style and fabric inspiration: lisette B6182 a-line skirt

Recently there’s been a resurgence of interest in ’70s-inspired apparel. Have you noticed it? Witness the recent Yves St. Laurent show (now on its way to the UK!), and the new Yves St. Laurent + Halston exhibit. It’s all over the runways right now and making its way into your closet, I promise. You may not be aware of it yet, but it will find its way to you eventually. I talked about fashion trickle-down recently in my column for Sew News.

I’ve also been seeing a lot more safari-inspired clothing, which makes me happy. When I was designing at Tommy Hilfiger I started collecting catalogs from the original Banana Republic company because I loved the look so much. I wanted to do something along these lines in the new Lisette collection, and that led me to the skirt with Lisette B6182.

A few things I like about this pattern: I love the high waistband. You can’t see it in the photo because the top covers it, but it’s a tall waistband that will give you a nice defined waist and a long line. It will also give you a little more coverage if you decide to pair it with a slightly cropped top, so you won’t need to worry about showing more skin than you intended. But if you prefer a regular waistband, that’s a really easy change to make, too. As you know, I love a nice invisible zipper, so we included that too. And of course there are those applied pockets, which give it a nice sportswear feeling and are so easy to make. Leave them off if you want the skirt to be dressier, but we all like pockets, right? And these won’t add any unwanted bulk or width to your profile.




Both the ’70s and the safari look inspired this new a-line Lisette skirt, B6182, so I thought it would be fun to give you some fabric and styling inspiration for this style. You can find many more images and ideas in my Lisette Pinterest board, too.


B6182 image 1

  1. For a dressy skirt, choose fancy fabrics like silk dupioni or shantung. This skirt is obviously part of a dress, but I love the versatility of a more formal-style skirt like this. You could pair it will a blouse (the blouse from the pattern, made longer, would be really cute tucked in) for dressy occasions, but you can also tone it down with a more casual top, like a T-shirt.
  2. Classic black! In twill for everyday, or in wool suiting for a skirt that will go with absolutely everything. This skirt is styled a little bit tomboy, which I love.
  3. Simple styles like this pattern work really well with patterns and prints. The chevron print has been a bit overdone lately, but I think this skirt demonstrates how you can play with patterns and get lots of great results for a whole wardrobe full of fun skirts!
  4. Dressy version, see 1, above.
  5. If you prefer a more feminine look, polka dots can give a tailored style like this pattern a bit of feminine charm.
  6. This cute floral skirt from Boden is another great example of how the pattern will work with lots of different printed fabrics.
  7. White: sewn in twill or suiting for summer. In heavier wool or even leather (like this one) for winter.
  8. This is more of a pencil skirt silhouette, but I love the solid color. Solid not-quite-neutral colors are a great way to add a little bit of color to your wardrobe without
  9. Shorten the skirt and sew it with suede like this version from Derek Lam for a little bit of a 70’s vibe.
  10. Love the mustard yellow color! This would be a great addition to a core wardrobe and is similar to number 8, above.
  11. Miu-Miu’s little white skirt has almost a tennis vibe, doesn’t it? Very cute for summer, and so easy to wear. Shorten the pattern to get a similar
  12. Again with the fancy party skirt. Bright bubble gum pink for a really girly version that totally works with this more conservative, tailored cut.


B6182 image 2


  1. There’s something really sweet and attractive about the classic English tweedy look. If you really want to push this image, swap the solid cardigan for a colorful fair isle sweater (er, jumper, for those of you on that side of the pond) and you’ll be ready for a stroll along the heath. (Did I say that right? It’s been a while since my last trip to Scotland.)
  2. White twill again. Goes with everything, great transition piece for spring and fall too.
  3. Right now I’ve got a huge design crush on Tomas Maier–both his self-named collection as well as his work with Bottega Veneta. This is yet another example of his very wearable aesthetic. This is how I want to wear this skirt. It’s classic but worn with a little bit of a contemporary edge.
  4. Tomas Maier again. Witness the safari-inspired look. I love the topstitching done with a darker shade.
  5. Here’s another example of a dressy pink a-line skirt. I think this one might actually be culottes, but you could get a similar look with the a-line skirt and silk faille. Isn’t it great worn with the casual T-shirt?
  6. This blush-colored suede a-line skirt pushes all the right buttons for 70’s inspired style.
  7. I visited a Jo-Ann store yesterday and spent more time looking at all the great home dec fabrics than any fabrics in the apparel section. All the best prints and more substantial fabric weights (i.e., fabrics appropriate for skirts and jackets) are in the upholstery section, where you could easily find something similar to this cute floral skirt.
  8. Slubby heather gray gives this skirt an interesting texture, and I love texture in apparel. It’s so easy to pair a skirt like this with simple tops and skirts for an grab-and-go outfit that doesn’t require a lot of forethought on a busy morning.
  9. Here’s a very classic skirt. It’s dressy with a little bit of a safari vibe. You could base a whole wardrobe around this skirt and wear it nearly every day. And the crepe fabric looks so elegant.
  10. This vintage-inspired chevron skirt has the pattern woven right into the (jaquard) fabric, which gives the fabric a bit of texture and pattern. Again, a really easy skirt that will pull together a great outfit with very little planning.

Personally, I think I might sew myself an indigo skirt similar to this one, which I know I would wear all the time.


cobalt a-line skirt


How are you planning to sew it? Don’t forget: more images and ideas on the Lisette Pinterest board!


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  1. I bought this pattern, because I looooooove the 70s vibe/safari/english tweed vibe, always have! I have a soft spot for an inverted pleat skirt. I was thinking of making my first version in a nice red textured denim I’ve had in my stash for ages (planning to make Joe pants, but he’s been off pants, and woven fabrics, for over a year now, so it’s time to repurpose it!). I am excited about the top too and hope you will share ideas for the top/dress. Thanks Liesl!

  2. Melanie

    So helpful to see ideas straight from the designer. I really really love that tweed one.

  3. Miriam

    So nice ideas! I still hadn’t thought of it as having so many possibilities. But changing the patch pockets to in-seam pockets and using the right fabric can result in a very nice and dressy skirt. I love the safari look for the summer also. I will be looking for fabrics!

  4. Flavia

    Great skirt ! Ill try to make it

  5. I love all of your new Lisette patterns and can’t wait to make them up! Love seeing your suggestions on pinterest.

  6. Sarah Green

    Oh, the original Banana Republic stores and catalogs! That was always a fun shopping adventure. I still have a few pieces from high school that I just love and seem timeless and interesting with any pairing. Remember those twill blouses with the button strap on the shoulder? So cute!

  7. Fiona

    Liesl, i do especially like this pattern – all of the items which is rare for me. i particularly like the top NOT requiring knit fabric. Yes, the 70’s was an interesting time, fashionably speaking. Mary Tyler Moore’s clothes in the her eponymous show always had me drooling. The peasant blouse tops so popular now remind me very much of the ‘smocks’ that were ‘on trend’ to wear with jeans, and clogs when I was in my early-mid teens.

    So good to have some printed patterns too v. download. Thank you.

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