My Charlotte brings all the boys to the yard


You won't believe this, but once upon a time I won an award for "Rear of the Year". It's probably my favourite award to have come out of my seemingly neverending academic career. To be fair, the competition was totally rigged as I had a significant genetic advantage over the other contestants, what with being the only black girl and all. But given that my now husband was one of the gentlemen assessing the bootays at hand, it's no surprise that even now, even after a full decade of gravity and lazing around the couch, this skirt is still by miles his favourite thing I've made so far. Exhibit A:



There were about ten of these shots on the camera memory card after he kindly agreed to photograph this skirt for me. Front and side views? Pretty neglected. But I get where he's coming from: this lady is supremely flattering to one's rear view, my friends. Sadly, my rather too cautiously inserted invisible zip has been rendered not quite so invisible due to the pretty snug fit, but I'm actually OK with that as the contrast zip colour is so pretty.




This BY HAND LONDON Charlotte skirt was actually made using the original kit that these supremely fashionable ladies sold oh so many months ago now. Talk about my being behind the times, but it's the very first pattern and fabric that I ever bought! And boy was I relieved at the time not to have to worry about trying to find appropriate fabric given my zero sum total knowledge of what the heck I'd even be doing in a fabric store. So credit for the entire thing, gorgeous golden-red herringbone fabric and pretty red contrast zip and all, belongs wholly to them. (And they were generous - since I opted to omit the glorious peplum or ruffle options to suit my more conservative work needs, I still have another 2 metres of this lovely fabric left. Lucky, lucky me.) 

As a result, I kind of lost my shit when BY HAND LONDON announced first that they were starting to sell fabric, and then that they planned to start printing fabric on demand. I mean! The potential fabulosity! Not that I have a single creative bone in my body re fabric design, but from my sojourns around the sewing blogosphere there are plenty of people who do, and after seeing the first offering, (and immediately ordering a couple metres despite my self-imposed fabric ban, due to the fact that I've long spilled out of my designated fabric stash space - surreal floral monsters! How could I resist?) I'm pretty excited about what's to come. So I backed them on Kickstarter. You should too. (I say that like there are more than five of you reading this... still, go support!)


As is my wont, I lined this fully in the locally found silk that I'm slowly working my way through (it's not available online, I'm afraid). The button came from Ray Stitch, and I'm pretty glad that I didn't read the bit on their sewalong where they advise you not to put in a buttonhole unless you absolutely know what you're doing before I attempted it... This is the first one I've done! And it's only slightly janky. Beginner's luck for the everlasting win.


I interfaced the waistband with some leftover Liberty fabric and bias bound the centre back seam even though it was going to be fully enclosed by the lining. I did that both as part of my growing thing that my garments' insides be as pretty as possible, and also because the fabric was a bit prone to fraying and I didn't want my junk spilling out of this snugly packed trunk anytime soon. There is nary a modification either - I sewed this up in a straight size 6/10, and the only thing I did was to lengthen the middle front darts by an inch or so to remove a bit of extra fabric billowing around my front pelvis (thanks to these pencil skirt fitting tips), and added the sewalong recommended back seam split, which enhanced walkability no end. (I meant to add a kick pleat, but completely forgot to add it on at at the pattern tracing/fabric cutting stage - maybe next time). The photo below makes it look like there's probably still a bit of excess fabric around, but I think it looks fine in real life, and it actually makes this skirt surprisingly comfortable for moving around and sitting down in, despite it's extremely body-hugging vibe. I see so many more of these in my life. It's totally my professional style, and it makes my ass look hot. Winning on all fronts.


So, go help the BY HAND LONDON girls win their Kickstarter bid, because they are fashion goddesses and we all win when there's more fabulous fabric in the world.

22 comments:

  1. This looks great - and the fit is super flattering like you, and your husband, say! The fabric looks lovely too. I'd really like to get this pattern but first I need to make up some I have - like the Anna dress! I miss living close to ray stitch - you just reminded me I need to visit sometime soon!

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    1. Thank you! I might have indulged in all their patterns when they were on sale over Christmas, so I too have a queue of BHL garments to make. They're all so flattering though. And I'd love to visit Ray Stitch in person - I'll bet it's glorious in there!

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  2. I can 100% believe that you won rear of the year. I think you would win it again. This is, yet again, fabulous. You have a natural talent!

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    1. Haha, I might need a few more squats in my life before my ass wins any more awards, but thank you, lovely. ;)

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  3. so beautiful, girl that looks impeccably made! i think everyone ought to have a rear of the year contest. schools, work, clubs...well, now that i type it i guess it could get a lil weird....

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    1. Thank you! High praise from you - I'm in awe of yours! And if these contests get rolled out, I'd be partial to being on a judging panel next time. ;)

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  4. Wow! Love the vintage air of the skirt! Really well done. And love By Hand London too :)

    Ana
    www.cocowawacrafts.com

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    1. Thank you! And BHL are the best. :)

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  5. Rear of the Year! Love it! And I LOVE this dress and am super jeal of your gorgeous invisible zip insertion. The fabric is gorgeous, as well.

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    1. Thank you! The fabric is LUSH - I can't wait to see what else the BHL team come up with. And an invisible zip is the only one I know how to do, so I've been getting some practice. ;)

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  6. This is gorgeous! It looks amazing on you!!! I have to say I'm pretty jealous of your rear of the year award as the best I could hope for in that competition is a "participant" ribbon! You look hot, dude!

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    1. Thank you, lovely! And your back view is pretty fly in your 2 piece cocktail dress, I'm pretty sure you'd do well. ;)

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  7. I love it that they made it a no brainer with choosing the fabric for the skirt - so many times I bemoan my ill considered fabric choices! This skirt looks damn fine on you and congrats on upholding your rear of the year title. Quite "bootylicious" to quote Destiny's Child.

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    1. Aw, shucks. Thank you! And man, I wish they did more kits - their taste in fabric is superb. Though yours is pretty wonderful too, you kill me with the prints you choose!

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  8. Love the way this skirt fits and the colour and fabric looks absolutely gorgeous!

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    1. Thank you! I *love* the colour of the fabric, I can't wait to make something else with the rest.

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  9. Wow, a pencil skirt really shows off your great figure. Alas, these skirts are not meant for my body type. I love the look and it would totally be my professional look if I had your waist! I'm so glad I found your blog. I started sewing last summer and am really itching to begin making garments for myself. Peace and happy sewing to you from Oklahoma. :)

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    1. Thank you and welcome to my little corner of the internet. :) And the gloriously magical thing about this pattern is that I'm actually a rectangle but it makes me look like an hourglass shaped goddess. It's AMAZING.

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  10. Amazing. I love the little flash of zip. And I can't decide if you're genius or insane for adding the beautiful, invisible fabric.

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    1. I have a lot more of that coral silk and plans that would make it very visible. ;) And using up scrap ends of the Liberty fabric in that way just made me really, really happy. Clothes should make you happy, I think.

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  11. Rear of the year! Rear of the year! Rear of the year!
    Obviously that should be on your seamstress business cards.

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Who, me?

Who, me?
Hi, I'm Ellebougies. I'm brand new to this sewing lark, but boy am I ENTHUSIASTIC. I also enjoy knitting things. One day I'll stop whinging about the weather.

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