Thursday, September 22, 2016

Pattern Review: Marilla Walker 'Evan Skirt' in Art Gallery Denim

I've had the notion of a longer A-line skirt in my mind for a while, and have been casting my eye around for patterns. I wanted something quite plain, multi-seasonal, comfy; I guess the skirt equivalent of a pair of jeans.

Well pattern-wise I certainly went with 'the vision' but perhaps not so much the fabric, ha! This Art Gallery Textured Denim in 'Canyon Sunset' (currently sold out but on re-order) is no shrinking violet. But it makes me happy!

I chose Marilla Walker's 'Evan' skirt (named after her young son, how cute) because it had just enough seaming/yoke/fly detail to break up the expanse of fabric, great front pockets and a nice just-A-line-enough shape. Also, because I love her style and have had great success with her Roberts Collection pattern.

Pattern description: "This classic a-line skirt is a 'jeans' style with back yoke, fly front fastening and front/back pockets. The waistband is curved for a flattering fit and sits just below the natural waist. There are two different length options with interchangeable details."

As with all her patterns it's download only, unless you're lucky enough to snap up the limited run, hand-packaged printed versions from Marilla's Etsy shop. There is a copy shop option, fortunately, and I had the AO file printed out at Aish, just down Glen Osmond Road.

I left off the back pockets and did not make the interesting optional pleated front pocket details, because I wanted more of a blank canvas.

I'm really pleased with the result! (Top is handstitched Alabama Chanin in Japanese cotton jersey and boots by Duckfeet.)

The Evan Skirt offers a great range of 10 different sizes, Waist 62-104cm/24.4 - 41" and Hip 86-128cm/34 - 50.4".
To begin with I measured where I thought I wanted the skirt to sit, lower on my torso than the skirt is designed for. After cutting the pattern at this size and sewing it up, I tried it on before attaching the waistband. I decided I wanted it to sit a bit higher (as per design, what a surprise!) and to achieve this fit, I ended up taking it in 2cm at each side seam (i.e. 8cm reduction total). This took the skirt down almost two full sizes. I think this was my own waist/hip measuring uncertainty than any sizing issue with the pattern. Fortunately the pockets are really generous and even with my shearing off the sides there is still plenty of room to put my hands in. It should be noted though that the pocket openings would normally extend a bit further towards the centre. And what awesome capacious pockets they are!

Fit: Although this is a much higher-waisted skirt than I have worn for years, I'm really pleased with the fit and comfort. The front pockets go right from the side seam across to the zip fly, so there's a good amount of structured fabric right across where it matters. Originally I made the full-length version, which on 5ft3 me was pretty much skimming the floor. I took a little length off and hemmed it, but still wasn't sold so after a quick Instagram poll...
 ... I cut more off. Ad it feels much more me! So ultimately I could have saved myself some fabric, and won't need as much (2m x 150cm full length requirement) if I make this again.

Construction: The skirt came together easily and the instructions are clear. I was really interested to try Marilla's zip fly instructions, since it seems there are lots of small variations in the way people do this (and some seem a lot easier to me than others!). The zip went in nicely and the only thing I found a little confusing was a step where you trim away a small part and leave it hanging, then tuck it back in later on. However I just did as I was told and it all worked well. Sometimes you just have to believe! I used a metal jeans zip which gives a satisfying RTW look.
Instead of the specified button, I spared myself the pain of trying to make a buttonhole through layers of denim and used a hammer-on snap, which works well and suits the denim.

I've already worn this skirt multiple times and I think it will see a lot more wear in summer too. It's a great wardrobe staple and I can imagine making at least one more. Probably in a plain denim, boring but I know I would wear it to bits!

You can purchase the Marilla Walker Evan Skirt pattern here.
Art Gallery Fabrics denims in store and online here (while stocks last).
Other suggested fabrics:
10oz Dark Denim
Hemp & Organic Cotton Lightweight Denim Indigo
12oz soft Bio Wash Denim, Mid Blue
Recycled Hemp & Organic Cotton Duck, Granite
or perhaps a fun or funky mid-weight print?

- Jane & Fiona xx


  1. This skirt is awesome!!! All of the professional details -so impressive! And the length is just right on you, Jane. I'm glad you took so much length off. It's practical, but it's also glorious yellow - win win!

    1. Aw thanks Inder, I definitely need to make myself another one of these, I want to wear it all the time!


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