It seems strange to be writing about pattern testing the Camden Skirt when the pattern has been out for months but it’s been a bit of a winding road for me and this pattern! I don’t do a lot of pattern testing, it is often on a very short timeline and I don’t enjoy sewing under pressure. I’ve also been very open about not having a lot of money for crafting (thus why I am especially grateful for any freebies!) and I don’t like using some of my precious fabric on a pattern in it’s early stages that very well might not work (yes this has happened to me while pattern testing!).
I am on the mailing list of a few of my absolute favourite designers and am now very choosy about who I will pattern test for. I think in all of 2018 I only actually tested the Selkie London dress I didn’t pattern test anything else that whole year! In January of this year I volunteered to test for Nina Lee for the first time, I just loved the line drawings of the Camden Pinafore and Skirt and was thrilled when she picked me to test.
Nina was communicative and helpful throughout the testing process, I would go as far to say she was the best designer I’ve had the pleasure of testing for. Nina seemed genuinely grateful for our comments and made changes to the pattern following tester feedback. When testing was over and the patterns had been printed, Nina sent me a paper copy of the pattern with a thank you note and some chocolates, as well as another paper copy for me to run a giveaway on Instagram! What an absolute doll!
As soon as I finished my tester version, I couldn’t wait to wear my new skirt and I put it on immediately. Unfortunately, my scouring charity shops for sewing stuff has finally come back to bite be in the ass and my secondhand zip broke within an hour of me putting the skirt on! WHHHYYYYYYY sewing gods did I not take my tester pictures to send to Nina in that first hour?! As the skirt is fully lined, it is not an easy zip replacement, so I had to safety pin myself into the skirt to get pictures to send to Nina. Fortunately, the pictures weren’t too important as I had already made comprehensive notes to feedback.
That original version still remains unfixed in the naughty corner as I wasn’t 100% happy with the fit of the skirt – through no fault of the design but purely through my own lack of fitting. I decided that in the spirit of testing the pattern as it truly is, I should just make it up with no adjustments. That idea was dumb as balls. I should have made the pattern exactly as I would in ‘real life’ including any adjustments I would usually make. I clearly need to do a full seat adjustment on a pattern that short, as otherwise I would be showing people my knickers at the back. It remains to be seen whether I will bother to fix the original skirt now I have made this amazing second version!
I absolutely fell in love with this Robert Kaufman Denim with colourful motes. I mean, it has rainbow fleckles in it!! It’s quite pricey but you can get any size of the Camden skirt out of just 1m, I really wanted to get the fit right on this so here’s what I did; I made the size 14 waist graded out to the 16 at the hips, I lengthened the pattern by 1 inch and GAME CHANGER – I made a full seat adjustment. I’ve never done one before but on a short skirt it was imperative that my sizeable behind would not make the hem of the skirt ride up at the back! I followed this tutorial from By Hand London and it was super straightforward to do.
Thanks to these small changes, I am really happy with the fit of my second one and have been wearing it constantly. It is the perfect denim skirt and goes with everything in my wardrobe. It is rapidly becoming one of my most worn makes ever! I really enjoyed sewing this pattern, the patch pockets are big enough for my phone and I even tried to colour match the little flecks in the denim and did some rainbow topstitching to match. It is fully lined and I found some scraps leftover from my tablecoth dress to line it with. I also made sure I bought a brand new sturdy metal zip so hopefully this one will last me for years to come!
Disclaimer: ⭐️Fabric was provided free of charge in exchange for a review. Pattern was given to me as part of testing, all notions were bought by me and all opinions are totally my own, I wouldn’t recommend something I didn’t like!
Pattern: Nina Lee Camden Skirt
Anything Sustainable about this one?
Yes! The lining for this skirt was rescued from my scrap bag. The blue fabric for the original version came from Hull Scrapstore (a shop that redirects scrap items from landfill and sells them for craft purposes), also the zip for that first version came from the charity shop but we all know how well that ended…