Sunday, 19 October 2014

The Cressida Skirt

Have you seen the Cressida Skirt, the latest pattern from Jennifer Lauren? I was lucky enough to be selected as a pattern tester. 

Cressida is a half circle skirt with two versions. View 1 is a double breasted button up. View 2 has a single button placket and button waist tabs. Both versions have in seam pockets. I knew immediately that the second version would be a perfect addition to my autumnal work wardrobe. I love the more simpler, elegant lines of this version. 

Cressida skirt 5

To test the pattern I originally used lightweight cotton as I anticipated I would need to make alterations (as I do with most patterns). The test garment came together very well - the skirt drapes well in lightweight cotton. However, for my final version I used a grey suiting fabric I got from The Man Outside Sainsbury's at Walthamstow Market for about £6m. It has a beautiful drape, is wonderfully soft (even after washing) and was a delight to handle. 

I made just two alterations. I added a little extra to the front parts of the skirt, a reasonably common alteration for me. I also moved the waistband tabs to make them a little more central as they were coming up at the sides. This is something that Jen has altered for the final version. 

Cressida skirt 3

The skirt is pretty easy to construct and Jen's instructions are clear. It is designed for all levels and anyone can tackle this as long as you're ok with, or willing to try and tackle, button holes. It is a perfect project for dipping into over a week or is easily completed over a weekend at a leisurely pace. 

As this is an autumnal item, I chose to fully line the skirt to prevent the skirt sticking to my tights when the cold weather really bites. Lining the skirt is not included in the instructions. I cut the skirt pieces only and added them when I stitched on the button plackets. Incorporating the lining here gives for a really lovely finish. If you need to length or shorten the skirt, you can do so by adding or taking away from the hem. I didn't chance the length at all. I used a 1.5cm hem on the outer fabric. 

Cressida skirt 6

Amazingly, I kept the pockets! Regular readers will know I'm not a fan of pockets in skirts and dresses. I was pleasantly surprised by these though. They had the potential to stick out slightly and give that ugly shaping at the hips. Nope, none of that. Jen really took care with the width of the skirt to ensure they lay flat. Once I saw this, I just couldn't resist them.   

Cressida skirt 4

The biggest problem I had was getting buttons to complete the skirt. I picked up these light blue and grey buttons with flowers on them at Hobbycraft but they didn't have enough to complete the project. I put out a call for help on Twitter and Vicki Kate came to the rescue. Man, I love the sewing community! 

Cressida skirt 2

In short, I absolutely love this skirt. It is flattering and feminine while being practical. It drapes very well from the waist and I don't feel like my small hips are drowning in a huge amount of fabric. I paired the skirt with an unblogged cotton Alma blouse. I really hope that this isn't my last version - I could definitely find a place for an everyday version in my wardrobe. As a bonus, this counts as my second piece for the Fall Essentials Sewing Along. How is your autumn sewing coming along? 

In the interests of transparency, I did receive a copy of the final pattern in return for testing. All views are my own - I was under no obligation to post my version. 

17 comments:

  1. Sorry if this gets repeated - I think the skirt is wonderful and a great addition to anyone's wardrobe. I love the detailing down the front and you have, as usual, done a brilliant job, Claire.

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    1. Thanks, Teresa. It is a lovely addition!

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  2. Lovely skirt! My FESA sewing has not really happened over the last month :(

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    1. Thanks, Liz. Sorry to hear your sewing hasn't happened but at least you've been knitting!

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    2. Yes - I'm glad I've had plenty if knitting time - and there's still time to catch up with some sewing :)

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  3. You've got such a gorgeous fabric - it drapes just beautifully. I will do a tutorial for lining, thanks for reminding me :)

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    1. Thanks, Jen! It is a wonderful pattern and a pleasure to make.

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  4. Nice skirt! It suits you very well, and I quite like the colour (but hey, more than half of my wardrobe is grey...). What did you use for lining please? I am looking for nice lining fabric, as the last batch I bought at Masons (for peanuts, I confess) was not great...

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    1. I used some lilac Bremsilk I picked up in Masons about a month ago for about £5m. It was hidden amongst the lining and was the only colour option. I'm on the look out for some at the same price but not having a lot of luck!

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  5. Your skirt is gorgeous, I love those buttons. I saw the pattern release a few days ago, and fell for Version 1 with two rows of buttons. How much fabric did you need please? I couldn't see the amount on the pattern listing on Etsy. Thank you!

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    1. Thanks, Lynne. I bought two metres of the fabric and a size 14 fitted comfortably - I have about 30-40cm left over. Version 1 would really suit you!

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    2. Thank you! Another pattern for the shopping list!

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  6. The first thing I thought when your photo popped up in my browser: gosh she must be freezing :) your skirt looks great - I love the buttons - and you are really tempting me to get the pattern as well. Actually the only thing that stops me is that I made already 3 skirts in the last couple of month. But yours looks so nice and floaty. Ah difficult decisions :)

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    1. Sewing is full of difficult pattern decisions. It really is a lovely skirt. Luckily it wasn't too cold to get some snaps without a cardigan, although I suspect it will be from now on.

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  7. This is lovely - you must have been incredibly on the ball to sign up as a pattern tester, I tried within minutes of the initial email being sent and was already too late!

    I hope you don't mind, but I nominated you for The Sisterhood of the World Blogger Award - feel free to take part or ignore at your own free will! http://astudyinstitching.blogspot.co.uk/2014/10/the-sisterhood-of-world-blogger-award.html

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    1. I was in the right place at the right time for signing up. I was amazed to be included! Thanks so much for the nomination for the Awards - I appreciate it.

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  8. This is such a great skirt. So flattering. I'm glad the pockets don't stick out too. Those belt loops are too cute.

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