Hot! The “Duchess Duet” Outfit(s)

The Facts

  • Fabric: Green, blue, tan, cream poly (shirt) & green linen look (skirt)
  • Pattern: Butterick 5528 (shirt) & McCall’s 5523
  • Year: 2010 & 2007
  • Notions: Shirt: thread (stash); Skirt: thread ($2), zipper ($2)
  • Time to complete: Shirt: 1 hour; Skirt: 3-4 hours
  • First worn: June 3, 2012
  • Wear again?: Yes
  • Total price: Shirt: $0; Skirt $4

My plans for this challenge went through so many different iterations (with which I won’t bore you) but I ended up focusing on Kate Middleton’s penchant for pencil skirts.

She usually wears them with a jacket, but it’s been running in the 80s Farenheit here, so I had decided to pair mine with a lighter top. She also is mostly into navy and red, but I’m in a green mood.

Fun thing about the skirt? The back flounce inset.

Fun thing about the shirt? The cowl neck isn’t even attached!

(Actually, this is annoying with polyester because it slips and slipes all over the place.)

Fun thing about the outfit? Its versatility. Easy to dress up or down. I can pair the shirt with jeans or a navy skirt I made last year. The skirt can be the basis of spring, summer, autumn, or even winter outfits because the green isn’t too springy (I found some great holly earrings and matching brooch at a thrift store last week that would go great with this skirt for Christmas). I can belt the shirt (which was my own addition and not called for in the pattern, which had only two pieces!) if I want a waist or leave it free. I can wear it alone or on top of a long sleeved tee for cooler weather.

And then, wouldn’t you know it, I stopped by a garage sale on the way back to the office Thursday and found a short, tailored, military-style jacket that would go nicely with this skirt and make it more “Kate.” Perfect.


Erin Bartels

Erin is a copywriter by day, a novelist by night, and a wife, mother, dressmaker, quilter, zoo docent, painter, poet, and photographer in between. She only gets paid for the copywriting.


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  1. Delightful! I love the print of the shirt, and the flounce on the skirt. Trying to convince myself to make more separates than dresses so this is great inspiration!

  2. The skirt is adorable, the top cool but the garage sale jacket? Makes the whole thing! Love it all!!

  3. Love it! That cowl neck is crazy! I’ve never seen such a thing. Awesome job!

  4. Loving the skirt. I’ve made this skirt before and just love the flounce so much. I adore it with the jacket. Good find!

  5. I love the detail on the skirt. Now I want to make myself one. I really love the top-I’m seeing it with skinny jeans and tall boots. I love your jacket too-what a find!

  6. Hi zerin, great color on you. Love the option to mix and match. Very cute detail on the ruffle in the back.

  7. Love it with the jacket! What a great wardrobe-builder outfit. And that green is so scrumptious.

  8. I love that flounce in the back. Very pretty indeed.

  9. Wowsers that skirt is fabulous well done. And I love the idea of the cowl not being attached, that would look great in a jersey to. You look great in green WINNER! yay!

  10. I love the ruffles at the back of the pencil skirt!

  11. Love that cowl, and the colours…..but am soooo in love with the ruffles at the back of that pencil skirt (and the fit of the pencil skirt at the front too, it’s perfect). And the outfit looks so cool with that wonder jacket!

  12. What a great new collection of separates! I do especially love the skirt with that lucky find.

  13. I’m lovin that skirt with the ruffles in the back.