Vintage Simplicity 1281 – Finished!

I can’t believe this, but I really finished this project already! 6 days after deciding to make it, with only 4 or 5 of those days being utilized as “work” days, I have a lovely new piece of clothing. WHOA!


Doing my happy flailing dance!


Back view


Strap and waistband detail–not too shabby!


Side button; the other waistband tab is sticking up…oops!


Enjoying the fullness of the skirt

Now for all the details! I obviously shortened the skirt quite a bit; I just didn’t see myself enjoying a below-the-knee skirt with this much volume and structure. I’m really happy with the length, although I wish I had been a little more careful when trimming off the excess and judging how much hem length to leave. I made a real hackjob of removing about 4″ initially, and then sewed on my Flexi Lace. I then pressed the hem to my desired length, which was at least 3″ of extra fabric. I tried to fold the hem under again, which of course was bulky and awful, so I cut most of that off (lace included) and just did about a 1″ single fold blind hem. I also opted to not follow the instructions for sewing the straps. Instead, I followed a tutorial (cannot remember what blog, sorry!) for purse straps. I cut 3 times the width of the pattern piece and pressed in half lengthwise; then I unfolded it and folded each side in to the center crease, and then folded in half one more time. I pressed the hell of out of them and then topstitched up each side. I love the results! They’re sturdy and durable and attractive–the perfect straps, really. Honestly, I didn’t even read the strap instructions included with the pattern. I found that tutorial and knew that was how I wanted to approach the task.

Now for the things that proved to be a challenge or that I wish I had conceived differently. First up: the grainline. For some reason, it never occurred to me that the grainlines wouldn’t be on the bias all the way around just by following the cutting instructions. If I make this again, I’ll try to match them. I don’t think anyone else will even notice this, since it’s a cotton twill and the grain is only visible if you get right up to it.

The waistband is also bothering me a tiny bit, because I can’t decide if I want to topstitch all the way around it. Right now it’s just at the border of the skirt and the bottom of the band. If anyone has an opinion on that one way or the other, please share!

Attaching the straps was a little weird. I’m guessing that it would have been more straightforward if I had pinned them to the waistband before topstitching it (and especially if I had topstitched around the top and bottom of the waistband), but I totally didn’t. Instead, I attached them by hand. My hand stitching isn’t great (except for buttons and hemming) so I’m not sure how that will hold up; it sure isn’t pretty, that’s for sure!

I can’t wait to wear this skirt, you guys. It will be a good transitional piece, pairing well with tights and sweaters in the fall and spring, plus the color will be easy to coordinate. My next project will either be more blouses or a pair of 1960’s skinny pants. For now, though, I’ll take a few days off–this project was a marathon!

11 thoughts on “Vintage Simplicity 1281 – Finished!

  1. I love your skirt! It’s very cute, I’m actually wondering if I should sew something similar to this. As for the waist band. I think it looks good as is, if you want to top stitch it all around, I think that would work too.

    • Thank you! I think you should totally go for it! It was a very easy project, all things considered. I think there are a few sellers on Etsy who have this exact pattern, too! =) And I think I will leave the band as-is for now; I’d rather be able to go back and add detail later than do it now when I’m not sure and regret it!

  2. I have been off the radar and when catching up this week I found your skirt! It is adorable. What a great job. It looks so cute on you. Whether you decide to add the top stitch detail or not it looks great!

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