, tailor’s chalk was a very bad memory of my teenage years)

IKEA MÅLA drawing paper roll

I traced the shape of the yoke and the skirt. But then I realised pockets were going to make it a bit trickier.

I learned from Michelle Pattern’s awesome skirt sew-along series. You can see her pockets in the picture below – it had never occurred to me to make pockets like this (I had never tried to make anything with pockets, thinking about it).

Sew along image

I read her guide over and over…. and then, I bought some fabric.

I decided I wanted to line my skirt (slightly on a whim). I bought the lining at IKEA – for a contrast pocket lining and yoke I used the SIGBITT (I think I bought 50 cm). [Note – I developed a bit of an obsession with this delightfully grandma-ish pattern… I have since ought another 3m]

And I decided to line it because really wide, plain blue cotton was only £3 per meter. So I bought 3m of DITTE in blue.

IKEA doesn’t really have any denims, and their thicker fabrics weren’t colours I wanted for this project… so I started to look around. I decided John Lewis cost a fortune (£16 per meter for washed out denim!) and ended up at the same place I had as a teenager – Fabric Land. It’s like the most extraordinary time capsule. You have to pick all your fabrics from the most incredibly crowded shop (seriously – who knew this many people bought fabric) and then some really kind (if alarmingly stern) old ladies measure and cut for you and provide a bit of commentary…. It is such a strangely marvelous experience (though it does try the patience of my two and a half year old shopping partner). There are racks and racks of garish printed cottons and so many different colours and types of binding and ribbon you can buy by the meter all crammed into a really rather tiny shop. I sit there and wonder how it can possibly work as an actual functioning shop- it takes about 10 minutes of staff time to buy £10 of stuff)


For my actual choice of denim I remembered that I break things – I’m big and clumsy and I like to sit on the ground. So deciding that I was sure my lovely new sewing machine machine could take it… I found the thickest most old fashioned denim that they had – 10 oz non stretch indigo denim and bought 3 m of it (it was really heavy – seriously, very heavy indeed – I worried for the handles of my carrier bag)


Stretch Denim Fabric Indigo

I also bought 4m of blue poly-cotton bias tape (not enough, as it turned out) and 1 role of denim coloured and 1 role of contrast pale green thread (REALLY NOT ENOUGH, as it turned out…)


3 thoughts on “Project 1: My denim skirt (with pockets – I love pockets). Making a plan and a pattern.

  1. Pingback: How to sew a flat felled seam (the middle of the night… why the hell not method) | Late Night Sewing

  2. Pingback: Project 1: My denim skirt (with pockets – I love pockets): actually cutting and making the skirt. | Late Night Sewing

  3. Pingback: Project 3: Pyjama trousers…. sounded so easy… and went SO WRONG. | Late Night Sewing

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