Hack: Jenny skirt in denim

There are some new girls in town! Or, to me at least, a new brand to look out for. The two Scottish girls behind the Homer+Howells pattern brand released most of their first patterns during 2020 and have already established themselves as someone to pay attention to.

Their very first pattern, the Jenny skirt was released a little over a year ago, and it seemed a fitting place (see what I did there?) for me to start getting to know the brand. Jenny is described on the website as a not so basic, basic, and I can attest to that. The pattern has two views, a modern midi length with a front slit, and a classic mini. Both views have a front zip fly, back darts and optional patch pockets. The best feature of all is the curved waistband which is necessary for a good fit for me.

This is really versatile pattern that can be interpreted in so many ways. It will work in all kinds of fabrics as long as they aren’t too stretchy or lightweight. Any medium/heavy woven fabrics are suitable, and I would think a firm interlock jersey could work, too. The style is spot on, both classic and current, the midi version in particular is very on trend. Rumors have it that the mini is on its way back, too, so I predict a long life for this pattern. The patch pockets add a workwear vibe and prevents it from being too prissy, at least when it’s made up in a drill or denim. If you like more wow, a Chanel-ish tweed is a great choice – have a look at the model on their website.

The instructions are very clear and easy to follow. Personally I prefer to overlock the edges as I go, and I found that part of the instructions a little inconsistent, but the rest was really good. The order of how the zip fly was constructed was different from my preferred method, so I did my own thing, but I’m sure you can follow the manual for a good result, too. I am uncertain of why there is a seam down the middle in the back as it seems unnecessary, but it would be very simple to omit it. However, I left it there as a design element.

Jenny is a fabulous starting point for many variations and hacks. The zip fly opening can be moved to the back (preferably as an invisible zipper) for a more minimalistic look. If you prefer classic slit pockets, that would be an easy alteration, too. The slit can be moved to the side(s) or back, and the length is of course the easiest adjustment to make of them all.

I made a very simple, small hack to my first version of Jenny which was adding a few centimeters to the length to an in-between of the two views and also adding a small slit at the front for ease of movement. There are a couple of reasons for this: I prefer a little more thigh coverage than with a true mini, and I don’t like wearing midi skirts in stiff fabrics when I have to wear tights. Rubbing of fabric against tights is really annoying, and wearing a slip would be difficult because of the slit. My next version, hopefully in a heavyweight linen, is envisioned as a midi exactly as suggested in the pattern. It will be terrific with bare legs for summer.

The fabric I chose for this version is a quite stiff, dark blue denim bought in the sales a year ago. I considered doing some top stitching with a contrast thread but decided against it. I liked the suggested bar and hook-closure for a very minimalistic style. Ideally I should have used a dark blue zipper, but since I already had the ecru metal zipper in my stash I used that instead. Except for the actual pattern I didn’t buy anything new for this make.

I’m very happy with how the skirt turned out. It has a versatile length for both cold and warm weather and is easy to mix and match with almost anything in my wardrobe. The fit is perfect for me with no alterations, and I finally have a great basic denim skirt with casual integrity without being too cowboy, just right for my lifestyle.

Pattern: Jenny skirt from Homer+Howells
Size: UK 12 (EU 40) with a finished length of 53 cm
Fabric: 1.1 m denim from Rainbow tekstil, Oslo
Time: Half a day

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