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. My immediate reaction is keep it, keep it! But then, I haven’t got a sister! I think you should make one exactly the same for yourself (especially as they’re so easy to make) as it looks so good on you. X

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    • Wahahahaha! I just might already be plotting one in red, but don’t worry– it’s actually stash-busting! I’m going to try to chop up a failed dress project and hopefully there’s enough fabric to make one!

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  2. Beautiful skirt! I’d almost say keep it, but you can always make another one, so with that in mind I’d say give it to your sis! My sister lives it everytime I make something for her that she can wear to work.
    I wanted to say hi aswell, I joined you guys at the meetup in march, I was the Dutch girl with the red Watson jacket, just started my own blog, inspired by you all!

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    • It’s true– I can make another, but she can’t sew a stitch.

      Hello again! I LOVED your Watson jacket– I’m glad I’ll be able to keep up with your projects from now on!

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  3. Gosh that skirt is a keeper!! Love the pattern AND the length on you. You definitely need to get those pins out more often – they’re fabulous! Me? I would totally be a b*tch and keep it. hehe.

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  4. You’re the best sister eva! Of course you are going to send it and good things will come back to you for your extra selflessness….and then Hollywood will hear the story and turn it into a sewing movie. 😀

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    • Ahhhhhhh if only I had a friend with a house in the Hamptons… maybe I should just head out there in this outfit and look equal parts sad and lovable until some rich old pensioner adopts me?

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  5. Wow, it’s an amazing style on you Sonja! I say give it to your sister and work on another one with perfect buttonholes for yourself…mwahahahaha!

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  6. I think you guys need a closet-swapping arrangement! Or else, you know, bang out another one in the exact same fabric and play matching-sister-dress-up. (Yes, that’s totally a thing.)

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    • I totally think that’s what I’m going to do. Matchy-matchy, here we come! Would it be weird if I made us matching overalls and turtlenecks and we had our portrait painted wearing them? No?

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  7. I’m so impressed with your selflessness. Me? I would say to myself “I’ll keep this one and make sister another one just like this”. Then I wouldn’t be able to find similar material, so I’d make one that was a bit different, and I’d fall in love with that one and keep it. After about the fourth one I’d have worked out I need to get double the amount of fabric, so I can genuinely make two the same, one for me, one for her.

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    • Yes, this is a wise lesson indeed. Not gonna lie– it was way easier to make her the Miette skirt because it’s not my style, so I wasn’t the least bit interested in hanging onto it!

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  8. Super cute skirt and it looks fantastic on you. Mail hers quickly and start making yourself another one right now. The Renfrow looks fabulous in that bright blue color, as soon as my serger is back, I am making several new Renfrows. Thanks for the enjoyable post, makes Monday morning a better!

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    • Can’t wait to see your Renfrews! Your knits are always so cute! Although I’ll be a little sorry to see your serger come back since it probably means you won’t be starting any more jackets any time soon!

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    • I guess you could make stuff for your brother, but boys just aren’t as much fun to sew for (that’s just science– they’re less fun!). Luckily I’ve talked my other sister into learning how to sew so I only have to make things for one of them!

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  9. You are such a good sister, I know you will send it to her 🙂 But you should definitely make yourself one – this shape looks great on you! And do get yourself the buttonhole cutter. I put off getting one for a long time and then my mom got me one for my birthday. I was astounded at the difference it made!

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  10. Bwahaha!!! I’ve totally done this!!! As a matter of fact – just yesterday I was wearing a dress my sister sent me to fix (it had some paint on it, I was supposed to dye it) which I never did and instead I can be found wearing it literally weekly! She should’ve known by now that I’m a serious clothes stealer!! Anyway… love the skirt, totally get your skirt-clutching-fugitive-living urges – but I’m also pretty sure you’re, like 100x’s a better sister than I am and you’ll send it off post haste – then make your own exact replica!

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  11. So cute! It looks like it fits you just right. It’d be fun to have a sis that is exactly my size. Do you ever take your projects to Jonathan’s Embroidery for buttonholes? I hate making my own, so I take my stuff there all the time and it really adds something special to handmade clothes to have professionally made buttonholes. You should check it out! It’s on 38th Street.

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  12. I definitely recommend getting the buttonhole cutter kit. I got one from Wawak.com and it even comes with a hole-puncher one for the keyhole kind. Definitely worth it for less than $10.

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  13. i love this! i would totally be tempted to keep the skirt especially. haven’t bought that pattern yet, but i keep thinking that it’s the type of skirt i would wear a lot!

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  14. Ooooh, I just got this pattern too, your version makes me excited to sew it up! And I don’t have a sister, but I wish I did! Of course you will send it to her and then you can make one for yourself with perfect buttonholes 🙂 I just got a buttonhole cutter and it makes a huge difference, definitely worth it!

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  15. That’s the amazing thing about sewing – just make yourself another! I hope you can find a fabric that’s as good as this one for your own version, though, it really is perfectly paired with this pattern.

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  16. I did the exact same thing with basting down the pockets. You think you’re thinking ahead, but you’re really just making more work for yourself…
    I’m on the button holes now. I haven’t done them in a while, especially on thick fabric. So I have about 10 practice ones that all look like s**t.
    Which brings me to my little tip for you on button holes: I use a sharp seam ripper to slash my button holes. Always works like a charm.
    The skirt looks great on you. You should definitely make one for yourself too!

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  17. aww, so cute! now that you’ve made the skirt once, the next one for you will just fly. i think you should make on in a fun color like red or kelly green.

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    • Kelly green sounds AWESOME! I’m thinking I’ll do red next because I have a failed dress that I just might be able to slice and dice into one of these. Not sure if I can make it work, but I’m gonna try!

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  18. Wow, this skirt is oh so adorable! Unfortunately I think you must give it up to your most deserving sis and make yourself another. It looks so cute on you!

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  19. UMMMMM it’s PERFECT on you! Obviously you need to make more for yourself (but yes, send that one to your sis because I bet it’ll be equally perfect on her, plus she’s stuck with a baby so she could probably use the mama-prezzies right now 😉 haha). Isn’t it crazy how that pattern is soo simple but makes such an impact?! I love it so much!

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  20. I love that outfit! The skirt looks great on you, and the top is one of my favourite colours too! Your sister is so lucky. You should definitely make another one for yourself. Maybe think of all this sewing for your sister as a practice run for trying new styles on yourself without the risk of ending up with something you don’t like 🙂

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  21. You look adorable in it. I wouldn’t want to give it away either 🙂

    I cannot wait to make this skirt up. Why, oh why are there not more hours in the day? I have so many things to make!

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    • This would be super cute in denim! If you use heavy denim, I would probably use a lighter fabric for the pocket lining and instead of doing a foldover waistband, I would draft a faced waistband with lighter fabric on the inside to reduce bulk.

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  22. You have one lucky sister! I’m sure she absolutely appreciates all of the love and time you have put into building her post baby wardrobe. Super sweet of you 🙂

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  23. Yes! it’s cute on you and it’s a lovely pattern. However… living as a fugitive? Over a skirt? Hmm…. not sure why you’re tempted, hah!LOL! you should def make another one! In red. Obviously.

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    • You’re right– I can easily make more! Now, I just need to teach her how to sew so she can make her own! 😉 Unfortunately, sis’s weight loss is mainly due to stress, so not the greatest way to lose it, but I guess it’s a silver lining?’

      Hope the wedding prep is going smoothly!

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  24. Your sister is lucky! I don’t usually wear skirts, but I think I would like to add this to my list of things to make – very wearable. I cut buttonholes with a seam ripper & just put a pin across one end of the buttonhole to stop it cutting beyond.

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    • I’m probably not helping by telling you that the skirt looks great on you and works really well with your striped shirt. However, you only have 1 sister and you could always make yourself another skirt. I think it’s really great what you are doing for your sis and you should definitely 1 or 2 of these skirts for yourself!

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    • I’m not a big skirt wearer, either– it just takes so much work to put together a whole outfit instead of just pulling on a dress. But this one works well with casual tops, so I could actually see myself wearing it lots.

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  25. I’ve also been considering a buttonhole cutter! Every time I cut one open with an exacto knife, I have to hold my breath. This skirt looks really cute on you, you should definitely crank one out for yourself!

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