Barbara – a 50’s inspired wiggle skirt

So after the catching up, the commercial patterns, the vintage patterns & the founding of my very own little Etsy shop (which has new goodies, btw)………  Back to something this blog was started for –   Patterncutting!!!

Ok, it’s not exactly earth-shatterning, but it’s a start.  As I said before, Daughter No2 is rather taken with the whole vintage thing, and it looks sooo good on her!  She starts 6th form in September (for those of you not in the UK, this is the last 2 years of high school) & the kids don’t need to wear school uniform anymore.  Not that they get to wear jeans & converses either – the new uniform is “Business Wear”.  Now we did this with Daughter No1, I made & bought all sorts of smart clothes, only for her to ditch the entire lot at the beginning of University, because no-one wears that sort of stuff!  Grrrr

Anyway, I digress.  Daughter No2 wanted to start with skirts.  Pencil skirts & wiggle skirts.  I posted some sketches I’d done, & she’d approved a couple of posts ago.  I have done the patterns for two of them, and made one of the skirts in between getting sidetracked & distracted by other shiny new things!

1950's inspired pencil skirts
1950’s inspired pencil skirts

So what we are after are simple pencil skirt shapes, with detail.  These two focus on the pockets.  I’d seen some patterns on Pinterest & Etsy, unfortunately either the wrong size, or already sold, and we decided to see if I could run them up!  We started with the one on the left, which Daughter No2 has called the Barbara skirt.

I used the dart (moved over towards the centre front a bit) as the starting point for the pocket, which also ended up being more curved than the initial sketch.  The skirt is pegged at the hem, I took in 2.5cm on each side seam & the same at the back.  Initially I was going to put a vent or slit at the back to enable walking, but after the toile she decided she didn’t need/want one this time.  How cool would it look with a little godet though??

The pattern pieces for Barbara
The pattern pieces for Barbara

These are the working pattern pieces for the skirt, you can see my adjustments & alterations scribbled all over them.  Once I am happy with the look, fit etc, I trace these off with the required markings so I can see what’s going on, but I always keep the working patterns to keep track of my fiddling!  The skirt sits properly on the waist, with a straight, narrow waistband.

Showing off the pockets
Showing off the pockets

The fabric is a mid-mod inspired print by John Kaldor in cotton with the teeniest amount of stretch.  I bought this aaaages ago, and made a skirt for myself, but had quite a bit leftover!  I decided a contrast pocket band would look good, but didn’t have a piece of black in a suitable weight cotton to match, so went with white.

Barbara skirtThe just-above-the-knee length works quite well.  The proper 50’s length would have definitely necessitated a walking vent, but Daughter No2 didn’t want it that long.

Barbara skirtI love how this skirt shows off her shape, without being too tight & revealing.   It’s quite grown-up!  😀

Barbara skirt with Jacket
Barbara skirt with Jacket

She even chose this skirt to wear on the induction day at the beginning of July, before jetting off to Sardinia with her best friend for 2 weeks.  I know she is looking forward to seeing what else I’ve made while she’s been gone….  I think I may have got sidetracked again & made something else!  Oops!  😀

Author: Anne W

I love fabric, and sewing. And I could do nothing else but sew, all day, every day, if I could!

14 thoughts on “Barbara – a 50’s inspired wiggle skirt”

  1. That is just lovely. Ever thought of releasing your patterns to a willing and paying public?! I’d be first in the queue with my cheque book!

    1. Bless you, that’s sweet! Honestly, I wouldn’t have a clue where to start with all that, but I am happy do do a tutorial, if you have a skirt block that fits you….

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