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Laura’s Chardon Skirt and Ogden Cami

Those are the lines that I couldn’t get out of my head with this box. Soft white sands, a blue lagoon, cocktail time, a summer’s tune!

This swoon-worthy treasure trove was perfectly curated by the ever-fabulous Kate and Rachel from The Fold Line… and boy, what a treat it was! I swear a beam of sunshine rose out when I unwrapped it.

With all this loveliness, my indecisiveness was in overdrive as a really couldn’t decide what to make! I dilly-dallied for so long, toying with so many ideas that I was getting lost in my own imagination… the perks and pitfalls of sewing your own clothes is that there are so many options! So, I called upon the lovely Hayley who brought me back down to Earth and I eventually decided what I was going to make. Sewing friends are just the best!

I am really digging the high-waisted and t-shirt combo right now as I think that it is a really flattering silhouette on me, and the Chardon Skirt from French pattern company Deer and Doe, just fits the bill. I am also in real need of more separates in my handmade wardrobe, so win-win all round.

Cotton poplin is a great fabric to hold structured design elements, plus the wide pleats of the skirt make a real statement of the fabric so is great for both large and small scale prints as they don’t get lost. The pleats on the skirt remind me of ocean waves, whilst the stunning royal blue and crisp white pattern is perfectly eminent of a tropical sea sparkling with the sun’s rays. I heard that drinks are free… someone bring me a mojito, STAT!

Cutting a stable fabric like poplin is always a treat because it stays still! I cut the pockets out of one of the fat quarters for a nice contracting pop of colour. I love doing this as it really makes it your own.

Once I had the skirt cut out, I had enough to squeeze out a True Bias Ogden Cami (although I couldn’t quite fit on the lining pieces, so they are cut from a scrap of plain fabric). So, in my bid for more separates, mission accomplished. I can also wear them together like a dress. Three outfits in one? Yes please!

I decided to make view B of the skirt. Both versions are pretty similar except view A has belt loops, and view B has a break in the skirt length (obviously you can combine both elements). The image on the website of view B has (what looks like) some white piping between the two pieces which I liked the look of so I followed suit by making my own with some white satin bias binding and cord. I bought enough length of the binding so I could also bind the hem with it for added pizzazz.

Construction of the skirt was nice and straightforward; comes together quickly and satisfying to sew. It’s a great pattern for an ambitious beginner as there is nothing particularly advanced; sewing the pleats takes some time but relatively simple so long as you follow the instructions. There is no fiddly invisible zip insertion (my biggest bugbear), instead you use a regular zip and create a flap to conceal it. You could sew an invisible zip here if you find your own instructions, but I always have a nightmare with them, so I was more than happy with the regular zip and flap situation. This is probably the trickiest element but take your time and you’ll be fine.

When choosing your size, make sure to pay extra attention to the finished waist size as there is very little ease and comes up quite small. Best to err on the side of caution and I would recommend making a size-up as it is much easier to take it in than let it out, especially with all them pleats!