For my Minerva project this month I decided I’d start looking towards the cooler weather a bit and also try to fill a gap in my wardrobe. Up until now I didn’t have a black skirt... now I do.
I decided to use the By Hand London Charlotte skirt pattern, and make the plain version without peplum or hem frill so it would be useful for work.
The pattern description on the By Hand London website says that “this skirt has been designed with an hourglass figure in mind, allowing a generous amount of ease at the hips”, so I being generous around the hips myself I thought the shaping would be perfect.
And it was.
(I really need to get my photographer better trained so we don’t have garden hoses and watering cans in the background!)
As I’ve found with other By Hand London patterns, everything went together very well. The double darts in both front and back give a lovely shape, and accommodate the large difference between my waist and hip measurements perfectly.
I only made one change, and that was to the hem. The muslin I made was way too long – so I chopped 4 inches off the length. I then realised that because the skirt is so tapered, when I turned the hem up there was no way I was going to be able to sew it without it puckering.
I toyed with the idea of making a separate hem facing, but changed my mind and cut it in with the main skirt pieces. The little sketch below will hopefully give you some idea of what I did.
After deciding how deep I wanted the hem – 2 inches – I measured this amount below the finished length and drew diagonal lines reflecting the taper of the skirt. When folded under the hem matches the taper perfectly and I was able to hand sew the hem without it showing at all.
To add a bit of secret interest I finished all the seam allowances with bright pink bias tape so the inside looks nice and pretty.
The fabric I used was black stretch cotton sateen which is perfect for this pattern as it is nice and firm with just a small amount of stretch. The kit includes 1.5 metres of this fabric (in case you want to add the peplum or hem frill), the Charlotte skirt pattern and an invisible zip.
Excuse the wrinkles, I'd been wearing it to work!