For A Good Time Make...
We recently started carrying a line of patterns called Maven Patterns, from the United Kingdom. They are nice patterns, printed not on tissue paper but on a stiffer paper that is easier to work with. The instructions are in a booklet with plenty of detail and color photos, and the whole thing is packaged up in a tidy box. Because they are British, the sizing is different than you might be used to. Don’t be upset when you look at your measurements and find yourself sewing 2 or 3 sizes larger than you typically would. It’s just those Brits – they do things differently! Additionally, although the patterns give some measurements in metric and imperial units, others are metric only. Don’t worry! We’ll convert for you if you are wondering how much fabric you need to buy.
Kate and I each made the Good Times Skirt – an A-line skirt with some fun details. The pattern suggests using stretch denim, and that’s what Kate did, but I made it out of the Sunny Flowers Cotton Flax Canvas in Slate from Robert Kaufman. It’s 80% cotton and 20% flax and has some body but is fairly lightweight. It also washes to a nice, slightly rumple-y texture. Kate used the 9.5 oz. Organic Raw Stretch Denim in Medium Indigo.
This was an easy pattern, and the only thing that needs to be fitted is the waist. There are darts in the back and big patch pockets, and it zips up the back. It took me just a couple hours to make. Probably the most time-consuming step was finding my zipper foot – it’s been awhile since I put in a zipper.
The fun part of the pattern is the finishing details. The layout calls for the front and back seam to be on the selvedge, and those seams are sewed wrong sides together, leaving the selvedges exposed. I top stitched the seam open, and the fuzzy selvedge edges make a decorative stripe up the front and back. It’s cute.
The pattern has other options if you don’t like the frayed look, including using an overlock stitch, turning the raw edge under and edge stitching, and a “Hong Kong finish” where the raw edge is enclosed in a light-weight bias strip. Kate used the Hong Kong finish on hers, and it looks great. You can find a good tutorial on how to do a Hong Kong finish on the Colette Blog. You could always use a conventional seam too, sewing right sides together.
Waist Not, Want Not
The waistband is one piece, folded over. To reduce bulkiness, alternative methods are offered for finishing the inside, using the Hong Kong finish or a zigzag or overlock stitch. The pattern says to face the hem and pockets with light weight cotton. This makes them less bulky and also gives you a chance to use a fun contrasting fabric!
The Sunny Flowers Cotton Flax is $13/yard, and I used 1 5/8 yards, along with a $3 zipper. That comes to $24, which feels like a good time to me!