I said it from the beginning, “I’ll skip December.” A whole year ago, I was telling myself, nope. No thank you, I’ll pass. And yet, here I am, finishing the December project for Sew My Style way ahead of schedule.
I mean, the Axel Skirt is a perfectly fine-looking pattern. I generally love Megan Nielsen’s designs, but my first impression was, “A knit pencil skirt? Meh.” Also, I have in the past year made several pencil skirts (in addition to trying to wear a few RTW ones that I already owned) only to rediscover every single time that they are 100% incompatible with bike riding (which is a near daily activity for me in Belgium!). In trying to plan my makes more thoughtfully, one of my top criteria for “Should I make this?” is whether it works for my lifestyle. So, no more pencil skirts, I told myself.
But, come on. I do love the community aspect of Sew My Style, and wanted to be included! So I took a second look at the Axel and rediscovered Version 1, which is not a pencil skirt, and has a unique, handkerchief-style hem. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it though, did I love it or hate it?
I waffled about it in my Instagram stories. I polled the community and got an exact split between “heck yes!” and “no way!”. I searched the pattern hashtag and Pinterest, and could hardly find many people who had made this version.
So, I said, “F**k it” and bought the pattern anyway. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
I had this navy stretch cotton in my stash for a while. It’s heavy and structured, but I wanted something suitable for winter and that would show off the silhouette. I was a bit worried that it wasn’t stretchy enough, but the skirt turned out perfectly snug around the waist and hips. This is a piece of fabric that I bought in Antwerp during the designer sample sales earlier this year, this one specifically came from Christian Wijnants. Not having to buy new fabric was definitely a factor in encouraging me to buy the pattern.
This version is only two pattern pieces: a waistband (one piece) and a skirt panel (cut four times). Actual construction is just seaming the panels together, hemming, and attaching the waistband. The most difficult part was that I didn’t label my pieces during construction and had to figure out which seams were the sides and which were the center front/back. I did make one change, to make the waistband more narrow. I put on the original and it made the skirt much longer than I had wanted. Plus, it just felt like a lot of waistband. Luckily, I had only basted it on, so I could easily remove it and halve it. I sewed up the Medium size and it fits me perfectly (knits are forgiving for fitting).
I’m super pleased with how it came out! Obviously, I can’t wear it outdoors yet (at least not without thermal tights) for the next few months, but I’m happy to add a skirt to my wardrobe, happy that it’s a neutral color with an interesting design twist, happy that I could wear it while riding my bike, etc etc etc. If I were to make another one in this version, I’d shorten it slightly (I’m not really a midi-length gal).
I wore it with another new garment, a Helmi blouse from Named Clothing that’s something of a test version, plus my Noelle bralette underneath the sheer top. I’m quite happy with this me-made outfit I’ve put together!
What do you think, will you participate in this month’s Sew My Style? And if not, what are you working on this month?