The optimist skirt (1ppw week 2)

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I have been feeling a bit down the last 2 days. My emotions have always been up and down at the best of times, so this little slump is nothing to worry about, but I want to make an effort to celebrate the good things.

I think, so far this year has been one of the happiest in my life! I started baking delicious bread, I’m living with my favorite person in the world, I discovered more like minded people who also love to sew and I have been on the most fantastic, memorable holiday! I may not have made much progress career-wise, but I have managed to do some work for people that they have been pretty happy with. I also feel so lucky to be living in one of my most favorite cities. I especially love living in the city area, close to where all the action is.

Sorry for getting personal on the blog… I think it’s so important for me to celebrate the good things! When I dwell on the bad things they seem to grow and fester. When I have gratitude, things seem to get better, or at least I seem to notice all the good things in my life!

So for my second ‘1 project per week’ project, I wanted to make something cheerful to wear during my least favorite time of year- winter. It’s so easy for me to give up on dressing well in winter. sometimes it seems all too easy to just throw on the warmest most boring thing….edit: I tried wearing this skirt with a jumper and tights today, but it was far too cold!


Sewing nitty gritty:

I discovered  a nifty way to pining the pleats before I stay stitch them (the way the horizontal pin is pinned into the fabric stops it moving around so much, when you sew)…


I did one of my favorite things: I used the skirt portion of a dress pattern for this skirt. The pattern is Simplicity 1418 (project runway pattern). It was my first time trying this pattern and I gotta say: I’m in love! The pleats are just how I want them, and I will definitely be making the full dress version of this pattern!

I cut the skirt portion of the pattern out in a size 6. It’s pretty snug, but I want to wear this as a high-waisted skirt with cropped tops and such things in the summer (ah summer I miss you). I also shortened the skirt and skirtpattern by about 13cms or more!

I used about 1 meter 30 of fabric that was around 120-130cms wide.

I drafted the waistband myself and tried a new way of applying interfacing to it, that turned out well! By not applying interfacing to the seam allowance area it reduces bulk!


The waistband has no front and back, it is simply folded over! It has 2 side seams, one of which became the spot for the button closure (one of the side seams).

I made a super rookie mistake and applied the waistband before the zip… WHAT the hell?! Was a too excited about the pleats? I’m better than that by now, surely?! Anyway the overlap on the waistband turned out to be too big, but i’ll live with it. Looks ‘MEH’ but I’ll show you anyway…


Anyway the skirt was so quick and easy to whip up, but the single button hole proved a bit of a nightmare!

Bernie (my old bernina sewing machine) can no longer do automatic button holes. You used to be able to set the length of the buttonhole by pressing the back-stitch button, but this no longer works. Anyway the skirt was so quick and easy to whip up, but the single button hole was a pain.

I did my usual ‘machine blind hem stitch’ for the skirt hem, and invisible zipper. 🙂

Next time, when I make this skirt in another fabric (and there will most certainly be a next time) I will perhaps use velcro as the waistband fastening, rather than a button at the waistband. Lincraft did not have large hooks and eyes (like the sew one ones you get in trousers), which I originally planned to use.

Anyway here’s to my new happy skirt and the happy times to come!




  1. This is my favourite ever! That print is just the best and there are so many ways to wear it. Glad to hear you are having a happy year 🙂

    • Thanks! I have been very inspired by the lovely skirts you have been making! So fun to wear 🙂

  2. erin said:

    Cute skirt that you can wear with so many colour options! I avoid buttonholes and zippers as much as I can 🙂 Haha, I finally realised who Bernie was! It’s so cute that your sewing machine has a name 🙂 Hmm…. I must go and think of a name for mine. Hope you are feeling much better now, when I feel down, I blame it on the hormones, and usually that perks me right back up. I tell myself that it’s not that my life is really that bad, it’s the hormones making me feel so 🙂

    • Thanks 🙂 good advice! Yes! Hormones play a huge part when I’m feeling ‘blah’. I ended up having a really good day today, so things feel like they are on the up 😀 hope you had a good day too! x

  3. Melanie said:

    Fantabulous fabric! I’m yet to tackle button holes with my machine…I think I need to get my hands on the proper button hole foot attachment thingy-ma-jiggy.

    It’s hard to be “up” all the time…especially after a GREAT holiday. Sounds like you’ve got the right attitude going on though.

    • Thanks! What kind of machine do you have? was it a Janome or a Bernina? A lot of the machines these days have a 3-step button hole feature, which looks to be pretty nice to use.
      That’s true, it’s unrealistic to thing I need to be happy all the time. Yes! I think that was the thing! Usually when I travel I get really homesick and I’m happy to get back, but this trip was so amazing, it’s been a slightly different experience getting back to reality. haha

  4. Kristy said:

    Great skirt, the fabric is so bright and cheery, and looks very striking worn with black. When I upgraded from my first very basic sewing machine an automatic buttonhole stitch was pretty much the only feature I was looking for in a new machine – they make life so much easier!

  5. Pips said:

    Love the colour in winter! Most cheerful.

    • Thanks so much! I like bright colours in winter too!

  6. Suzie said:

    I love this skirt! It’s so bright and happy – just what Winter needs!!!

  7. fabrictragic said:

    It looks beautiful! I’ve just made a silly mistake on something I’m making too (which I actually nothing you’ll love, 60’s girlie that you are) but noone will ever know but me! C’est la vie. And yes this time of year can be a bit gloomy but you’ve got the right attitude. As for too cold for skirts and tights, I’m in Melbourne and I found at myer the most amazing fleece lined opaque tights by ambra – beautifully warm, not itchy – total winners as far as this cold fish is concerned!

    • Thanks! I’m getting better at not getting hung up on mistakes, if it feels nice to wear but has a few minor boo boos no big deal! hehe
      Ooo perhaps I just need to invest in some fleece lined tights, I’ll keep an eye out for them 🙂

  8. Oh I know that feel lady! I get pretty down too, quite a few times this year, but I’m trying not to be shitty about it anymore. Nothing’s gonna change unless I start being positive!! I love this rainbow skirt of yours! It’s so perfectly colourful for winter! And I love that you paired it with the teal beret! So chic!

    • Very true! Being positive is a must! Sometimes I have to talk about how I’m feeling then suddenly I can see how counter productive my thoughts can be.
      Thanks so much 🙂 so glad you like it with the beret! I’m trying to grow my hair out, I kind of want a bob again.
      I always look forward to seeing your latest sewing projects, you are so inspiring!

  9. What a happy, gorgeous skirt! I love this on you!

    I can definitely relate to getting down from time to time. I’ve had a bad year work-wise, but I keep reminding myself that I’m not just what I do, and even if I’m directionless now, maybe someday my career will take a new path. I’m so grateful for my health, my happy relationship, the supportive sewing community, and my pets, so I try to think about those things when I’m feeling bad about myself. 🙂

    • Thank you!

      You have a great attitude 😀 Good health, a strong relationship and being part of the sewing community are all things worthy of celebration! You also inspire people (including me) with the fabulous things you make 🙂

  10. Gorgeous skirt! The fabric is so pretty and such great colours. Focusing on the good things in life is so important, I really believe that it’s better to be content with what you have than to go after all those things you don’t. It makes you fel way more satisfied!

  11. Alex said:

    This skirt is a thing of loveliness – that fabric just pops! It’s not always easy to be happy but I find being grateful about the small things really helps, even if its the joy of that first delicious sip of a good coffee, life is made up of these moments which we are lucky enough to have.

    • Thanks 🙂 That is so true! Yes! It’s the little things in life that are most often the best! If we can appreciate those then we are really making the most of things. Ah yes! the first sip of a good! I totally agree! I’ve already had mine this morning, but just thinking about it makes me smile!

  12. Linda P said:

    Your skirt is lovelyt, great fabric and the tip about pinning pleats will definitely used by me so thanks for sharing. if ind if I’m feeling down I dig out something cheerful from my fabric stash and make something nice, This is guaranteed to make me feel good and I’m (usually!) pleased with the end result. Feeling proud of your creativity is definitely a mood booster..

    • Oh thank you, so glad you liked the tip! 😀 Yes! Sewing definitely plays a huge part in keeping me happy/sane too!!

  13. Lynne said:

    Gorgeous! Those pleats are very pleasing and I love the bright colours, they’re so cheery.

    • Thank you! so glad you like the pleats and the bright colours. I wish more people liked cheerful and bold colours! x

  14. Ines said:

    Adorable skirt, love it!

  15. Laura said:

    Aaaargh! I love this so much!! If this skirt doesn’t cheer you up, then nothing will 🙂

  16. This skirt is super cute. Hoping you are feeling a bit more chipper.

  17. Hi Katherine, I have nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award (although I wasn’t really sure if you may already have a nomination). I am a recent reader of your super blog and love your style!
    Read my reasons for nominating you on my blog:

    • aww so lovely! No I haven’t.
      Thank you so much Caroline! 🙂 X

  18. Amy said:

    This fabric is full of such happy colours! I love how the stripes look in the pleats 🙂 here’s to many more happy days

  19. Erika said:

    One of my most favorite recently made skirts came from a dress pattern with a self done waistband. This one is great! I love the pleats and the colorfulness. 🙂

    • Yes! It’s such a fun thing to do! (using the skirt portion) thanks 😁

  20. Mette said:

    Kathrine you deserv all the positiv Comment you Got, it’s Well done

    • Thanks Mum! The sewing community is so lovely! It’s super easy to make but I really like the style 🙂

    • Thanks Mum! Xoxo the sewing community is lovely. It’s such an easy skirt to make but I love the style!!

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