Things I made, Episode 3

Dear readers,

For the third edition of Things I made, I am showing you what ended up being a final sample for Just Patterns (you know, that project I keep promising to write more about and never do…). So far I only saw the version of Leisa at A Challenging Sew popping up on social media but I’m expecting more soon. Her bold floral version looked so great that we instantly had more sales after she published her post!

Full midi skirts is a look I’ve tried before, but I am falling in love with it all over again. I’ve been experimenting with this skirt quite a bit these days and I’m surprised that I keep coming up with different combinations with other items in my closet and many of my shoes. A few years ago, it would have been unthinkable for me to pair it with flat shoes or with a loose sweater but this time it was a success. This is how much I love this skirt! I’m even thinking of a very casual look with white Adidas sneakers [insert gasp emoji]…

SewingTidbits-Pleated Skirt-5

SewingTidbits-Pleated Skirt-3


Pattern – Just Patterns #1101 – Pleated Skirt
Size – 34

This is the final sample for the pattern, so it’s sewn as-is. I didn’t make any modifications. I just want to point out that this is not a pleated rectangle but rather a flared skirt with inverted box pleats. The flare is better distributed and the overall movement of the garment is nicer.

SewingTidbits-Pleated Skirt-4


Fabric – “brocade” from Mood in NYC, unidentified fiber
Notions – Invisible zip, hook and eye closure.
Helpful resources – Just Patterns come with limited information on construction but we compile useful links from around the web on a dedicated resource page for each pattern. #1101 – Pleated Skirt resource page.

Because black is difficult to photograph, the fabric doesn’t show very well but it’s  medium to heavy weight with an interesting texture. It’s most likely some kind of polyester blend but it also looks like it was entirely block fused. The final result has both body and drape and this is something to keep in mind when you just can’t find fabric with the right weight. I found it in the brocade corner of Mood (main floor on the left when you enter, after the lace). This section has many other intriguing options, not necessarily what you imagine when thinking “brocade”. I recommend checking it out if you wander by New York’s garment district!

SewingTidbits-Pleated Skirt-7

I don’t have a lot to say about the construction, when you drafted the pattern yourself, sewing is very straight forward. My main time waster was trying to use horsehair braid. Since reading Gertie’s blog years ago, I’ve had it in my stash. So yes, for 6 years I’ve been carrying horsehair braid around the world and I never found a use for it. I thought this would be the perfect occasion but I was completely wrong.  I couldn’t get to my seam ripper fast enough! Which means that I didn’t take a picture of the mess first and you will have to take my word for it. I’m not sure if it’s because of the flared hem but it made it wave in a super weird and unflattering way… So I removed it, and hand sewed the hem while watching Netflix. Horsehair Braid is back in the stash for the next 6 years unless one of you come up with a recommendation of what to do with it.

The plaid scarf is also an obsession from last winter. You can blame it on nesting instinct but I was smitten with the idea of wearing a plaid blanket around my neck. So that’st what I did. I went to mood, found some plaid wool, cut it so that it would be a square and frayed the edges. It also doubled as a couch blanket when the weather was chilly…

SewingTidbits-Pleated Skirt-1

SewingTidbits-Pleated Skirt-6

I love the final skirt. It’s extremely versatile and I keep thinking that I need at least a white and a navy version. I’m obsessed with navy. We are finally approaching summer in New York City, millennial pink and other sorbet colors are trending. And all I can think about is navy. Something is wrong with me…

Over to you readers, let me know what you think about the full midi skirts, horsehair braid or about your latest color obsession!!

12 thoughts on “Things I made, Episode 3

  1. Beth (SunnyGal Studio)

    that looks really good and I did see that version by Leisa, being in a lighter color shows off the pleating more. You should make it again! in a summer version. How about in white eyelet? I also saw a similar RTW skirt with a leather border around the hem and that looks fantastic. As for horsehair braid, I have used it a few times for formal dresses and the hem edge needs to be straight I think for it to work best. on the right item it is fun 🙂

    • Sewing Tidbits

      Thank you Beth. The idea of white eyelets is excellent, if I could I would run to Mood right now!!
      A leather hem for fall is also a nice idea but it would probably work better with a straight hem.
      You are confirming my intuition on horsehair braid, that it should be better suited for straight edges!

  2. maryfunt

    I also saw Leisa’s version. The design looks great and I love your styling. I usually don’t wear skirts like this but may give it a try. I do use horsehair braid frequently. It comes in various widths and degrees of stiffness. There is a thick thread along one edge of the wider widths so it can be eased into a curve. I’ve had the best luck with sewing it into the hem by hand; the machine makes a mess. Mood carries it if you’re in the city.

    • Sewing Tidbits

      Thank you Mary! I do hope you try it and let me know how it goes!!
      Interesting point about the different stiffness of horsehair, this may be part of the problem. I did use the thick thread to make it sit nicely against the curve but the movement of the hem was just completely wrong. And yes, I am based in the City, we should meet up for a Mood shopping trip one of these days!!

      • maryfunt

        Would love to meet up in the city. Email me at MF953 at aol dot com so we can coordinate schedules. I have a version of this skirt in the planning stages.

  3. Splinters&Stitches

    As a die hard “tomboy”, pink was one of those colors that got serious side eye from me. It still does, but I’ve discovered recently that if it has a more purple undertone (fuchsia maybe?) it actually looks quite nice on, so I may have to revise my opinion.

    I love this whole outfit on you, especially the blanket/scarf! 😉

  4. 24

    White eyelets… yes !!
    I really like the ways you style this skirt, and it’s interesting that it’s a flare skirt rather than a straight one. I don’t wear midi skirt, but I find them interesting, and I might give them a try one day ! I have the right shoes that could match since this winter….
    I saw a pattern once that could be used with horsehair braid, it was a straight hem indeed.
    And for color obsession… For maybe 2 years I’m obsessed with blue and red, purple and red, purple and blue, purple and green and the favorite, purple with blue and red ! It can be seen in my fabric purchase, but thoses are the precious ones, and I fear to cut them !

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