Summer Capsule Wardrobe Series

The Pauline Alice Rosari Skirt
Part 1 - Top Stitching tips and button hole placement

Blog / 28 June 2017

Hello Summer! It’s been super hot here in Birmingham over the past few weeks – like 30 degrees + hot – which is a lot for a Scottish lass! Having said that, it is very in keeping with my new Summer Capsule Wardrobe blog series!

Over the coming weeks I’m going to be sharing 4 versatile patterns with you that will give you a lovely collection of clothes that are easy to mix and match for stylish day to day summer wear. The g&g girls and I have picked a selection of fabrics that together create a gorgeous fresh palette of on trend colours.

I’ll be sharing my top tips to help you create a really lovely garment yourself at home. We also have limited edition fabric, pattern and notions packs for each garment to make it even easier for you to pick and choose what garments you like and have everything you need to complete them.

The first pattern I’m featuring is the lovely Pauline Alice Rosari Skirt.

I’ve made a YouTube video to chat you though it and share some of my top tips and style ideas.

It is a long one so if you’d rather skip to the bit your most interested in, here is the timings of when I talk about certain things.

  • Tips on adjusting the length 5 mins 35 secs
  • Tips on top stitching set up and tension 8 mins 15 secs
  • Buttonhole marking with the Simflex gauge 16 mins
  • Lining up buttonhole placement on placket and opening it with punch pliers 18mins 30secs
  • Lining up buttonhole marking on the machine 22mins 15 secs
  • Marking button placement and using vario pliers to attach buttons 22 mins 50 secs
  • Positioning waistband button 25mins 54 secs
  • Style options 27 mins 10 secs

Skirt design and style variations

The Rosari skirt is a classic 70s inspired a-line skirt with a button up front, 4 pocket designs to choose from and a mini and a midi length option – or you can customise the length to whatever you’d prefer.

I choose the simple patch pocket option for my version, but you could also opt for a rounded with a coin pocket (a bit like the classic jeans style pockets), an inverted pleat patch pocket or a zipped pocket.

Nicky Jones, who is a local Birmingham Image Consultant (find more about her services in this link) suggests the zipped pocket option if you have curvier hips as it gives a smoother line. She also recommends avoiding ending the skirt length at the widest point of your legs or calves and if you do choose the longer length to pair it with boots of heels for a more elegant look. Bigger buttons are also best to flatter a mid to larger frame.

Fabric choices and notions needed

I made mine in this lovely mid-blue designer denim that has a lovely amount of body to it, which helps to maintain the silhouette of the skirt.

The pattern recommends medium weight woven fabrics, so for this time of year I’d also recommend our new linen collection as an alternative. We've got 9 gorgeous colours!

It would work well in corduroy so you could save the pattern for an autumn version too!

We’ve put together a fabric, pattern and notions pack with everything you need to make your own version at home. We sell all the bits and pieces individually as well (see bottom of post to links) but the pack has a saving of 15% - yay!

Size and alterations

The size range for this pattern is 34-48, which is waist 24.5” to 35.5” and hips 34” to 45”. I made the size 38 which corresponded to my measurements the closest. It ended up being too big at the waist, so I took it in by 1.5-2” at the centre back seam. I’d recommend trying the skirt on before you attach the waistband to check the fit and adjust as needed.

I’d also recommend cutting out the waistband a bit longer than what you think you’ll need as mine came up just right – but then I had taken quite a bit out of the centre back seam. It’s really easy to trim the waistband down if its too long, so best to have more than less I’d say until you’ve checked the fit.

In terms of the length, I went in-between the mini and midi length. I cut out the midi length then tried it on to decide where I’d like it to finish. I stitched the button placket part way down, as well as the side seams and centre back seam, then pinned it at the front to get an idea.

Once I had decided the finished length, I marked in a new hemline, mimicking the shaping at the centre front of the pattern, with the step to accommodate the button placket.

I altered the number of buttons on the front placket as I felt like it looked a bit much with the silver ones. I used this awesome new gadget, called the Simflex. Check out the YouTube video above  to see it in full action!

Style options

My denim version of this skirt has a causal feel and looks lovely paired with a simple tee like this light pink Grainline Lark. I’ll be talking more about it in next weeks post!

For a breezier look, you can leave it loose. If you have a shorter body, Nicky suggests wearing the top out and having it end at the top of the pockets. I’ll be showing you how easy it is to customise the length of your top in next weeks post.

To help give the waist more definition, you can tuck it in.

For cooler days, it also goes really well with this 3/4 sleeve version of the Lark.

Or for a smart/casual look I’ve paired it with some lovely shiney pink pointy shoes (these are in the sale at Clarks at the moment!) and a cropped Closet Case Patterms Kalle Blouse.

I think the skirt will also transition well into autumn and will look good with tights and ankle boots.

We’ve got a top-stitching techniques workshop as part of our summer event of Saturday 22nd July where you can learn top tips to get lovely need top stitching – follow this link to book as place are limited.

I really hope you’ve found that useful and inspiring! I’ll be back next week to chat about the next garment for the summer capsule wardrobe – the Grainline lark tee!