The Bianca Skirt

The design for this skirt had been mulling around in my mind for a long time but I never took the time to actually make the first draft of a pattern. There were quite a few dodgy sketches (I’m no artist) but nothing any closer to an actual skirt. I wanted to start with a pencil skirt design and then have fun flare inserts on the side. I thought it would make a great wintery work skirt.


When I finally started drawing out the pattern and creating a paper version, the funniest coincidence occurred: Randomly through work (remember I’m an engineer, NOT in the fashion world), I was briefly introduced to Bianca Spender, a top independent designer here in Sydney. This got me all excited about fashion and design (it doesn’t take much) so I raced off to her website to see what wondrous pieces were coming from her studio.  And lo and behold – the cover shot on the website showed the EXACT skirt that I was trying to create at home.  Of course Bianca’s version is WAY cooler than mine but I thought it was brilliant that I was thinking along the lines of the pro’s…and the skirt got its name.

My skirt is made from cotton poly tartan left over from my MC pants with some navy cotton for the waist band.

IMG_6449In cutting out the pattern, I did try to think about how the pattern might align but with limited fabric there was only so much matching I could do. I had challenges figuring out how much flare I could get away with – I could’ve done with MUCH more based on what Bianca’s version looks like. Another challenge is that the flares end up on the bias so the hem line starts doing funny things – I don’t think I got this totally right but I might have to try to get a more even hem in a second version.  I also wonder whether it’s better to have a really narrow hem so that it hangs better through the flare rather than sticking out a bit.

IMG_6447I included an exposed zip and had to spend a bit of time and research figuring out the best way to do that.  Again I’m not sure I’ve got that down pat but at least I have one attempt under my belt.

IMG_6445Side seam patterns match!

I got a few wears of this skirt before it became way too hot to contemplate wearing such a wintery fabric.  I wonder if this would work in a summery fabric…?

Pattern: Self drafted ‘Bianca skirt’ pattern

Fabric: Cotton Poly Tartan from a Marrickville fabric store – leftovers from the MC pants

Alterations: This was a first version.  In subsequent versions I would make the flares MUCH more dramatic, maybe start them higher up the thigh and really try to get a bit more consistent on the pattern matching.  I would also like to figure out a solution to the uneven hem issue and try a smaller hem.

Do it again: Maybe another version next winter.  I could try a summery version but I’m not sold on the idea just yet 🙂

Thanks for joining me and if you have any insights into how I may solve some of my challenges, I’d love to hear from you. Well, I’d love to hear from you any way…