As I mentioned in my previous Clothkits review, I am new to the company and was excited to try their Big Birdie Skirt and matching bag and purse set. The kit was beautifully presented, wrapped with a measuring tape ribbon, which is actually accurate!
The kit consists of a large piece of fabric, on which is printed 6 skirt pieces – skirt front, 2 skirt back pieces, 3 facings – a zip, a spool of matching thread and an instruction leaflet.
The kit includes more than enough thread for the project, I overlocked all the edges of each of the 6 cut outs and still had plenty of thread left on the spool. A good quality zip is also provided, but you could swap this out for an invisible zip if you prefer.
Instructions – pros and cons
The instructions are printed on a sheet of A4 sized paper, with a few helpful diagrams. In the most part they are clear to follow, but as the instructions say, I would strongly advise that you take a few minutes to read and reread them. There are a couple of minor typos, and the facings instructions were duplicated, but nothing of much concern.
There was 1 issue, the instructions didn’t make clear which size I should cut, but I happened to find details on the Clothkits website, with bust, waist and hip measurements for each size from 8 to 20. All well and good if you have internet access, not so much of you don’t.
There are separate instructions for lining the skirt. You have to call Clothkits for the information, which are then emailed to you within minutes. Nice to have the option, and the extra service is quick and easy, however, for those without ready internet access this could be a problem.
As the kit doesn’t include a separate paper pattern, and I wanted to make a skirt lining, I traced the cut out pieces onto Swiss paper. My tracing will enable me to use the pattern for future projects, thus making the kit very cost effective. I also drafted in-seam pockets, but you could easily add patch pockets from the fabric remnants, if you wanted to add your own touches.
On me for some reason, the A-line design fits more like a straight skirt, but I still like the shape.
Tip – Do not discard the remnants. Clothkits have been very generous with the fabric they provide, with many of the left over pieces featuring printed motifs, many of which I used to supplement my Clothkits bag and purse set.
Value for money
At nearly £40, initially the kit seems expensive, but bear in mind that the fabric is baby corduroy, which features a lovely printed design by Jane Foster. Everything to make the basic skirt is included in the kit and there is extra fabric with printed motifs, if you wish to embellish your skirt further.
In all, it took about 2 hours from start to finish (not including the planned extras) to make the skirt. I took my time and overlocked the edges, otherwise this skirt can easily be made in under an hour. For beginners, I think this is a lovely, quick and simple skirt, which is very attractive and fun to make. For more experienced sewists, there is plenty of scope to add your own embellishments, especially with the remnant pieces of fabric.
I especially like the fact that I am able to make use of the left over pieces, which adds to the value of this kit. The customer support is very good, as is the product itself.
In marked contrast to the bag and purse kit, I really enjoyed making this skirt. I plan to add a few more embellishments, but for now here is the almost finished item.