Hollyburn Skirt En Rouge

Hollyburn Skirt En Rouge

Rivers know this: there is no hurry. We shall get there some day.

AA Milne, Winnie The Pooh

This Hollyburn skirt was a test of patience. I worked hard and carefully on it, only to discover that the waistband was way too big. I’d been undone by a combination of a loose weave and what I call Reverse Vanity Sizing: I sew on the principle that there are invisible layers of fat hanging around my body. I’ll just add an extra inch to the waistband. Just in case. This has been my undoing countless times. When shall I learn that I’m not as fat as I think I am?!

Having inserted an invisible zip, hand stitched the silk lining and catch stitched the hem, I had to undo all my work and reinsert a new invisible zip. Not before swearing and throwing the skirt in a corner. But how glad I am that I gave myself a week away from sewing and came back to the skirt fresh. I love it!

Hollyburn Skirt In Red

Look at that drape. It’s a triple crepe wool bought from – deep breath – The Man Outside Sainsburys. Should I just ask him to marry me now? I took the last of this bolt (ex Hobbs, if I’m to believe what I’m told) but you can buy triple crepe from Minerva Fabrics here. Do it! It’s gorgeous to work with.

I’m glad I had a second go at my invisible zip. On first insertion I realised too late that it really needed some strips of organza to stabilise it. So on my second go, I did just that.

Invisible Zip Collage

Invisible Zip

Yes, I’m very happy with my second invisible zip. But you’re not looking at that, are you? You’re looking at the lining fabric. White silk with red beetles. Bought from… You know where I bought this from!

Beetle lining

I couldn’t resist. It’s a shame that only myself and my blog readers will ever know that the skirt is lined in red beetle silk, but hey. I only sew to please myself, so ultimately – who cares?

Hollyburn Skirt A Rouge

This skirt was inspired by my black wool crepe skirt, which gets worn to death. As before, I omitted the pockets and added 2.5 inches to the length of variation A. My red version would make a perfect Valentine’s outfit, if I subscribed to Hallmark-themed days. (I don’t. They get in the way of my birthday, which was yesterday. Happy birthday to meeee!!!!!)

I have 0.8 metres left of this red beetle silk. You could use it to line a short skirt, a cropped jacket, you could make yourself some silk knickers or just mush it up against your face. Want it? Leave a comment below before midnight GMT Friday 21 February. This giveaway is open worldwide, as always. Enjoy, my friends!

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195 Responses to Hollyburn Skirt En Rouge

  1. Simona says:

    Happy belated birthday! Hope you had a great day! ๐Ÿ˜Š

  2. FabricKate says:

    I love it. Especially the lining! Great colour and shape for you Karen.

  3. onejolie says:

    Love the skirt!! I would try to make a cute little short skirt!

  4. kate0795 says:

    Imagine having a man outside your local supermarket who sells fabric, let alone these types of fabric! That beetle fabric is utterly delightful! I’m sure that if you’re sitting somewhere like a train or the like, and have your legs crossed someone might just catch a sneaky peak of that lining! It’s a crime not to! The skirt is beautiful and fits like a glove…fat?? what fat?? The beauty of handmade is to get that perfect fit and you have๐Ÿ˜€ you look amazing!

  5. Laura says:

    Please please please can I have the red beetle silk?? I will make a bag with it so everyone can share in its awesomeness..

  6. Happy late birthday! I love those little beetles…

  7. Rachel says:

    Beautiful red skirt! I did something similar with a pair of pant… “I need to give my round butt more room so I better adjust the waistline so it sit straight”… Turns out I would have been just fine following the pattern!

    Anyway, I would love to smoosh silk beetles all over my face! thanks for thinking of us with a giveaway!

  8. Catherine says:

    gorgeous skirt! the fabric has such a beautiful drape, and omg the the lining! And the fit is wonderful on you! remember to trust the measuring tape, even though it has those evil self-doubting numbers written on it

  9. Mel says:

    I do the reverse vanity sizing too! I made a dress fairly early on that was too tight round the waist and ever since, I don’t seem to be able to trust the numbers. Beautiful skirt, so well-made.

  10. SabineC says:

    LOL, you were spot on, when you wrote “But you’re not looking at that, are you? You are looking at the lining fabric.”
    Caught in the act, for sure! So *of course* I am giving this giveaway a change, you bet!
    All the more so because i just bought myself a bright d fabric to… make a skirt from ๐Ÿ™‚
    If that would only turnout as smashing as yours, I’d be happy as a clam!

  11. Suli says:

    Love this skirt!! You did a fabulous job with the invisible zip. I’m still working at perfecting that part of my garments.

  12. So cute! Love the lining!!! And fantastic zipper! I am always fighting with zippers…

  13. Andrea says:

    Your skirt is gorgeous, and the beetle fabric is genius! If I could learn to keep my whimsy on the inside I’d have far more work clothing in my wardrobe. I also succumb to reverse vanity sizing, mainly because I hate tight clothing. I am far more likely to wear something that is a bit too loose than something that fits perfectly. Comfort before vanity, every time.

    I’d love to throw my hat in the ring for the beetle fabric. That said, I’m not sure I have the discipline to keep it on the inside of a garment. I could definitely see it as a sleeveless blouse!

  14. mycrafthouse says:

    I love that skirt – I think I’ll be buying the pattern! Also who wouldn’t want beetle print silk!

  15. Carolyn says:

    Karen, I can’t stop looking at that invisible zipper – it’s perfection! How do avoid the dreaded “bump” at the bottom? I always struggle with that. The silk bug lining is divine – you should totally flash a bit of it to your wool supplier… sure to get a proposal out of him that way. ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. Linda says:

    I’d use the beetles to line a bag so every one could see it

  17. CurlsnSkirls says:

    A scarf – a scarf – I’d wear it out as a scarf!
    Congratulations on sticking with the project & do please let us know date & time of wedding. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  18. Annie says:

    Can’t tell you the number of times I have added that “extra bit.” Something to do with a skewed sense of body image. Means I’ve sewn twice as much :). Love the offerings of The Man (outside Sainsbury’s).

  19. Jennie Sue says:

    Such a fun lining, and you could always have a Marilyn moment to show it off! And I agree with Carolyn, the zip is impeccable. Did you taper the basting into the seam?

  20. Tracy says:

    What a gorgeous skirt, You should also think about wearing it inside out! I would love to have a chance of winning the remainder of the beetle fabric to line my 5yr old’s spring coat with. Thanks for your lovely blog.

  21. Kim says:

    I love this version of the Hollyburn. I’m partial to red, though. I also add an extra inch here and there and end up with a piece that’s swimming on me. I guess I just need to trust the numbers!

  22. Bridget says:

    Beetle silk! I have to have it! I’d say it’s because my partner is an entomologist but really it’s because I love it and want it in my life.

  23. Janet Friel says:

    The skirt, and fit, is gorgeous, but the lining adds a secret wow factor! Like good underwear, it makes you feel better even if no-one else can see it!

  24. Erika says:

    That fabric is just too amazing not to enter this giveaway! My first thought was that it would give me the heebie-jeebies having beetles in my skirt, but then I decided that that’s dumb. It’s adorable and hilarious.

  25. Becky says:

    I live in Mid Wales a VERY long way from the man outside Sainsburysโ€ฆit would be lovely to have a piece of his greatness to secretly line a skirt here ๐Ÿ™‚

  26. MaZeLiving says:

    Beautiful color and lining! Love the whole outfit! Happy birthday! ๐Ÿ™‚

  27. Ooooh triple crepe outer and silk lining, I bet that feels amazing to wear! I’d love to line a skirt of my own with the beetle fabric. Happy birthday and thanks for the giveaway! ๐Ÿ™‚

  28. That’s fab! I love when you tell us about fabric detail. And Happy Birthday! Mine’s today :0)

  29. Carol S says:

    Happy Belated Birthday1
    i would line the body of a classic navy blazer with it and use something else for the sleeves.

  30. jill says:

    Your skirt is beautiful! And the lining is fantastic too I would love some!


  31. Rebecca says:

    Beautiful skirt! I love the color and the silk beetle lining is awesome! Hope you had a wonderful birthday ๐Ÿ™‚

  32. That perfect zipper just takes my breath away!!!

  33. Helen says:

    Beautiful!! Love the lining and it all looks very spring-like! A lovely flash of colour for a very grey day xx

  34. Marion says:

    Happy belated birthday Karen. Actually I was marvelling at your beautifully executed invisible zip and the matching up of those waistband seam lines. Without a doubt,your beetle silk lining is gorgeous but your sewing skills are just as fabulous.

  35. I would love the fabric! What an excellent idea for the lining. I think it would be an amazing lining for a handbag. If I’m not the lucky girl that gets it, please tell me where you purchased it. I’m a new follower, and in the US, so I will have to hope there is an online source. Love your blog, by the way. As a new blogger, I have learned so much reading yours.

  36. Karen, well doooone! Beautifully put together. I am totally gelous of your fabric supplier, and I am considering a trip to London just to pay him a visit, what a treasure!!! Wool crepe and silk! and those beetles are just, perfect. Just a question, can you wash it at home?

  37. You and I share a birthday. I tell everyone that it is actually International Anju Appreciation Day.

  38. Sam says:

    Happy belated birthday!
    Love the skirt, particularly the secret beetles. Thats what I love about sewing, putting in those little touches that no one else will see or know about, but that make me happy!

  39. Ana says:

    Beautiful! I just bought a double knit for a skirt and I’m regretting I didn’t go for red! Happy belated birthday!

  40. Debby says:

    Lovely, love the beetle fabric.

  41. Emmely says:

    Lovely skirt and lining! Happy belated birthday!

  42. Jen (NY) says:

    Beautiful skirt and I love the beetle lining! Please enter me in the giveaway and thank you for the AA Milne quote too. It was a good reminder for me this morning!

  43. Marie F. says:

    Happy Birthday! I love this skirt! And the lining is gorgeous!

  44. gccmom says:

    Oh my goodness! LOVE this skirt. I do the same thing when sewing for myself and always think I am larger than I am. The beetle lining is awesome.

  45. Happy birthday! Thanks for giving US a present! That beetle silk is too cute ๐Ÿ™‚

  46. Annette says:

    Happy Birthday! Our oldest son’s birthday is today, so we keep Valentine’s Day low key. I wish we had someone with nice fabric close by. I’m always amazed at what he has for you.

  47. Amy says:

    I love the beetles! Choosing fun lining fabric is one of my favorite parts of sewing!

  48. Jenny l says:

    I would love to mush this against my face please. I had a birthday too this week. 70 years young. I don’t feel it most of the time. The most difficult thing about growing older and sewing I find is getting patterns that suit. I need sleeves, that’s a definite. I don’t need smart work clothes anymore but I don’t want to be too sloppy all the time. Most bloggers I follow are in their 30’s or 40’s and the clothes they choose would not suit me so I would love to follow some older sewists and get some ideas. Anyway, your skirt is lovely and you are certainly not fat!

  49. sewgrandma says:

    Beautiful skirt! I would dare say I wouldn’t use the silk red beetle fabric as lining. I would use it on the outside either on a vest or blouse. P.S Happy BDay.

  50. lisa g says:

    that skirt is gorgeous! looks flawless, and that invisible zip? perfection. and there’s no way i would have hidden that beautiful silk inside a skirt! maybe a jacket, but most definitely a blouse. LOVE it. happy birthday ๐Ÿ™‚

  51. My goodness the drape! I feel I need to try some triple crepe…

    And the beetle silk – you have no idea how far up my street that is. I might have to come to Walthamstow. I’d love to win your remnants though, and I think I’d make some knickers and maybe a matching bra.

  52. Ali says:

    Looks amazing – I hope you wear it to the supermarket. You may look a little overdressed but the man near sainsburys needs to see what a wonderful job you’ve done!
    If I were lucky enough to win I think I’d line a jacket ๐Ÿ˜€

  53. MothersRuin says:

    Being stuck in the middle of nowhere these days I couldn’t even tell you where my hearest Saunsbury’s IS, let alone expect to find a chap outside selling this kind of fabric. I am, as ever, very jealous! X

  54. victoriapeat says:

    You caught me out, I was indeed looking at the picture of the lining whilst not really reading about your perfectly inserted zip!

    I made a couple of pairs of trousers from some wool crepe, it was a dream to work with and wear. Your skirt looks brilliant. I fancy making something just as lovely, however this afternoon will be spent making a neon mini skirt (and maybe some leg warmers…) for an 80’s hen party I am going to next weekend. Classy sewing at it’s best

  55. The skirt is beautiful and the inning divine. Sorry you had to re do it but it’s a common error of dressmakers – at least of mine – to cut something larger, just in case…
    You are very generous to give away the silk lining as it would have made a lovely scarf to compliment your outfit.

  56. The skirt is so professional and polished! Looks fabulous. I applaud you for painstakingly altering it and reinserting the zipper! I think every seamstress loathes do-overs ๐Ÿ˜‰ the lining is too cute! Happy Birthday to you, the skirt looks amazing on you.

  57. Marchelle says:

    Woohoo red beetle fabric. I’m in!

  58. Hannah Frost says:

    That beetle fabric would enable me to make a fantastic light scarf for myself! I love pretty things with supposedly ‘ugly animals’ on (eg. spiders, snails, beetles!) ๐Ÿ™‚

  59. Funnygrrl says:

    I had a chance to get to meet The Man Outside Sainsburys when I visited London last year. He was so nice and recognized my accent as Canadian. So rare. Most assumed we were American.
    Anyway, the beetle silk is so adorable. Thanks!

  60. what a gorgeous skirt and great zip! Happy Birthday to you.
    skip me in the drawing – no more fabric needed here ๐Ÿ™‚

  61. Stunning. I love the drape. This would make such a cute top with a button down back! X

  62. Philippa says:

    You look tres belle in your new skirt! I do love the shape. I know this isn’t much consolation but I had to do the EXACT same thing with a skirt I made recently (not yet blogged). In my case I tacked the whole lot together, tried it on, it fitted fine, I inserted the invisible zip, finished the waistband etc…the next morning it was way too big! How did this happen?! Like you, it took a while before I could bring myself to re-make it, but it’s done, it fits, and I am still mystified!
    No giveaway entry, just wanted to share!

  63. Sue says:

    Wow, I love this skirt and the silk is adorable! Maybe, if I win your giveaway, you could just throw the skirt in as well? I’m in LOVE with it. ๐Ÿ™‚

  64. Helen says:

    Oh yes please! No idea what I’d do with it, probably the mushing against face option! Happy Birthday! And the skirt is beautiful! I’m glad you went back to it!

  65. Maddie says:

    Enter me into this giveaway for sure! I don’t think you understand the awesomeness I could make if I whipped up a red beetle bra! Or Amerson undie!

    And happy birthday!

  66. boomstitch says:

    Your skirt is beautiful, though I’d be tempted to wear it inside out. The beetle fabric is amazing. You should so make matching knickers, that’s totally what I would do!! In fact I think my mum used to wear knickers that matched her mini skirts back in the 60s.

  67. What cute lining! And of course the skirt is lovely as well. Nice job with the zipper!

  68. susew says:

    What a fabulous skirt. Kudos on such a beautiful invisible zipper insertion. This is the first version of the Hollyburn that appeals to me – it must be the drape of the crepe.
    Your outfit is so lovely and spring like. In Canada with the winter we have had this year, it seems like it will be ages until it warm enough to wear short sleeves and give up heavy tights with skirts or dresses.

  69. Pam says:

    Oh man! This is SUCH a COOL giveaway!!! Please, please, PLEASE!

    Your skirt is perfection on all counts! And Happy, happy birthday ๐Ÿ™‚

  70. redsilvia says:

    Happy birthday gorgeous!

    Considering how windy the UK is at present, maybe that lining will be a happy surprise by for your fellow citizens one blustery day. Adore that lining!

    I am in awe of your patience to undo your good work and fix the problems so beautifully. A sign of maturity ๐Ÿ˜‰

  71. Sassy T says:

    You could always do a spontaneous Can Can if you feel the urge to share your red beetle lining. Nice skirt.

  72. Andrea Moran says:

    Well I think you made the right choice, using those beetles as lining. I bet it feels lovely and luxurious being silk.
    However I couldn’t bear to look at those scampering eerie ugly creepy crawlies gorgeous silk or not!

  73. Sabs says:

    Please don’t include me in the giveaway (I’d rather someone who wants more fabric than I have room for got it, as gorgeous as it is) but I just had up comment to say I absolutely LOVE that outfit! Happy birthday!

  74. 99laken says:

    Happy belated birthday Karen! How it was a wonderful day!

    That skirt looks fabulous on you, nice work! Actually, the while outfit looks amazing ๐Ÿ™‚

    And that zipper *gasp* perfection Indeedy!

  75. Amazing skirt and amazing entire outfit too! Of course, like everyone, I adore the red beetle fabric as well…

  76. Vairรซ Gwรฎr says:

    I NEED knickers with red beetles on them I seriously do.

  77. Gah! I want that fabric so much! I have a bit of a beetle problem, jewellery, clothing, crockery. I love that it confuses my mum, and that when people first see them they think its cute then go up close and their face changes as they realise its bugs and not ladybird/ butterflies (the only acceptable tiny creatures to adorn yourself with… Oh and dragonflies!) Hmmm bit of a rant. Happy birthday!

  78. el rueb says:

    As a woman much older then you
    I advised you to love the body you have because someday you’ll look in the mirror and wish you had this body. Enjoy your youth and wear what ever
    you want while you can still fit in everything.

  79. Jo says:

    Your skirt is delicious! What luxurious fabric! ๐Ÿ™‚ I too, fall into reverse vanity sizing and make things too big lol! Well, far better on the ego to take things in than let them out, heh. Plus you can’t cut it bigger if you make it too small.
    I’d love to win your beetle lining, it’s absolutely gorgeous ๐Ÿ™‚

  80. Kat says:

    Those beetles are just fab, as is the whole skirt ๐Ÿ™‚ I would love to smush the fabric to my face, and then make some thing for the world to see…. I’m thinking the lining of a bag, or a wee top, or the lining in a bellatrix blazer ๐Ÿ™‚

  81. Treva Putsche says:

    Karen, happy birthday wishes first off! Secondly I love your surprise linings you put in skirts and dresses. I understand not wanting tight clothes, but isn’t it time for a reality check? There’s no fat there and you should have a solid measurement for your waist band by now. How sad it would have been if you had made it wadder ! I truly enjoy watching your makes, and i’m visiting London for daughters graduation in July so I may have to find the man outside of Saintsbury’s. Teehee.
    Please don’t put me in your drawing. The states is just too far.
    Happy Saturday!

  82. lunabadoona says:

    Oh yes please! I actually have a fabric like this…but it’s white polyester with black beetles. Your fabric sounds divine! And Happy Birthday! ๐Ÿ™‚

  83. Jeannine says:

    So cute! Love it!

  84. Linda says:

    Great skirt! Love, love, love the red beetle silk! And happy birthday for yesterday:)

  85. Louise Tomlinson-Sylvest says:

    I love the skirt and the pattern had been immediately pinned to my ‘patterns to make’ Pinterest board. The beetle fabric is to die for. Adore it sooo much. Not sure what I’d use your remaining 0.8 metres for, probably a lot of face smooshing and dreaming until inspiration strikes.

  86. Marie says:

    Lovely! I’m new to making things, keep bringing lovely fabrics home. Would definitely have pounced on those beetles!!

  87. Happy birthday, Karen! Love red! Love that skirt!

  88. Cheekychacha says:

    Totally love seeing amazing linings in garments. It’s like having your own personal secret! Happy birthday also; you look gorgeous!

  89. Hari says:

    Happy birthday! Red beetle silk?!!! Yes please! Love love love!!! Red beetle knickers ๐Ÿ™‚

  90. love the red skirt and even if we in the blogging fraternity are the only ones to share your fab lining – we all know how brilliant it is! I love the swishy skirt and this would make a brilliant work skirt – mine has to be dark and boring but swishy none the less! Silk swishy is always delicious and reminds me of Jane Eyre for some reason.

  91. Dayl says:

    Apply belated birthday! And I think that the silk would make a lovely tank shell!!

  92. katemcivor says:

    I love this skirt, and I LOVE that you always give yourself an extra inch. I do the same thing and spend much of my sewing time taking things in! Arg! When will we learn?

  93. Kelly says:

    Wow, your invisible zip is perfect! Zippers are something I don’t have a lot of experience with but I want to learn. Your skirt looks great, and silk beetle fabric- yes please!

  94. Liz says:

    What a smashing skirt! I hope it gets as much wear as your black. But seriously, red beetles?! Yes please!

  95. Just found this blog! Thanks..so excited!

  96. Lorna says:

    Happy birthday. I wish I had a man outside my Sainsburys selling beautiful fabric!

  97. sewlaurasew says:

    Happy birthday! I love awesome linings – even if I’m the only one that ever sees them, they make me insanely happy. ๐Ÿ™‚

  98. Marie says:

    Love, love, love this! Wish the lining was ants not beetles though…that way’d you’d technically have ants in/near your pants! Haha ;o)

  99. Sarah B says:

    Ah, so pretty! I’ve been swithering about both hollyburn & triple crepe for an age but think I might just be persuaded now! And the lining is amazing. Happy birthday!

  100. Ann says:

    I love the skirt. Red beetles would be used to line something – not sure what yet, but something!

  101. I made it!! says:

    Looks great! Love the lining!

  102. love that skirt, i have the exact same problem of over estimating but with my bust! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ Love that lining

  103. Anne-Marie says:

    I like the silk, but admire that perfect zip! Beautiful work Karen, the skirt is perfection and you look so good in it.

  104. Jill says:

    Ah, yes, the ol’ Reverse Vanity Sizing. I have been bitten by that bug as well. Speaking of bugs, that beetle fabric, it is quite divine. Considering I have a not-tiny scarab tattoo and a lovely piece of scarab art from Egypt, you could say I dig them ๐Ÿ˜€
    The skirt is simply lovely. I’m not sure I’ve seen an invisible zip look so good, and the drape is perfect. Hope you had the Happiest of Birthdays, pffft to that Hallmark holiday anyway.

  105. Katy says:

    I agree with the beautiful zip insertion comment! Awesome beetles to boot.

  106. Dalila says:


  107. Diane says:

    adorable skirt and top. Did you make the blue and white stripped shirt as well? If so what pattern did you use? Happy Belated Birthday.

  108. Crow says:

    I always up-size too and end up having to undo and redo!
    Beautiful skirt, the colour looks lovely on you and Happy Birthday.

  109. Karen says:

    I adore bug fabric! The skirt is stunning.

  110. Batwidow says:

    Great skirt and fabric! I would love to line my next little black skirt with this!

  111. Sewingjen says:

    Belated Happy Birthday Karen – love the lining!! I made the Marcy Tilton jacket (Vogue 8693) which incidentally looks so much nicer than the pattern sleeve photo. I used some lining purchased years ago when a manufacturer of high street garments had a fabric clearance sale. Bought lots of remnants including the lining which had “Hobbs” woven into the fabric. Waited years to use it and so glad I did. Even though not many people see garment linings it sort of makes you more proud of your handmade item!! and makes it even more individual. I hope to arrange another “fabric trip” to London in the near future – similar to last years foray to your recommended Goldhawk Road shops, this time I think we may need to visit your “man outside Sainabury’s” !!!!

  112. ooobop! says:

    What a beautiful ensemble Karen. That skirt is delicious in every way, inside and out. Lining is of course gorgeous but what I’m so in awe of is your totally invisible zipper!!! I’ve never managed it quite so invisible. Any hot tips you’d like to share?xxx

  113. Paula says:

    Lovely work on the skirt! I love that you had the idea to add the organza to stabilize the zip the second time. I’ll be filing that in the back of my mind when I pull out my navy wool crepe (intended for a Boden-style skating skirt).

  114. Kathryn Rogers says:

    Your gorgeous execution of this lovely pattern has been my final undoing. I’ve just booked a learn to sew class. I hope to create similarly beautiful things one day!

  115. Mary says:

    I love your red skirt – thanks for the giveaway!

  116. Ros says:

    Ooh, I want that fabric!

    I did exactly the same thing yesterday. I’m so used to cutting the largest size of any pattern that I automatically did that. Except I’d bought a plus sized pattern. So, um, yeah. Four sizes too big. I have been chopping fabric off all over the place.

  117. Katherine says:

    You look amazing! Love the skirt. Love the colour. Love the nautical/French styling. Very pleased to see the lines of the Hollyburn as I had just ordered it. Was worried it would make me look ‘hippy’ – no concerns now I have seen your ‘Ooh…la…la…….. version!

  118. Amy says:

    I can’t believe I still haven’t visited the man from outside sainsburys! What a lush skirt. Secret happy linings are the best!

  119. Sabine says:

    Happy birthday! And what a beautiful skirt, it looks so luxurious.

  120. Lorna says:

    Happy birthday, Karen! Hope you had a lovely day. Love the skirt, and your tenacity is inspiring! I have done a very similar thing with Simplicity 2541, and it’s been sitting for a month now, patiently waiting for me to find the energy and will to fix it…

  121. Vicki says:

    Happy birthday!. The dress is lovely and that lining is superb!

  122. Gema says:

    You look stunning- what a gorgeous skirt!! And I’d use the silk to make a few beautiful purses for my nearest and dearest… Share the love, I say!! ๐Ÿ˜‰ x

  123. Sam says:

    I love both the skirt and lining fabric. My bank balance would be in danger if I had such beautiful fabrics for sale nearby. As it is, I live vicariously through others, such as yourself, dear Karen.

    I’d probably be too intimidated to use such lovely stuff but, if I did win, I’d try to hardest to not succumb to my loud, internal critic and instead sew up a lovely little top of sorts.

    This outfit looks great on you, Karen!


  124. I saw this at work, in one of my, Oh I so need a break, times and well that break lasted for a while. This is a gorgeous skirt, the fabric’s amazing, the beetles made me laugh and that zipper is perfection. It’s been a couple of days since I saw the post and I keep com in back to admire it. Hope you had an equally amazing birthday! xx

  125. Anne says:

    I did the same thing with a skirt recently too. I tasked it and tried it on & it was fine but when finished it was way too big. It took me 8 hours to unpick – it was a skirt with a facing & had been topstitched. Glad I did though because I am pleased with the fit now.
    I have this problem with most things – I’m afraid of them being too tight & therefore unflattering around the waist.

  126. Polly Pierce says:

    I was going to comment anyway, just to offer you a happy belated birthday! I hope you’d a lovely day.

    This said, I wouldn’t say no to some lovely silk beetles…

  127. Mags says:

    Fab skirt and off to buy some of the fabric now !

  128. Lori says:

    I love this skirt, it’s so pretty on you! Happy Birthday! Mine was a few days ago too.

  129. Jack hirst says:

    A belated Happy Birthday to you Karen! This outfit looks fantastic, the skirt is a fantastic fit. Oh to know a man who sells such beautiful fabric! I wish I had some beetles to brighten up my sewing projects….. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Kate

  130. Eliza-sew-little says:

    Silk beetle bloomers. What else?

    I’ve never made underwear before so I’ve no idea whether it’ll work but I love a challenge.

  131. Land girl says:

    I just did a sewing course which included my first ever invisible zipper (without a special foot or anything) and it wasn’t that hard. Top tip was to keep the bottom unstitched and do the final bottom half inch by hand. Will do it for real on my new Emery dress!

  132. Ellen says:

    The skirt is gorgeous, and you are NOT fat. We have to ignore the fashion houses and realize that models do not represent real women. As for the beetle fabric, pick me please, I am going to try my hand at making my own undies, it would be perfect! Love your blog, you make the loveliest things.

  133. Susie says:

    Karen, your invisible zipper is inspirational! I think I shall dream about it tonight. The lining is too cute…I am a sucker for fun linings. Happy birthday!

  134. Julia says:

    Happy Belated Birthday Karen. I have just swooned over your invisible zip. Perfection. I too love fun linings but I’m happy not to have any creepy crawlies – eek.

  135. Gjeometry says:

    Ah, love that Winnie the Pooh quote!! Too awesome. And, love your hollyburn, glad you stuck it out. The insect lining is so fabulous! Hope you had a terrific b-day!

  136. Anne says:

    Oh oh oh! Red beetles! I would love to use that as a lining in something! So perfect. (And your skirt is beautiful.)

  137. Deb Cameron says:

    Lady in Red, stunning! How generous to offer up that red beetle fabric, I would line a bag or two, and flash my lining with abandon ๐Ÿ˜‰

  138. Kate says:

    That skirt looks so good on you! Happy Birthday!

  139. Faith says:

    What a fun piece!

  140. Elaine says:

    I love that beetle lining! And I’m so impressed when anyone lines a garment……I’m more of a beginner so I haven’t done that yet. Happy Birthday

  141. Megan says:

    HBB ๐Ÿ™‚
    Love the quirky lining- can your man open up a franchaise outside my supermarket in Melbourne????

  142. louisefrost says:

    Wow, you have made that beautifully. What a lovely skirt, such a vibrant shade of red. It’s gorgeous and you look tres chic. Well worth all the effort. ๐Ÿ™‚

  143. Kieran says:

    I learned last year, but had forgotten till now, that we have the same birthday! Next year it’s a Friday, which means there will be the standard “hilarious” jokes about being born on Friday the 13th, blah blah bah. Anyway, I hope you had a great day, I know I did!
    And yes, Valentine’s day does severely get in the way of my/our birthday. Because of course it should be all about meeeeee/us, not couples preparing to be all lovey dovey and gross ๐Ÿ˜‰
    Nice skirt!

  144. Alla says:

    Dear Karen,
    I’m an old, loyal, and silent admirer of your fabulous work. You are the main inspiration behind all the seams that I undo when they don’t meet my neatness standards, all the lining that would let me wear my dresses inside out (if I chose to venture down that path), and all the button holes that had to be conquered on my little stubborn Brother. Thank you! But appreciation is not why I’m leaving my comment here for the first time. Please keep the silk remnant! And make a scarf out of it! And wear it with this exact outfit! Pretty pretty please! It would look gorgeous with stripes and rouge, and the world is dying to see red beetles on white snow. Please?

  145. Daniela M. says:

    Lovely skirt and outfit! Well done in persisting and not giving up, it was really worth it! At least you could take the skirt in, it would have been a bigger disaster, if it would have been too small (that’s usually my problem). And I just clicked on the Minerva link and now I am really tempted – the fabric there is pink. Pink is one of my favorite colors – I want it. ๐Ÿ™‚ But unluckily (or luckily?), I am stash dieting and have to resist. But thanks so much for your inspiration! This skirt definitively goes onto my sewing list.

  146. Ana says:

    Beautiful skirt! I love the color, the fit, it’s perfect!

  147. Stephanie says:

    Long time lurker, I love looking at your projects, sew inspiring! And I love the idea of silk beetle undies!!!

  148. Becky says:

    I love the lining! It’s just about my favourite thing to make something seemingly plain because underneath is an awesome lining fabric!!

  149. Jo says:

    Ah brilliant! And I’d love to make myself some beetle knickers… ๐Ÿ™‚

  150. Melanie says:

    i love this skirt on you. and those little beetles they are just perfect

  151. I felt your pain ……. and then I felt your joy! Glad it all worked out because it is really lovely ๐Ÿ™‚

  152. Ooooh, I would love to win this!

  153. Oooh this is gorgeous, love the drape of that skirt and that colour on you is fab. I spotted that beetle fabric on his stall too but I’m on a fabric diet at the moment.

  154. Christine says:

    Love your suggestions for what to do with that cute red beetle silk. How about lining a little girl’s dress? what a fun secret to have a bunch of bugs with you!

    The skirt looks fantastic! I envy your zip skills – amazingly done.

  155. Jacey says:

    Love the skirt! And those beetles are awesome!

  156. tillybuttons says:

    Happy birthday, Karen! Please can I have this outfit? Thank you. xx

  157. Yummy lining! Unfortunately the only men outside my Sainsbury’s are the ones who collect the trolleys!! Think I need to move – not sure that my husband would view a fabric seller as a good reason to relocate many, many miles away though.

  158. Kim says:

    Great skirt! Your zipper looks perfect to me! Love the beetle fabric, crossing my fingers!

  159. That beetle fabric looks awesome. I’d definately use it somewhere it could be seen.

  160. Karine says:

    Joyeux Anniversaire Karen !
    Your skirt is beautiful, the invisible zip is so…invisible ! Well done ! As for the beetles, they are the cherries on the cake.
    “The man outside Sainsbury” : does he know he’s now famous all over the world ?

  161. sleepyerin says:

    Happy birthday! You look fabulous!

    I would have those gorgeous red beetles crawling along the lining of a Little Red Riding Hood cape for my daughter.

  162. Lovely skirt, lovele top – I love this marine look! And lining is just awasom!

  163. Wow, love that skirt, and the lining is beautiful too.

  164. EmSewCrazy says:

    Beautiful! My favorite color too! Such a lovely shape. Happy Belated Birthday!
    PS lining is super fun too!

  165. Divine. The red is the perfect colour, the triple crepe is sumptuous, the beetles are luxurious and whimsical, and the zip is perfection. It looks like a million bucks on you!

    And thanks for making your giveaway worldwide. It’s appreciated!

  166. Oh, and a very very happy birthday to you!

  167. Elena Knits says:

    That’s a lovely skirt! Thank you for the giveaway.

  168. NiCaam says:

    Happy belated Birthday. I love the skirt, and you have a Grrreat figure (damn that annoying selfie in our heads). I’d kill for your figure, but for now I’ll just toss in my card for the giveaway. I just read above it’s worldwide. Thanks again.

  169. Happy Birthday ๐Ÿ™‚ That beetle silk is fantastic! If only we could all access your go-to fabric man, lol. Thanks so much for the giveaway!

  170. Kerry says:

    Happy Belated Birthday! What fabulous silk. I’d definitely use it to line a skirt,

  171. I’m planning on making a capelet for a festival in August and that silk would make for a great lining. By that I should have mastered my new sewingmachine… Else I’ll use it for lining the bag that goes with it and handstitch it in!

  172. Sue says:

    Hi Karen, thanks for hosting this giveaway. That silk is divine. All the best people are born on valentines day!

  173. Amanda says:

    Happy Birthday. What a generous offer. I love the fun unexpected element of an insect in silk…or I suppose it should be completely expected since silk comes from worms?

  174. Sandesh says:

    Happy belated birthday. I’m marvelling at how fab your invisible zip is… It is a thing of wonder!!
    (zips are still a skill I am still trying to master)

  175. Karen, I love your skirt. I made the Hollyburn in the same red wool crepe fabric last year. We are twinkies ๐Ÿ™‚

    P. S. Love your lining and that zip is perfect.

  176. Rose says:

    Love the lining! I like the silk knickers idea!

  177. Retrowren says:

    Happy belated Birthday wishes Karen! I hope you had a fantastic day.
    Love, love, love your skirt! Your invisible zip is excellent!

    Would love a chance to win that gorgeous beetle fabric, so please be kind enough to put my name in the hat.

    Have a great week!

  178. Love your skirt, love your lining, love your invisible zip skills and absolutely love your man outside Sainsbury. Happy Birthday

  179. cece says:

    Love it! Perfection! Happy Belated Birthday!

  180. Jenny Clark says:

    Lovely skirt! The Hollyburn is such a great pattern. I’d love some of that lining fabric!

  181. ThirtyoneThirteen says:

    Gorgeous skirt! Just found your blog, and love your work. Very inspiring!

  182. Ronja says:

    Oh Yesyesyesss! That red beetle fabric makes me so happy! Please include me. I might just be a face masher. I would save it for the perfect thing. I do believe there are perfect things in sewing if you just wait for your skill, pattern and fabric to intersect. I killed a self drafted skirt the other day, but I put in absolutely beautiful inseam pockets and tested out my new (vintage Elna Supermatic as my last Elna Supermatic is having motor problems) machine. I would please like to be considered.

  183. Helen says:

    Hi, Fantastic invisible zip !! Oh I would love that red beetle fabric !! xx

  184. Melanie says:

    Lining, nothing. I’d squeeze a Colette Sorbetto out of those lovely beetles!

  185. Oh this skirt is just lovely. I really need to work on my sewing machine skills as mine still gives me the fear! And I think I would defo smush the fabric in my face before thinking of something to make with it!

  186. Kati says:

    Happy Birthday!
    I love your skirt and adore the red beetle lining! I wish I had a man like “yours” outside Sainsbury’s where I live!

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