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For a while now, I’ve been salivating over Sewaholic Patterns. So many pretty designs!  Last month, I finally had a chance to make up the Hollyburn Skirt pattern. Here’s the pattern cover:

You can see it’s a nice basic skirt pattern–4 panels, pockets, waistband & zipper, 3 lengths. I made view B, which is about knee-length, with the button tabs on the waistband.

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I like how it hits me at the natural waist, so I can wear it with shirts tucked in or out. Tucked in is nice, because then you can see those fun button tabs!

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You can kind of tell in these pictures that it’s actually just a hair too big. I measured my waist and cut a size 12, which was closest. I did baste the skirt seams and tried it on to see how it fit, and it was a bit big, but I mistakenly thought that it might draw in just a bit when I attached the waistband. It’s not enough that I mind, though. I’ll just keep in in mind if I make the pattern again–I would probably take the side seams in about 1/4 inch each and then shorten the waistband to match.

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I’m kind of in love with the pockets, too. Why don’t more women’s skirts have pockets? I always want to put my keys somewhere when I’m at school so they’re handy. Or if you want to take a walk and just have somewhere to put your keys & phone. It’s just more practical! The print on the skirt kind of hides the line of where the pockets are, but if you look closely you can see them. Also, they were very simple to sew–as they should be, since this pattern is intended to be easy enough for beginners.

Check out the buttons I found. They match the print really well:

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Thoughts on construction:

1. I need a better place to cut out patterns.

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This is my little round kitchen table, the only place I have to do these things. It’s round and not too big, so cutting large patterns is kind of a challenge. I have done things on the floor, but it kills my back and I still don’t have a hard surface–the only advantage is that I can lay out the whole pattern! Also, then my fabric picks up hair and lint and stuff off the floor–yuck. Unfortunately, I don’t really have space in my sewing room (or anywhere else) for a decent-sized work table. Someday…someday.

2. Hand-picked zippers are my new favorite thing.

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I have never suffered from a mortal fear of zippers or anything like that, but they really are a pain in the rear. Mine usually come out a little bit crooked, and something always has to be re-done. A few years ago, I learned how to do invisible zippers, which are so much easier and better-looking than the regular kind. However, they’re a little more delicate, and not suited to every garment. Inspired by this post and this post, I decided to try doing this zipper by hand. I have to say, I am a convert. I spent a little more time on this zipper than I probably would have if I’d done it by machine, but I was not at all frustrated by it and the result was so satisfying and neat. I actually really enjoy doing handwork sometimes, and it was much easier to adjust things as I went and to work around the zipper tab. Also, I love the finished effect. However…

3. Ummm…I had to fudge the waistband a little bit.

I placed the zipper according the the notch at the top, as opposed to putting the bottom of my zipper exactly at the bottom of the opening. This left a tiny hole below the zipper, which I didn’t discover till it was basically all sewn in and I didn’t feel like it was worth adjusting for such a small thing. I found later that I really should’ve fixed it, since the zipper was now a little too high and the waistband wouldn’t fold over far enough to tack it to the seam allowance near the zipper. So…I kind of fudged it, as you can see:

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4. I tried a new stitch for hemming.

I catch-stitched the hem, mainly because that was the stitch shown on the pattern directions. I could have slip-stitched it just as easily, which is what I usually do, but it was fun to do a different stitch. I really like how the finished stitch looks.

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5. I succeeded in making this entire skirt in one day.

I spent most of a Saturday working on it, on and off. I wanted to have it finished to wear to church the next day. Of course, I got to all the handwork in the evening, which meant I was starting the hem at 10:00 (which is usually when I go to bed…ha). I could have just topstitched the hem on the machine, but I think hand-hems just look classier. I think, by the time I hemmed it all and then modeled my skirt with all the tops I could find (because hey, that’s really the fun part when you finish sewing something!), I finally got to bed around midnight. But it was worth it!

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