This was one of those unicorn projects where it all comes together exactly like you imagined. Right fabric, right pattern, and the right modifications. How rare is that?
And as with most great ideas, this skirt is 100% plagiarised.
I first got the idea for a BRIGHT GREEN dirndl from this amazing skirt by blogger Gail of Today’s Agenda. It was love at first sight.
She in turn was inspired by this skirt from a US designer called Emerson Fry.
As soon as I saw these photos, I knew I needed an emerald-green flared skirt. I bought some suitable fabric in Goldhawk Road while on the epic sewing meet-up, 1.5 metres for £6, and it’s SO PERFECT. I think it’s cotton, but it almost feels like silk twill, with a slight sheen and a crisp hang to it. It hardly creases either.
For the skirt pieces, I went digging through the stash, and came up with this battered pattern from an Ebay job lot. It’s actually for a pleated skirt, but it had the perfect shape and ready-drafted inseam pockets (yay!) so I just smoothed the waistline and gathered it rather than adding the pleats.
I think rectangular dirndls can be a bit much if you’re pear-shaped, there’s so much bulk around the waist. This A-line shape flares nicely and avoids the full on Sound Of Music look (not that there’s anything wrong with dressing like Julie Andrews in an old pair of curtains. It’s a good look)
The colour is not right in this photo, but you get a better idea of the shape.
You might be wondering about that big seam in the middle of the skirt. You see, I wasn’t sure about the front patch pockets on the original versions. I wanted something a bit different as embellishment. Then I remembered a Carven skirt I’d pinned on Pinterest, which had a flat-felled seam right across the middle. Voila:
It’s a subtle detail, but there’s something about that seam that makes the skirt hang differently and look posher. So basically I decided to rip off the idea and add a flat-felled seam to my emerald skirt, saving myself £220 in the process (yep, that’s how much the Carven skirt was.
The seam is purely decorative, but I love the extra bit of detail it adds, and it didn’t take long to sew. The trick is to avoid cutting it straight across the pattern piece. You need to curve it in line with the hem so it looks straight when you wear it. There’s a great flat-felling tutorial here from Colette which helped me a lot.
I also added little tabs and covered buttons inspired by the original Emerson Fry skirt, because why not? They’re just sewn into the waistband side seam.
I love this skirt! Now let’s hope the sunshine stays with us so i can wear it again.