Friday, May 16, 2014

2 for 1: Sewaholic Gabriola skirt and Burdastyle Liz blouse

My other warm weather staple, aside from knit dresses, is maxi skirts.
And the maxi that is the current darling of the sewing world is Gabriola. And I can see why! I usually take a bit of convincing before I jump on a new pattern, but as soon as I saw this one, I knew I had to make it. It's so graceful and swishy! And the yoke seaming is both ingenious, as all the shaping is done with the yoke pieces, but also beautiful. Sadly, I used a print that conceals the seaming (This turned out to be a good thing - more on that in a moment) so you can't see the lovely seam lines of the yoke, but the shaping is divine.
She makes me want to dance. The fabric is a drapey, soft rayon challis from FabricMart in a purple leopard print. Because we should all have some purple leopard in our lives.
But alas, all was not rainbows and sunshine as I constructed Gabriola. This is no fault of the pattern, which is divine. Had I followed instructions and cut correctly the first time, there would have been no tale of woe to tell. Sadly, direction following is not my forte.
This wonderful, swirly skirt is composed of panels - three in front and four in the back. The side panels are the same front and back, and you are instructed to cut four of them. I noted that fact in my head, and thought as I was tracing that perhaps I should trace an extra side panel, so that I could just lay out the pieces and cut, rather than having to remember to reposition the piece. Sadly, lazy past Katie did not trace an additional piece, so it was left to my faulty memory, which remembered to cut 4! Yay!
Unfortunately, I cut 4 back panels, which are narrower than the side panels by a significant margin. And which error I did not recognize until I had already sewn the too narrow panels to the center front panel. And serged them. There was only a teeny 1/3 yard of fabric left - not enough to recut the panels, but by piecing the remaining fabric into 3 1/2 inch wide strips, I was at least able to get the width I needed at the hip, so that the skirt fit onto the yoke. Sadly, this means my skirt is not so swishy and lush as the pattern intends.
I can't really tell, and the print hides the piecing. I made a straight size 6, without alterations, save one. For the closure, instead of a zipper and button, I extended the zipper up through the waistband, eliminating the button. If you choose to do this, you'll want a longer zipper than the pattern calls for. An 11-14" should do you. I have a 9" zipper here, and I can *just* squeeze it over my hips.
Invisible zipper is invisible. And my seam matching makes me happy. It is surprisingly easy to match up all these points. Don't be afraid. This skirt is SO worth the (very minor) trouble.
As I was planning this skirt, I realized that I really don't have a blouse that works with it. I wanted something simple and basic, so as not to fight with the skirt. I chose the Liz blouse, from Burdastyle. I made it here in pink swiss dot.
At the time, I didn't really like that first version, but I wear it a lot and it is a great basic. For this one, I used a piece of ?tablecloth? that was given to me by a friend. It acts like a cotton blend, but it has a cool slubby texture and looks linen-like. It's a bit sheer, so I wore it layered over my Sammy Cami.
Instead of the madarin collar on the pattern, I drafted a back neck facing, and skipped the collar altogether.
Overall, I think this pattern is a huge winner. It was fairly simple to sew (as long as you pay attention to the panels) and it is gorgeous and shapely. I'll be making it again for sure. In fact, I'm already planning the next one...


  1. That's such a wonderful save with the piecing, I'd have no idea unless you'd told me. The shaping of that skirt is gorgeous.

  2. I really love that pattern. I love maxi skirts and the yoke piecing is brilliant. You can't see any of your seaming just one super fun skirt. What a great piece for the summer!

  3. Hooray for being able to save the skirt after a brain fart. It looks beautiful and swishy.

  4. i did (kind of) the same d'oh thing with the yokes-- i kept sewing top bottoms to back bottoms and such...lost count of how many times i seam ripped. yours is still super swishy and verrrrrry rawr.

  5. I have to get my hands on this pattern. I love it. I love your skirt too. Definitely a wardrobe staple.

  6. The whole outfit is just so pretty! You're right, everyone *does* need purple leopard fabric in their lives, I say as I have the FabricMart tab open and ready for searching... ;-) Hopefully, the next Gabriola skirt goes together perfectly. :-)

  7. Gorgeous!!! This is such a fabulous skirt. Great blouse, as well.

  8. Charity Shop ChicMay 24, 2014 at 4:21 AM

    I agree, the world needs more purple leopard print! Beautiful sewing and beautiful photographs, as usual. I am sure you will get a lot of wear out of both these pieces.