This month for Magamsewalong on Instagram the theme is Fabulous Friendship February, and my co-hosts, Suzy @sewing_in_spain and Jayne @janyeraven, and I decided we would make something together. Lindy, the lovely owner of Stokx patterns generously gave us the Carla skirt and dress pattern to make.
The dress consists of a knit bodice and a full, woven skirt with gloriously big pockets. The back of the skirt dips down most delightfully and the hem can be faced with different fabric.
The bodice also comes as a separate top with three sleeve lengths and a lovely v-neck at the back. I decided to make the skirt and top as separates as I felt that would be more versatile.
I thought long and hard about the fabric for the skirt. I wanted something I would be sure to wear easily, that would pair with lots of my tops and which would transition me through to autumn. In the end I chose some linen that I had dyed with onion skins, giving a divine mustard colour. I made the top from some mustard and black striped knit I had in my stash.
The waist of the skirt is designed as a knit band which is quite wide and can be rolled down as a waistband or rolled up to form a strapless top. Definitely not for me! My waist is too thick for a knit waistband and I am no longer a candidate for a strapless top! I chose elastic, beautiful elastic, from my stash, which I had bought in Hong Kong many years ago.
I’m going to say at this point that I think I made the skirt too big and next time I’ll definitely size down. The elastic I used also wasn’t strong enough so I did replace it with plain mustard elastic, which helped bring the waist in a bit. I also attached the top of the elastic to the top of the skirt, rather than the bottom of the elastic to the top, so my skirt is now a bit shorter, which I like much better.
Some examples of the skirt worn with different tops – the top I made from Pattern b from Asuka Hamada Sweet Clothes, in beautiful vintage fabric. The mustard flowers exactly match my skirt.
It also looks really good with my Pattern Union Cora blouse in this beautiful Banksia fabric from Jocelyn Proust designs. This particular Cora is the perfect length for the skirt. Please notice the good twirling achieved with the skirt.
It’s also fabulous teamed with my Closet Core Patterns Kalle shirt made from a damask tablecloth. The back of the Kalle seems to follow the lines of the back of the skirt. I’m also showing how the skirt looks when sitting as that is an important view as well.
The skirt can be hemmed normally or faced with wide bias binding, and I chose the latter option. I found some quilting cotton in my stash that I felt coordinated pretty well and made the bias binding. I machine stitched it down, but I’m not happy with the finish so my next job will be to unpick it (there’s a lot of hem!) and hand sew it.
Here are some photos of the skirt with the coordinating top. I made the cropped version of the top but added a waistband.
Of course I complicated everything by choosing a striped fabric, but I think I did a reasonable job of pattern matching. I actually managed to stop that jagged look at the darts where the stripes go off at different angles by following the instructions in the excellent, and double award winning, book by Liz Haywood: “The Dressmaker’s Companion”.
I’ll be making this top again as the back view is rather lovely.
I’ve also worn the top with a self-drafted stretch cotton skirt. The fabric for both the top and skirt is from Knitwit Fabrics here in Perth, I’m not sure if they still have either fabric as they’ve been in my stash for a considerable time.
It was such fun to be making this pattern with Suzy and Jayne. Both of them have posted their makes on Instagram, so be sure to check them out. However, I have added the three of us to this post for posterity.