Chanel-inspired Camden Skirt Pattern Hack

Chanel-inspired Camden Skirt Pattern Hack

Happy Easter weekend! It felt only fitting to sew up something in a bright spring colour as we move through April, even though northern California is still shivering under an unreliable sun. I got a few funny looks sporting this outfit, and the bare legs did not stay bare for long!

Anyway, onto this latest fun hack. It's the Camden Skirt – but what a change. Most people have made the original design of Camden, but it has so much potential when you simply remove the pockets; it becomes a simple, plain short skirt with endless hacking possibilities. This version was inspired by classic Chanel tweed garments, and also the sixties' styling of the movie The Last Letter from Your Lover, in which Shailene Woodley sports a wonderful wardrobe against a backdrop of glittering Mediterranean seas and rain-soaked London streets. It's not a particularly brilliant film, but a visual treat for a grey day. 

Wanting my own visual treat, I ordered this lemon yellow tweed from Mood Fabrics. It has gold thread woven through for added sparkle.

I made two simple changes to render Camden a plain miniskirt, namely omitting the pockets and folding down the 1.5cm (5/8 inch) seam allowance down the centre-front on the Skirt Front pattern piece, and cutting it instead on the fold. Everything else remained as the original; I wasn't even entirely sure what twist I was going to add until the base skirt was finished. I opted for decorative pocket flaps (there are no pockets under there), using the Richmond Blazer pocket flap pattern piece – if you want to draft your own, it's a 16.5 x 7cm rectangle with curved bottom corners. 

I cut the pocket flaps out of tweed, lining and interfacing. I then trimmed off the seam allowance from the interfacing, so as to reduce bulk, before fusing the interfacing to the tweed flaps. The pocket flaps were then bagged out with the lining pieces, leaving the upper edges still raw and unsewn. These were then simply pressed under by 1cm and then the pocket flaps were stitched onto the skirt with two rows of stitching, one at just under 1cm and one at just over, securing the folded-under seam allowance. Very straightforward.

The buttons are simple covered buttons, although I might be tempted to replace them if I found ones with the right shade of gold sparkle. I thought I was finished after they were stitched in place, but then I noticed that the selvedge of the tweed had a rather pleasing fringe-y appearance, and decided to hand-stitch a strip to each flap, so a slight fringe peeks out. It would have been more elegant to have inserted the strips into the seams, of course, but you live and learn – and even if those flaps do lift up, the effect isn't all that bad.

And that was it. A couple of very simple steps to make a totally different looking Camden. I'm wearing it with the Bella Loves Patterns Cologne Blouse in this photos. And bonus – next week's blog post will feature a matching top made with the Carnaby pattern! 

Nina x

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