Paperbag skirt / Ellie & Mac

I was a tester on this pattern for Ellie & Mac, and boy was I excited to be selected for testing process after I saw the early pictures of this skirt! The pictures I use in this post are the photos I took for that project, so you can also see me in the promotional photos for the pattern. My then eleven year old daughter did a little photo shoot for me at our local shipyard and we had a great time doing it.

Anyway, back to the pattern! I love this one for both work and casual makes. I think it’s still very on trend, with a nice slightly a-line silhouette and cleverly sewn gathered waist (“paper bag”). Here is the line drawing from the pattern to show you the options:

Paperbag Skirt Sewing Pattern by Ellie and Mac Sewing Pattern

I made the knee length, and given my somewhat average height, it does hit me right at the knee so very wearable for work. I used a lighter weight striped denim I had picked up in London a few years ago, and I have to say – it was the PERFECT fabric for this skirt. The denim stripe goes with so many complementary patterns, like florals or even polka dots (but ok, maybe not other stripes), and the colors of the skirt work with nearly everything. During the testing phase of this pattern, the pattern designer had a great suggestion to pair the skirt with another of her patterns called the Day to Night top, which is a tight fitting knit top with a flounce sleeve option. I took the suggestion and sewed up the top to go with this skirt; you can see it here in the photos (and by the way, that’s another great pattern!). I did a hack on the sleeve where instead of putting the flounce at the end of the long sleeve version as suggested, I made the short sleeve version and widened the opening on the flounce. I love the result!

I found the pattern instructions easy to to follow. Due to the amount of ease in the pattern and given that I fall between a medium and a large in E&M patterns, I sewed a medium and the fit is spot on for me. I did cut a slightly longer elastic for the waist which worked out well.

I sewed up a second version of this pattern a few months ago where I did a fun modification – I added a faux button placket. I love the look of the button up skirt but don’t really like to slow down to do buttons and button holes, so I achieved the same look without the headache. I was sort of winging it so my recollection may not be perfect but here’s what I THINK I did: I cut a piece of fabric maybe fix to six inches wide and the length of the skirt (BEFORE attaching the waist band and before hemming). I folded in half length-wide right sides together and sewed up the side. I then turn it right side out, pressed it so the seam was in the middle (not the side) and turned the seam side to the back. I then attached buttons to the front.. Finally, I basted the placket to the front center of the skirt. I proceeded to attach the waistband and hem the skirt with the placket in place. As the last step, I top stitched around the entire placket. If I did it again, I might wait until the skirt is done to attach the buttons to the placket.

If you like the look, get the pattern here (AFF link): Paper bag skirt

You can grab the Day to Night top here (AFF link): Day to Night top

Check out my other E&M sews:

Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

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