Denim’s so versatile, and so’s this skirt

Hi everybody! My name is Jo, I blog over at Stuff Jo Has Made and since one of my New Year’s resolutions was to join in a bit more, here I am with my first post for the Monthly Stitch.

I was quite pleased that this month’s theme is denim, since I’ve had some dark denim chambray lurking in my stash for just a little bit too long. I thought it’d be a nice opportunity to give the Cressida skirt pattern from Jennifer Lauren Vintage a whirl.

Front square

Now, maybe I lack any sort of imagination, but when I first saw this pattern I couldn’t picture it in any other fabric than denim. It didn’t help that that was how the example was sewn up in Jennifer’s launch post. Like Jennifer, I went for Version 2 with its single line of buttons and its cute belt tabs, but with an inch and a half off the hem because I’m short and the midi length just does not suit me.

The Cressida is a half circle skirt, so its construction isn’t all that taxing. What seemed to take the time for me was cutting everything out. With two waistband pieces, two plackets and EIGHT belt tab pieces all needing cutting out as well as corresponding interfacing pieces, I think I spent most of last Sunday morning with my scissors. UGH SO DULL. However, all that cutting and sticking was worth it as I think the belt tabs turned out really nicely if I do say so myself. And I do.

Check my killer topstitching

Check my killer topstitching

I’m quite bad at reading instructions properly – I make a mistake on just about every project due to my inability to read properly – and this time it resulted in me sewing one of the button plackets on the wrong way round. I didn’t notice until I’d trimmed the seam allowances so I had to fudge it a bit, but it seemed to work out ok in the end. I also had issues with the top buttonhole (another common problem for me) so that’s a bit less neat than the rest. Seriously, I do not know what I am doing wrong there. It was the last one I needed to do, all the rest turned out fine, I practised them many times and I hadn’t touched the settings on my machine. So what went wrong?! Any ideas/advice gratefully received!

I don't get it. How can one buttonhole turn out so well and the next turn out so rubbish when I haven't touched the settings?!

I don’t get it. How can one buttonhole turn out so well and the next turn out so rubbish when I haven’t touched the settings?!

I’m particularly pleased with my top stitching on this skirt. My original intention was to do it all in blue so it wouldn’t be noticeable but then I discovered I was out of navy blue thread. I almost ditched the project for the weekend until I could get back to my local sewing shop in Balham but instead I decided to go for it with a contrast colour. I can sew in a straight line, right?! Well, maybe in a few areas not quite, but I am really very happy with how it turned out!

I wasn’t quite sure of this skirt as I was making it. I was worried that it would end up making me look a bit mumsy, but I’m actually quite pleased with the way it looks. It might make my bum look big (I think circle skirts need a crinoline underneath to accentuate the line and combat exaggerated bum size), but I think it’s really versatile and you can style it in a bunch of different ways. I’ve tried it with a slouchy Breton top, which gives it a bit of an 80s vibe, but I could also picture it in a 70s-style casual outfit. Just need to get me a Farah Fawcett hair do and I’d be set. And if I had a pair of cowboy boots and fringed shirt I’d look like I was off to a Billy Ray Cyrus concert. I love it when basics can inspire different looks, but I’m probably going to have Achey Breaky Heart stuck in my head for the foreseeable future now. Ace.

Happy weekend all!

Does my bum look big in this? Don't answer that.

Does my bum look big in this? Don’t answer that.


And a smug face for good measure.

And a smug face for good measure.

15 thoughts on “Denim’s so versatile, and so’s this skirt

  1. Pingback: The hunt for the perfect dress for a wedding guest | The Monthly Stitch

  2. I’m excited that we’re part of your New Years Resolutions, welcome 🙂 xx You are super cute and the chambray is perfect for this…and now I’m opening the link to add another pattern to my stash.

    Buttonholes freak me out for some reason, I think because they feel so permanent. Our machines must share an evil mind, sometimes mine just doesn’t stop and turn around even when I reset between buttonholes.


  3. I really like your skirt, It doesn’t look a single bit mumsy 🙂 But maybe I shouldn’t be trusted, A-line denim skirts are my all time favorite thing to wear so I’m possibly blind to all kinds of imperfections? Now I just hope to finish my own January-denim project before March… and guess what, it’s an A-line skirt!


    • Thank you! They were only 20p! The shop had some lovely wooden buttons with fancy designs on them but at £2.75 each I just couldn’t justify it – they would have ended up costing more than the fabtic!


  4. Your skirt is really cute! I have a problem with the top buttonhole on things I make sometimes (shirts mainly), and it seems that it’s because there’s more thickness of fabric up there with seam allowances and stuff. So I have to hammer my fabric there to flatten it out before making the buttonhole. I don’t know if that’s even remotely tied to your problem, though. I think your bottonholes still look nice anyway and couldn’t even see a problem there 🙂


  5. You’re so cute! I enjoyed reading your post…made me smile quite a bit. Your topstitching and belt loops are perfect. I think I know why that one buttonhole is a little bit funky, it has happened to me often enough. My new machine is a computerized Pfaff and I dislike the hit or miss automated buttonhole function. If there is any seam allowance in way, or a bump of any kind, it throws off my fancy computerized buttonhole function. I actually bought an old standard sewing machine with the 1-2-3-4 manual buttonhole maker so that I had complete control. Maybe that’s your problem too?


    • Thank you! And thanks for the advice too – it does sound like that is my problem, given the amount of seam allowance bulk in that area. I’ve still got my old machine which has a 4 step buttonhole so will dust it off and give it a try next time.


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