Essential sewing keeping me clothed and sane

Ms. Coco Moneypenny


Got a bit of sewing mojo back this week and tackled the Centre for Pattern Design’s CC inspired fold skirt.

And I quote:
Once upon a time a former student brought her aunt’s unforgettable skirt to class, done by a famous Parisian designer.  I had to try it — and here it is.  This skirt is deceptively simple, using a single pattern piece with no visible vertical seams.  It closes with two bias sashes that tie in the back, creating a single front fold with a hidden zipper on the right under the fold.  The skirt is cut on the straight with a contour facing at the back waist.  Sizes 8 – 18.  

One piece pattern with a single seam! How do they do it? OK, you have to insert a zip and sew up a few darts but heck! One seam, a zip and a hem?

The fabric is a woven wool with all sorts of colours in there: green, yellow, purple, navy. Although slightly stiff it takes a good pressing to produce an excellent crease.
It looks better close up but from a distance is a rather mucky air force blue.

The fold looks like a wrap but it’s not. The front has a beautiful V shape that draws the eye downwards and away from the waist. The fold also allows for ease of movement without you being concerned about what’s showing when you walk.

While I love the ties, I made this particular skirt for everyday wear and choose to cut the ties short to fit just around my waist and hence, turned them into a waistband with a three button closure.

The waistband it high, but I like that as it seems to hold more of the wobbly bits in check. As my fabric was rather robust it didn’t gather as in the pattern image but another softer fabric would produce that effect.

The waistband is still unconnected to the skirt and acts like the original ties but with buttons instead.

An everyday skirt with a touch of unusual. I do feel rather prim and proper wearing it, especially with a white cotton shirt and this just may my ticket to efficiency in the administration section of my job, in which I am currently lacking terribly. I hate paperwork! 
Now there’s a idea – wear clothes to make you better in your job! Do any of you have any evidence?

I had this pattern cut in a previous fabric around Christmas time but realised soon enough that the colour was not for me and put it up for a giveaway as a skirt kit. Super-sewer, Janice from Scotland bagged the kit and made it up with the scant instructions that I provided. Her finished article is a  fabulous skirt; sparkly silver tweed with silver satin waist ties. I now wish this colour would look good on me. Regardless – Janice looks fab and made an excellent job. I hope she is as pleased with her results as I am.

You can see how the satin ties gather and pleat on Janice’s version and it looks wonderful with just black.

In my humble version I lined the whole thing – surprise surprise – and had to resort to hand sewing to secure the lining along the one and only seam

Do not be seduced by the one piece, one seam thing thinking this is a quick make – take your time – it is not a straightforward sewing experience. I often mistake lack of pattern pieces with a quick sew. This pattern requires thought, figuring out – especially the waistband and it pays to carefully consider and plan before ploughing headlong to the machine. I had to elongate the seams for better fit and of course the hand sewing added a few extra hours. But it’s worth it.

I’m planning a few more of these for S/S in cottons and lighter weight fabrics.

Saturday morning is information day for prospective students who want to come to college in September 2013. I planning on wearing this skirt, my glasses propped on my nose and a scowl on my face. Anyone who signs up for my course has passed the first recruitment phase!
(Oh, I might put a blouse on too!)

36 thoughts on “Ms. Coco Moneypenny

  1. Oh Ruth!I need an "efficient" skirt for a few aspects of life these days! Thanks for the chuckle!And a wonderful skirt! How understated!Brenda

  2. Very 'Moneypenny'! I like it!

  3. Your skirt is so elegant! The crossed waistband is just perfect. You´ll look great tomorrow!

  4. I really like the shorter waistband and buttons. I always like how you make a basic with a twist like this skirt!

  5. The skirt looks wonderful on you. I also like the shorter waistband without the ties.

  6. This is a very nice looking skirt. I like the changes you made to the waistband, as it creates a more tailored look. Would love to see it in a softer fabric, too. Great addition to your SWAP!

  7. Love your version of the skirt, really nice look.

  8. I love your adaptation of the waistband. This really is a fantastic skirt pattern – complex in its simplicity ( you know what I mean !)Janice

  9. This is tres, tres chic on you. You do such lovely work. As for being the scary Admin at school, be sure to sniff a bit when you do the eyebrow lift. That really says "I Mean Business."The Savage One

  10. 🙂 what a great skirt! I love your buttoned-waistband alteration and thanks for showing it in a less flowy fabric, that would be more my preference and now I know it looks great. Because yeah, after your beautiful successes making their patterns I've actually ordered a couple from them. In fact, I have to pick up the patterns today from the post office, after paying some hefty taxes I'm afraid… how I wish the Dutch were a little less efficient at catching my packages. If only they would wear beach sarongs and think of maitai's while processing my post… 🙂

  11. Ingenious and so good looking!

  12. I love the skirt and the cut sounds fascinating. Sadly postage to the UK at 42 dollars on top of 24 dollars for the skirt itself makes purchase of the pattern out of the question. Would you be able to post more details of how the pattern is cut for those of us with enquiring minds?Thank you for the inspiring blog.Anne

  13. This is a very flattering skirt on you! You sew so many clever things. It 's always an inspiration to read your blog:-)

  14. Wow, I love your finished skirt!

  15. Hi Ruth,Echoing everyone else's thoughts. I wouldn't want the long ties, so your idea is just perfect!I have been looking at the website for quite a while and thought I would get around to ordering some patterns…….would it really be $42 dollars postage to the UK?? Its rather sad these days that companies in the USA are charging such huge postal costs, which doesn't make it great for us. I must go to the site and see about the postage element. A tip though ladies, if you have sewing friends in the USA they may offer to post them on to you. I am fortunate to have a friend that kindly accepted a rare magazine I bid for and the US seller would only post to US addresses. Its amazing how cheaply my friend manages to post things on to me, compared to the postal charges companies quote……………Just a thought.

  16. Gosh Anne,You are so right. I just logged on as I thought it really was about time I tried their patterns.Gosh at today's rate $42.00 equates to £28.00 just for postage of one pattern. Yes, it means its out of the question for me too. Early retired, so save to continue with my sewing passion. Ouch, that's just way way to much, and its supposed to be the cheapest option!!!!!!!!

  17. That's a fabulous skirt. It's quite unusual and will take you a lot of places.

  18. I don't think I paid $42 postage. I always buy two or three patterns at a time to cover the postage costs, but know that four will put the prices up.That's a good idea about a USA buddy buying and then sending – folks – link up with a USA based blogger!

  19. I plan to make many of these in cottons for summer – more like sarong but with security. Thanks Brenda.

  20. Suzy, not me, the pattern company. I haven't got a design gene.

  21. Perfect analysis Janice, complex but simple

  22. And I still managed to sign 10 up! I'm going to have change my approach! – LOL

  23. I've been caught out by the tax man too. If you stick to below a limit like $20 then there's no import duty, or just take your chances that they won't pick up on it. when they catch you it does add considerably to the cost – I've been there!

  24. but you know I prefer loose, hippy style clothes

  25. Gosh, thank Karin. Your knitting puts mine to shame

  26. Thanks Gwen. The skirt is unusual in its construction but very normal in its appearance.

  27. If only I could be that efficient

  28. Thanks Martinez. I hope so – I like to scare students

  29. Thanks Linda. I appreciate your comments

  30. To all of the above – thank you! The shorter waistband ties with buttons are probably more secure too. I reckoned a knot in this particular fabric would just loosen as the day wore on. But I will make this with ties for summer.

  31. I emailed the company to ask if there was any other, cheaper, means of sending the pattern to the UK even if it took longer. I had a very nice and prompt reply and a cheaper shipping option was offered. Postage for this pattern was quoted at between 10 and 15 dollars. I don't think the original 42 dollars was greed – just a reflection of the going rate for overseas parcels if using the same means that they use for domestic deliveries. I have ordered and am so looking forward to seeing how the pattern is cut. Anne

  32. The skirt is stunning on you, how clever to make the buttoning back waist band, it makes it very smart and you are definitely surrounded by an aura of (beautifully dressed) efficiency.I am wondering how I would enlarge such a pattern for bodaciousness of backside – it is just as well there is scary postage or I would have to try it!

  33. Hi there Anne, Sew Ruth et al,I contacted CPDesign over the weekend, regarding the issue of postal charges.They kindly responded and if you go back into the site Anne, you will see that they have added a First Class Airmail choice at $14.90 which is a huge improvement for us.I wrote back to Ed at CPDesign telling him that I would let people know.So, this makes things better. Hopefully sales of their patterns in the UK etc will increase. I am off to hospital this week for surgery on my left shoulder, so will need to recover the use of my arm before I can start sewing again.This pattern will be on my list when I am fit again.Kind regards to you all

  34. Pingback: Indies 3 – Four Square | corecouture

  35. Pingback: Centre for Pattern design The CC Fold skirt – Fabrickated

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