The Miranda Skirt

Ta-dah!  Here is the product of last weekend:

I’m calling this the Miranda Skirt because I bought the fabric for a total bargain in Miranda, a tiny village about an hour south of Auckland.  We drove past an old building housing a second-hand store and I said: “Oooh an op-shop!” in which instance Mr p~s~c usually plants foot on the accelerator pretending it was the radio that spoke, but this was my lucky day and he said: “Do you want to stop and have a look?”

So I browsed for a while and and found a few little treasures including this fabric, that came to the princely sum of $20 – but there was no eftpos machine, and I had no cash!  A desperate search of the car produced only 20 cents.  A disappointed me went back inside to explain I would have to forget about buying anything today.
Well, the lady said I could take them anyway….
Er, are you mad sure?
“Yeah,  just deposit the money into my account when you get home…..”
“Er, um, OK!”
I did worry all the way home that I would breach her trust by absentmindedly forgetting to pay, you know – it being holiday season and all, but I’m pleased to say she did get her money – and that’s how I got this fabric!
I fear it is a patchwork cotton though, at only 90cm wide.  It’s probably called “Autumn Leaf Flora Circles” or something…

You can see the pleats a bit better in this photo.  I fiddled around with this skirt for ages trying different pleating arrangements, in an attempt to get the most flattering for my shape.  I have quite a large waist and high hip in relation to my other measurements, and usually avoid skirts with bulk in this area, but where there is a will there is a way!  I really want some full skirts for summer – they are so quick and easy to whip up, cool to wear in the heat, and a great way to add some colour and pattern to the wardrobe – something much needed in mine!

I played around with a yoke and without a yoke, tried the pleats facing inwards and outwards, and with various spacings between the pleats.  After taking photos of all the options (very helpful for an objective view) I eventually settled on this version. There are three inward facing pleats on either side front and back, each spaced 5cm apart.  It fastens with an invisible zip and three tiny buttons and loops on the waistband:

The pattern is so easy you can just chalk it straight onto the cloth using a few measurements – I might I show you in another post, anyone interested?

This skirt is good to wear right now (high summer) with a camisole and flats, but will also be good for autumn and winter with tights and a camel cardigan, or pink or purple…  Yay, a transitional piece!

And did you notice I am semi-glamourous today – with curls?!  Yes, I made an effort and had a play with my Mum’s heated rollers.  It was kinda hot today so I don’t know what I was thinking, at one stage I started to feel faint so I stuck my head in the fridge to cool them down quicker, which of course happened to be when DH arrived home for lunch.  The mad housewife trend continued as two of the rollers turned into a tangled mess when I removed them (you can see one side is a bit flat looking!), and it took half an hour and all of my patience to get them out without resorting to tailors shears!

Out of focus, or soft focus?  I’ll let you decide!

But I should have tried some hair spray or something because within a couple of hours my hair was back to it’s usual straight!  Any highly recommended hair products readers?

Was it all worth it?  Yes, despite the torture it was fun to have curls for a few hours and it felt gorgeous – you lucky girls with natural curls!  I’ve had straight hair all my life and wavered between a short straight bob and long straight non-bob (apart from that 80’s perm…lol)  so I felt like at totally different person!

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I'm a designer/patternmaker who loves to share my sewing knowledge with others! Follow me as I sew my personal projects, sharing my favourite tricks of the trade along the way.

25 thoughts on “The Miranda Skirt

  1. the fabric is lovely, and the delicate little black buttons add such a nice touch. i, personally, would love to see a demo on chalking out this pattern directly on the fabric. i have done this, with some success, but it would be nice to see someone do it who actually know what they are doing. 🙂 jacki

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  2. What a lovely lady in that op shop. Clever you for arranging such flattering pleats. I have curly hair but I have tried a lot of different products to enhance curl. My favourite is the Toni&Guy Twist-it Curl Balm. You should be able to use it with the rollers without heating them first. You do look glam today.

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  3. Lovely skirt, and I especially like the button treatment on the waistband.

    I had to chuckle over your comment that we're lucky to have natural curls. You do realize that some of us are using a flat iron every day in order to have perfectly straight hair, right? 🙂 It just goes to show that we all want the hair we don't have naturally regardless of what side of the world we're on!

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  4. Yes, definitely would love to see a demo.

    I have the same pin straight hair as you. If I curl it (which I rarely do) it is straight again within the hour. These are some fabulous pictures of you!

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  5. I'd love a post on making the skirt –yours looks great. I bought some lime green linen on sale last week with the intention of making it into a pleated skirt for summer.

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  6. My hair flattens out no matter what I do to it, so I'm worthless on that front.

    Great skirt, I think your pleating arrangement looks charming. Cute fabric, I could swear it looks kind of familiar… Hmmm… Anyway, fabric with a story is so much fun to make up.

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  7. Would love to see a tutorial for how you put this skirt together – it's lovely and the photo of the buttons and invisible zipper make me green with envy – how do you get it to look like that?! I've seen your tutorial for invisible zippers but would love to see how you attached the waistband section with those cute buttons.

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  8. I've had a hard time achieving a flattering fit on a full skirt (I'm rather hippy), so I applaud your efforts here – this is a really, really flattering full skirt. The shape is perfect. Great job! I think you could wear it to work with heels and a button up and cardi. Just love this!

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  9. The grass is always greener! I've had wavy/curly hair all my life and for a short time I went through a period of artificially straightening it. Since then I've gotten lazy and just leave it alone now.

    Good job on the skirt!

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  10. Lovely skirt and so flattering to. I am fascinated by your design process. I'd love to see a post that follows through as you experiment, with commentary on how you chose the best options. I feel that design is the hardest part of sewing.

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  11. Pretty skirt, I like the style which can look casual and modern or retro.
    As for your hair, the curls look great but sounds like it is way too much trouble. I am glad to hear someone who likes curls, I think they are so pretty and don't understand those that have them, the straightening seems like too much work. As for my hair – it does what I want, straight but curls easily. However – I wear it short! I like to have a pixie cut that takes no time to manage. (easier to motivate myself to go to the gym, swim etc!)
    But I guess we should be happy that times have changed, thinking of my mother/grandmother, they used to spend time in the beauty parlor.
    TIme which we can spend sewing 🙂

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  12. I love your new summer skirt and the up-close shot on the zipper and tiny buttons is lovely. I really like how you used 3 buttons, and I like the pattern on them with the skirt. I've always had stick straight hair too. I guess that is the main reason why I have a partial color on my hair. It roughs up the texture so I can curl, bend, braid, or bun my hair and it won't fall out so quickly.

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  13. Great skirt – especially the buttons and loops!
    My hair's naturally curly and I tell you, the grass is always greener. Mine is usually a tangled mess in the mornings, gets big and frizzy in the heat and humidity, and takes a lot of work to get my bangs to point the right direction. I've always wanted long, shiny, straight hair! Go figure 🙂

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  14. Your skirt looks great on you, and that fabric is really vibrant and original. I would love a tutorial because I have been working on pleated skirts myself and know how frustrating they can be (especially lining them — did you line yours?) I have curly hair, and when the weather is dry, it does get frizzy and straight & curls go away, then spring up again during humid weather.

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  15. Me too – straight hair – apart from 80's perm – curls are very luxurious – and yet they all buy hair straighteners!! Cute skirt and how lovely that she trusted you to send her the money – that's fabulous!

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  16. Verrry nice! Hair and skirt!

    But oh, all the sunshine you have. I'm pining for some myself but we are of course in midwinter.

    I'm so glad I found your blog – it's wonderful…I like all your stuff.

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  17. Very pretty skirt – I just love those buttons, what a nice touch! The fabric is lovely – it's so nice to have a piece of fabric that reminds you of a nice story, what a trusting lady!

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  18. Those are great stories – even the head in the fridge! I have no hair advice since my hair refused to perm. Thus, I had straight hair even in the 80's!! Shockingly unstylish.

    The little black buttons are a great addition to a fun skirt.

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