I heart Hollyburn

Having set up camp on the sofa over Christmas I managed to roll off it and get my sewing resolutions off to a flying start over New Year. *smug face* Since I’m still in full-on holiday mode I didn’t really want to stretch the brain cells all that much so I went for a couple of tried n’ tested patterns – a smart Hollyburn skirt for work and a crazy-print Mimi blouse for the hell of it and casual wear. More on that another day – it’s in the wash at the moment since it’s covered in chalk.

Smug face.

Smug face.

So anyway, the Hollyburn. I used to have a lined grey wool skirt from H&M that I wore to work on constant rotation since about 2008. I finally got rid of it late last year – it was pilling pretty badly and generally looking past its best. Now that the weather’s turned cold, it’s highlighted a gap in my wardrobe for a warm, smart skirt which the Hollyburn could fill quite nicely. And since I’ve never lined a skirt on my own before it’s ticking the new skills box too (my tulip skirt involved a fair bit of help). Wins all round!

The mystery of the washing machine
I picked up a couple of metres of dark navy blue fabric from the fabric shop in Balham. I think it’s some sort of wool blend as it was around £7 per metre which is considerably cheaper than the pure stuff. It’s also so dark I had to ask a fellow shopper what colour it actually was – it didn’t really matter as I was going to buy it anyway, but it had a bearing on the zip colour – we both settled on navy. However, when I chucked it in for pre-washing it came out covered in white fluff so I spent a good 20 minutes with my hand wrapped in sellotape as a makeshift lint roll. I don’t even know how it happened – it went in on its own and I didn’t tumble dry it. Hmmmm, a mystery, but one that looks set to remain that way as I will be washing this one by hand at least for the first few washes. For the lining I just went for a plain blue/grey synthetic fabric which was a snip at £2 per metre.


This is just an example. It was everywhere. But where did it come from???

This is just an example. It was everywhere. But where did it come from???


As I’ve made the Hollyburn a couple of times before (here and here) I don’t have a great deal to say about the construction apart from:

  • I used open and mock-overlocked seams on the shell, so that everything would lie nice and flat with minimal bulk, then French seams for the lining (apart from the centre back to accommodate the zip) as the fabric frayed like buggery.
  • Once again I used the Hollyburn Sewalong over on My Messings for a bit of hand holding for constructing and inserting the lining. It’s a really good resource – the super-clear instructions include lots of pictures so it’s nigh-on impossible to go wrong, and it give a nice neat finish to the zip.
  • I chopped an inch off the lining so that it wouldn’t peep out anywhere. I then did a one-inch hem on both the lining and the shell to try and keep a bit of length. It sits slightly above the knee, which is about as short as I’ll go – I don’t want to flash anyone. The street outside work is a bit of a wind tunnel and I’ve had enough Marilyn moments out there without adding to it, but that’s another story.
The lining on Elsie. Note the wonky hem is hidden on the other side.

The lining on Elsie. Note the wonky hem is hidden on the other side.

Things we’re not looking too closely at
This is such a simple make and I’m so pleased with the way it’s turned out. The only thing I’m not completely ecstatic with is the hem on the lining. It’s a bit ruffly but as it’s essentially hidden in the innards of the skirt and it looks nice and neat from the outside I am really not that bothered by it.

The other problem I had with the lining was all my own fault for not concentrating hard enough. Obviously a lining doesn’t need space for pockets, so when I pinned the pattern piece to the fabric ready for cutting out I traced the line up to fill it in. Just a shame that in a senior moment I cut out the pocket space anyway. Luckily I had enough to cut another piece out but I was going to save the spare fabric for a bodice lining or something. It might teach me to pay more attention in the future, but then again probably not…

Anyway, despite my continuing idiocy I absolutely frickin’ love this skirt. I love the flare and the finish, and I am so very pleased with myself for putting the lining in (even though it was pretty easy and I don’t know what I was bothered about). I will most probably make more this year – I’d love it in red à la Karen of Did You Make That – so it could be a contender for One Week One Pattern. It’s dead comfy and the belt loops mean it can be accessorised with a nice neat belt. I have back to work dread for tomorrow, but I think this Hollyburn is going to cheer me up quite nicely. This resolution malarkey is easy 😉

From the side

From the side


And from the back

And from the back


8 thoughts on “I heart Hollyburn

  1. Beth says:

    I really like this style. I think I need to make one! Thanks for pointing out the tips, I will pin the page you linked about the lining! Yours looks fab 🙂

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