This is my favorite make for a long time – I am insanely pleased with it. I have loved this pattern, Malibu skipping skirt by Studio Tantrum, ever since it was released. Althea has only recently become old enough for it, as it is an older girls style. Here is the blog post that Nancy Langdon, the designer, wrote when she released this pattern two years ago, with lots of beautiful versions of the design. She describes it as an eight-gore wasp waist suspender skirt reminiscent of the 1950s.
The pattern is available in sizes 98/104 to 170/176, so right up to teen sizes. I made up the size 146/152 from my 140cm seven year old. This would have looked more like the pattern photo had I made the size down, but given how fast she grows I just couldn’t bring myself to make a size she would potentially be out of in a few months.
The back is fitted with darts, which can be left unsewn for a stockier figure. Because I chose the larger size I actually had to make the darts even deeper, giving the back a corseted look.
The fabric is a Kaufman Newcastle Indigo denim from fabric.com. It is 7oz per square yard and is actually a linen/cotton blend. The fabric has beautiful drape, perfect for a denim dress. It also crinkles a lot as you can see in these unearned photos. Here it is ironed, but life is too short to iron this for one day of school wear (yes she wears cat ears to school!).
I am planning to order more of this fabric to make a skirt for myself! I feel a bit sad that Althea got this piece.
This pattern has so many gorgeous details, curved panels the form Vs and centre front and centre back, stand-out lined pockets, lots of topstitching, belt loops, four slot button holes in the back seams, fitting darts, centre back zip, and I added a faced hem using a contrast colour bias binding.
If you follow the excellent instructions you would get a lovely finish using a facing at the upper edge. Knowing that this skirt would go straight from dryer to body without passing by an iron I could not bring myself to use a facing, I really hate them and knew it would stick up if unironed. Instead I lined/interlined the upper torso pieces.
I sewed the lining to the top edge, turned and pressed, and then treated it like one piece. This worked fine and means that I can let the darts out easily as she grows. It does mean that the finish along the top edge is less than perfect, but still looks better than a rolling facing in my opinion.
This skirt has a lot of pieces, it is very involved for a childs skirt! The instructions tell you to label the pieces well and I agree this is essential. Here are the eight gores constructed.
Althea loves this skirt and so do I! It was such a fun sew. It is great to tree climbing and the playground.
And twirling of course….