One of my best friends, who is confusingly also called Hannah, turned 21 a little while ago, and I knew I wanted to get her something special. She’s been nothing but wonderful over the course of our degrees together, and it’s not every day your girl turns 21 now is it? Hannah has a great sense of style and is always immaculately turned out (even for 9am lectures, what), so I was struggling to think of a present that was befitting for such a sophisticated and elegant girl – nothing seemed quite right. But then it dawned on me.
You’re a seamstress, for goodness’ sake. Make the girl a goddamn skirt.
It was a perfect idea. I felt like an idiot for not having thought of it sooner. I knew Hannah would really love being able to pick out a design, choose her fabric, and then have her own unique, tailor-fitted skirt which no-one else would be seen wearing.
So I pledged to make her a skirt of her choosing, and a couple of weeks later we sat together in her room, put on Michael Bublé’s Christmas album (it was December, OK?), and I showed her every single fabric website I know of. After much deliberation, she eventually decided on the Sew Over It Erin skirt pattern from the eBook My Capsule Wardrobe: City Break, in this gorgeous loose-weave thick cotton fabric, also from Sew Over It, called Royal Bouquet:
I measured her, and we then went our separate ways. I made the skirt over Christmas, and it came together in only a couple of days. The pattern was really easy to follow and there was nothing particularly tricky about the construction of the skirt. In fact, the only tricky thing about this skirt was the fabric. It frayed like mad! I’m pretty sure the finished skirt turned out a size too small cause of all the threads that disintegrated around the edges. My machine also had some problems with the topstitching because there were too many layers of thick fabric to cope with. But, I got there in the end, and after a slightly nervous fitting on Hannah, was relieved to find that it fit!
My favourite thing about this skirt is the button at the waist. Hannah’s grandparents gave her this beautiful heirloom stud button with a tiny gold bird and flowers on it. It’s stunning! Hannah really wanted to use the button on her skirt so it wouldn’t just gather dust at the back of her jewellery box. She even picked out the skirt fabric to complement the button. So I’m very happy to say that the button looks gorgeous against the muted autumnal colours of the skirt:
I really enjoyed the experience of ‘selfless sewing’. This is only the second garment I’ve made for someone else (I made my boyfriend some loose fitting pyjama trousers for his birthday), and it was the first that required any fitting. Even after re-measuring Hannah’s waist about 15 times, I was extremely nervous that it wouldn’t fit, which would have been heart-breaking after all the effort that went into making it. But nothing compared to the look on her face when she tried on her own unique, bespoke, handmade skirt for the first time!
(P.S. she wore the skirt for the first time on a date and her date complimented her on it. Safe to say I was pretty chuffed with that!)