Laura's Wattle Skirt

Well, what a “roarsome” start to my guest articles for Sew Hayley Jane. I know, it had to be said so just be glad I got it out of the way now!

I had never sewn with satin before and I was rather nervous about sewing with such a super slippery fabric! But it’s leopard print and all kinds of fabulous; I could just imagine myself sashaying around town, so I wanted a skirt with some swoosh. However, because the fabric is soooooo slippery, I needed the pattern to be relatively straightforward with minimal seams and no complicated shapes or techniques… enter the Wattle Skirt from Megan Nielsen.

Now this pattern really gives you a lot of bang for your buck! It comes with 4 different skirt options, all of which are customisable with two choices of waistband. I decided to go for View A which is a midi-length bias-cut skirt, with waist ties. Cut on the bias, it would give me the twirly goodness that I was after.

I washed the fabric on the Delicates/Silk setting on my machine with no problems. I wasn’t sure how much it would fray so I overlocked the raw edges first to be safe. Using the handy techniques for slippery fabrics provided by Hayley in last month’s magazine, I used some spray starch first to help with the cutting out. Armed with my trusty rotary cutter, I dove straight in!

The pattern pieces are all cut flat which made cutting slightly easier as you weren’t battling with multiple layers to lay flat and straight; even so, my cutting of the skirt hem was wonkier than a clock by Dali. I had to use THREE cutting mats to fit the full skirt length, all of which were at different heights, so it was no wonder really! The air was turned rather blue during the cutting process, but I got there.

On with the sewing! To keep the pieces together you really have to pin the heck out of it. Thankfully Hayley thought of us here and included in the box a wheel of the cutest butterfly pins, and they just look so sweet floating along the fabric. I decided to do French seams where possible (ooh la la!) and a rolled hem as I had real difficulty trying to get my overlocker to the right tension, plus now it looks beautiful on the inside too! The only pieces I had to overlock were the pocket bag edges which I’m fine with.

Bluprint (formally Craftsy) and Tilly and the Buttons have great tutorials for French seams.

This was my first pattern from Megan Nielsen and it certainly won’t be my last. All the steps were fully explained with accompanying illustrations. It all came together beautifully, and the pocket closure is genius. I did run into a little trouble attaching the waistband to the skirt however I think that this was probably due to my squiffy cutting, so I had to put a few teeny-tiny pleats in the back however as the skirt is so drapey you can’t really notice. It did come up a little big on me, so I ended up taking about an inch or so from the sides to keep it snug on my waist.

I am in absolute love with the final result. It’s something that I know I will get tons of wear out of it as it is so versatile depending on what top I wear with it. It is truly the perfect day-to-night garment. A challenging make that required a lot of my patience, but I mean, look at it… it’s so worth it.

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