New make: Cali Faye Pocket Skirt #sewmystyle May

This month the #sewmystyle pattern is a bit of a wardrobe builder and I was really looking forward to it. I used a gorgeous Alison Glass cotton lawn with some jewel-like batik colours and actually really like the final result. The only problem with it is that it doesn’t fit me. Bummer. I’ve taken some not-very-accurate photos (below) to give you some idea of how it might look on, but it should be a lot looser and lower.


So what happened? Well, the sizing range for the Cali Faye Pocket skirt is quite small compared to most other patterns I’ve seen. The XXL (which I made) has a waist size of 31.5″, which seems quite small for an XXL. When I looked up some previous reviews of the skirt on the internet, pretty much everyone was of a slimmer body type, so perhaps this brand is known to cater to the smaller figure – I’m not sure. Anyway, the reason I made the skirt was that the finished garment size is given as 38″ at the waist! I am somewhere in the middle of those and actually found the 7 inch difference rather confusing.


When I emailed Cali Faye, they responded super quickly and told me the difference was partly because the skirt is supposed to sit between the waist and hips (not at the natural waist) which makes sense, and also because there was elastic to pull the skirt in. The latter explanation didn’t make so much sense to me since I thought the finished garment size would take account of the elastic? In any case, I figured I could just reduce/forego the elastic if need be and should be fine.


Speaking of which, this is the first time I’ve come across a skirt that uses gathering, a zip and elastic in the same waistband, but I believe the intention with the elastic is to “grip” the waist a little so it doesn’t fall down – since it’s a lower-waisted garment. One other thing I ought to mention off the bat is that the instructions were a little woolly in parts. I don’t know that this skirt would give an experienced sewer any problems, but a beginner might find it a little confusing. The confusion mostly stems from using some vague terms. Example: When dealing with the pocket, the instructions say “Fold the straight edge of the pocket 1cm from wrong side to right side”. I know what was meant was the longest straight edge, but it’s not that clear. All the edges are straight! It’s a shame really, because in some ways the instructions are very detailed – it’s just the phraseology that can be a bit unhelpful. A few more drawings would have helped matters I suspect (particularly with the waistband as it’s relatively complex).


Anyway, lest it seem that this project is a total downer, let me say that this is not the case. I actually love the finished result and I will love it even more when the waist fits me properly. The skirt is quite short, but a good length if you’re wearing it at low waist. If you fancy it higher, you may need to lengthen it. The pockets are satisfyingly large and deep, and the suggested double topstitch line really looks cool. The mixed media waistband actually gives just the right amount of “puff” for my money – somewhere right in the middle of tulip and A-line. And while I’m talking about the waistband, you might spot that I managed to snag the waistband in my serger when I was finishing the edges. Gah!! Ah well…


Overall, I’m tempted to go back and have another go by just adding a bit to the waistband and not gathering so much. We’ll see – so many patterns, so little time. Finally, I must say that the measurements on this did made me wonder about the other two Cali Faye #sewmystyle projects, but looking at them, they might be ok. The one I really wanted to make is the Hampshire trousers and they do go up to a 33″ waist, which is better for me. The Valley Blouse is a very loose design, so I can probably adapt that one quite easily. I’ll take another look closer to the time though – I’m up for trying most things, but if it doesn’t fit, it’s pointless.


So a bit of a mixed bag with this make, but I’m sure there will be many people perfectly satisfied with their version. Did you make this one? What did you think?

6 thoughts on “New make: Cali Faye Pocket Skirt #sewmystyle May

  1. Have you measured the waistband? Is it actually 38 inches? If not, there’s a greater problem. I’d be interested to know as I’m planning to buy and make the valley blouse and I’d like to know if their measurements are accurate.


    1. Hi Felicia! Good question – I meant to check that myself. So my finished waistband measures 35 inches with a zip but no elastic. Could be me but I don’t think so? I’ll check the measurement on the original waistband piece tomorrow for you.


      1. please do! If the pattern says the finished waist measurement is 38 inches, then that’s what the waistband should be, right?


      2. Alright, so the original pieces measure 37 inches before joining even. As I say, I ended up with a finished waistband of about 35 inches. So not sure how it could ever have been 38 inches. Hmm. I would definitely go by the body measurements as I would say they are pretty accurate. Disregarding the finished measurements, the XXL would have been appropriate for someone with a waist of around 31 inches, wearing the skirt closer to the hips.


      3. Maybe you should contact them? That waistband should be 39 inches to allow for a finished 38 inch waist. I’ll be careful with the valley top when I get it, and measure all the pieces just to double-check. Thanks:) It’s a nice skirt pattern. Good luck with a second version?


      4. Yep, I’m going to. I just chatted to a fellow sewist who had the same issues and her finished waistband was also around 35″. Just wanted to make sure I hadn’t made a big mistake somewhere in construction! 😄 Look forward to seeing the blouse!


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