The Deer and Doe Fumeterre skirt is a lovely simple pattern that offers either a button front or a fly zipper front with pockets. Greatly in need of a couple of basic maxi skirts for summer that could carry over into fall I decided linen would be perfect for my needs. My first Fumeterre skirt is sewn in slate Essex linen using the button front from version A, but with the pockets added from version B. The pockets are awesome. Spacious and set at just the right height. Their construction is simple and they are one of two things that really set this skirt apart from the majority of patterns that have come out recently. The second item is the cut of the skirt. The use of 8 tapered panels allow the skirt to be long and flowing with lots of swish down by the ankle without lots of extra bulk at the mid-section in the form of either gathers or pleats. The skirt is a simple style that will last and can be sewn up in a variety of fabrics giving it a lot of versatility.
Unfortunately, I cannot recommend this pattern for beginners, because of a few quirks. Let’s talk about the waistband. The construction is something I haven’t encountered before. Starting with the method of attaching the inner waistband then the outer and then doing your finishing on the exterior of the skirt. Odd, but okay. I didn’t do it. I prefer to do the reverse and saw no reason to change. The elasticated back waistband is another uncommon feature, though you see this in some ready to wear. This seems to be a hit or miss feature. It is adding in bulk at the waist again, but could make the garment more comfortable and allow it to feel more secure if you are at the lower end of the size, however, I wouldn’t know. Upon attempting to insert the elastic in my muslin, I realized how little it would bring the waistband in and decided I wasn’t interested in this unnecessary step. Why does the pattern specify only one length of elastic for all sizes? I’ll keep this in mind as a possible alteration if I need to take them in. The place where the instructions really let you down, wasn’t apparent until my second version. The instructions for the fly zipper were completely unintelligible to me and I have sewn a couple of Burda patterns. From what I could figure out they have you start by attaching the guard, which only made the process harder and was the opposite of the YouTube tutorials I finally went with. An entire hour was lost trying to decipher this part and after watching a tutorial and then checking a few others to see if they told me to do the same things, it took only a few minutes and wasn’t difficult at all. The insertion was very similar to that of an invisible zipper only having it a bit offset, with top stitching and a guard. That was not at all apparent in the instructions, which I think may have an error since it tells you to attach things the same side in multiple steps. One last thing to be aware of is that the skirt is really long, as in trimming 4″-6″ off them hem and still having a maxi that can nearly hide my toes long (I’m 5′ 6″). The only other change I made was to the hem facing, shortening it to fit the hem on my first and leaving it off on my second.
Summer of I don’t give a fuck style aka. super casual separates. Version one is just before heading out for an afternoon of gaming and version two is just before mowing the yard on the July 4, which was the first day we had our tractor back after 3 weeks. At least it was sunny enough for photos, even if I didn’t have time to do them right. Please note the navy skirt is actually the shorter of the two, I’m wearing wedges here, but it looks like it is dragging because of the very long grass.
On to the linens. The slate Essex linen was a great choice for this skirt; very swishy and excellent for holding the shape. It isn’t very breezy though. Being a mid-weight linen it is quite opaque and doesn’t let much air through, which makes it a bit warm for hotter days and probably ideal for spring and fall days and good for layering in winter. The navy skirt is actually a linen cotton blend, which doesn’t wrinkle as easily and seems like it is about half the weight making it swishy and breezy. This blend does make for a lovely skirt, but it doesn’t hold the shape as well. So it might get marked down just a quarter point for that on my personal scale, as the difference is minor. On this version, I wanted to try a turned up hem rather than the fabric hogging facing which is maybe 5″ wide and cut as 4 curved pieces. I felt the Essex needed the extra weight to help it swish, but that this might be weighed down by that much extra fabric at the hem. After cutting it 4″ shorter, I turned it up 1/2″ and then again 1″ and used a catch stitch to secure the hem. Overall, the two methods worked equally well and are recommended as gentle ways of helping different fabrics achieve the desired swish. You could also drop the hem facing to simplify and save 1/2 to 2/3 yards of fabric on this project. Another middle option would be to narrow the facing by half, cutting down on the weight and using a little bit less fabric, while maintaining the ease of finishing the curved hem.
Both of these skirts have seen a lot of wear and likely will see more year round. This is a great pattern and I’m considering trying something with inseam pockets to keep the style, but give my wardrobe a little more diversity.