From The Workroom / MN2204 Brumby / News & Updates / Sewalongs

The Brumby Skirt

With all of last weeks excitement, announcing the app and the print pattern release, i completely forgot to spend some time telling you all about my newest pattern, Brumby!

As per usual, i thought i’d share a bit with you about the development and ideas behind this pattern. It’s been a staple of mine in it’s many forms, and appeared in two of my ready to wear collections (back in the day! hehe). I hope you enjoy it as much as i do!

Megan Nielsen Brumby skirt sewing pattern

The original Brumby skirt appeared in my Perth ready to wear collection, during a time of particular homesickness i was inspired by my home and all its rugged beauty. It feels kind of full circle releasing patterns from this collection.

Brumbies have always held a romantic charm for me – they are wild roaming horses of Australia, and are all descendants in some way or another of lost or escaped horses dating back to our first settlers. They’re rugged and hardy and beautiful.

Megan Nielsen Brumby skirt

This is one of those patterns that i’ve spent probably years refining, and has formed a great portion of my wardrobe. Version 1 and Version 3 both appeared in ready to wear collections, and i have made them over and over again for my own wardrobe. The new addition for the pattern release was Version 2- i really wanted a longer option with the pockets, but more fullness. I started playing around with it and there were a few peeks on the blog here and here – did you spot them?! With those early experiments i found that i liked the fullness much better with lightweight fabrics – as in the version i included in my Maker tee editorial.

I see testing as really important – and so it was great to see what our pattern testers came up with and the feedback we had from them. One of the refinements i made after the testing process was to deepen the pockets (no-one wants stuff falling out!) and tweaked the waistband fit. For the testers i actually added a bit more ease to the waistband – as i wasn’t sure if everyone loved the close fit i always go for in waistbands – and funnily enough almost every single tester picked up on the fact that the waistband didn’t fit as my pattern usually do. It was a good reminder to always stay true to your aesthetic! So the waistband was brought in again to it’s original fit.

Megan Nielsen Brumby skirt sewing patternMegan Nielsen Brumby skirt sewing pattern

You guys know i am ALL about the variation potential – and this pattern has it in buckets. Though each variation has a recommended length, feel free to change it up! Personally i really want to try Version 1 in a midi length! Version 2 in maxi? I can’t even handle it!

Don’t forget a different hem can change the look entirely – I think a scalloped hem would be amazing. Wouldn’t lace trim like on these culottes be really gorgeous?

Another cool thing i’d like to try is moving the zipper to the centre front. The Brumby uses an exposed zipper in the centre back, and since Version 1 and 2 both have a centre front seam, why not simply swap out where you put the zipper?

And of course fabric – it’s amazing how different a pattern can look in a different fabric. I recommend medium to heavy weight fabrics for Version 1 – it has less gathers and includes instructions for gathering those difficult fabrics. Versions 2 and 3 have more fullness and i recommend lighter to medium weight fabrics. But just because those are the fabrics i recommend doesn’t mean you can’t change things up! I’m always blown away by the creative ideas you guys come up with.

Megan Nielsen Brumby skirt sewing pattern

As with all of my patterns – the fit is snug on the waist. I like a close fitting waistband. The waistband is contoured, and the top of the waistband should sit on your natural waist (ie the narrowest part of your abdomen). However, if you like a low rise skirt, you can just as easily cut a larger size and wear your skirt lower on your hips. Since the waist is contoured you have this flexibility – yay!

I would call the fit on the hip “free” as the skirt is gathered and as such there is a lot of room for movement around your hips.

Length wise, there are a few options and you can also mix and match the lengths of each variation if you so desire. Version 1 sits above the knee, Version 2 is closer to midi length, and Version 3 knee length.

Megan Nielsen Brumby skirt sewing pattern

Alterations on the Brumby should be fairly straight forward. If you need to adjust the waistband, it’s easy to bring it in at the side seams as an “on the fly” adjustment – if you want to adjust the actual pattern pieces before sewing, i recommend adding or removing from the centre front. The same goes for the skirt panels – for all 3 versions. If you want to add additional fullness or remove fullness from the pattern pieces, add or remove from the centre front of the pieces before cutting your fabric. The great thing about gathered designs is that they are quite forgiving, so you shouldn’t feel too stressed about changing things up.

Extending or shortening is also really simple too. For Version 1, the hemline is straight so simply add or subtract from hem – no need to slash and spread! For Versions 2 and 3 the choice is yours – if you want to say extend the hemline of either, you could slash and spread the pattern horizontally to keep the same hem width – or alternately, if you simply extend the pattern pieces you will end up with a wider hemline. But as mentioned before, the visual difference won’t be too distinguishable due to the gathers and volume of the skirt.

Given the gathers and the amount of ease around the hips, if you find that your hip usually falls in a larger size range than your waist (hello pear shapes! me too!) i wouldn’t bother cutting a size up in the skirt panels. You’ll be fine :)

Megan Nielsen Brumby skirt sewing pattern

Its no secret i’m a huge fan of high waisted skirts. HUGE fan. So i could go on about styling this one for ages.

Here are a few ways I’ve worn my Brumby skirts in the past:
WINTER [ one // two ] SPRING [ one // two // three ] SUMMER [ one // two // three ] FALL [ one ]

This skirt is awesome for tucking, we all like tucking right?! I’m a tucker! Tucking a Eucalpyt or Banksia (i know still out of print, please don’t throw rocks at me) or Briar into this skirt are obvious choices, but i’ve also been wearing it to death with Briar crop tops and my cropped Crescent blouse. During summer crops are the way to go in my opinion.

Due to the volume i don’t really like to wear long untucked shirts, but a longer cropped style tee is another cute look – you know something that hits the bottom of the waistband, and probably not much more.

Layering for me is all about cropped sweaters, open cardigans and blazers. The nice thing about this one is that you can wear it all year round – tights and boots are the perfect addition for the winter months. Now that we’re basically into winter in Perth you’re probably going to see some winter versions popping up – i have some new Brumby’s i haven’t yet blogged and i’m excited to share with you!

Megan Nielsen Brumby skirt sewing pattern

So tell me what you think?! Do you love it as much as i do? The Brumby skirt is available now in store in both paper format and PDF format, and don’t forget, the use of the Megan Nielsen Patterns app is free with all purchases.

Also lovely Holly will be back again very soon with some Brumby tutorials to help you out if you get stuck! YAY!

If you have any questions at all about this new pattern let me know in the comments!

Order Brumby

Order Brumby

About Author

Meg is the Founder and Creative Director of Megan Nielsen Patterns, and is constantly dreaming up ideas for new sewing patterns and ways to make your sewing journey more enjoyable! She gets really excited about design details and is always trying to add way too many variations to our patterns.

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8 years ago

oh it’s VERY cute; love how it looks on your models and it’s always flattering on you too! congrats on finally bringing the pattern to fruition!


[…] new pattern! Also, if you’re curious to know more about the Brumby, check out Megan’s Blog for more info and details – from inspiration to fit and possible alterations. Loads of […]

8 years ago

The finished pattern is gorgeous & a lot of fun to have been able to test sew for you. I can’t wait to get my hands it!

8 years ago

It’s so cute!! I have been waiting for it and I can’t wait to make it!

8 years ago

Loving this versatile skirt! It’s great to see more and more of your patterns come out. I wonder if there are any plans to release the wattle cardigan as a pattern? The pairing of the skirt and cardigan are perfect!

8 years ago

That’s fantastic- can’t wait!!

8 years ago

That skirt is adorable! I just stumbled upon it on a different blog and it brought me here, how perfect! I might just have to make one myself now! :)

8 years ago

All of the views and samples are absolutely adorable! Great work, lady!

1 year ago

I’ve had the pattern for awhile now and would like to cut it out without the front seam. Will that be covered in the sew a long? Will I need wide fabric? I want to do Version 2, should I follow Version 3 cut out? I love the high waist and deep pockets!