Sunshine Sewaholic Gabriola – a mega yellow maxi skirt

I do love maxis. They can be such a statement piece without being overdressed. I particularly love them in strong solids – they pair beautifully with tanks, vests, jackets and accessories. I had been searching for the perfect pattern…

…then along came Gabriola by the ever-clever Tasia of Sewaholic.

While I struggle to wear yellow, I do adore it… and Gabriola screamed to be yellow. I just had a picture in my head of it paired with a white tank, denim and neutral-tone beads. And here’s what happened…

Sewaholic Gabriola Maxi Skirt

Sewaholic Gabriola Maxi Skirt

The chevrons hip yokes and lower skirt panels do really beg to be seen. While they create a lovely shape even concealed with a patterned fabric, they do set this particular design apart in the world of maxi skirts. So why not show them off?

Sewaholic Gabriola Maxi Skirt - side view and seam details

Sewaholic Gabriola Maxi Skirt – side view and seam details


As I’ve earlier confessed, I’m not as tall as I appear in my blog (apparently the camera adds 10 pounds to some but it also adds 10 centimetres vertically to me). I love a maxi skirt to be MAXI. I like to wear them with heels (it’s actually unusual to see me without heels on – except at the beach of course).. However Gabriola is quite a lengthy affair. I ended up taking at least 2 to 3 inches off the length of this skirt. It was LOOOONNNNGG.

I made a size 2. The waistband is a little big but the overall fit is great. I know. I’m small and it’s just a stroke of genetic luck. I actually reluctant usually to blog what sizes I make. There are a few bloggers out there that make narky comments about people like me – but like being green – it’s not always easy being small either. People say nasty stuff both in the virtual and real world – because apparently I’m 10kgs lighter if you remove my thick skin. Anyways, such is life.

Sewaholic Gabriola Maxi Skirt

A really lovely casual skirt. I think I could wear this anywhere.

Gabriola is a most agreeable lass and is not tricky to construct. Perhaps the front seam which pivots where the front skirt joins the yoke might be difficult for newbies but it’s OK if you are patient.

Sewaholic Gabriola Maxi Skirt

Seam detail – I love how the skirt falls. So pretty.

I did French seam all my seams – with the exception of the front seam where the skirt joins the yoke and the back seam (which I roll hemmed the edges of). I used French seams as I decided the fabric would clearly show all the seam allowances so I wanted them to be consistent and neat. I also managed to get all my seams to meet – which made me feel most chuffed!

I simply overlocked the hemline, turned it over twice and machine stitched it in place.

I do find the waistband sits away from my waist a little – which I suspect is caused by the fact it is drafted as a straight waistband rather than a curved one? I also found the waistband could do with being a little longer as the overlap is quite small. I’m planning to run the zipper up through the waistband next time. Most of my RTW maxis are finished this way and I think it is neater than a button or hook/eye fastener.

I used an invisible zipper. I put in a normal zipper but felt it looked messy. I couldn’t find a yellow invisible zipper so I used a white one… fortunately it actually is invisible so it doesn’t matter too much. I don’t plan to get undressed in public so my secret is safe.

Sewaholic Gabriola Skirt - back view.

Back view. I know it’s long but I like them to sweep the floor and I’m on an uneven pathway – I’m a beach bum like that.

It’s just a plain rayon, nothing fancy. I had a vision of a yellow skirt in my head for some time and this just seemed the perfect opportunity to make that a reality. The fabric is a lovely colour but it does crease with wear – which I hate – and it would be much better lined. I think it would be lovely as a lined skirt in a soft floaty solid voile. This one gets rather saucy in strong sunlight…

Sewaholic Gabriola Maxi Skirt

hello – I think I’m on fire!

I’ve made this as a muslin for my next version (think silk charmeuse – did I just hear you moan in anticipation?).

Did you notice something else? I’ve got SHOES on! During the course of this week I found a word to describe me – Nelipot one who walks without shoes; one who goes barefoot“. I shall wear that description as a badge of pride!

And while it’s a little clingy – I love the movement in this picture. Experience the full swish of Gabriola…

Sewaholic Gabriola Maxi Skirt

Gabriola – she likes to make a sweeping entrance!

And if you need another excuse to try this gorgeous pattern – why not enter the Sew Dramatic, Sew Gabriolaโ€ Competition at Stitch 56! You can win a $100 voucher and buy more patterns!

Pattern: Sewaholic Gabriola. Purchased from Stitch 56.
Fabric: Yellow rayon from Spotlight

Also see: Cirque Du Babe | Lilacs & Lace

And yes, I’m also not at the beach – I’m on a pathway behind my house… koalas live here…

Lots and lots of very big trees!

Lots and lots of very big trees!

134 thoughts on “Sunshine Sewaholic Gabriola – a mega yellow maxi skirt

  1. Ohh, it is nice. I bought the pattern pretty quickly but have no fabric for it yet – I don’t want to use a heavily patterned fabric for the reasons you mentioned, and I’m so far away from fabric shops.

    I wonder if part of the reason it was so long on you is because you’re wearing it a bit lower than your hips? Although, selfishly I hope that’s not true because I’m very tall and don’t want to have to lengthen it!

    • It sits on my belly button. I’ve pulled my tank over the waistband as that’s how I like to wear them – and I’m not a huge fan of how the band sits. Overall a lovely skirt though!

      • Hi there. Love the colour and style. Would it be easy to adjust the waist band…I’m a newbie with a short waist and wanted it to sit on my hips. Would this be a problem? Cheers

  2. I bought the pattern as soon as I saw it ๐Ÿ™‚ but I too haven’t picked a fabric. At 4.8m for my size it is a considerable fabric investment. I love your version, the yellow is great.

  3. Lizzy, I can’t tell you how exciting it is to wake up and find you’ve been active overnight. What a fab skirt. Who’d have thought yellow would love so fab. Lovely. Trouble is I’m tempted now…
    Tip from my sister in law, paint the zip tab with the yellow nail varnish to camouflage it.

    • So pleased you woke up to my bloggy burst of sunshine yellow! It’s an easy make, yes lots of long seams but nothing too tricky. Indulge your self!
      Note to self: buy some yelliw nail polish…

  4. Even though I am vertically challenged as well, I tend to stay away from high heeled shoes. I also tend to wear my skirts at knee length. I do like the hip detail on this skirt so it may end up in my collection yet! I love the sunny yellow you have chosen and it really suits the maxi style.

    • I’ve always loved long skirts, they can be so gracious. Ok not the best for high enhancement but if they are simple I think the longer lines are quite flattering! Risk it Andrea ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Absolutely stunning! I’m with you that if it’s long, it’s to the floor. I love the backlit photo, you look all kinds of powerful!
    And, people nark at those who are slim, curvy, short or tall. You’re stunning so ignore them (which I’m sure you do)!

    • Oh I’ve learnt to ignore them but I do feel sad for people that dismiss others based on their appearance. I don’t see how that makes anyone more or less.
      And totally! Maxi means MAXI!

  6. Love it! I was thinking of using a print, but now I think I’ll go with a solid. Beautiful! From an insomniac in Philadelphia….

  7. What a lovely skirt! I suits you perfectly! I would love to make the gabriola in a solid green! I really love maxis is solid colours. It’s such a statement piece where were you can easily style around. Btw, I think you are a lovely lady! I love to read your posts, you’re so kind! It really breaks my hart to hear people saying nasty things about you size and height. You’re perfect the way you are!

    • Oh that’s the sweetest thing to say, thank you.
      They aren’t direct in who they refer to but I often fit the profile about who they dismiss. But really who cares – we just all love to sew!

  8. I’m making it in a black cotton voile and all that’s left to do is hem it. There was a lot of sweeping around and the boyfriend saying ‘holy shit Morticia!’ when i tried it on for the first time!

  9. This is so beautiful! Being only 5’1, I feel that I can’t pull off a maxi skirt, but maybe I should try because this one is really, really pretty. You did a fantastic job of coordinating your whole outfit.

    • I think if you keep the proportions right and the look simple, maxis don’t have to be shortening. That’s perhaps why I like them to be as long as possible. Heels do help though!

  10. That is really stunning – what a dramatic skirt! Yeah, straight waistbands do that to me all the time because of my sway back and large hips/small waist proportions. I know Kenneth King did a cool thing with his iron where he stretched the inside edge of a straight waistband to make it curve without cutting it on a curve…but that was for jeans.

  11. This looks great on you and the non patterned fabric really does show off the style. I’ve always shied away from a maxi thinking that I’m too short for them but I’m the same height as you so maybe I should reconsider!

    • I tend to wear quite short or very long (with the exception of pencil skirts). I think if you keep the proportions lean, the overall feel quite simple they can suit people our height… and besides, when I stand next to my 6 foot 5 husband it doesn’t really matter what I wear!

  12. LOVELY!!! Who would have thought yellow rayon from spotlight (that was a very short length too – I have some cream) could be converted to something so beautiful?!?! All bodies are wonderful – ignore the crap from people wishing to take your down – you look amazing.

  13. p.s. maxi skirts can look ridiculous on tall girls too (I’m 5’11”) particularly high waisted as it’s just tooooo much skirt! Thinking I might try this in a solid turquoise given yours is so gorgeous!

  14. Beautiful skirt Lizzy, lovely in yellow! I love the yoke chevrons, they’re so pretty and I hadn’t noticed that detail on the patterned versions of this skirt.I’m also short 162cm but I feel taller in maxi skirts! Looking forward to your silk version!

    • I’ve just giggled because I went ‘oh it’s the colour of egg yolk – and it’s got yokes’. Ah so corny but you know makes me giggle!
      I think the longer shape of maxis can be quite lengthening if you style them right.

  15. Don’t you love it when you have a plan in your head and it comes together just as you imagined. This is one hell of an awesome skirt Lizzy. Swish, swish and swish some more…

  16. Love it! I ordered this pattern a couple of weeks ago and had started to think I wouldn’t be making it up but I really like your skirt, it drapes so beautifully in the rayon.
    It took me along time to start my blog, I was really worried about being body shamed and other than an unfortunate email I’ve been pretty lucky so far. I love sewing blogs for the full range of shapes and sizes, no body shaming should be a part of it, I just want to look at pretty clothes and be inspired!

    • Oh that makes me sad. I think you are fabulous. You are so prolific – and you make pants that fit! – and you always look great. I love your posts, I find you totally inspiring.
      Boo to people that make us feel bad. I’ve always felt ‘less than’ but the blog has made me feel much better about myself. I’m more comfortable in my own skin & I’ll be eternally grateful for that.

  17. Beautiful, gorgeous, sunny golden yellow. Ah, this makes me think spring. This is the perfect color for this maxi skirt. I love yellow, too, but have a hard time wearing it. This was a great solution. So pretty!

    • It is the perfect spring colour – although I’m heading into winter. Boo. I struggle to wear colours like yellow, orange and some shades of green – however if I keep them away from my face it’s not such a problem.

    • Oh I did that at work in my RTW orange maxi last week. I’m getting better though. And I’ve learnt to gently lift the hem a little with one hand as I ‘graciously’ sweep down stairs etc… otherwise they get stuck in my heels!

  18. I love maxi skirt and this one is gorgeous. So swishy. Thanks for letting us know about the length. I am quite inspired to make one now as all the ones in the shops usually end mid-calf on me.

  19. This will make a great autumn skirt for you, just think of all the possibilities! And it would make a great spring skirt for me! I love this on you, and I appreciate your suggestions about the make. I have a small waist, so putting the zip through the waistband seems a great idea. Swirl, girl, swirl!

  20. I’ve never been sold on maxi skirts but they always look amazing on you Lizzy ๐Ÿ˜€ Maybe with a bit of thought I could add one to my summer wardrobe – though I can’t quite see me doing the school run in it quite!!

  21. Gorgeous! I was a bit on the fence about the pattern but the more visions I see of it the more I want it – you’ve tipped me over the edge! And I’m with you on the maxi issue, the only maxi skirts I own ar ones I’ve made because rtw ones are never actually maxi

  22. What a striking outfit! You did an amazing job and I love the color. You inspired me
    to order that pattern! Thanks for blogging the adjustments you made. I am only 5′ 2″ and it’s nice to see what it looks like on a short person.

  23. I think the skirt looks pretty on you. You’ve done a great job styling the whole outfit. I really don’t get the comments about your size. You look proportional and have a lovely figure.

    • Thank you – I had a complete outfit vision in my head when I started – which is always the most inspiring way for people to sew.
      I guess people love to make assumptions which can be unkind or unjustified. People often accuse me of dieting or being obsessive about my figure. Neither of which is true – I exercise the bare minimum and have never dieted – I do eat well but it’s just a life habit – I like healthy food… I get most upset when people imply I must have an eating disorder. Heaven forbid I was just born this way.

  24. I’m just waiting for my fabric to dry after pre-washing and then I’ll be cutting out my Gabriola so it’s great to see that yours has turned out so well – I love it! I had every intention of making mine in a plain colour but then a ditsy flowery print jumped out at me so maybe I’ll have to make a 2nd plain version after this one!

  25. Oh it’s beautiful where you live! And the skirt is lovely, I really like yellow and maxis and the way you’ve styled it here looks so pretty. I need this pattern for summertime, and I like your idea of a lined voile version! I think you look fantastic and I can’t imagine people making negative comments about your size, that’s just wrong.

    • I guess people get jealous – I’ve always been small, all the women in my family are small, narrow builds (didn’t stop me having 9 pound babies though!).
      I’ve got an orange voile RTW maxi lined in a very light cotton and it’s divine to wear. It’s one of my favourite pieces.

    • I love yellow and white together it’s such a crisp and clean combination… I was sewing it thinking… oh wouldn’t this be pretty with the tiniest touch of white trim in these yoke seams…

  26. Holy smoke!! Your skirt is fab-u-lous!! I absolutely love maxi skirts, I think it’s a small person thing, because I think it makes me feel taller – don’t know what that’s about!

    I so hear you re the stupid comments on how someone looks. I can guarantee that I am shorter than you, but not so slim – I have a bust and hips, it’s an Irish thing. Anyway, I used to work with a lovely lady who was your build, but quite tall; and we lost count of the number of people who told her “you’re so skinny”, or told me “you’re so small”. Really?! Neither of us were rocking up to heavy people and saying “you’re so fat!”. We found it quite funny really. I have a big mouth (I think that’s another Irish thing – and it gets worse as I get older), and have absolutely no problem in looking at someone with a bewildered expression, and saying “really?! I thought I was 6ft 2?!”. Sadly, lovely lady wasn’t as cheeky as me, and wouldn’t say “really?! I thought I was 20 stone”. As a friend of mine who is also small says, you have to be able to defend yourself somehow when you’re small. You’re so right that it helps to develop a thick skin (and a sense of humour): that, and an Olympic standard death stare. You should see mine, 6′ 4″ men have backed away from it! I find it works extremely well when accompanied with “you are aware you just said that out loud?”. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Oh they are excellent tips! I do try to laugh it off but some days I think “was that comment really necessary?’ – I think I will take your advice and say it out loud next time.

  27. so happy to see this made up in a solid color. this is gorgeous on you, as always! i love the seaming on this pattern, i can’t wait to make one! maxi skirts are so universally flattering and fun to wear. and pfffttt to the body-type bashers. i used to feel insulted by the “real women” comments, referring to the larger busted and whatnot. being errrr… not so blessed in this area… i always wanted to say: “so what does that make me?” sewing and fitting my own body has gone a long way in accepting my shape. anyways, you’re beautiful, inside and out. can’t wait to see the silk gabriola!

    • Thank you so much Lisa – I too really hate those comments. I might be a small and thin – but my little frame managed to carry two babies – and they were eight and a half pound and nine pounds – so while I might be small I certainly think I qualify as ‘all woman’!
      I will look forward to your make – I love your posts – so much useful detail!

  28. This skirt is just wonderful on you. It has such a beautiful, graceful fall. Your hem looks perfect. Do you measure from the ground for that, or was that just luck??

  29. Such a great colour – it looks great with the white top & denim vest. I love Maxi skirts…this is a bit complicated for me but I like the lines of it.

    • It’s actually quite easy to make, really it is! I thought it was complicated and feared making it due to my exhaustion but it was a joy to make. I really really liked it. The pattern has finished hip and waist sizes which makes choosing a size easy – you can do it!

  30. It is gorgeous!! I look forward to your charmeuse version as well. I made the size 0 and it was a little big on my daughter. There is nothing wrong with being thin. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • I don’t diet so I get frustrated – I’m just like this. I go to the gym twice a week and do a weights – simply because I’m too lazy and tired to run or walk these days… and due to my thin build I fear bone density issues in my old age and resistance training is a good solution to that problem.
      The only reason I don’t cut my patterns is I know my daughters are going to want some of my makes as they grow older – and I think this is definitely one!

  31. This is the first time I’ve even considered making a maxi skirt. How can you make everything look so amazing?! As far as the haters, some people just have to be negative, and they just don’t know how to feel good about themselves. They think tearing down others will somehow lift them up, but *spoiler alert* self-confidence doesn’t actually work that way! Keep being you, we all adore you =D

  32. Yes, you did hear a sigh. Silk charmeuse would be divine for this skirt!

    I’m totally in love with the Gabriola. So much that I’m thinking about switching up my next project for it.

  33. Hi, Lizzy – You did a wonderful job on this skirt. The seaming, the yoke and the fit are all perfect! You look great in it too. Keep up the great work. I look forward to seeing your next completed project.

  34. Love your yellow version! I am working on one for the sewalong. I’m not in love with my fabric choice, but I wanted to use something from my stash since it takes so much. If I like it (how could I not) I think I’ll try a solid one like yours. Embrace your petite self!

  35. So pretty! I love the seaming in the yoke. I’d love to make this in highly practical white linen for Dรฎner en blanc this summer. I really should not be buying more patterns, though…

  36. This is very extremely totally beautiful and makes me want to go and make another in a solid right away to show off those lines! I found the waistband sits out a little too, good idea about just continuing the zip up the back. I don’t have much to say on the subject of body image except that it doesn’t take much for your comment section to become a body image forum. I tread carefully on this topic haha!

    • I adore your Gabriola, the fabric is simply divine.
      I agree about body image. I guess I make the point more about not judging others based on their size – big or small.

  37. Stunning! I cut my Gabriola out yesterday, in navy blue suiting fabric. I’m just hoping its not too heavy!. I love the way you have styled your skirt too, I think you look amazing. I have followed your blog for a while and love everything that you make, I have a lot of the same patterns as you so I always appreciate seeing them made up. Thank you for being such an inspiration!

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  39. This is lovely – I’m not a fan of yellow on me, but with that white tee & blue waistcoat it looks amazing on you, and yes, you do look taller! I was in 2 minds about this skirt, but if it makes you look so much taller, I’m getting it for Daughter no1! She’s also small & slim & hates the “you’re so cute” comments she so frequently gets. I guess I need to make this for her is a “grrrr” kind of fabric! ๐Ÿ™‚

  40. Lovely skirt! That color is wonderful on you & the long lines make you appear taller. As for any snark… Ugh! I swear sometimes the best part of sewing is a lack of size tags inside garments. Personally I liked that you mentioned what size you made up as I’m similar in size to you. If I’m on the fence about how a pattern or particularly a new pattern company might look on me (or if I’m in their size range) I will often check out your blog. If it works for you I have a better idea on sizing & any potential changes needed.

  41. Ooh I ‘ve been coveting this since I saw it on the designer’s blog! It looks fantastic on you. I’m with you on the length – if it’s going to be long, make it loooooooong! Fabulous! Love the lines of it. And you look great in it. Those who write snarky comments need to get a life. Teensy bit jealous that you get to watch koalas from your house! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  42. I have been round and about and saw this a week ago but never commented… Now as I look up all the Gabriolas (my pattern should be here any day!) I find myself back here again reading it all over! Thought I’d get my 2 cents in. I LOVE this skirt.. I love the sunny yellow color… I love the way it swishes… and I love a maxi so it’s perfect for me. I think you look fab in it and if only I could be so thin! But, we are how you are and we all need to learn to be beautiful in our skin. (That’s probably more for me than you!) xo

    • I guess at the end of the day we all yearn for grass that is greener… I’m quite happy with my size & shape… I just wish it wasn’t an issue for others some days.
      It’s a great skirt. Nicest maxi pattern on the market!

      • It’s kind of funny that other people have a problem with YOUR size and shape… but I guess we see it all of the time these days thanks to the media. I’m kind of glad we all come in different sizes and shapes- or the world would be a pretty boring place! I am pretty happy I am tall! … Anyway, it’s time to look past the “shell” and look at the real person. ๐Ÿ™‚ My skirt pattern arrived last night! Now I have to decide WHAT to do with it! I have so many “maybes” swirling through my head.

  43. I didn’t really notice Gabriola until now, but after seeing this gorgeous skirt I went ahead and ordered it yesterday (along with Cambie because you know, I should save on posting fees from Canada to France by ordering several patterns at once…). I can see myself in summer, with this long skirt softly moving as I walk on a beach… in the sunset… with a cocktail… Aaaaaah… ๐Ÿ™‚

  44. Lizzie this is very cool – the colour is perfect and suits you very well. I suspect you’re like me and can’t wear blocks of yellow by your face, but as skirts, pants it perfect.

    I’m tall and I have trouble with maxis being long enough and making me look somewhat giant and curveless (which is also true!). But, with the triangle yoke shape it doesn’t swamp the hips or hide them.

    I look forward to the real deal in silk …. no pressure.

  45. Just flicking through some of your old posts to get some inspiration, and saw this- totally convinced me to give gabriola a go with some printed voile & lining I picked up today… Thanks!!

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  48. “I made a size 2. (…) I know. Iโ€™m small and itโ€™s just a stroke of genetic luck. I actually [sic] reluctant usually to blog what sizes I make. There are a few bloggers out there that make narky comments about people like me โ€“ but like being green โ€“ itโ€™s not always easy being small either. People say nasty stuff both in the virtual and real world โ€“ because apparently Iโ€™m 10kgs lighter if you remove my thick skin.”

    In a fatphobic, white supremacist world that criminalizes and constantly polices fat bodies, with special emphasis on fat, racialized bodies, and peddles white female thinness as a moral, racial and aesthetic ideal… how about you don’t play the game of false equivalencies and don’t wallow in the fiction of self-victimization? And before you lose your white lady shit and start shedding them white lady tears, you might want to pick up this book: “Fearing the Black Body: The Racial Origins of Fat Phobia” by Sabrina Strings. You’re welcome.

    • I take your comment on board and I agree. Iโ€™ve done a lot of reading in the years since this post, had a lot of significant life experiences and have a different world view than I did years ago. Iโ€™ve certainly had lots of failings and no doubt will continue to – but working on it.

  49. Pingback: Selfish Sewing Week: Audrey {Part 2} – Skirt Fixation

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