Megan Nielsen Kelly Skirt + Simplicity 2365 Tunic Top = one mammoth post!

Kelly skirt with Simplicity 2365 top

Kelly skirt with Simplicity 2365 top

Warning: this is a pretty long post, but you are getting 2 items for the price of 1…I need to share all the details with you 🙂

I have seen many great versions of the Kelly skirt since it came out. Probably my personal favourite is Miranda’s kelly green kelly skirt over at her onelittleminute blog site. That was probably the inspiration which led me to have a go at creating my own poppy red version.

Firstly, how difficult can it be to fit a pattern which is essentially 4 rectangles and 2 pocket shapes? Hmmm….a little harder if you are more amply endowned in the hip area, is the answer. I ended up adding inches to the front placket and the side seams of the back piece, but then making each individual pleat almost an inch bigger to overcome the large excess of material at the waist. I still don’t think I have got the fit perfect. There is some pulling between the middle of the two pleats in the back…next time around I need to eliminate that.

Kelly skirt with Simplicity 2365 top - rear view

Kelly skirt with Simplicity 2365 top – rear view

Will there be a next time? Yes. I think so. This is a pattern which really has so many possibilities in terms of fabrics that you could use. Cord, denim, wool, cotton, lawn, even silk.

I do love the details on this skirt. The scoop pockets and of course the button front placket which is what really drew me to the skirt. And the A-line shape helps to hide heavy hips.

Kelly skirt with Simplicity 2365 top

Kelly skirt with Simplicity 2365 top

Here are some of the close up details:

Poppy red Megan Nielsen Kelly Skirt

Poppy red Megan Nielsen Kelly Skirt

Close up of polka dot lining in pocket

Close up of polka dot lining in pocket

Close up of brass effect studs - very easy to use!

Close up of brass effect studs – very easy to use!

 Here’s my pattern review:

Pattern Description:

High waisted A-line skirt with fitted waistline. Features button front placket, wide waistband, large scoop pockets and pleating in the front and back.

Pattern Sizing:

XS – XL

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?

Yes.

Were the instructions easy to follow?

Yes, very. An illustrated booklet is included with the pattern which talks you through each and every step.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?

I have long admired the pattern for its button front placket, pockets and A-line shape. I do think it will take people at least one attempt to perfect the sizing; getting the hip to waistband ratio correct is harder than you think, IMO.

Fabric Used:

Poppy red stretch cotton twill, with matching topstitching thread and brass effect studs.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

I ended up adding inches to the front placket and the side seams of the back piece, but then making each individual pleat almost an inch bigger to overcome the large excess of material at the waist. I still don’t think I have got the fit perfect. There is some pulling between the middle of the two pleats in the back…next time around I need to eliminate that. I also added two inches to the length.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?

Yes and yes. Now I have a feel for the fit it would be so easy to whip up other versions in a multitude of different fabrics.

Conclusion:

If you can perfect the fit this is a great skirt to have in your repertoire.

Asleep yet? Good, let’s continue…

Once I started making the skirt, I then realised that the poppy red colour meant I could enter it in to the 2013 Spring Pantone Contest, currently being run by PR.com. (Plus I really needed a top of some kind to wear with the skirt!) The essential rules of the contest are that you have to sew a two-piece outfit, each piece of which must feature one of the spring pantone colours as their prominent colour, so that you end up with an outfit featuring two of the spring pantone colours. 

Here are the pantone colours:

2013 Spring Pantone colours

2013 Spring Pantone colours

I decided to combine my poppy red kelly skirt with a top which features dusk blue as it’s prominent colour, with floral accents, which I made using Simplicity 2365. Here’s how the fabrics looked together:

Poppy red stretch cotton twill and dusk blue floral print cotton

Poppy red stretch cotton twill and dusk blue floral print cotton

I do think this is a competition which is slightly open to interpretation, in that computer screen resolutions can result in different colours being displayed, and even the conditions in which you photograph your fabrics/ outfits can influence the appearance and final outcome. And no, I don’t have one of those fancy Pantone colour chart thingys.

Simplicity 2365 tunics pattern - line drawing

Simplicity 2365 tunics pattern – line drawing

For most of you seasoned sewers, Simplicity 2365 is not a new pattern. To me, it is, and therefore this top is a (very) wearable muslin. Overall I am quite pleased with it. It has many endearing little features. The pintucks and the collar, the sleeve tabs and the little puffed sleeves. I would have preferred this top to be a little longer. It is fine to wear with my Kelly skirt, as the high waist of the skirt dictates that I would have to wear a tucked in blouse anyway. But to wear over jeans etc I would prefer to make it longer. Next time I will do that. I read this pattern has a considerable amount of ease (6 inches according to the pattern), so I went down a size at the bust, shortened the bodice by an inch, and added an inch to the length. Oh and I graded out at the hips. Looking at the pictures, I think the fact the top is tucked in to the skirt makes my boobs look (even) bigger than usual 🙂

Simplicity 2365 close up of pintucks

Simplicity 2365 close up of pintucks

Simplicity 2365 close up of sleeve tab and button

Simplicity 2365 close up of sleeve tab and button

 Here’s my pattern review: 

Pattern Description:

Misses’ sewing pattern tunic in two lengths with front variations. I made view B.

Pattern Sizing:

6 – 24

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?

Yes.

Were the instructions easy to follow?

Yes.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?

I didn’t particularly dislike anything about the pattern. It’s a great pattern! I love the little features like the pintucks, the princess shoulder seams at the front, the collar, the sleeve tabs and little puffy sleeves.

Fabric Used:

Cotton.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

I  didn’t want too much ease so went down a size at the bust and graded out a couple of sizes at the hips. I shortened the bodice by an inch and lengthened the bottom by an inch.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?

Yes and yes. Next time I would make it longer though.

Conclusion:

This is a great tunic/ blouse pattern with some great little features.

Phew! Almost at the end. My final conclusion? Would I have chosen to pair “dusk blue” with “poppy red” under ordinary circumstances? Probably not, no. Am I glad I tried? Yes. I am more happy about tackling the challenges I faced with the patterns I chose and I think I have ended up with a cute spring outfit. And I do think next time I go shopping I will look at stepping away from my usual colour combinations and trying out new ones.

Kelly skirt with Simplicity 2365 top - pat on the back for staying with me so far!

Kelly skirt with Simplicity 2365 top – pat on the back for staying with me until the end!

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About sewmanju

I love to shop, but I also love to sew my own clothes, and am currently on a mission to improve my (fairly basic) dressmaking skills. I confess to going into shops and being outraged at the prices of some (not very well made) garments (is it an age thing?) and think "huh, I could make some thing at least as good as that for less" (is it something to do with coming from the Indian subcontinent?) So this blog details my sewing endeavours, both good and bad....I love to nosey through other people's sewing projects....now everyone can get to see mine.

19 responses to “Megan Nielsen Kelly Skirt + Simplicity 2365 Tunic Top = one mammoth post!”

  1. sylkotwist says :

    Wow, you’ve been busy! I love the detail on the blouse, all those little tucks and sweet buttons. Also the polka dot lining in your Kelly pockets is lovely!

  2. julinhappyhomemakerredux says :

    I like how you’ve matched up the poppy red with the dusk blue. Your pintucks are just lovely. Good luck with the PR contest!

  3. Kristin says :

    I don’t think I would have originally matched those two fabrics together either but I love that you did….it works! Love the details on the shirt and thank you for the hippy notes on the skirt. I liked how the skirt looked and that information would be very helpful for me ’cause I have some major hip action going on!

  4. Scruffybadger says :

    I agree, the fabric matching is lovely! And both garments are fabulous in their own right, but together look amazing. I’m loving the various details….and REALLY like the snaps on the Kelly skirt. And the blouse details are adorable, who doesn’t love pintuck satisfaction?!

  5. MrsAlex says :

    What a lovely, summery combination of colours and I love the blue print with the poppy red. Fantastic!

  6. sewmanju says :

    Thanks Mrs Alex.

  7. lbrundage says :

    This is a perfectly lovely outfit! It’s so bright and fresh and pretty on you. Great choice for the pantone contest!

  8. Beth (SunnyGal Studio) says :

    that outfit is fantastic, love the colors and your snaps look perfect (I find snaps a bit nervewracking to do). Love the skirt and you need to make a wardrobe of them! Also very nice fit on the blouse.

  9. Margo says :

    Hi Manju! I’m Margo from creatinginthegap@blogspot.ca and I stumbled across your blog last night and I am a little tired today from staying up so late browsing through your posts. Lady…you are good! I love your style and your pattern choices. Thanks for the inspiration!

  10. Cherita Md says :

    This color combo is brilliant! I m in love with this outfit 😀

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