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Jessica skirt sewing inspiration!

With the release of a new pattern always comes the excited flurry of inspiration as we start dreaming up and planning all the different variations we want to make. Last week we dropped our latest pattern, the Jessica skirt, and now that the rush of getting a pattern ready for release is over, we can finally get on with the fun bit - making more for ourselves!

Deceptively quick and easy to sew, the Jessica skirt is both elegantly polished and incredibly comfortable. With a deep contoured waistband and three skirt options, you’ll be sure to sew a Jessica for every season and occasion! Choose from full on chic with ladylike knife pleats; create a softer silhouette with girly gathers or get ready to twirl the night away in the panelled circle skirt.

Jessica has been designed to work beautifully in a variety of light and medium weight woven fabrics. Opt for linen, soft cottons (think batiste, double gauze, chambray, seersucker, lawn, broderie, swiss dot etc), drapey and/or floaty silks and rayonStiffer fabrics such as taffeta or dupion work particularly well for the gathered variation!

We've put together some images that are inspiring us for the future Jessicas we want to make, so if you've had your eye on the pattern and in need of inspo, you've come to the right place!

Add a button-down placket

Button-down skirts scream summer picnics to us, and the deep contoured waistband presents the perfect opportunity to add more detail. You could hack the centre front and add a functional placket all the way down the skirt, or even simply use decorative buttons to embellish the waistband seams. 

1. ASOS; 2. ASOS; 3. Arias; 4. Source unknown

Have fun with the lines of the waistband

The waistband pieces given in the pattern are the perfect jumping off point for a whole host of different design options. You could elongate the waistband for a more dramatic drop waist look, taper the front and back panels into a V, or make the whole thing asymmetric.

Crank it up a notch and go truly extra

You know how much we love to dress up and stand out, and we foresee many OTT Jessicas in our future! Both the gathered and circle variations will really benefit from special fabrics such as taffeta, dupion silk, brocade and organza. We're pretty obsessed with the Carrie Bradshaw-goes-Flamenco vibes of the skirts above, and are already trying to track down some similarly spectacular fabrics to make our own version.

1. Rosie Assoulin; 2. Marc Jacobs; 3. Markarian

Put a bodice on it

Why not turn your Jessica skirt into a Jessica dress?? With just a little pattern hackery you could add almost any bodice you want! We're particularly obsessed with the golden paisley beauty above ( doable with Jessica + Sarah), the pink linen summer dress (Jessica + Charlie) and the ruffly bridal fabulosity (Jessica + Kim).


1. Ulyana Sergeenko; 2. Shona Joy; 3. Shabby Apple; 4. Diorbella; 5. Markarian;

6. Brandon Maxwell; 7. Shona Joy; 8. Rosario; 9. Urban Outfitters

It's all in the fabric choice

It never fails to blow our minds how different fabrics can make two garments from the same pattern so wildly different. With Summer around the corner, we've got swishy silks and breezy linens at the forefront of our sewing plans, but this is a skirt that will transition beautifully into colder months when sewn in more substantial fabrics such as denim, corduroy, wool suiting and crepe.


1. Nasty Gal; 2. ASOS; 3. Anthropologie; 4. The Frankie Shop; 5. Mara Hoffman;

6. ASOS; 7. Free People

Even more exciting than making our own collection of Jessica skirts, is seeing all the versions you guys will make! Please share your makes with the hashtags #bhlJessica and #byhandlondon so we can all get even more inspired!

Comments on this post (1)

  • Apr 06, 2020

    I just discovered you and you are fantastic..such beautiful it

    — Sylvie

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