When it comes to sewing, I’m a “frosting” girl. Give me lush florals, party dresses, and silk linings every time! Unfortunately, this means that on casual days my wardrobe is rather bland: jeans, sweaters, and t-shirts. For the next few months, I’m going to focus on those in-between, unloved parts of my wardrobe, so that they too reflect my personal style. I’ve gone through everything, donated a few heaping bags of regularly ignored pieces, and plan on (beautifully) filling the gaps. First up on my list? A simple denim skirt. I needed something cute to wear with all those sweaters, after all.
Mood Fabrics, of course, has a fantastic range of denim options. Everything you could want, from stretch to vibrant colors, is available from their online shop. I dithered about what to choose for this project, but finally settled on this Theory Dark Denim Solid, which has a stretch black denim twill front and a white back. This was definitely the right choice, y’all. The denim is a solid medium weight, with just a hint of stretch, and stood up to washing really well. It’s such a cut above the standard denims from my local, big box fabric store, which tend to warp and lose color. I’ve already washed and worn this skirt multiple times this month and it still looks newly made! Thanks, Mood!
Not that you’re here for laundry chatter, of course. Let’s talk skirt, shall we? I wanted a classic silhouette, somewhere between an a-line and a pencil skirt, because I find that the most flattering for my curves. After a grand search, I finally decided on Simplicity 2152 (out-of-print) from my stash. The pattern is a pieced, subtle A-line with multiple lengths and embellishment options. I started with view E, because look at those pockets! Deep, slash pockets will win my love every time. Sure, I don’t need to carry everything I own at once, but if I did, this skirt would fit the bill.
From there, I subbed out the yoke for a straight waistband, to raise the waistline a bit, and added four arrow belt tabs around the waist. Each of those was secured with gold vintage buttons, also from the stash. The whole garment was lined in a remnant of Liberty Tana Lawn and finished off with a conventional back zipper. Everything was so smooth and easy, it’s almost embarrassing to write about. Though I needed this skirt, the bells and whistles are minimal. All those frilly, finicky projects have made the ease of sewing a basic such a novelty.
While this project seems simple, though, sewing with denim can be an adventure, as we all know. This particular fabric, while heavier in weight, gave me minimal trouble. Part of that is my new sewing machine, which handles heavy fabrics much better than my old one, but a lot can be chalked up to using the right methodology. I sewed with a universal denim needle, top-stitched everything in a dark blue top-stitching thread at a slow speed, and used a hump behind my presser foot for the bulkier sections. Unlike some I’ve worked with, this denim doesn’t unravel as it’s handled. While flat fell seams are more traditional, I cheated and serged them all, for an even easier project.
In the end, it’s exactly the skirt I envisioned. Simple? Yes. However, it is also more personal than any denim skirt I’d find in a store. I find myself reaching for it over and over again, on those Saturdays I’d usually wear jeans. We’ll call that a win! Next up on my wardrobe staples list is a classic, tailored coat. Something tells me that will be a more harrowing a project… Not everything can be a lovely and simple as a denim skirt, but I’m looking forward to the challenge.