Friday, 5 April 2013

Denim Wiksten Skirt

It's only 3 degrees celsius in Norfolk this evening which makes a change from zero or 1 degrees. It doesn't look like we'll have a balmy spring any time soon so I thought I'd brave the cold air for five minutes to take some long overdue photos. I finished this skirt in the first half of January and I've worn and washed it loads of times. It's been hanging up for about 2 weeks taunting me to get on with the photos so that I can wear it. So at last I can start wearing it again – I've really missed it!

Weird how you can't see the bow belt in these pictures

This is the Tulip Skirt from Wiksten Patterns. The download is available here for $4.20, a bargain £2.60!

I love this skirt and of course it's made with my favourite fabric, denim. It's a comfortable skirt and goes with many things.

Luckily I made notes as I was making the skirt as I wouldn't have been able to recall any detail now. I started making this before Christmas and even had a couple of blissful hours sewing this on Christmas Day!

First muslin

I cut an extra large knowing it would be way too big, but figured I would fit it down to size.

I made the skirt in a different order to the pattern instructions. I attached the waistband pieces to the corresponding skirt pieces separately and then sewed the side seams of the skirt and waistband in one fell swoop. That way I could just adjust the sides to fit. The seam allowances are 1.5 cm on this pattern which I used throughout

After the first muslin I took in the side seams by 1 inch on both sides, tapering up to 1.5 inches in at the waistline starting from a distance of 3.75 inches down from the waist seam.

I found the back skirt piece to be 1 inch longer than the front skirt pieces. This may have been me cutting it wrong. Anyhow I subsequently made sure the pattern pieces aligned correctly with the waistband.

Slash Pockets

I wanted to add slash pockets at the sides much like I did here for the Miss Chalmers' skirt. The pockets are based on the pocket pattern piece for the Crescent skirt. I had to move the position of the pleats further along to allow enough room for the pocket openings.

Belt Ties

These are sewn into the side seams and I know some people leave them out.  I decided to keep them in but they were far too short for my liking. I doubled the length of the ties which means I can tie them in a bow. By the way it's really hard to tie a nice bow. Is there a tutorial to show how you can do this nicely? Every now and then I do something slightly different and end up with a brilliant bow. The problem is I can never remember how I did it or what exactly I did!


I'm a lining freak so of course I wanted to add lining. The skirt isn't designed with a lining in mind. The placket as designed is effectively a single strip of fabric (interfaced) that sits on the top of the right side of each of the skirt front pieces. The seam allowances are tucked inside. (The placket is attached much like bias tape is attached to a neckline where you want the bias tape to show from the outside).

To add lining I cut 2 more placket strips so each placket had a facing. I reduced the front skirt piece by shaving off 2.5 cm from the centre front of the skirt, and using it to cut both the skirt and lining fabric. (In fact I did separate skirt pieces for the front skirt lining and front skirt as I adjusted the front skirt piece to add pockets).  My lining was loose hanging rather than sewn into the hem.


The hem is around 7.5 cm on this skirt. I cut my lining pieces so that they would sit about 3 cm shorter than the skirt after hemming by turning under 1.5 cm twice.
Belt Loops

I decided to add belt loops after the skirt was finished. Although the ties looked OK they had a tendency to ride up past the waistband. I thought belt loops would keep the ties aligned with the waistband. They were fiddly to do but I'm so glad I took the time to do them. They have improved the look and feel of the skirt.

Topstitching and buttons

I did double rows of topstitching at the hem and the lower edge of the waistband. I did single topstitching lines on either sides of the placket and on the belt loops.  I used lime green ordinary thread for the topstitching. I tend not to use the thicker topstitching thread now as I can't get the tension right on my machine on the reverse side. Normal thread looks fine for topstitching.

The Wiksten skirt is designed with 4 buttons on the plackets but I didn't feel that was enough so I added 6.  The waistband is designed with a metal closure but I added two buttons to the waistband instead (making 8 buttons on the skirt in all). 


As I said I'm really pleased with this skirt. So much that I've made a second one in a light blue. This one I haven't yet worn and it's sitting patiently on a hanger waiting to be photographed.

The Great British Sewing Bee

Can I just say how exciting it is that our very own Tilly is a contestant on this show. I hardly watch any TV but I was glued on Tuesday night. All the contestants are lovely and some are very funny.

The challenges were tough. I wouldn't be able to finish, to a good standard, an A-line skirt in 3 hours and a dress to fit another person in 7. I felt for Tilly when her in-seam pockets came out baggy. I love that she was cool and collected enough to even think of adding them in that timescale! Yeah just adding pockets, not a problem. Love it!

I thought her red scalloped dress was lovely and looked great on the model. It had a lovely lining in a red scissor fabric. Yes the bust darts were baggy and the editing of the show focused only on that. I'm sure the judges must have praised other parts of the dress in real life but no praise was shown.

Lauren's Macaron dress was praised by the judges but it was way too tight for the model around the bust and there was some weird puckering above the sweetheart bodice.

I'm so looking forward to the next episode. Go Tilly!


  1. Beauts! I didn't realise there is another pattern apart from the Tank and Tova!

    Looks really nice, well done!

    Bundana @

    1. Thanks Caffy! Yes I discovered this one on a sewing blog as well - I think it was from a comment on a Kelly skirt!

  2. What a great skirt! Nicely done!

    1. Thanks gingermakes! I posted your book to you today - yay!

  3. Very cute, I love the pleats/tucks :)

    1. Thank you :)) I like the simple design of the skirt.