Denim Polly Skirt for Denim Never Dies

Denim Polly Skirt-Title Image-Make It NiftyI am probably going to wear the heck out of this skirt. My second make for 2015 is another winner. This is the first time I’ve worked with denim and I’m pretty pleased with the way it turned out. I’m pretty surprised at how quickly I was able to make this skirt and with top stitching too!


I’ve wanted to make a denim version of this skirt ever since I made my first Polly Skirt. When The Monthly Stitch announced their January challenge would be Denim Never Dies it was meant to be. Then, Spotlight had a ‘Spend $100 and get $40 off’ promotion so all the sewing stars aligned and I went off to buy the goodies I needed to make myself a denim skirt.

Denim Polly Skirt-Hanger Front-Make It NiftyPattern

Self Drafted Polly Skirt Pattern

Pattern Adjustments

  • None


  • Denim Fabric
  • Cotton lawn scraps from stash
  • Jeans Zip
  • Black thread
  • Top stitching thread
  • Fusible web to set in the zip

Denim Polly Skirt-Hanger Back-Make It NiftyConstruction

I washed the denim twice and pressed it with lots of steam before cutting out the pattern pieces. I’m hoping this will stop the skirt from shrinking when I was it.

I put it together in pretty much the same way as I did with my first version. However, I did add top stitching to the pocket bands, the vertical panel seams and the waistband.

Although, I did back and forth a bit when it came time to the zip. I basted the zip in and tested it to make sure that it was long enough for me to get in and out of the skirt. Actually inserting the zip did take me a couple of goes. I ripped it out twice and decided that it was a sign that I needed to take a break.

The next morning I sewed the centre back seam and tried lining up the zip and fusing the zip tape down with a bit of fusible web. It mostly worked, but you can see a bit of it peeking out on the inside. Another trick was to start at the zip stop and sew up to the waist band on either side of the zip teeth. I tried sewing down one side and up the other on the first couple of goes, but it just made the waistband seams skewey and they didn’t line up.

Denim Polly Skirt-Hanger Inside Back-Make It NiftyWhen I was finishing up the waistband. I top stitched the top and bottom of the waistband so that it caught the waistband facing in place on the wrong side.

It’s a very sturdy denim so sometimes the weight of it made it difficult to sew, especially bits where there was some fiddling to do, like the zip and the pockets. I’m glad I used a jeans zip because I don’t think that a regular invisible or dress zip would hold up quite as well.

Denim Polly Skirt-Hanger Inside Front-Make It NiftyChanges I made this time

  • Cut the waistband facing from lawn to reduce bulk at the waistline
  • Didn’t interface waistband
  • I didn’t interface the pocket bands like I mentioned I should when I made my first version. I think the denim is sturdy enough without it.

What I Like

  • I really like the lawn I used for the pockets and waistband facing
  • I like that it feels really solid to wear
  • Zip is just long enough so that I can ‘step into’ the skirt and wiggle a bit to put it on
  • The top stitching is a nice detail that makes it look more ‘polished’
  • Pockets of course

Denim Polly Skirt-Detail-Make It NiftyWhat I don’t like

  • Top stitching is a bit wonky in places
  • The seams are a bit bulky in places
  • The fit in the hips is a bit odd

Changes for next time

  • Use a lighter weight denim
  • I think the skirt sits a little funny at the hips and when I pinch a little out at the side it seems to fix it so I think I need to make a pattern adjustment to fix it, perhaps take a tiny sliver out of the side seams at the waist and blend to nothing at the centre back and centre front
  • Looking at these pictures I think I need to do something about where the pickets meet the centre front panel too, I’m not sure what just yet…

Denim Polly Skirt-Adjustment-Make It NiftyNumbers

I bought most of the materials for this make in early December. I had a ‘Spend $100 and get $40 off’ voucher from Spotlight so it brought the cost of the materials down a bit.

Pattern Self Drafted Pattern $0.00
  • Denim 3144 Cotton, Indigo, 70cm wide
    1.5m x $14.99 = $22.49 (minus $7.98 spend $100 get $40 off) = $9.67/m *0.75m = $7.25
  • Lining & pocket bags from lawn scraps – stash
  • 20cm Jean zip, dark blue – $2.99-$1.07=$1.92
  • Black thread – stash
  • Top stitching thread – Gutterman Polytwist thread 893, 30m – $3.49-$1.24 = $2.25
  • Fusible web to set in the zip – stash
Time 7hrs 15min (* $17-ish Australian minimum wage)
Fabric Prep – 45min
Cutting Fabric – 30min
Sewing – 6hrs
Total ย  $134.67

The cost of this skirt has been kept down by a couple of things. I was able to get the materials at a bit of a discount and it didn’t take me nearly as long as it usually does for me to make something; for two reasons – I’ve made this pattern before, and an unlined skirt doesn’t have nearly as many seams as say a fit and flare dress with sleeves (like the Crazy Polka Dots Dress for example)

Would I pay this much for a ready to wear denim skirt? Honestly? Probably not. Would I pay this much for a custom fit denim skirt? Maybe. Would I buy a custom fit denim skirt? Nope. That’s why I sew ๐Ÿ™‚

Final Comment

As I said before, I am probably going to wear the heck out of this skirt. My original Polly Skirt is a wardrobe workhorse, I wear it at least once a week, so this skirt should take some of the load off of it. It was really great to sew with a different fabric and to try out top stitching in a contrast top stitching thread. This skirt makes me so happy I even did a jump shot ๐Ÿ™‚

Denim Polly Skirt-Jump-Make It NiftyI’m just really, really, really hoping that this skirt doesn’t shrink in the wash. It’s not super tight or anything, but I don’t want it to be either. I only used half of the denim I bought. Should I make another Denim Polly Skirt?

I really enjoyed sewing to a deadline, it kept me motivated to sit and sew. I’m really glad that I had a bit of sewing serendipity this month where a couple of sewing challenges lined up well with things I wanted to make anyway.

Do you like sewing to a deadline?
Have you had a bit of sewing serendipity before?
Do you have several of the same garment in your wardrobe?
Have you tried to sew with a new fabric recently?
How do you finish of waistbands?

So many questions! Leave me some answers in the comments ๐Ÿ™‚ I really like reading them.

I’ll leave you with this… Awesome Skirt Fist Pump!

Denim Polly Skirt-Fist Pump-Make It NiftyUntil next time,

16 thoughts on “Denim Polly Skirt for Denim Never Dies

    • Thanks for stopping by Sue ๐Ÿ™‚
      I haven’t worn a denim skirt for years because RTW ones are too tight or too short. But I think I’m a convert to the denim skirt.
      I definitely think I’m going to make another one of these skirts that’s for sure ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Thank You,
      The pockets are definitely a big part of why I like this skirt. They’re lovely and deep and there is no chance of my essentials falling out ๐Ÿ™‚

  1. I am in love with your skirt. I tend to do my best work on a deadline. I have not sewn knits for myself in such a long time (I prefer wovens) that this month my personal challenge will be a knit garment.

  2. Fabulous!! That whole outfit looks amazing on you – but then it is very much my style, so I may be biased ๐Ÿ˜‰ I love your very modern take on a classic denim skirt.

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  4. I love this! The waistband treatment you’ve linked has inspired me enough to dig out some denim and make another Hummingbird skirt. It has very similar style lines (pockets are love) but I have the rolling waist band issue as well. One thing I do with my pockets is stitch in a bit of twill tape or grosgrain ribbon into the top pocket seam. I find it prevents stretching without the bulk of interfacing.

    • Thanks for commenting Kris.
      I’m glad I’ve inspired you. I really like your grey linen and denim ramie hummingbird skirts.
      That’s a great tip about the tape in the top pocket seam. I’ll have to try that one day. ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Oh gosh I love this skirt! Would you mind if I copied your idea? I have a princess seam pencil skirt pattern I know works for me, it would be easy (famous last words!) to straighten it out and whack on those pockets. I’m trying to work out of the original the other person made in fact has TWO pockets, a big one and a small one, rather than a pocket band (if that makes sense??)

    I HATE crafting to a deadline. But sometimes if it’s a self-imposed deadline it’s useful. But anything with pressure and I just procrastinate and/or rush through it and stuff things up. I haven’t worked with denim yet! But I just cut out a denim version of my one skirt I’ve made a bazillion times – it’s an ottobre a-line skirt and I could make it in my sleep now, I think.

    It was great when I was learning to sew garments (I already knew how to sew but not really how to sew something good enough to wear) because I made it a few times in a row and I could really see where I was cutting corners, or could use some tutorials to help me do things better.

    I finish my waistbands the same way you did, but I’m working on being a bit NEATER when I do! My topstitching skills need work. I often am wonky or fail to catch the facing up properly (not helped by the occasional dodgy cutting out job). I have learnt that when I get up to that bit I need to WALK AWAY and come back later. When I can smell the end of the project I get too impatient and I rush, and I always regret it!

    • Kate, go for it! Copy away!
      To me, it looks like the original skirt only had one pocket. I think a skirt would end up way too bulky if there were stacked pockets. Although, it could be kind of fun having that much pocket-age!

      Yeah, I have trouble catching the waistband facing when I top-stitch/stitch-in-the-ditch. I think I think hand stitching it down is an easier to get a better result (grumble-but I don’t like hand stitching-grumble-grumble).

      I either get impatient at the final stretch of a project or I procrastinate like heck. No inbetween ๐Ÿ™‚

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