Saturday, 16 May 2015

Vintage Pledge: Betsey Johnson for Butterick 3292 Maxi Skirt

This skirt is part of my 3-part Vintage Pattern pledge.  It is the maxi skirt form Butterick 3292, Betsey Johnson for Butterick, view B.  I omitted the waistband and faced the yoke instead to make a low waisted version of the skirt. 

One of the reasons I am such a fan of vintage 1970s patterns is that I find the fit works so well for me. I made very little alteration to the pieces apart from slimming the curve of the hip down a little on the yoke pieces.  It is a generous fit and for a future version I may draft a shaped waistband but I am very happy with this version. 

 The fabric is a lovely mid weight denim style cross fibre chambray from Plush Addict.   It is a great weight for a skirt: it has flow, is heavy enough not to need lining and and has a softness to it.  I would use it for a lightweight pair of wide cut trousers, dresses or skirts.  It's a little heavy for shirts. This is a lighter version of the same fabric.

 I did make some additions to the original pattern based on past experience.  I lined the yoke with Liberty lawn and I interfaced this lining with Perfect Fuse sheer fusible weft interfacing.  This is amazing stuff and my go-to choice for interfacing clothing.  I drafted a a shorter yoke facing and this is also interfaced.  These layers are all thin but they provide a support band at the front to compensate for the removal of the waistband and the combined thickness smoothes and flattens this area a little to prevent tops and knicker lines showing through- you know what I am saying ladies!

The centre back invisible zip was sewn using basting tape which is the best thing I've ever used for fitting a zip.  It's a narrow double sided tape that you apply to the seam allowance (away from the stiching line) and it holds everything perfectly in place.  After sewing, it peels away.  For a zip where there are seams to align it makes the whole process incredibly easy.  I bought mine via Amazon.  There's also a water soluble version which sounds good but I haven't tried.

 It is hard to get a really neat finish when sewing a zip into a faced waistband.  I used the technique in this Threads article and it works really well.

I followed the pattern directions for the hem using home made bias tape on the hem which is invisible hand sewn to the wrong side of the skirt.  The hemline goes on forever so it took a while but it is a lovely finish and it is touches like this that made a handmade wardrobe extra special. 

I finished with two lines of decorative contrast top stitching. I sewed this skirt on my Bernina 707 and it is a wonderful dressmaking machine.

Most of my time is spent in long chambray skirts with knit tops or shirts so I have worn this skirt countless times since I made it.  I have a feeling my Vintage pledge is all going to come from this single pattern.  I have made the trousers- yet to be blogged, and the jacket is ready to cut out.  I am wearing this outfit today as part of Me-made-May 15!  Kerry at Kestral makes is co-hosting the Vintage Pledge so you might want to check out her posts.  I have noticed that during Me-Made-May she also favours the denim skirt/knit top uniform!

sib blog


  1. Very lovely. Looks great on you. Love the top stitching on the hem.

  2. Looks perfect on you. Thanks for linking to the facing tip - so simple but so tidy!

  3. This is just gorgeous! I love the low waist, and what a good idea to interface the yoke. Happy wearing!

  4. Looking lovely in that sweet skirt ~ always did like a low waist!

  5. This skirt looks great and I particularly love the double topstitching at the hem. Thanks for the link in your post and I am definitely a fan of the denim skirt and knit top uniform too. I have 2 metres of lovely denim I won from a Fabric Godmother giveaway that I had earmarked for a pinafore type dress but keep getting tempted to make another denim skirt since I know they are so useful


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