Sewing for My Sis: Megan Nielsen’s Kelly Skirt!

Guys.  I should’ve known this day would come eventually, but somehow I never thought it would.  I’ve sewn something for my sister that I really, really don’t want to send to her!

OK, I want to send it to her.  But is it wrong that a part of me really wants to keep this for myself?  My sister has lost her baby weight really fast so we can wear the same size!  It’s meant to be!  Alright, alright, I’ll just have to make another for myself.

This is Megan Nielsen‘s Kelly skirt pattern, and I love love LOVE it!  I’ve always loved pleated skirts, but sometimes they can be a bit too “Catholic schoolgirl”, if ya know what I mean.  This pleated skirt is super cute, but definitely not Lolita-esque.  I’ve loved this pattern ever since I first spotted it, but hadn’t pulled the trigger and purchased it in my attempts to defeat the BUYITNOWNOWNOWNOWNOW thing I’ve had going on the last few years.  Luckily, my sister picked it out when we started planning her new wardrobe, so I had an excuse to order it (from Sweet Little Chickadee, my favorite indie pattern supplier)!

I used this organic twill from Mood Fabrics that I bought a year and a half ago or so, intending to make pants, but I am too scared haven’t gotten around to that yet.  It’s the perfect weight– not to heavy or thick, but with plenty of body to hold the pleats.  It’s halfway between navy and gray, so I think she’ll be able to pair it with many different tops.

This pattern comes together really quickly!  I was momentarily stumped by how to get the pleats to lie flat on top of the pockets, but I found Roobeedoo’s post and realized my mistake.  I just assumed that I needed to baste the tops of the pockets to the skirt front, but if you do that before making your pleats, they won’t sit right.  Once I unpicked that, it was smooth sailing!

The only thing I’m not super excited about is my buttonholes.  I think I might need to pick up a buttonhole cutter as cutting them open with embroidery scissors seems to leave messy buttonholes.  They look pretty unprofessional if you look up close.  I guess I could douse them in Fray Check, but that stuff smells kinda gross.  Luckily I doubt that many people will be looking at the buttonholes up close, so I guess it’s alright.

Lest you think I’m a slacker, I’ve also made her a Renfrew top in her favorite color.  In all my iterations of this pattern, this is my first time making one with short sleeves!  I made her a size 4 and shortened the bodice by 1/2″ (she’s petite), and I’m told it fits her perfectly!  Now that I know for sure that it fits, I need to set aside a day and cut out a half-dozen versions of this top and put them together assembly-line style.  You can’t have too many tees!

So… what do you think?  Should I send this to my definitely-deserving sis, or should I move, change my phone number, and keep the thing, living as a fugitive for the rest of my days, clutching the tattered remnants of this skirt until I die alone in a border town?

169 responses

  1. This skirt turned out great and I especially like the fabric color! One time I accidentally made a skirt for my sister too small and… bummer… I just had to keep it for myself. Lol – I did end up making another one in the correct size, but it was a handy mistake 🙂


  2. I’ve had this skirt on my wishlist for ages too, I was worried about the pleats but everytime I see a version in a lighter-weight fabric I realise the pleats sit quite nice and I want to buy it again 🙂 Argh I love your version, no wonder you want to keep it, I want it too 😉 You better make another quickly, hehe.

    I use a button hole cutter, it’s like a really sharp chisel and it does a great job. I used to use my seam ripper and even through I put a pin at the end one day I ripped right through my fabric. I was able to save it but I learn’t my lesson and went out and bought my new cutter right away.


  3. Awww shucks, thanks so much for the shout out! 🙂
    I love your version of the Kelly skirt (for your sister) and that Renfrew Tee is great too. I totally agree, you can never have too many tees! I would totally want to keep both of those for myself! I don’t have any sisters though… it’s all boys in my family.
    Thanks for the heads up about Fray Check too. Oh wait, I was just going to write that I’ve never used it, but I’m actually just remembering that I have! I used it once on this skirt that had raw edges, and I remember that it turned into sort of a sticky mess. Ugh. Oh, but do try cutting the buttonholes with a seam ripper if you haven’t already! That’s what I just did with my Kelly Skirt (haven’t blogged about it yet), and it worked like a charm. Just put a pin at the end that you are going towards so you don’t completely cut through the buttonhole and seam rip beyond the stitching.


    • No problem, girl! I’m always shocked by how quickly patterns arrive when I order from you– ALMOST instant gratification!

      I think I need a new seam ripper– mine doesn’t really cut through the fabric nicely.


  4. Uh, that skirt looks FANTASTIC!!!! No wonder you don’t want to give it up!! But you will have to know since she’s probably seen it up on your blog. Should have kept it on the downlow and told her the sewing machine ate it 😛


  5. The skirt looks awesome, I’m going to say the fugitive would be tempting except what about the pugs?! Maybe one of them can eat it? Just a thought…


    • Oooh, you’re right– the pugs would never make it in a life on the lam! They’d want to stop for a nap every ten minutes and we’d be found out before we got to south Jersey!


  6. This skirt is so cute….Gah, I need to crack on with my to-sew list so I can justify buying this pattern!

    I’d feel too guilty to keep the skirt for myself, but you could totally make another version, and now you’re in the swing of things I reckon it wouldn’t take you long to whip up another one!


  7. I LOOOOVE it! That’s a tough decision for sure…maybe tell her that your dog ate it? She couldn’t possibly be angry at that adorable little puggy face!


  8. I love everyone’s responses. But, I fall in the camp of sending it to her (I know you will anyway!) and making another one for yourself. You know the second time through will go so much faster. Plus, it is terribly cute. Make two!


  9. Keep it…hehe not really, just give it to her and make another one for you and this time with perfect buttonholes. Although you could keep this one and give the perfect buttonhole one to her. Or keep them all and move to Siberia! I love this skirt and it’s so versatile for winter and summer, I must make me some more.


  10. Now that it’s public it would be awkward to keep it right? ;p You gotta make yourself one too now! It’s fab. I want. Wanna be my sister and make me one too? lol


  11. I always covet the things I make for other people, I think because I tooootally selfish. Luckily my sister and I different sizes otherwise I fear she’d get nothing from me because I would probably just keep it all. 😉


    • This is the first time that I’ve made something for someone else that I’ve actually wanted to wear/keep! Almost all of my knitting/sewing gifts were the wrong size or color or not really my style. 🙂


  12. Oh your kelly skirt is so great! I’m not surprised you feel torn about having to give it away. You’ll just have to make yourself another 🙂 I have a Kelly skirt in the works this month too but work is getting busy so I’m not finding much sewing time unfortunately


  13. Well, that settles it–the chambray Kelly I’ve been dreaming of needs to be in my life. Right now.
    I think the buttonhole cutter is a great idea. I’ve been wanting one myself.


  14. It’s soooo cute!!! You’re an awesome sister. I better make sure mine doesn’t get wind of your generosity.

    I’m so right there with you on the BUY BUY BUY thing. I really need to chill the fuck out, but this makes me WANT a matching Ginger skirt!!! NOW!! Lol We need a support group ;o)


  15. I think I’ve mentioned before you are such a selfless sewer (unlike me!). The Kelly skirt really suits you and you NEED to make one for yourself. Or just delete this post and keep the one you already made for you. I won’t tell her, promise… 🙂


  16. What a fab skirt! I say send it to your sis, and good sewing karma will come your way! I wish my sister would make me stuff, but she doesn’t sew.


  17. This looks great!!! I yet have to try a Megan Nielsen pattern and I’m quite into the Kelly skirt. Thanks too for your comment on my bombshell! I totally goofed and deleted it by mistake 😦 sorry! So bad of me. I can still see it in my mailbox though, so I can go read it and be happy about it 🙂


  18. I’m late to the game and not going to read all gajillion comments, but I will say a) That skirt is super cute and suits you oh-so-well, b) make yourself another one but do the buttonholes better; then you’ll know you have the superior version. 😉 lol I’m a bad sister, too.


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