Marc Jacobs Inspired ‘A’ Line Utility Cotton Drill Skirt

I really fell for this Marc Jacobs skirt when I saw it in the Sunday Times Style magazine a few weeks back so I thought I’d have a go at my own version. I have to say I am pretty pleased at how it has turned out. My skirt doesn’t quite have the same proportions, mainly due to my mistake of not ordering enough fabric. I though 1.2mt would be OK but I underestimated how wide the panels were. I spent nearly a whole evening just looking at the pattern on the fabric and trying to work out the best thing to do! But I got there in the end.

My version of a Marc Jacobs twill skirt

My version of a Marc Jacobs twill skirt

I was searching for just the right colour green in cotton drill but couldn’t find it so I bought white from myfabrics and use a Dylon machine dye in olive. (I like the way the dye now includes salt). I think I got closer to what I wanted than buying ‘Moss’ or ‘Forest’ but not sure it was worth the extra cost of the dye.

Marc Jacobs cotton twill skirt - a snip at £280

Marc Jacobs cotton twill skirt – a snip at £280

The pattern is quite simple, drafted from the Winifred Aldrich skirt block. The darts are closed to add flare. After making a toile I needed to cut up the middle of the panel and add in 8cm at the hem for extra width. The grainline is placed up the centre of the panel and not the centre front or back. This improves the drape. When wrestling with the pattern layout this was one thing I didn’t want to compromise.

Winifred Aldrich 4 gored skirt pattern

Winifred Aldrich 4 gored skirt pattern

For the bellowed pocket I used a piece of A4 paper and pinched a dart in the corner to get the desired effect. I then laid this onto the skirt pattern to get the shaping of the side seam and waist.

You have two pockets at the side seam, one for your hands and one with a flap. I made up the construction of these as I went along. The hand pocket is constructed with a front and back pocket bag then the bellowed pocket was added to the top.

showing the two side pockets

showing the two side pockets

I was trying to think of a way not having to use as many layers. It wasn’t until after I’d finished the pocket I thought that what I could do is make the hand pocket back smaller than the bellow pocket and stitch just one layer to the skirt, the stitching on the front of the skirt would then be hidden by the bellow pocket.

Front and back of the pocket area

Front and back of the pocket area

I would say that the fly zipper was the best so far! The only problem is with the size of the zip puller. It wasn’t until I’d finished that I realized it’s a big bit and sticks out. I bought this zip which is 15cm and a 13cm one at the same time, the 13cm zipper puller is much smaller. It does annoy me a bit and it’s the first thing I see when I look at the skirt!

The hem is finished with a wide bias bind tape. I had originally planned to use self fabric facing. When I cut out I left an amount which I thought would do but then I realized that there wasn’t enough for the waist band and hem facings. The waistband was more important – and that still needed a seam in the centre back to get a piece long enough.

Using the bias tape worked really well, I slightly stretched on so the smaller top edge fitted with out any tucks etc.

I had to top stitch from the front for the hem so to make sure I didn’t miss the fabric underneath I stitched first on the wrong side using contrast thread and the biggest stitch. Then just pulled out the contrast thread when I had stitched the two rows of hem stitching.

Wide bias binding at hem

Wide bias binding at hem

I top stitched using the Gutterman extra strong thread rather than the topstitch thread. I find this works for me better and gives a similar look. It’s not all plain sailing as there was the usual tangling up of bobbin thread I always experience with topstitching.

This is now my new favorite skirt. I really love the shape of how the cotton drill hangs.
I can see me making another version but next time I’ll buy more fabric as I think a little extra width could be added to the panels and I think the pocket bags could do with another couple of inches in depth.mj skirt side on

I did also pick up a remnant of tangerine cotton jersey with plans to make a tee, I’m not quite 100% sure about this yet, I’m just worried it’s too bright.

I don’t think there’ll be any more sewing in June as I’m off on a work trip from Monday. I’ve got a long flight so I’m planning to finish a pair of socks that I started back in February. I’m 1/3 the way through sock number two but it’s slow going…….


14 thoughts on “Marc Jacobs Inspired ‘A’ Line Utility Cotton Drill Skirt

    • The basic pattern is quite simple, it’s a bit a playing with the pocket bags and perfecting the fly zipper. I’m really pleased with how it has turned out. Also the weight of the fabric and style makes it a year round wear.

  1. Well done – this is a brilliant interpretation. You have done so much detective and drafting work to make this lovely skirt. I love it (especially the pockets) and it will be very nice to wear in all weathers. All you need now is the little tangerine jacket (exhausting…)

    • Thanks – it’s turned out just as I hoped. You’re right, it’ll be a year around wear – I can see with knee boots in the winter. I can see me making again, possibly in a dark denim and there are some improvements to the pocket bag sizes I’d like to make. It’s already been worn 3 days this week – and as the weather is lovely there’s been no jeans, just skirts and dresses (with bike bloomers 🙂 )

  2. It turned out beautifully! This is such a perfect example of why sewing for yourself can give you the clothes you want at the price you’re willing to pay. It’s one of the reasons I sew for myself – cheap fashion is often poor quality, but quality fashion is often too pricey! Those pockets were a bit if work I’d say – but so worth it 🙂

    • I’m sure I’ll make this skirt again – I can see it in a dark chambray or lightweight denim – and next time I think the pockets will be easier as I know now how best to put them together. This time I was fudging it as I went along. You are right about the price of things – the original skirt uses a good fabric, has a good cut and I’m sure well made which all makes for an eyewatering price tag.

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