An orange O'Keeffe skirt

As I switched over to my summer wardrobe this year, I noticed an unwanted side effect from all my recent marathon training – way too many of my cute summer clothes were now baggy, droopy, and sad, including my aqua pleated La Mia Boutique skirt. Big sadface! I’d worn it in heavy rotation most summers since I’d made it, but off to the charity shop it went, creating a “bright summer skirt”-shaped hole in my wardrobe since.

Enter the Sinbad & Sailor O’Keefe skirt pattern, which I’d bought right after it came out last year, and never quite got around to making. Pair it with some fabulous bright orange textured fabric I’d been lovingly gifted, and the hole was well and truly filled!


(Remember the lace tee from last summer? Yup, I wear that all the time, too!)

I made size 14, which seems pretty true to RTW sizes (though the first time around I cut out the pattern pieces in size 10, my US size, as it wasn’t clear which sizing the pattern was using – good thing I caught it before I cut out my fabric!). The skirt fits nicely around my waist and hips, but still provides enough ease to sit and walk with my mega-long stride comfortably, and the length is perfect for me, too.

I am absolutely in love with the asymmetric pleating and the pocket on just the one side – it’s the feature that drew me to this pattern in the first place and what really sets it apart. The pocket is generously sized, too, and deep enough that my phone doesn’t feel like it’s going to go flying.

I did notice, though, that I keep getting a little (unintentional) fold in the centre of the skirt near the waistband – the stitching isn’t caught, it’s just how the fabric wants to go. I asked another patternmaker and she said I could eliminate it in future versions by curving the waist a bit lower in front, so that’s good to know!

The only thing that really bugs me about this pattern is that it calls for a 36cm invisible zipper in the instructions when the marked opening is barely 20cm! This means I spent like £2 more on a zip than I needed to, and then had to chop off the excess anyway and encase it in some soft fabric by hand so the end doesn’t irritate my skin.

The zipper also has a bit of a strange order of construction – I’ve never seen a pattern have you sew the bottom of a seam before inserting an invisible zipper. I followed this then had to unpick a few inches to get the zipper to lay nicely at the bottom where it meets the seam.

You’d think that maybe the pleating would cause some extra poofiness on one side, but in reality it sits really nicely, and because the back is rather plain (just two darts) and slim-line, it keeps the fit nice and trim.

All in all, it’s a super cute little skirt that hardly took any time or fabric to make, and also a great little summer number I’ve already worn a few times in the past week. The aqua summer skirt is dead, but long live the orange summer skirt!

(If you’d like to know more about Hannah, the designer behind Sinbad & Sailor, go read my interview with her for Sewing Indie month!)

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