Pretty Pleated Skirts - Plus Introducing Isobel!

I'm back!  My apologies for my lack of blog posts over the last two months.  Things have been super busy here, as I've been preparing for my upcoming maternity leave and hiring and training a new employee.  Something had to give - and, unfortunately, writing blog posts was it.  I know a lot of you like my featured outfit posts (and have missed them over the last few weeks), so you'll be happy to hear that I have quite a few in the pipeline at the moment!  I'm going to be bulk writing them over the next week, so there should hopefully be a steady flow of them while I'm on maternity leave (which will probably start in the next two weeks or so).

Technically, I've sort-of started my maternity leave, as I'm now largely doing light desk-work from home (I absolutely love working, so I'm likely going to continue doing so until my contractions start; watching TV or doing housework holds very little appeal!). My maternity leave has been made possible by the fact The Splendid Stitch now has its first employee - yay!  You may recall that I put out a job ad in early-September.  I ended up getting around 150 applications!  I managed to narrow them down to a long-list of 18 and a short-list of 6.  4 were eventually interviewed and 1 was hired.  I'm so incredibly excited to introduce you to Isobel:

We had fun taking a few photos yesterday of the two of us for using on The Splendid Stitch's social media profiles.  What you don't know is that I am actually standing on 5 Vogue and McCall's pattern books - because Isobel is quite a bit taller than me!   LOL  Oh yeah - I should probably point out that I'm the puffy, pregnant-looking one on the left and Isobel is the taller, leaner figure on the right!

 

Isobel is going to be packing all the orders from this point forward (during my maternity leave and beyond) - as well as answering customer emails and doing some posting on social media.  She's a professional artist - and sews in her spare time!  She learned to sew a few years ago and hasn't looked back since.  So, you'll be seeing her creations popping up on on our social media feeds and our blog over the coming months.  :-)  Here's a dress she made recently for a wedding using a Burda pattern and some silk dupioni - so, so pretty!  

Isobel's picked up everything extremely quickly and I'm confident I'm leaving The Splendid Stitch in a capable pair of hands while I'm away during my maternity leave (which will stretch to mid-January - after that, I'll come back part-time).    

So, that's the big news.  :-)  Now, onto the featured outfit: a pleated skirt!  Here's the images that inspired the outfit:

 

 

 Images from: Prada's Autumn/Winter 2016 Ready-to-Wear Collection; Pink PeoniesKendi Everyday; Atlantic-Pacific; Gal Meets GlamPrada's Autumn/Winter 2016 Ready-to-Wear Collection

 

The pattern I've chosen is McCall's 6706.  It's a pattern for a simple pleated skirt with a waistband.  As for variations, there are two lengths to choose from, as well as options for striped colour-blocking and for doing a shaped back hem.  There's also pattern pieces for a petticoat, if you're after a fuller-looking skirt.

As for fabrics, this pattern works well with both shirting-weight cotton broadcloths and poplins, as well as fabrics with more body like cotton sateen and silk shantung.  Based on the inspiration photos, I've chosen some of our cotton broadcloths from Art Gallery Fabrics (all three of which are new!) and some of our cotton sateens.  

First, here's the three AGF broadcloths I've chosen: 'Bees and Bits Mellow', 'Pure Elements London Red' and 'Pandagarden Naptime'.

As I've mentioned before on the blog, the quality of these AGF broadcloths is just fantastic.  I absolutely love the new prints!  The bee print is both fun and daintily pretty.  Here's a closer look at the bees:

The panda print is ah-mah-zing.  I could see it being a really great dress too.  :-)  You'll get a good view of the print by looking at the mock-ups below (which are to scale): 

As for the cotton sateens I've chosen, here they are: our Leonore sateen in red and white, and our purple floral sateen.  As sateen is heavier than broadcloth, it would make for a fuller, more structured skirt; the broadcloth would make for a lighter, swishier skirt. 

Here's what the fabrics look like mocked-up (again, to scale):

Oh, how I'd love to have a waist so I can make and wear skirts like these!  Hopefully in a few weeks' time.  :-)

As for how to style these skirts, I love how Kendi has styled hers with a simple black camisole (a plain blouse or t-shirt would also look great).  Doesn't it also look great with a shirt?!  I particularly love the white skirt / chambray shirt combo sported by Rach ('Pink Peonies').  If you wanted to recreate this look, our Robert Kaufman light blue chambray (maybe with Grainline Studio's Archer shirt?) would be perfect.

 

Further Details

McCall's 6706
£8.75 (£7.88 until 18 November!)
Sizes: 6-22
Level: easy
Reviews: 32 reviews on PatternReview.com; 87% give the pattern a positive rating 
Similar Patterns: Colette Zinnia; Liesl + Co. Everyday Skirt

 

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November 10, 2016 by Amy Lloyd
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