A Vintage Tulip

Hi there! Hope things are going well for you? Things have been quiet around here, largely as I’ve been told to relax and stay quiet to get over a nasty chest infection. This has meant some sewing time I wasn’t expecting but also very sloooooow sewing as I have just not had the concentration. But I seem to be incapable of doing nothing so sewing at least means sitting still and not talking to anyone!  Regular naps have also happened.

My latest make is one of those unexpected purchases.  It’s not a style I would normally have gone for except that my mum picked up a Coast skirt for me in one of those excess stock, no label type places which is a similar shape and I’ve suprised myself by really loving it.  So when the Sew Over It Tulip Skirt showed up in my Instagram feed with a discount for the first week, I surprised myself by instantly buying it and even getting as far as printing out the pdf (anyone else hate that process?)

The only other Sew Over It pattern I’ve actually made (as opposed to adding to the ever growing pattern stash!) is the Ultimate Trousers.  It’s fair to say I had some fit issues around these.  However, a skirt is more straightforward surely? And I’ve lost weight since then and seem to be a slightly more standard shape, so I decided it was worth a go.

Fabric wise, I used a deep green/black suiting fabric I bought quite some time ago as a remnant at The Shuttle, Shipley.  I adore this fabric, made my first Megan Dress from it when I was first getting in to sewing, but I have absolutely no clue what it’s made of! I know it was £15 for just over 3 metres and I had 1.4m left after making the dress.  The pattern envelope stated 1.8m was needed, but there are 2 skirt lengths.  I decided to make the mini option and was pleasantly surprised when laying the pattern out.


Obviously I should have pressed the fabric first!  There is a second waistband to cut out but I’d say this still came in under a metre.  I do wish sometimes that pattern envelopes would take that into account and give you the fabric requirements for the different variations (I know some do but this one doesn’t)

I also chose to line my skirt (this is not a fabric you want against your skin!) so cut the skirt pieces and the pocket bags out of matching green lining fabric.

I cut a straight size 12 (my measurements are currently waist 29.5″, hips 40″ and I’m 5’7″) without any adjustments (which was fun, clearly I need to make more skirts!).  I found the pattern instructions really clear and easy to follow.  There are photos within the instructions and my only comment would be that I wish designers would select fabrics with a more obvious right and wrong side when taking these photos – I spent a couple of minutes checking which way they’d done the pleats on the front.

The skirt came together very quickly once I’d cut out.  I used this Tilly tutorial as a reminder of putting a lining into a skirt with a wasitband which was really clear.

The only slight problem was when I got as far as the zip and realised that my bottomless pit of zips was actually not bottomless and specifically only had 1 invisible zip.  Which was purple and 22″.  Not exactly the 8″ green one I was hoping for! So improvisation was called for!

I decided to put in an exposed zipper, something I’ve done twice before when following a clear set of instructions on a pattern designed for that.


The result? Well, it’s not my finest work but it’s not bad either and I actually quite like it.  There is some pulling around it when it’s on me (you can see it on the above photo), but I think it’s wearable.  I’m not sure whether the pulling is because of my shape (check the measurements, I have a proportionately big bum!) or because of using an exposed zip and hence the zip taking more space than expected. I will work it out on my next version.

And here’s the finished article from the front.


There is a little pulling around the waistband (because I started feeling very sleepy and did not go an instantly nap so the stitch in the ditch around the waistband went slightly wrong and I couldn’t be bothered to fix it!) but I absolutely love the pleats.  I think this fabric is at the heavy end of what was recommended but it just gets away with it for me.

And there are pockets!


Again, you can see them as this fabric does NOT press easily but hey, pockets! I love pockets in skirts 🙂

There will definitely be another version, this is a quick, easy make and the result is a skirt that’s eminently suitable for the office. I may just lengthen it though! I love this but I feel like it’s a little close to that whole mutton-dressed-as-lamb thing.  I don’t want to be worrying about the length of my skirt in a meeting! I’m not sure I’d make this as a casual skirt, certainly the mini length for me NEEDS tights and that pretty much rules it out for casual wear but there’s nothing wrong with having a good, go to pattern for office wear.  In fact, I’ve already hunted through my stash for something appropriate to make a second version out of (nothing doing).

All in all, it’s a good, wearable muslin with a few things to work on for the next time around.  And it’s the most productive thing I’ve managed this week, in between napping and binge watching Grey’s Anatomy (I’m up to season 6, season 5 had me in tears and I’m hoping for an easier time as I get to season 7?)

Here’s to more quick, satisfying makes (and better health!)

Becca x

11 thoughts on “A Vintage Tulip

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    1. Yes I think so (although possibly a longer version!) In this type of fabric it definitely is work appropriate. I just need to do another version with a better finish on it, then it’ll feel really smart!


  1. I love the shape of it. I’m the same and do sloppy sewing when tired. I keep going till I bodge something then get angry with it and go to bed lol


  2. I know you posted this a while ago (I am always so behind in my Bloglovin feed!) but hope you’re feeling much better now. It looks nice, green is good for us redheads. 😀 I always think tulip isn’t a shape that would suit me but I recall I use to have a navy one that I really loved.


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