I’ve been yearning to start sewing again. I’ve had a break from it for about four years, as I have focussed on learning other crafts. When I started watching the BBC’s Great British Sewing Bee I knew I had to get my sewing machine out and make something!
Choosing a pattern
Because its been so long, and I never really mastered the basics when I was sewing before, I needed to find an easy pattern to get me started again. Skirts are generally easier to sew than other garments as they have fewer pieces and are easier to fit (no boobs or limbs to get in the way!).
I saw the Simplicity 2226 skirt in a pattern catalogue and decided it would be THE ONE. I think its a fun and versatile skirt that could look good in lots of different fabrics and patterns. Having now made it, I would like to re-make one in a black crepe for work.
The pattern is labelled ‘Learn to Sew’. After sewing it, I think its a bit advanced for a beginner, and I wouldn’t recommend it for a first sewing project. However, it is still quite straight forward and covers a lot of different aspects of constructing a garment within the one relatively quick project.
From start to finish, I think this pattern took me eight hours to sew and cost me approximately £15 in materials. The pattern itself cost me about £4.50.
Fabric and trimmings
I made my skirt from 100% cotton craft/quilt fabric in red with tiny white stars and teeny weeny dots. The fabric is quite thin and a bit floaty. Again, now I’ve made it I’d choose a slightly heavier weight fabric for another skirt as this one is billowy, but fine for summer.
My cotton was £6.99 per meter and I used just over 1.5 meters. I can’t find a makers name on the selvage, but if you are interested Favourite Fabrics on eBay sell it: Tiny Scattered Stars in Deep Red.
You will also need a zip, bias binding for the pockets, matching thread, fusible light-weight interfacing and a hook and eye fastener.
The sizing is dreadful! I measured myself and was horrified to come out as a size 18! I usually buy size 12 clothes or sometimes a 14, so size 18 seemed alarmingly different. I looked online for advice about the fit of this pattern, and found the amazing Noodle Head blog that has a Simplicity 2226 Sew Along. Her sizing recommendations gave me the confidence to take the plunge and sew a size 14 (which fits brilliantly!).
Cutting and sewing up
I traced my pattern pieces in case the sizing was wrong and I needed to pick a different one. The pattern pieces are clearly labelled and are easy to cut out if you have a big table to work on.
The sewing instructions varied in clarity – things like inserting the zipper could have benefitted from more pictures as I found it a bit mind boggling just reading the instructions. However, it was generally well written and was simple to follow.
The finished skirt
I’m sorry about the poor quality iPhone photo!
I’m so proud of this skirt! There were lots of new challenges I had to get through to make it, which makes it even more satisfying to complete! I know I will wear it in the summer, as its the perfect relaxed summery skirt. I can’t wait to get started on my next sewing project (the New Look 6843 A-line skirt)!
Has watching the Great British Sewing Bee inspired you to start sewing?