Chataigne Skirt…

What’s your favourite sewing pattern?

Maybe you can answer this question instantly but maybe it changes weekly, monthly, or with the seasons.

For me this pattern is Deer and Doe’s Chataigne shorts. I first made a pair back in 2016, and the subsequent incarnations have done school runs, smart conferences, gardening, Dartmoor, cycling, the beach and eventually when the originals reached the end of their life cycle…decorating. These lovely shorts are now covered in paint but they’ve had a really busy life!

My first shorts love!

And inspiration felt hard to find this week. I wanted to find a skirt…not just any skirt. You know the magical skirt that exists only in your brain but you still spend 2 hours online looking for it anyway.

Until I had a lightbulb moment, a distant Pinterest memory of someone hacking a Chataigne short into a skirt that I coveted…a lot. (Sewing people you know what I’m talking about; that slightly sweaty palmed feeling of coveting some else’s make)

So I happily hacked away taking some steps from the very useful tutorial that’s on the lovely blog of Telle Est Une Estelle. Disclaimer I can read French BUT you don’t need much French to work out whats going on…the gist of it is a bit off here, a fold here, 2 darts and a couple of new lines plus 8 cm.

Et voila. Mon premiere jupe Chataigne…

My first Chataigne hack.

Before you read on…there are 2 versions mostly for visibility reasons.

My first version is in some rather fetching unphotogenic Merchant and Mills heavy indigo denim. A thing of beauty that is so fleeting that it defies most photography attempts.

If you squint really carefully you can just about make out some topstitching and a bit of fold.

Teamed with my Seamwork Neenah top with Stof & Stil bargain fabric.

It turned out that even standing on a chair wasn’t going to make my beautiful skirt anymore visible!

Luckily I had anticipated that my first make may only be appreciated IRL.

So I can present the best thing about sewing…making another version from what’s at the bottom of the leftovers box.

Colour pop!

I’m pretty happy with my hacked leftovers skirt.

I’ve also started off with this one in a longer length raw hem, it’s probably a thing in Urban Outfitters isn’t it? If it doesn’t work for me it will be back on the table for a trim. Thoughts’s not my usual length of skirt but Mr T (my husband whose initials are the same as mine so he is literally Mr T but not in an A Team way) insists it looks nice!

2 years after my ready to wear ban challenge I still buy relatively little of my clothing in RTW form and if I do it has to be from a charity shop, from an independent or pretty special for me to part with my cash.

I have a striped top addiction so this daffodil yellow number was purchased in a Petit Bauteau in France last year when we were visiting friends, so it has nice memories of a lovely day of coffee and shopping in a medieval town attached and will last for a really long time…no striped top of mine has ever reached the decorating level of it’s lifecycle yet, there is a special section of the wardrobe that I keep them in, really happy altogether, enjoying being stripey.

I’m really happy that I’ve been able to give a new lease of life to a favourite pattern, it’s much more creative and sustainable for me personally to be able to use what I have and make it fresh again than keep buying more stuff that I won’t completely love.

And that’s me signing off from the week in which I learned to love a hack…the good kind.


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