Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Hollyburn Skirt - Denim Style


So remember in my most recent skirt post, I said I wanted to try a traditional plaid circle-ish skirt? Yes. Well, I'm one step closer because I now have a wearable muslin. 

Well, wearable, but not by me.  Boohoo!! It's too big. I know the pictures look fine and I *could* wear it, but the belt is cinched in pretty good and my sweater is tucked in to take up some of the ease.  

Hopefully one of my friends will snap it up. The skirt itself is so great though, really great! Meet the Hollyburn Skirt by Sewaholic.

I will right this minute unabashedly admit I have totally copied Sunni's denim version right here. Imitation is the highest form of flattery, right? Actually, I just really like a good denim skirt. It can be dressed up or down; it's casual enough for a mom to wear on any given day; it's comfy and durable. It never goes out of style.

The Hollyburn is incredibly popular, with construction methods especially geared towards beginners. In fact, there is an excellent sew-along right here. I highly recommend this pattern - its a good, classic, basic piece that is generally flattering to most figure types. I really like the side pockets. 

And you know I like to make the inside as beautiful as the outside. Hello Amy Butler!! Oh, this just makes me smile everytime I look at it - to see this surprise burst of freshness on the inside. My husband asked me why so much effort on the inside when nobody will see it but I will see it. It turns this garment into something special and handcrafted. It won't be thrown out next season like the fast fashion that most people seem to buy into these days.

I will tell you one thing, this skirt was extremely labor-intensive. That's because I wanted to use a Hong-Kong finish on the seams which is just finicky in itself. But the Hong-Konging led to drafting a zipper facing and modifying the waistband pattern piece to allow for a contrast facing which then led to modifying the construction altogether.  I added a bias hem facing to finish the whole darn thing off Amy Butler style. 

I have to say, all these extras make wearing a plain-Jane denim skirt feel pretty darn luxurious. Except for the part that it doesn't really fit me well. So let's talk about that for a second. 

Tasia of Sewaholic Patterns drafts specifically for a pear-shape body. I'm pretty much a rectangle, but it should still work for someone like me. I chose my pattern size based solely on the waist size because if the waist fits the hips will be sure to fit, I figured. I mean, they won't be too small in any case. But in fact there is a lot of excess flare going on where it shouldn't be going on, right at the hip, where I am not a pear. Next time I will take that into account and grade down to the appropriate hip size and see what happens.  

To be clear, I was fitting along as I sewed, in a general way. I did end up taking in side seams. But I had already Hong-Konged the centre front seam so I couldn't take that in without ripping out a WHOLE lotta work and I wasn't going to do that.  Still, things were looking good and I cut my waistband to fit. But then, you know what I did? I tried the finished product on with my tights. 

Tights suck in everything considerably. Love tights.

But my skirt? Totally loose on the waist and too big in the hips. Good thing for the belt loops and tucking in a sweater. I didn't cry though. I just filed that under lessons learned: Measure with the kind of undergarments you plan on wearing. Like, really.

So, I want to make another denim skirt to fit me better, which means whichever friend likes this skirt has to tolerate being twins with me. Any takers? 

Switching gears now to reading. I am making some progress through the Canadian classic, Two Solitudes by Hugh Maclennan. Slow, steady progress.

I'll be back later to link up with Elizabeth and needle and thREAD. In the meantime, tights. Measure with 'em on.

And here is that needle and thREAD link. Looks like I'm not the only one with fitting issues today!



  1. Bummer that your skirt is too big! (all that exercise is paying off, huh?! :-) It does look lovely inside! Fabulous job!!
    Curious - the HK finish (or other binding methods) don't create bulky seams? Why would that method be preferable to a full lining? (I'm thinking - it'd look pretty inside and be quicker, and wouldn't use a ton more fabric than all those bias strips?)
    I finished my second muslin for the Lady Skater yesterday. It's wearable, but I'm not actually sure it's a better fit than my 1st muslin. fabric just all behaves so differently.... both muslins pulled a bit toward my left shoulder, so didn't lay just right in the neck, and I can't figure out why; there's no pulling or tugging under the arm to indicate the armhole is too short. perhaps the sleeve cap should be a little taller? puzzling.

    1. Tracy - hi! The HK finish can def create bulky seams and is best done with a cotton lawn or voile or lightweight cotton - of which my Amy Butler is none of! Haha! However, it is traditionally used in heavierweight garment that you wouldn't normally need a lining in but that you still want to look good on in the inside. In this case, I was worried about bulk but I think because its a flared skirt I can get away with it - its not closely fitted. The other thing would be to iron from the inside because otherwise I will def get seam markings from the iron. Mostly ... I really wanted to try this finish as part of my repertoire haha!

      The LS dress - hmmm. Forward shoulder perhaps? I really want to see this dress!!!

    2. Gotcha!
      you know - funny you should mention forward shoulder adjustment ~ I was telling my husband (like he cares ;-) ) that I thought I might need to make one. But I think both shoulders need it....

  2. Oh gosh I LOVE this skirt. It's beautiful! I have been wanting to make a denim skirt that didn't have that "homeschooling mom" vibe going on. I am totally sold! Fitting issues or no, you did a fabulous job!

    1. Michele that's so funny, I was JUST leaving a comment on your blog about your lovely goodies at the same time you were here. Heehee. Anyway, thanks, it was a fun pattern.

  3. I'd love to be the recipient of your 'mistake,' although I'd be afraid it would be too tight! I'll trade you for some Kona coffee ;-)


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