AMH Skirt: In the Garden of St. Mark’s

The Basics:

Fabric: Floral cotton broadcloth from Mulberry Silks; Seaform cotton voile lining from Sew L.A.
Pattern: Flirting the Issue Skirt, free pattern from Anna Maria Horner
Year of Pattern: 2011
Notions: 1/2″ wide elastic
Contributed to: The Sew Weekly’s “The Great Outdoors” challenge

Free pattern alert! Yes, this is the “Flirting the Issue” Skirt from Anna Maria Horner that’s available on her website. Actually, it really isn’t a pattern at all – she provides instructions on how to put it together and you measure out everything yourself. You just need your waist measurement and desired length of the skirt (along with factoring in seam allowances). I chose to go with an above-knee measurement – less fabric to beat this humidity, I say.

I made this skirt in less than a day, which is a true feat for me. Granted, this isn’t a complicated skirt by any stretch of the imagination, but it still felt good to have a brand new cheerful skirt to wear around town this summer. It also didn’t cost that much AND it used up two pieces of fabric from my stash. How great is that?!

I took my inspiration from one of the loveliest gardens in the city – that of St. Mark’s-in-the-Bowery Church at Second Avenue and East 10th Street in the East Village. Known as the Healing Garden, it’s actually a bit of a secret garden tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the city. The once vibrant pink and blue hydrangeas (thanks to Leah’s comment on my Sew Weekly post for helping me with the name of those flowers!) had lost their luster when the first photo in this post was taken, but I tried honoring their beauty with my me-made fuchsia-colored floral skirt and blue Ann Taylor top. If it works in nature it works for me!

It was a bit tricky for me to get photos in the garden, so here I am in front of the church itself. The original portion is from 1795 and was built on the land of a former Dutch plantation – how about that?

The slight stiffness of the broadcloth provides a nice bit of poof to the skirt, which is fun to pair with heels. I bought it at a cute store called Mulberry Silks near Chapel Hill, North Carolina while visiting a friend last summer (my friends humor me with my fabric store visits). They only had a yard and a half left of the fabric and so it sat in my stash for a year as I tried to figure out what I could do with it. This pattern eats up very little fabric, I even have a bit left over for I don’t know what!

Here are a couple of shots of the skirt on my dress form. It could almost be worn inside out! I used dark purple thread since it best matched the outer fabric, but I think it also looks nice on the seafoam voile. This view also gives a nice idea of how the elastic/gathered waist would look in a solid fabric.

And you can just see one of the Decades of Style patterns I own framed on the wall! I ended up framing six of them because they’re just way too pretty to be hiding in my sewing cabinet. And they’re 8 1/2″ x 11″ so they’re perfect for a photo frame. I have three over the dresser and three over the bed (arranged in chronological order, but of course!).

I’d say the longest part of the process was installing the elastic through the casings. I only had 1/2″ wide elastic on hand – rather than the 1/4″ elastic the instructions called for – so I created 3 channels instead of 4. I’d go with this in the future, especially considering that’s one less channel to deal with. I do love how the look of the flower print changes from the elasticized waist to the free flowy skirt!

In the above photo you might just be able to see the part of the lining where I inserted the elastic. I whipstiched the opening closed. I’ve found that since the skirt back and front pieces are the exact same size (hello, super easy skirt!) I like to place this whipstiched seam on my left side. Not that it matters, I guess. The elastic is also tacked down at the side seams, and you can see the purple thread in that same lining photo.

Okay, currently working away on Vogue 8380. Hooray, and have a great Saturday!

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3 thoughts on “AMH Skirt: In the Garden of St. Mark’s

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