I completed my first project using my new sewing machine less than 24 hours after it was delivered! That should really come as no surprise, I am not one for patience. However, considering that I also went to the beach with my niece and boyfriend, worked at a Doggie Delights event, walked my puppy, went out for ice cream and cooked dinner all in the same day, I guess it came together faster than normal. I was a busy lady apparently!
With that being said, meet Hollyburn! This is a very popular sewing pattern by Sewaholic Patterns and I’ve been reading about other blogger’s beautiful renditions, anxious for my turn to fashion one of my own. Check out this beautiful wool crepe version by A Fashionable Stitch or this classic black rendition by Owl Laughing. Feeling inspired, I threw this baby together in a few hours’ time on my new, super fantastic machine!
So, technically this is my wearable muslin. I wanted to make the skirt with some fabric I wouldn’t miss if I screwed up first, to get the hang of things before cutting into my more prized fabrics (I have a few set aside specifically for making more Hollyburn Skirts). This is actually from Joann’s Casa Collection line. It is a matte satin, I got it on clearance for $2.50/yard! I actually sewed the skirt with the “Wrong side” facing out, because the other side is quite shiny for my liking. To be honest, this fabric is still a bit shinier than I would prefer, and has a bit more structure than I was going for with this particular skirt, but I still love the outcome and think this will get a lot of wear!
The fit was pretty close to perfect. I sewed a straight size 4 in view B, but had some concerns because my waist measurement is about 1/2 of an inch too large for that size. So I sewed the back seam with a 1/2 inch seam allowance rather than 5/8 and it fit like a dream!
I was so impressed with this pattern, it went together very easily and has such charming details, like those beautiful pockets and the adorable button tabs! These are wood buttons I purchased on Amazon in a big bag, I love them- they work for so many different projects. Trust me, you’ll be seeing a lot of them. Here’s a closer look:
Want to know the best part? My new sewing machine attached that button! I have always hated sewing on buttons, and to be honest I am terrible at it. They’re always too loose and I can never get the inside to look neat. Finding out that my new machine can sew buttons on for me was like a miracle moment. It was so easy to do, and that button isn’t going anywhere! I do need to clip the threads a bit closer though, as you can see!
To finish this skirt, I used french seams along the side seams and my new machine’s overlocking foot and stitch options for the center seams and pocket edges. To finish the waistband, I used my new machine’s Stitch in the Ditch foot- which was SO handy and made my life a lot easier. I finished the hem with black bias binding. I wish I had used brown, but I already had black in my stash and this is a wearable muslin after all- I wasn’t about to go buy special bias tape for it! I also swapped out the center zip the pattern called for for an invisible zip, mostly because I bought 20 invisible zippers in bulk and I may as well put them to use!
Things I love about it:
- Pockets! However, I do have a funny story about these pockets turning against me- I lost a piece of my sewing machine and Michael and I tore the apartment apart looking everywhere for it. It turns out, that since I was wearing this skirt while sewing, the part had bounced off of my desk and into the pocket which was slightly agape. Michael was pretty annoyed with me when I pulled it out of my pocket- I thought it was pretty comical, though.
- Button tabs- so sweet and they add the perfect amount of detail to the waistband without being “too much.” Plus, my machine did this!
- Fit- it’s pretty darn perfect, I made a very minor adjustment and I find the skirt very flattering.
Things I hope to improve my next go ’round:
- Hem- it has that awful wrinkling look to it. I have no idea why or how to fix it. I am wondering if this fabric is just a nuisance. I made another project out of similar fabric this weekend as well and it did the same thing. Any ideas or suggestions about this would be appreciated though! I thought using the bias tape to finish the hem would eliminate this, but no such luck!
- Fabric- I think at this length, a fabric with a looser drape will look better. I have some black crepe as well to make another version, I suspect that will look better for view B. I also have some sturdy fabrics for making fun, flared versions of view C. So keep an eye out for more Hollyburns to come!
- Lining- I really wish I had taken the time to figure out a lining for this bad boy- I will need to wear a slip to get it to lay nicely when I move about. It has a tendency to fall strangely between my legs when I walk- I think this may be partially due to the center front seam. I think I will take the time to line my black version, as it will likely be a skirt that gets a LOT of wear and is also a very lightweight fabric which may need some extra opacity.
- Zipper- The fabric is laying strangely around it. Not sure why or how to fix this. Will need to experiment!
Overall, I am thrilled with this pattern and with my new sewing machine! Once I get the hang of things on the machine and take some time to get to know its strengths and its flaws, I’ll post a more thorough review of the Singer 9960. For now, I am very happy with the purchase and excited about the improved quality I can already see in my finished garments.
Thanks for reading, here’s one last picture of my finished Hollyburn to give you a laugh:
This is what Michael calls my “Happy/Mad GF Face.” He thinks it’s me being playful and silly, but really I’m annoyed because he always gets down on the ground to take photos of me, and that is NOT a very flattering angle! I promised him I’d post this one for laughs, so here it is! Plus, it gives a pretty good view of the front of the skirt and how perfectly handy (pun intended) these pockets are!
I am excited to make some fun, flirty Hollyburns in view C: I’m looking to LLadybird‘s fun, flirty short versions (here, here, and here) of the Hollyburn for inspiration and I’ve got some great fabric to work with, so we will see!
I’d love to see your finished Hollyburns too! Share them in the comments, as well as any advice or thoughts you have on the Hollyburn pattern (I’d love some tips on that darn hem!)