D is for Denim

denim skirt collage

For my fourth Sew All 26 160 project I made a denim skirt for the letter D. I have a favorite light blue, above the knee denim skirt which I bought at a thrift store many years ago. It’s looking tatty now though, so I thought I’d try to recreate it.

I chose Simplicity 5149 for my pattern. I bought this pattern quite a while ago but never used it – it’s from 2004 and it’s now out of print. Score 1 for pattern stash busting! The fabric I used is a faded black denim with a bit of stretch. The fabric was a required purchase for a sewing class I took many, many years ago. But since we only made it through producing the muslin in class, I never used the denim for the jeans skirt we were supposed to end up with. Score 2 for fabric stash busting! I like this simple skirt style and I wonder why this pattern is now out of print.

The skirt really fits me well, which is a rare find in a skirt pattern for me. I originally cut a size 14 and then recut the skirt down to a 12. So perhaps the reason I have problems with fit is that I rely on the pattern sizing measurements too much. I should probably be flat measuring the tissue instead and choosing my size based on that measurement. I also increased the skirt length by an inch. Unless you’re Tina Turner, once you’re over a certain age, micro mini-skirts are a no-go.

I only had a few small problems with the pattern, which I chalk up to lack of skill on my part rather than design defects. The skirt has a zipper, which if there is a hell, IMO, it will be chock full of zippers I’ll be forced to install. One of my New Year’s Resolutions for 2014 is to learn to sew a zipper I’m not ashamed of! So far I’m not there yet… So my zipper is kind of wonky on this skirt. One of the mistakes I made was serging the side seam edges (including the opening where the zipper goes), before I  installed the zipper, which was dumb. But I learned not to do that, which hopefully will help my next zipper installation go more smoothly.

I like this skirt except for the wonky zipper installation. I’m thinking Simplicity 5149 might become a TNT skirt pattern for me! I’ve already cut a second one out in a size 12 from a red denim animal print fabric, which should be interesting to say the least. I’m determined to take a second whack at that zipper installation and get it right this time!


      • Hi Jill, Wow you’re up early for a Sunday! I’m actually hoping to perfect (or at least improve) my zipper application on the next version of this skirt.


      • Thanks, for this question, I should have explained this in the post. TNT stands for tried and true, meaning a pattern you’ve tried that fits true. It’s also used to describe a pattern you like so much that fits so well you will be using it almost as a master pattern, comparing untried patterns to it for sizing and fit.


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