I only recently discovered the talented Marte of Compagnie-M – it was this spectacular version of her Mara blouse (made by Laura of Behind the Hedgerow) that first caught my eye – and while it was that crazy-amazing Liberty animal print that drew me in, I was really excited to uncover Marte’s blog and pattern shop as a result. Not long after I visited her blog, she emailed and asked if I’d like to make her new Swing Skirt – and I definitely did. I loved the skirt the minute I saw it.
There are so many great details – the big wrap-around pockets, the piping, the box pleat, the invisible zipper. I’ll admit I was a little nervous about sewing it – there was that zipper (my first! and it was no big deal, though tragically mine came out a little uneven at the top), and just the fact I’d never sewn one of Marte’s patterns, which meant I was going to have to think a little more than usual. I also knew I’d be sewing it very last minute because the past week has been a whirlwind first birthday around here.
And last minute it was – I woke up the other morning at 2:45am and decided to capitalize on a few quiet hours and sew this skirt. It’s never really a great idea to sew at that hour, and a few mistakes were made, but I’m happy to report that Marte’s directions are solid – she even goes into extra detail (should you need it) with tutorials on her blog for the piping and the zipper and the optional adjustable waistband. I had a little trouble printing out the pattern – a couple pages printed with the very top cut off, but I was still able to piece them together just fine by leaving a little gap between the connecting circles.
Also, my waistband ended up a tad too small for the skirt, which caused a little puckering and seam ripping, but it all came right in the end. And while there was really nothing too tricky going on, I will admit that I longed for a few notches while sewing this up – I know not all pattern makers use them, but they really take the guess work out of putting pattern pieces together, and I do love it when they’re there.
That said, it was really fun sewing from a new pattern maker – everyone does things differently, and while I’m accustomed to a certain style of sewing, picking up something new is always a good thing. Marte has you finish all the raw edges of the pattern pieces first – which, admittedly, I thought was insane as I was doing it, but once I started sewing and had zero seams to finish? Well then it seemed completely brilliant.
I made a size 3 lengthened to a 4 based on Lila’s measurements, and the fit is really good. A little big maybe, but she likes to wear her skirts low, so it’s just about right. With the invisible zipper there isn’t much room for error in sizing, but there’s also an option to make the waistband adjustable with elastic, so that’s another way to go. One thing though – if you end up lengthening the skirt, make sure you also lengthen your pockets and pocket facings. When you hem the skirt those are supposed to be tucked inside and sewn down with the hem, but mine weren’t long enough.
And last, the fabric…you probably recognize the blue as Essex yarn-dyed denim (again, yes), and the pocket fabric is Windmarks from Leah Duncan’s beautiful Tule line. I picked up some fat quarters from Lima Sews awhile back, and had hoped to squeeze the box pleat and the pockets out of one of them, but it wasn’t quite enough. So I settled for just the pockets. But not before cutting the rectangle for the box pleat…then sewing it back to the fat quarter so I could cut out two pockets. These are the things that transpire at 2:45am.
And there’s my wonky zipper for the all world to see. I don’t care, I still love this skirt :)
Would you like a chance to win a copy of the Swing Skirt pattern? Just click on the link below and you’ll be directed to Rafflecopter, where you can enter the giveaway. It’s open through the 9th, and a winner will be chosen on the 10th!
Swing Skirt giveaway!
That’s all, folks. Visit Marte at Compagnie-M if you haven’t before, it’s worth a trip. And if you’d like more Swing Skirt inspiration, here’s the pattern tour line up – lots of great skirts to behold!
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