Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Evan skirt

A broken collar bone. Six stitches, two stitches, and three stitches caused by an IKEA escalator, a slippery bathtub and the swimming pool, respectively. Emergency stomach surgery. And the infamous near-hospitalisation for extreme constipation (yes, really) avoided only by some spectacular eleventh-hour shooting poo. In their short lives so far, my children have between them put together a remarkable portfolio of medical disasters - or so it seems to me, who has never broken a bone or been hospitalised for anything other than childbirth.

Last night was the most recent of these episodes, the swimming pool tumble and chin stitches thing. We handled it rather well, I thought, especially when the doctor brought out the gas and air and,  "Yay!" they chorused, "that stuff is fun!!" Cue raised eyebrows from the medical professionals: do your children do this a lot, Madame? (Rather like the time a kitchen cupboard fell off the wall on to my head, and the kindly, concerned doctor gently asked: has this happened before? It took some confused explaining before he was convinced that 'kitchen cupboard' really wasn't a euphemism for 'wife-beating husband').

Anyway, this latest in a long string of hospital visits was also just the latest in a long string of little life events that cumulatively have prevented me from blogging this skirt before. (How's that for a tenuously-relevant intro!)  Which is a shame, because I've been dying to tell you about it since I made it, what feels like AGES ago. It's Marilla Walker's Evan skirt pattern, which I was lucky enough to test before its release, and it's absolutely chock full of lovely details. Here, let me show you!

Front and centre, here's that split from closer up. Such nice pointy corners and pleasing topstitched detail...

THOSE PINTUCKS. I could not love a back pocket more than I love this one.

Topstitching, (pink!!) topstitching everywhere!  And oh how nicely that centre back seam and belt loop match up - my inner detail-freak did a little happy dance for joy!

And there's (optionally) more of those pintucks on the front pockets too! My only reservation here is that this part is really not easy to do tidily on thicker fabrics: my (purple!!) denim was not the ideal fabric for this level of detail, although it's hardly that bad unless you're looking closely.

Finally, I have to show you my pocket lining, just because otherwise no-one will ever know it's there. I used some scraps left over from my Eva dress - the colours were so harmonious, it makes me happy every time I put my hands in them.  Which is often, because let me tell you, these pockets are perfectly sized, placed and angled. Also, that there is the back of my first ever zip fly, painlessly and perfectly done thanks to the nice and clear instructions.

As for the sizing and fit, I found it pretty spot on.  My waist falls between two sizes, so to be on the safe side I went with the larger one and then graded down a couple of sizes at the hip, in line with my measurements there. By the way, this involved re-tracing the side seam curve on the front, back yoke, pocket facing and pocket lining pieces - a slight fiddle but not exactly difficult. Anyway, I can tell that my choice of waist size means my skirt sits slightly lower than it's designed to: the waistband is nicely curved to sit on the natural waist, and doesn't sit quite right below mine. But that's a minor niggle and one that can easily be fixed by making the smaller waist size next time. It's still supremely comfy and very, very wearable. I wear it a lot :-)

So all in all, you can probably tell that it's a total thumbs up for this pattern from me! A skirt like this is always a classic, and the pattern has less detailed and longer versions so you can get tons of variety out of it. I have an idea for a corduroy Evan in the autumn, and in the meantime would LOVE to find the time to put this skirt and its details together with the top half of the Turia dungarees, for what I'm convinced will be the best pinafore dress EVER.

And now a quick word about the top. Quilted knit Linden awesomeness! Me and the family were in Maastricht around Easter and stumbled on the fabric market just as it was closing up. 10 frenzied minutes later, I escaped with 1.5 m of this at a total cost of 3.75 euros. Self restraint guys!! It could have been SO much worse :-)

Anyway, this fabric didn't have enough stretch for a normal knit neckband finish, so I drafted a facing instead (Hanne's quick tips explain how). I quite like the wider neckline for a change.

So there you have it!  What do you think - are you tempted by the Evan skirt? Have you tried any other of Marilla's patterns? She's a relatively new indie pattern designer and I love her aesthetic - absolutely everything she pins is just so cool, and she's super stylish and sociable on instagram. This skirt is the first of hers I've tried but it's so good I'm eager to try the others - I've got my eyes on the Freemantle coat for when autumn rolls round.  Total fangirl moment!!!!

OK. Final outfit pic.

And with that I'm outta here before anyone else does themselves an injury.


  1. Mother of ReinventionMay 20, 2015 7:08 pm

    What a lovely skirt. Great colour and the top stitching is a nice touch. Looks very stylish. What a bargain on the top material. I miss the fabric markets in NL. Xx

  2. This skirt looks awesome!! I love all the details and it goes perfectly with your new Linden.
    I was never really very accident prone as a kid, I've never broken a bone or had stitches, but my little sister was made what seemed like monthly visits to the ER, my poor mother was questioned a number of times, but the truth is, my sister was not nearly coordinated enough for the dare-devil like playing she used to do. Hope you little ones grow out of it. :)

  3. Thank you! And yes, I'd seriously consider moving to Maastricht just for that - I'd never seen anything like it!

  4. Thanks Heather! That's what I keep telling myself too - all those accidents are a sign of a childhood well spent! Sometimes I wonder though how I escaped it all (it's definitely not down to coordination, I'm pretty clumsy myself :-)

  5. Fab outfit, you look lovely Jo! I particularly like the skirt and all the details you highlighted, definitely one for my autumn sewing list. x

  6. Thanks Jane! It's a great A-line shape but it's indeed the details that make it - I can definitely see you wearing it well!

  7. Niiiice! Lovely details.

  8. The pintucks on the pockets look so rad! And I must admit, kids are awesome on the gas - something about them giggling their heads off instead of crying in pain is so satisfying/funny!

  9. Haha yes I was struggling to take the whole thing seriously! So cute :-) Those pintucks are a great detail aren't they?

  10. This set was ment to be! The colours and shapes are so complementary and it suits your personality of a relaxed but very responsible mom.

  11. Great details. And I like the neck finish on the linden, makes it a little less sweatshirteqsue.....

  12. Gorgeous outfit & I love all the details on the skirt!
    So glad I'm not the other mother who watched her kid suffer through extreme constipation! I still remember the crazy when the doctor confirmed she was 'very compacted' at that point I burst out laughing & said 'is that the technical term for full of s#%* ?' Sometimes you just need to find the funny side after weeks of stress!!

  13. Oh god yes "very compacted"!!! They said that to us too! Too funny! I'm so glad I'm not the only one :-)

  14. Oh dear!! My children have escaped quite lightly, though a friend's were always at A&E!! Having said that one of mine has Type 1 diabetes, so when she was a bit younger we had to call the ambulance more times than I care to recall. I'd rather overlooked this skirt but now I see yours I'm sure I'll go for it; it's lovely and very me. Great top, too : ) Jen

  15. One of your best outfits.. although I feel like I'm saying that a lot to you lately. You must be on a roll. This skirt is great on you - but the fabric of your Linden.... so wanting that!

  16. Caroline JoynsonMay 27, 2015 8:57 pm

    What a beautiful skirt Jo. Those top-stitching details are amazing. Marilla's patterns are great. I have only made the Ilsley skirt so far but after seeing your lovely Evan skirt I am very tempted for it to jump a long queue of sewing makes x


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