Monday, January 19, 2015

Geometric Raffia Skirt

Pattern Mash-up
Burda Panel Skirt 2006/Style #112
Vogue 1247
and more....

This was another of my Christmas holiday makes. I'll start by talking about the fabric, as it is extremely unusual and like nothing I've even seen before. It is an Italian fabric that is 65% viscose, 25% cotton and 10% raffia. It is thickish, yet extremely soft. It frays like nobody's business. I bought it last November from Tessuti in Melbourne. I was a little unsure on how stable it would be when worn, so I interfaced the whole lot with good quality interfacing. 

I knew the moment I saw it, that I wanted to make a short funky skirt. This style skirt - with a wide yoke, pleats and pockets, has been circling my mind for years. At some stage, I toiled up Simplicity 2451, but it looked awful and I gave up on the idea, thinking maybe this style was not for me. Yet, it kept circling. I decided to give it another go and create my own pattern.

I started by merging two skirt patterns toiles I already had - my Burda panel skirt and Vogue 1247. I used the yoke from the Burda skirt and the skirt of Vogue 1247. I also added some width to the front to allow for the pleats. I reshaped the pockets so they had two straight edges and changed their position slightly. I love how this all turned out.

I also shaped the hemline at the side seams. You can just see the curves below. This meant I had to hem the skirt using a hemband. I used black rayon lining from Emma One Sock for the hemband. I also lined the skirt in rayon.

Another alteration I made was to add 12cm of width across the back yoke and upper skirt back to allow for an elasticised back. I wanted something super comfy and that I could just pull on. I couldn't buy any wide elastic where I was over the holidays, so I used two rows of thinner elastic and sewed a casing into the back yoke. You can just see the casing seam below running through the centre of the yoke.

I am completely and utterly stoked with how this skirt turned out. It is comfortable, looks good and the fabric is just soooooooo groovy.


  1. That skirt is wonderful, and I love all the details - the curved hem, elasticised back, shaped pockets, and what phenomenal fabric! Great to see you blogging again.

  2. I've seen this fabric too and quite amazed at how different it was. I love what you've made with it. I was just baffled by it. I also love the curved hem. Way cool!

  3. Ooh that fabric!! This is so much fun! I love what you've done with it - it looks fantastic.

  4. That is such an interesting skirt, and it works so well! I love those curved side seams and the pockets! How do you find it wears - does it stretch out? I picked up some weird raffia-like fabric from Tessuti too last year and was thinking of making a small jacket with it - but maybe a skirt is a better idea!

    1. Hi Gabrielle,
      I'm not sure at this stage how it wears. I wore it for the first time yesterday and spent the day sitting in a meeting. It will be interesting to see if the fabric snags on things during general wear. The fabric was dry-clean only but I did hand wash the fabric prior to use. I'll continue to handwash the skirt as I don't think the loose fibres will hold up to being added to a general load in a washing machine as they could snag on something.

  5. Love the curved hem too. Also love the colours of the fabric, it looks fantastic with a black top.

  6. Wow, I've never heard of fabric with raffia in it before! I usually associate that with country-looking gift wrap and straw purse embellishments. Looks cool, though!

  7. I love the fabric and the curved hemline.