Right after Christmas I got an exciting surprise in my inbox – Eryn from Style Sew Me asked me to participate in the Janelle Skirt Blog Tour. I was so smitten and so excited that I said yes without thinking twice about it. Janelle Skirt is not your typical pencil skirt. She is very form fitting, hits you below your knee and features a high mid thigh opening. This skirt screams sexiness and confidence, yet manages to remain very classy and elegant. Just look at Eryn modeling it, it truly is not for the faint at heart!
I am not a pencil skirt type of gal. Don’t get me wrong, I love them! I think they look fantastic, but I have not worn one for a few years. I kept entertaining an idea of making a pencil skirt for a while, but I was yet to start on one. Janelle jumped out at me as a perfect opportunity to go ahead and finally make one.
Janelle Skirt comes in both PDF and paper pattern, and I am a lucky owner of both. PDF pattern has two files, one for the pattern and one for the instructions. The PDF pattern was pretty easy to assemble. With 29 pages it seems very reasonable, considering there are two separate pieces for left and right front.
The paper pattern comes in a standard envelope with pieces printed on regular paper! I love it. I am not a fan of fiddling with tissue paper. I am always worried I will tear it and I can never fold the thing back together like it was meant to. The instructions are printed off in a booklet format and are stapled together so you have a cute pamphlet to follow as you sew.
The skirt covers the sizes from XS to XXL, with hip sizes from 33″ to 52″. The pattern already includes 3/8″ seam allowances and has 4 pattern pieces all together. I found the instructions very clear and easy to follow. The photographs that Eryn provides helped me follow when I didn’t want to re-red the instructions. I am pretty bad… I am definitely more of a visual person when it comes to instructions.
I was really interested in how the overlapping effect on the front was created. And to be honest I expected this skirt to be a wrap skirt. It is not! The two front pieces are finished along the slit opening separately and then assembled together. There is a seam that holds them in place and the skirt has a zipper in the back. It was really neat!
My hips fell into size L, whereas my waist is M. I didn’t want to do FSA so I kind of faked it. Rather than blending from a larger size at the hip to medium at the waist, I widened and slightly deepened my darts. Then I took the skirt in at the side seam just a little bit. This helped me achieve almost the perfect fit right off the start! The fit was so good I was very surprised when I first put my muslin on. The only other thing I did was to lower the front rise as the skirt was riding a bit higher at the front than at the back on me. But this is is a very normal adjustment for me to make.
For my final fabric I chose dark navy blue, almost black, suiting I had in stash for a while. I figured it would be the prefect way to create a skirt I can dress up or down. The instructions ask you to topstitch the split as a way to finish it, and for my skirt I wanted a very minimal and clean finish with no visible lines. Instead of topstitching I opted for blind hem instead. I even managed to do it on my machine!
I also attached my front pieces together from the inside rather than topstitching them together. This also helped in creating a very clean, minimal look. Another thing I did differently is I opted for invisible zipper, as I usually prefer invisible zippers to regular ones.
I had so much fun thinking of how I would style this skirt! I think a very obvious way to do it is to play up the sexiness of the split and I love that look. However I wanted to show off how I would wear this skirt in my everyday life and I rarely wear things that are obviously sexy anymore. I definitely lean towards loose, secret pajama and boxy looks. So I wanted to play the skirt down by pairing it with boxy and may be unexpected tops. I call it my “sexy librarian before the make over look”, I think it fits the bill.
If I ever have an occasion to play up the sexy side of this skirt I certainly will! The skirt sits at your natural waist so any crop top would look amazing with it. Check out how Maggie styled it. Isn’t it gorgeous?
There you have it, my take on the Janelle skirt. I was very happy with this pattern and if you are considering adding this skirt to your wardrobe, I would hands down recommend it. The skirt is on sale until January 21.
Disclaimer: I was provided with a pattern for free but all opinions are my own.
P.S. The skirt is paired with Linden Sweatshirt I made out of wool knit and brand new Toaster Sweater, which I will write about in a separate post.