Tuesday, 19 February 2013

The Blue Skies skirt A.K.A Vogue 1247

A skirt made in two weeks - that's got to be a record for me! Vogue 1247 had been on my mind ever since I saw this gorgeous version by BlueSewnCat.  It's a popular pattern in sewing-blog land and most of the reviews said it was pretty straightforward so thought I'd give it a go.  When I ordered the pattern from Jaycotts it was a bonus to see that the pattern also included a top I'd first admired as made and worn by the ever-stylish SallieOh - seriously I get way more enjoyment out of looking at the creations of sewing bloggers than from fashion magazines now!  The bright blue of this skirt made me feel very spring-like on Sunday when I wore it for the first time.

Photo of new me-made Vogue 1247 (V1247) skirt
Not quite sure what I'm looking at here but this was the best of the photos -  I don't like getting my photo taken!

To start with I was on a role, skirt cut out and most of it sewn up within a week! However, then it came to the waistband and it all came a bit unstuck.  I just couldn't get my head round the waistband instructions.  One week later, and with some great instructions courtesy of Toile & Trouble, and I have a finished skirt!

I've already worn it twice, first to see Stoker at Curzon Soho on Sunday, then to work again yesterday, and I really love it! It's the neatest item I've made so far (I know I also said that about the last dress but think this is even neater), and the fabric is really softm has a lovely crosshatch pattern and is a really vibrant blue.  The pattern recommend using biastape to finish all the seams and the versions I've seen other folk made do look really professional done like this.  However I was too impatient so most of my seams are finished with the overlock foot on my Bernina except the waistband which I did use bias trim for (you can just see the orange bias tape in the photo below).  I used a hook and eye fastening but next time I might follow BlueSewnCat's lead and go for a button instead or get a bigger hook and eye as the one I used is extremely fiddly.  The next version I'll probably just finish the seams with my overlock foot too as my priority is to get a few skirts made quickly as I'm so fed up with dark winter dresses!

Photo of new me-made Vogue 1247 (V1247) skirt
The troublesome waistband
The pattern cost about £13 from Jaycotts. The fabric was from The Cloth House and was either £10 or £20 a metre.  I'd bought a metre and managed to make this no problem so whichever cost it's still a good price for a skirt! I've already cut out my second version and have a third planned so I'll definitely get lots of use out the pattern - and am looking forward to trying the top at some point too.

Blue Skies as sung by Willie Nelson never fails to lift my spirits so I've been listening to it a lot on the dark bus ride home from work -
Blue skies smilin' at me
Nothin' but blue skies do I see
Bluebirds singin' a song
Nothin' but blue skies from now on
 - Can you tell I'm just wishing for Spring now?!

N.B. Edited to add waistband advice from Toile & Trouble - these are supplementary and won't make much sense without the instructions given with the V1247 pattern.

To start with, your waistband is in one piece. It will be folded down the middle lengthways to form inner and outer. I would actually start by pressing it into place as it helps to identify it as inner and outer pieces.
21.  Apply bias binding to the edge of the un notched edge between the dots (this will eventually be the inner waistband). The tapering bit sounds a bit tricky, but I think it just means cut it at an angle so it will not be lumpy later on. You could finish this edge with a neat zigzag/overlock stitch which would eliminate lumpiness later on, but bear in mind it will be visible on the inside of the skirt.
22. With right sides together, fold the waistband down the middle lengthways and sew as the diagram shows.
23. As instructions state.
24. Right sides together, pin your notched edges (outer waistband) to the top edge of the skirt, match all your markers up, and the square edges of the waistband to the opening edges. Stitch outer waistband to top edge of skirt. Trim and press towards waistband.
25. I don’t know what they mean by “blindstitch”, but at this point I would favour stitch in the ditch. Press your inner waistband in place, pin, with pins on outside of skirt. Look inside at the inner waistband - the edge you have finished should cover the join where you attached the outer waistband. Working from the outside of the garment (the one which will be on show) stitch right in the join between the waistband and the skirt fabric. If you have problems with this, try to find a youtube video for “stitch in the ditch” and I’m sure you’ll get it.


  1. YOur skirt looks lovely - well done for working through your waistband troubleS! The fabric is so 'springy' and I'm glad you reminded me of that Willie Nelson song!

    1. Thank you! It does feel good to have worked it out and not given up - though I couldn't have done it without help!
      I had always assumed Willie Nelson write that song and only realised today when checking the lyrics that it's from an old Rodgers and Hart musical. Glad I could add to your listening pleasure - it's always nice to be reminded of things you've not listened to in ages!

  2. This is so lovely! Looks like it fits you very well. It's the same colour as they sky today too, and very spring-like! I have this pattern (both the skirt and top) in my sewing queue, so I'd love to hear more about how you tackled the waistband!

    1. Thank you! yes, I was pretty pleased with the fit as I've just cut out a Colette Ginger which I've had to grade from one size at the waist to 3 sizes larger at the hips. With this skirt I just cut a 10 on the waistband and a 12 on all the skirt pieces and it seemed to fit together fine.
      Thanks for the reminder about the waistband help. I've added the additional help and instructions I received to the bottom of the blog post.

  3. Thank you for the link to my blog. I love your version of the skirt! I practicaly live in mine so I'm sure your troubles were worth it!

    1. Thank you! It was definitely worth it as I've worn it quite a bit and have almost finished my second one - just got the hook and eye fastening to do and that's it.