The Ginger Spice Skirt

I’ve had Colette’s Ginger skirt pattern for months and months. WHY haven’t I broken it out before now? But thanks to Week OWOP and the glorious Ginger renditions featured by Handmade Jane and Pincushion Treats, I knew it was time to make things spicy. Zig-a-zig-ah!

I bought the denim last June in Paris. Three metres for ten euros. My guilty secret is that I have a weakness for novelty denim, as also featured in my Fields of Gold skirt. This time, I fell for ickle flowers printed onto the denim:

During construction, I knew I’d want to wear this skirt year round, so I lined it with some navy crepe de chine:

Before you shriek with horror at the excess of using crepe de chine, I bought this off Walthamstow market for £3 a metre. I paid for 1.5 metres and walked away with 2 metres because there was a flaw in the fabric. Apparently. I couldn’t see it and still can’t, but the stall holder insisted because there was this little sticker on the selvedge, which he told me was there to flag up a flaw in the bolt. (I guess that’s how he gets his supplies so cheap.) Anyway, I appreciated his honesty. Worth looking out for these little stickers, people!

Back to the skirt. I made version three, with fabric cut on the bias. I thought it would be fun to work with the obvious grain of the denim in this way. If you are going to make the bias cut version of this skirt, I have two important pieces of advice:

  • Work with sturdier fabrics, that will behave themselves when it comes to inserting the invisible zip.
  • When you insert your invisible zip you MUST follow Sunni’s tutorial at A Fashionable Stitch. Sorry to be so dictatorial, but if you don’t you will tackle bulging zips and become very friendly with your seam ripper. Sunni’s tutorial is absolutely superb and I really enjoyed learning how to strengthen a zip with strips of organza.

I chose not to work with the sweetheart or inverted V waistbands. In my experience, these look great in photos (and I find them very cute) but I seem to spend all day smoothing down my folded-over waist band every time I stand up. I also added two inches to the length of the skirt so that I could wear it with bare legs and not worry about my knees looking horrific.

It’s worth knowing that this skirt is unbelievably flattering. Like, has someone cast a spell cos that ain’t my body? I do find Sarai’s drafting constantly fascinating. An A-line skirt is an A-line skirt, isn’t it? Not in the hands of Colette Patterns. I don’t know how she does it.

I bought the silk scarf from Beyond Retro for £3. The top is from Sainsburys. I think that’s all I have to tell you! Other than, go sew a Ginger skirt. You won’t regret it.

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42 Responses to The Ginger Spice Skirt

  1. Great version of the ginger skirt…

  2. Lovely skirt! I’ve just made my first sewing project which was a Ginger skirt in denim. I agree it’s such a flattering pattern – it seems to suit all body shapes.

  3. Rachel says:

    Love it! I have a weakness for novelty print in general…

  4. Katy says:

    It looks lovely. I agree about this pattern – it flatters everyone and I’m looking forward to making it. Do you mean Sarai’s drafting in the penultimate paragraph?

  5. That looks fresh and summery and the shape is very flattering. I’m half-tempted but I don’t wear skirts often (trousers are better for scrambling around floors and the like), so perhaps I’ve been saved from temptation again.

  6. Shivani says:

    I like this – v v much! Great fabric, great print, great fit! It looks fab, and you’ll get so much wear out of it. I bet that lining feels luxurious too! I want to stalk you on your fabric buying trips – you unearth some great gems at W’stow market!

    (Hate to be the correcting type, but did you mean Sarai’s drafting? Not Sunni’s?)

  7. Roobeedoo says:

    At last! ;)
    Really lovely, Karen! I bet you can’t stop at one…
    I am finding that my bias-cut Gingers are developing back-seam droopage over time and wear. I think I will need to re-hem them soon as my side view shows a great sagging swoop of mermaid-ness. Sigh.

  8. Nice. Veeeery nice, you look so chic. Navy is so classic. Would go fabulously with a pair of tan DUO boots ;-). I officially need to know how you manage to be so darn productive. Seriously. I’m beginning to suspect black magic is involved. x

  9. janine says:

    It is a very flattering A line skirt – I don`t always think they are complimentary but this pattern is obviously magic.

  10. gail says:

    I really love how you used this print on the bias. And all the pieces you’ve put with the skirt are perfect!

  11. Bold Sewist says:

    Gorgeous especially with the jaunty scarf! I love the idea of silk lining a denim skirt – such secret luxury, even if it was a bargain!

  12. nothylane says:

    Silk lining for a denim skirt is a bit like guilty secret. I love the skirt. I have that pattern and haven’t sewn anything from it yet. So much sewing to do, “sew” little time! Thanks for the link to the tutorial.

  13. liza jane says:

    I love novelty denims, too. I always want to buy some of the embroidered ones that they say are for children’s wear. Love the navy and red in your outfit!

  14. Sue says:

    Ooh, I love it! That denim is too cute – great find! I agree with you about the regular waistband vs. shaped ones – they look cute but end up being fiddly. Also, that lining looks delish!

  15. Jane says:

    Oh oh oh oh oh oh. I can’t breath. I LOVE it!!! One of my favourite skirts EVER. Denim, with little white flowers and a NAVY crepe de chine lining!!! Just beautiful. And yes I agree, the cut is magically flattering, why do you think I’ve made so many?! x

  16. LLADYBIRD says:

    I never considered novelty printed denim until just now! What a lovely skirt – actually, I love your whole outfit :) That first picture is a really really great shot of you, btw! Regarding the waistband options – you can insert boning into the waistband to keep it standing at attention. Gertie has a great tutorial on her blog – http://www.blogforbettersewing.com/2011/05/tutorial-adding-boning-to-high.html – that I can vouch for personally. I used it for both of my Gingers & I’ve yet to have the waistband fold over. And I used plastic boning, not the good stuff :)

    And I totally agree with you on the magically flattering properties of the Ginger – I really should make more, I wear my denim one at least a couple of times a week. It’s just so versatile, and flattering… and comfortable. Best skirt ever.

  17. Funnygrrl says:

    That whole outfit is amazing!
    I’d be afraid of the denim with print…but it looks great. I don’t have this pattern yet but obviously I have to get it.
    Beautiful job.

  18. Amy says:

    I like your use of cute, patterned denim. That skirt really is super flattering. Note to self: more A-line skirts.

  19. Kim says:

    Just gorgeous! I really love the whole outfit! My next ginger is going to be bias stripes, so thanks for the advice!

  20. mujerboricua says:

    Oh Karen, I love it. Doesn’t it make you feel extra trim and dainty? Viva Ginger!

    I admit that the decorative waistbands do fold over. Adding boning is something that I will have to consider next time.

  21. I love prints but I’m not sure a printed denim would have caught my eye in store, but it should based on your results. I love it. You’ll get so much wear out of that, well worth the good lining.

  22. Portia says:

    Hmmm, I’ve been considering this for that striped seersucker I bought at Goldhawk Rd. I think you may have just tipped the scales in favour. Tres chic mademoiselle ;)
    Px

  23. Tilly says:

    Beautiful, Karen! I really must make this skirt at some point, I’ve seen so many gorgeous versions, yours included. Great photos too xx

  24. gmariesews says:

    That is a beautiful skirt. But what exactly does “ickle flowers” mean? Ickle sounds bad, but the denim print is lovely – I don’t understand. g

  25. Michelle says:

    Wowsers! That is one stunning skirt! Lovethe bias cut of it too. Its gives it that extra little zing.

    I also have an obsession with unusual denims. I have some denim corduroy in the stash I reall must make good use of! (i also have an unhealthy fascination for corduroys from the kids section too, but shhhhhh).

  26. gingermakes says:

    What a cute outfit! I love your Ginger skirt!

  27. What perfect fabric for that pattern! It looks really good, I’m sure you will wear this lots.

  28. Helen says:

    Oh love the skirt – I’ve been contemplating making a denim version of this skirt for a while and seeing yours has pushed it higher up the make agenda!

    The whole look is great too. Love it!

  29. Connie (Grandma C) says:

    Love the skirt. And the matching of the stripe with the flowers. I wish I could mix patterns like that and turn out like yours – looking like it was meant to be. When I mix patterns it looks like I dressed in the dark. LOL
    In addition to the little sticker that flags a flaw, you might also see a bit of yarn or string stitched into the selvedge and then cut off. Just a little tie, almost like a tailors tack but with heavier thread, almost like a yarn or string. Our local chain fabric often gets “ends” and you can see the flaws marked on those. What they seem to do is if there is a flaw, they cut the fabric across from selvedge to selvedge at that point, cut out the piece with the flaw, and then start rolling the bolt from where they’ve cut. Sometimes the flaw recurs every yard or so, and you can see it repeating. Or it’s just once and they cut out the bad part, but their might be a snag or a hole or something at the end where they’ve cut the fabric but the remainder is fine. You have to be on your guard in case the flaw is something that you can work with or not. Often you can cut around the bad bit even if it’s right in the middle of the yardage. You can get amazing deals if you just pay attention and know roughly where your pattern will fit across the yardage.

  30. Thank you for the tip on the zipper…I love my Ginger skirt, but well there’s clear bubble at the end which is super unflattering.
    Yours looks lovely – and I love how you always find visually interesting locations for your photos – love that car!

  31. Marie says:

    Ack, how did I miss this post Karen?!? How!?! This is such a beautiful Ginger,possibly my favourite yet (including my own) as the print is so cute! It’s so flattering, so retro, so fresh…so perfect! Beautiful!

  32. Sassy T says:

    It looks the biz, and I love the sunny photo.

  33. Pingback: Featured Seamstress: Karen | Coletterie

  34. Mary says:

    This is absolutely beautiful. From a more or less novice sewer: how difficult would it be to alter the Ginger pattern to make the waistline a bit lower? I’m short-waisted and like my skirts to sit a little more on my hips, but my pattern alterations have had mixed success so far.

  35. R says:

    Your skirt looks great! I just got back from Paris last week, and I randomly stumbled upon all the “tissu” shops in Montmartre and loved every moment. I got some great deals there! Again, your skirt looks so nice and professional, especially with your lining!

  36. Pingback: Sewing A Summer Skirt | Did You Make That?

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