Little linen outfit

Last year, Kelly made the Liesl & Co Everday Skirt. Since then, I’ve engaged in a monthly debate with myself – buy the pattern or try to approximate it on my own? “It’s a gathered skirt with an elastic waistband in the back – how hard could it be?” would be countered with “Do you really want to spend the time measuring out rectangles and tracing pocket facings?” The price seemed a bit high for the pattern. Finally, Katie sewed up her version and her verdict of “I was tempted to go the self-draft route for my dream skirt, but this pattern is basically it” pushed me over the edge. | self-drafted top and Liesl & Co Everyday skirt


I haven’t been sorry. There are a lot of things to like about this skirt design: the flat side panels, back elastic waistband, nice pocket placement all come to mind. I’m not even a skirt person, but I love this one. And from a logistical standpoint, I was impressed. The PDF downloads directly from a link in your email receipt, there’s a print at shop version included and the print layout is delightfully lean. This was easily my best experience with a PDF pattern to date.

I made a test skirt in my kimono fabric and decided to remove some width from the back panel. I wanted it the waistband at my natural waist, and the shortness of the back elastic I needed made the back panel very gathered and pretty heavy. It’s still more gathered than the front, so if I make this a third time, I’ll play around with shortening the front waistband to lengthen the back out. After my trial, I knew I wanted to make it in a special piece of linen and bought a straight-up new piece of fabric for the occasion. | self-drafted top and Liesl & Co Everyday skirt

I bought 1.5 yards of 60″ wide linen (the pattern suggests 1.75) but I miraculously had enough to create a cropped tank AND join Sophie’s super fun two-piece party! | self-drafted top and Liesl & Co Everyday skirt

Unlike the skirt, the top is actually self-drafted. I started working on a bodice block last winter, with beyond-generous help from Maddie, who shared her pattern-making knowledge and gently let me know that my neck couldn’t possibly be as small as I’d measured it to be, the fit expertise of my friend Casey, and Nathan, who helped me take endless rounds of measurements while I shivered convulsively in a chalked-up bathing suit. I worked on it in spurts and finally translated it onto tagboard last month. From there, I consulted Helen Joseph-Armstrong’s Patternmaking for Fashion Design to make a flared dartless tank and borrowed the Wiksten tank neckline. I wanted it to be boxy to emphasize the fitted skirt waist. | self-drafted top and Liesl & Co Everyday skirt

Victory! It fits!

Someday soon, I’ll share how weird my block looks. My back and front bodice pieces don’t even look like they belong together… unlike this top and skirt! | self-drafted top and Liesl & Co Everyday skirt

I’ll be back in a few days on the Sewcialist blog as I’m helping out with the September challenge. Get ready to bust through your scraps during SCRAPTEMBER (yep, I had to go there). Until then, I leave you with this: | self-drafted top and Liesl & Co Everyday skirt


58 thoughts on “Little linen outfit

  1. That is a lovely ensemble! Those two look like they belong together, but at the same time I can imagine they will fit so well as separates with the rest of your wardrobe. So you have basically made three garments. In a way. Nicely done! 🙂

  2. Fantastic two piece. I’ve just discovered more flared skirts too, and seeing this outfit I am wondering if I ‘need’ a plain one…I also like the idea of different garments in the same fabric for a bit of mixing. Food for thought!

    1. You know me – I love a good, plain garment, so I’d have to say go for it! You’ve made me wonder if matching pieces inspire more cohesion in the rest of one’s wardrobe?

  3. Lovely as ever. Sometimes a perfectly simple pattern is the hardest to get right – this was worth the investment! I love the black buttons with the blue. And your last pic made me laugh!

    1. Haha! My face has two modes – android and Jim Carrey – with nothing in between. I forgot to mention those buttons were part of the stash I inherited from my grandma!

  4. No harm to dance a little can can 🙂 You were so right to get the pattern and turn it out into the cutest Everyday skirt! Linen is the loveliest fabric you could get for this project. I had similar thoughts about buying this pattern but maybe I should change my mind? This skirt would be perfect for cycling!!

    1. Such an appropriate question, given your post today! Even though it’s simple, I just kept returning to all the features I liked about it (for just under a whole year).

  5. Lovely outfit … Both pieces are great for the linen fabric (love the color btw) Amazing job drafting that top … looks so good on you!

  6. really cute. Liesl is such a rockstar. i wish i could take classes from her to learn how everything she does is so freaking perfect. love your easy going outfit.

    1. Yah! From a nerdy UX design perspective, it was cool to see how the entire customer experience came together – and I’m sure it’s similar as a pattern-maker!

  7. Lovely! I adore the proportions you’ve chosen, and I can’t wait to see your bodice block, ’cause mine definitely doesn’t resemble any pattern pieces I own & surely I can’t be alone with weird angles at the shoulder 😉

  8. Oh I have that ‘to buy or to draft’ debate all the time!! This is a great little skirt and top set! And I love it in that blue linen. The proportions of these pieces just work so well together!

  9. i’ve always got the “draft or buy” debate going on in my head… makes me crazy sometimes! so often when i go the “draft” route, i spend so much time on rectangles i feel like my time wasn’t well spent… “can” doesn’t always mean “have to” i’ve concluded, especially when a pattern has the potential for repeat sewing. love the set! i look forward to what you have to say about the bodice draft, i’m intrigued!

    1. Yes, and goodness knows how much time in total I actually spent debating myself when I could have been, I don’t know, earning $$ to buy the pattern! 😉 The patterns I don’t end up buying are usually very similar to patterns I already own that I can easily modify. I wish I’d taken much better notes during the bodice block drafting process, but I’ve got some muslins and frantic emails to Maddie to aid my memory.

  10. Super, super cute! I’m checking out that pattern. I totally do that buy or draft debate all the time, and have only recently decided that, at least for right now, buy is almost always the right answer – it means having a finished garment instead of just dreams!

  11. Love this look, the linen is so pretty! The self drafted top is really cute. I’ve been meaning to finish up my craftsy class for making a bodice block- seeing this is great motivation!

  12. This set looks so great! I love the colour! Great job drafting the top. I keep toying with the idea of making a block for myself, but I keep putting it off, so I’d love to see yours.

    1. It wasn’t the easiest thing I’ve ever done, but it wasn’t awful and it was more rewarding then the cycle of muslins I’ve gone through for more fitted garments. I started out following the Helen Joseph-Armstrong instructions but switched to Maddie’s as they seemed to rely on one or two less standard measurements. And drafting from my block for something as simple as a dartless woven tank provided much better results than I ever got from multiple fittings of the Wiksten pattern.

  13. Really cute skirt and top! I love that you made the top using your own block. That HJA Pattern book is such a classic textbook.

    1. Thanks, Grace! The book seems near-encyclopedic to me; granted, I have pretty simple tastes, but drafting instructions for almost everything I can imagine wanting to wear seem to be contained within those pages.

  14. I love this on you! great colour, and the proportions are just right. (Thank you Project Runway for teaching me that I should care about that! :P) I can’t wait til Scraptember!

  15. I’m glad I enabled the pattern purchase. It looks so good as a denim-coloured two-piece with that top! I might re-steal the idea back.

  16. I love everything about this post…the pieces, the color, the jumping, and especially the last face. Excellent two-piece, my friend!


    1. Thanks, Heather! It’s true! I was hoping to get my act together and make a sundress for your sew-a-long, but the summer escaped me. But I’m glad I have it; all I need to do now is make some danged sleeves and a pants block and I’ll be cooking with gas. 🙂

  17. super cute set! i haven’t known quite how to feel about the whole “set” thing, but between you and ada spragg over there, i’m warming up to it. and arg i really need to make another everyday skirt – i gave my first to my SIL in a huff while i was pregnant because it made me look ridiculous.

  18. Ah! Gorgeous! Love the silhouette and the colour of the linen is really beautiful! Funny that you put a gif at the end of your post, I did just that in my post for Sophies two-piece-setacular fiesta!

  19. (Still curious about your bodice block btw! 😉 Also, I’m feeling like a weird stalker as I keep discovering open tabs with your posts in my browser. I am closing this now, see you in the next tab!)

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