I must have been about 11 when I first read the Flambards series by K.M. Peyton. I say first, the series has since been read on an almost yearly basis. This was followed by the 1979 TV drama, watched on repeat with my brothers and the children of one of mum’s close friends. I was obsessed; we even had an elaborate game based on Flambards, the point of which I can’t quite remember, but which involved much crawling around the next door hay fields. I won’t bore you with the plot details but think horses, crumbling country houses, pre and post WW1 rural England, family drama, heiresses, a touch of romance, more horses.. and you should have the basic gist of it. Basically my idea of heaven in a book (and in 12 years my taste really hasn’t changed all that much).
There is a sewing related point to this rambling nostalgia. The fabric for this skirt is, in short, Flambards in fabric form, and for this I love it completely and utterly.
Strictly speaking this skirt isn’t entirely me-made. It started out life as a Joules dress I bought years ago in one of their sales. It was a navy close fitting knee length style with long sleeves and an exposed central back zip, the pattern running around the hemline alone. I loved it immediately and bought it, despite the dress not being in a style I generally wear. As such I wore it all of 2 or 3 times and it has sat in my wardrobe ever since. I do like this style and, when the occasion requires, am more than happy to wear a dress with a simple, close fitting shape. However, as it’s not a style I wear a lot and, as I love the fabric so much, it seemed a shame not to get more use out of it. And so, in a fit of wardrobe blitzing and before I could give myself time to change my mind, I pulled the dress out and chopped it in half.
Adding front and back darts following the dart placements from the By Hand London Charlotte skirt, I interfaced around the top and created a simple rolled waistband. Using the same central back opening where the dress’ zip had been I added an 8” exposed zip and, voila the skirt was done.
1 evening + 1 under-worn dress = a very wearable short pencil skirt.
And so there we have it; my ode to one of my favourite series of books all wrapped up in a good dose of nostalgia, in the form of a skirt.