Anna K skirt

Hi, and welcome to the new home of Crab & Bee! For continuity’s sake, I’ve imported all of the sewing posts over from my previous address ( I’ve adjusted the most recent posts to the new format, but am still updating some of the older posts. If you see any weirdness with image sizes and stray <table> tags (thanks, blogger!), that’s why! I’ll also be updating links in posts from blogspot, so apologies if you get sent back to my old blog! Finally, if you are looking for the posts that my sister/former co-blogger wrote, check out her new blog, Pollen & Wax!

Now, let’s get back to the sewing fun, shall we?

This is a project I made in late November/early December but wasn’t able to properly photograph until the weekend before New Year’s. The heavens opened up and Seattle saw two days of sun (albeit partial sun, but  we take what we can get!) At the first sight of it, I threw on my skirt and dragged Nathan outside for a mini-photoshoot.


Yes, it’s another skirt made using Simplicity 2451, and it’s the fanciest yet!


The fabric is a cotton twill, most likely intended for interior decoration. I fell super hard for the print and looked up the name on the fabric bolt, Ty Pennington. Apparently Ty Pennington is a very energetic reality-TV celebrity? Whether he designed the print himself (seems unlikely) or attached his name to it, it speaks for itself. It’s awesome.

There are three construction details worth noting. One, I underlined the skirt (a first for me with this pattern) with silk because I really wanted to be able to wear it sans clinging with tights during the holiday season. Two, I made a hem facing for the first time ever. I’d gotten attached to the pre-hemmed length and was looking for ways to make a luxurious-looking hem while keeping the skirt longer.


And three, I did a lapped zipper instead of an invisible one because of the thickness of the fabric.


This took an embarrassing amount of time to figure out, and I couldn’t tell you how it’s done. In fact, I’m using it on another project and I can safely say I’ve retained nothing. I’ve looked at a lot of tutorials and it just seems like magic.

You may be wondering why it’s called the Anna K skirt? Well (unrelated to the new movie), my husband has been reading Anna Karenina out loud to me while I sew. And the fabric kind of reminds me of a modern version of Russian easter eggs.


I wore this skirt to three Christmas parties and to work a few times, so my mission was accomplished and then some. The print makes it feel special but it’s also quite wearable. I would have definitely included it in my Top 5 hits of 2012 list if photography had permitted, and I’m sure it’s going to see lots of use in 2013! Do you find that pieces you create for special purpose make the jump into your regular wardrobe?


14 thoughts on “Anna K skirt

  1. Yay, on the new sites. And what a great skirt. Agree that the fabric is special. Will have to remember to underline skirts to stop the cling as well!

    1. Thanks for checking out the new site, Kirsty! The slippery underlining on the skirt is amazing, it’s a way more versatile garment because of it.

    1. Thanks so much! I’m pretty pleased with WordPress so far. And being read to while sewing is pretty much my idea of heaven, I’m pretty lucky!

  2. Your new site looks great! Must be a lot of work to convert everything over. And, of course, the skirt looks great, too. I always love your taste in prints.

  3. Ok, I love that print. I was eyeing some of that same fabric for some home use, but it looks even better as a skirt. I love the new site. Was it difficult to switch over? I’ve been feeling the urge for a change lately….

    1. I did waffle a tiny bit before cutting out my skirt because the fabric would have looked so good as a cushion cover! But the original plan won out. And thank you regarding the new site! Changing over wasn’t too hard because WordPress makes it easy to export your site from Blogger. What I’ve found irksome is how my images got resized, my tags got converted into WordPress categories and my links still point to Blogger. I’m guessing if I’d done the local install option I could have addressed these issues in the code versus through the WordPress interface (ie, manually). But I’m still really happy I’ve made the move!

  4. I love your skirt and have had a love affair with Ty Pennington prints ever since I first found them! So far my only successful make with them is a very large bag gifted to my sister. (I made it thinking she might use it as a diaper bag) I have thought the prints would make good apparel wear and it is nice to see that in action!

    1. Thank you, Denise! I took a look at the bags you made with the fabric and they look great. I’ve seen some other stuff from his line and they look really nice. I like that the fabric is sturdier, too.

  5. I love your skirt! That’s a great print. I’m jealous your husband reads aloud to you. I’m constantly choosing between reading, knitting and sewing.

  6. I love this skirt! Home deco fabrics are so good (for the right project). I’m thinking of doing a peplum top in a thick brocade fabric, I think it will give good body to the ruffle part.

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