You ever see a sewing pattern and think, “Yeah, that’s too plain… next please!”? This was my thought when I first saw the Hollyburn skirt from Sewaholic Patterns. Cute enough, I thought, but too plain for me to take a second look at. I wanted adventure and excitement in my sewing patterns! I wanted something different.
Actually, it appears what I need is to fill some closet gaps. Simple flared skirts and knit tops are one of my favorite casual outfit combinations – you can mix and match them to each other, so they basically do double-duty. My current lifestyle doesn’t allow for much in the way of fitted/pencil skirts – I need to be able to move around and, like, sit on the floor – and I’m kind of over circle skirts at the moment. My skirt experimentation has rekindled my romance for Ginger and Miette, not to mention a fabulously swishy and dreamy Gabriola, but I was ready to try something new.
So I revisited Hollyburn.
And we totally fell in loooooooooove ~~~
Seriously, guys. There is nothing necessarily ground-breaking about this pattern (although, let’s be real, Tasia’s a drafting genius and I’m like creepy obsessed with her patterns right now), but that doesn’t mean it’s not a good pattern. The beauty is in the simplicity – it’s a simple flared skirt with a simple waistband, a back zip closure, and curved front pockets. Nothing fancy here, but it works and it’s awesome. And I already made two.
Hollyburn 1, aka, the Crazy Paisley, is made with this amazing paisley rayon I yanked at the Nashville Flea Market. Forreal, is this shit not insanely awesome?? I saw it out of the corner of my eye, in one of those booths along the walkway between buildings (you know those booths are the best because those people always have the weirdest mismash of shit and they’re always willing to sell it for dirt cheap. Especially if you’re nice to them :)), and I immediately ran over to assess. I don’t remember exactly how much I paid for it, but I do know it was $3 or less. Not sure of the age of this particular fabric, but it’s 42″ wide and definitely rayon. Oh, and it’s awesome. Did I mention that yet?
I really really really wanted this fabric to be a Gabriola – wouldn’t it make the most dreamy rayon maxi? Ahh so lush. But, dammit, I had under 3.5 yards of this fabric… and like I said, it was pretty narrow, which ended up being the reason things didn’t pan out (believe me, I tried!). So, I decided to stick with the Sewaholic family and try out this Hollyburn that had been burning a hole in my pattern stash. And not only am I super happy with the result – I think it’s quite a bit more wearable than the original maxi inspiration, yeah? I mean, I can totally wear this while riding a bicycle :)
Hollyburn is a pattern intended for beginners – just a few pattern pieces, very easy to fit (really, you only have to worry about the waist measurement here), quick to sew up. Besides the agony of cutting that slippery rayon, the actual sewing of this skirt took me under 2 hours. That fast! I briefly considered trying to match the print at all the seamlines – in addition to the side seams, there are also center front and center back seams, plus the curved pockets – but it was giving me a headache and, you know, fuck it. Whatever.
For this particular pattern, I was smack between two sizes, so I cut the 0 at the hips/hemline, and graded to right between the 0 and 2 at the waist. I’m pretty happy with the fit – it’s fitted enough to stay put without the aid of the belt (but I like the belt, so belt stays), but it’s not so tight that I need to sneakily unzip anything after a big meal. I went for version 3 – the shortest one – with the added belt loops. I also lopped about 2″ off the length. Short skirts for lifeeeeee!
Here it is without the belt. Yay! No belt!
And this because, I dunno, my hair looks good here. Also, I probably should not wear that bra with that shirt again, eep (shirt is a Renfrew, btw!).
What I love most about this particular skirt (and, I guess, the pattern in general) is how different the shape looks based on what fabric you use. Go look at the pictures on the Sewaholic website – the skirt has a great amount of flare, and it’s pretty structured. Compared to mine, which was sewn in a super drapey rayon, it’s all fluid and flowy and just kind of hangs (but in a good way). Sometimes I get so caught up in wanting to try NEW NEW NEW OMG NEW STUFF that I forget you can easily manipulate the look of a garment just by using a different fabric.
Oh, right, and remember when I said I made two of these? I totally did – the second one is in a much stiffer fabric, and looks totally different. I didn’t get photos in time to cram them into this blog post (which is probably for the best, since I think there are enough pictures of me on here today anyway, lolz), but stay tuned for that! In the meantime, I’ll probably wear it for MMM soon :)
Obligatory swish post. Lookit dat swish! ♥
Sorry these pictures are a little blown out :( I added some topstitching to the pockets and waistband (as well as the hem) and swapped out the centered zip for an invisible zipper. All the inside seams are serged.
One last thing! We have a winner from last week’s giveaway – who’s it gonna be, eh?
YAY! Congratulations, Melanie! I’ll be sending you an email asap :) Hopefully this book will be just the ticket to get you comfortable manhandling the stretch lace :)
Thanks to everyone who entered! A HUGE thanks to Colette Patterns for not only writing up this amazing resource, but offering a giveaway copy as well! :) As always, you can get your very own copy of The Colette Guide to Sewing Knits from Amazon or directly from the Colette website.
Now, the next question is – should I or should I not use the remaining paisley yardage to make a matching Belcarra blouse? Before you ask – yes, I would totally wear it with the skirt. FAKE DRESS FTW! Don’t you dare judge me.