The folded button back A-line skirt
There are a few garments I've made in my wardrobe that I wear all the time. Once I've found a good pattern that's comfortable and flattering to wear and most importantly not-a-bother-to-make I stick with it. I've got about 3 or 4 of these fail safe patterns. The first one is this skirt. It is made from one piece of fabric and I found it in a book of that name by Lena Santana. What I like about it is its simple flat front that sits in an A-line shape but has a more quirky folded and button back giving it a slight bustle feature. The folding process gives the skirt a sort of origami effect and the buttons are purely decorative so you can make them stand out or match them discreetly. It has a bias trim waistband and again this can be made a visible feature or sewn inside for a clean edge.
I made this skirt for the first time in a heavy weight plain black cotton with a slight sheen. I was amazed how many compliments I got from what seemed like a simple black skirt. The book suggests making it from a light coloured sort of toile de jouy print fabric which looks pretty but is maybe not so practical.
I was lucky enough to travel to Ghana a couple of years ago on a teacher exchange programme. A visit to Accra market meant I had piles of striking African print fabric. The weight of the cloth is perfect for this skirt as it is stiff enough to hold the 'folded back' shape neatly. I made this orange and black print version for summer. I used a fairly chunky metal zip as an added feature.
The most recent version I made is using a lovely ditsy square print Tana Lawn from Liberty. It is such a soft light fabric and a joy to work with but did need a lining to give it the right weight and shape for this skirt. I chose a burgundy zip, bias binding and buttons to compliment the colours in the print. So overall this skirt is a simple make (once you've got your head round how the folds work), it's easy to wear and it's got that little quirky edge to it. Plus you can customise it with any fancy spare or vintage buttons- perfect!