The “Two Become One” Backgammon Skirt

I think this is my favourite thing that I have sewn. Correction, that I have refashioned.  I love it so.

In November of 2011 I first wrote about this Gorman Creation, (known as the “Backgammon Backhand” Skirt) – still swooning from the graphic backgammon pattern with its navy and heady two shades of orange with puce, and the $229 price tag.  Luckily, the skirt was way too short for my 40-year-old legs. I sadly walked away. But I didn’t forget.

Big Sister bosses Little Brother

I visited the Gorman outlet store at Birkinhead Point in February and found the skirt for sale around the $100 mark.

I visited again about mid August and lo and behold, they still had at least three size six skirts priced at $55 – you know what I did don’t you?

Yes, that’s right I bought two to refashion into one.  I spent hours picking them apart, leaving the pleats alone. Tell you what they were the perfect antidote for stomach surgery.  So cheery and happy they made me feel.  That fabric and Mum’s wonderful puddings pulled me through.

Mum and I, in matching Mother-Daughter orange

Then Gertie’s new book arrived and I decided to try out her super technique for a boned waist band – what a cracker   – I do hate it when your stomach rolls push your waist band over. I recommend everyone rushes out and gets some boning – stat! The four pockets were perfect to form the curved waistband. Once I had worked out Gerties sizing (she even responded to my whinge about that on Instagram!!!) I was away.

I faced the waist band with some denim and I thought I would use a piece of that to lengthen the skirt too.  But my sewing partner in crime, Toni, told me I should put on an orange band.  I was dubious to be honest, but I obeyed.  I wanted to use my fave cotton lycra sateen from Spotty, but they had nothing vaguely orange.  I found some corduroy which I nearly  went with that until I found the homespun cotton – something I haven’t sewn with since the 80’s.  It was a nearly perfect colour match and it wasn’t corduroy!  Fantastic. I am so pleased I took Toni’s advice – I love the orange band – what do you think?

I don’t care if my bottom looks big, I don’t care that it’s from last season. I didn’t even care that I was doing twirls outside Ikea before opening time. I feel amazing in this skirt and I am so pleased that the price came down to a level I was comfortable with that I was there to snap it up!

And thanks to my brother Gavin for taking these photos after just arriving from Hong Kong, and for putting up with being dragged around Ikea for hours with Mum and I.

The Facts

Fabric: Two Gorman Skirts, 1 metre of orange homespun cotton
Pattern: Waistband; from Gerties new Book
Year: 2011
Notions: Thread, fusible interfacing, rigilene (plastic) boning
Time to complete: 15 hours
First worn: September 2012 – to the Airport,to Ikea for the photos, to Thai restaurant for lunch in trendy Newtown, then to the school pick up.
Wear again? Try and stop me!

Total Cost: ~$115A


16 thoughts on “The “Two Become One” Backgammon Skirt

    • Oh thank you! Although it would look amazing on a petite 20 year old hitting around the knee don’t you think? I guess that is their target market, although I don’t know many twenty year olds who could afford that price!

    • Yes, you should try it. Remember to cut the boning to fit inside the seam. I cut mine then burnt the ends – but then realized they hung over in to the seam allowance and had to re-do them! But her diagram is very clear – if only I had studied it more carefully.

  1. Stunning! And I agree with the others – the orange waistband looks great, and is an improvement on the original. 🙂

    Can I ask – what do you think of Gertie’s book? I’m wondering if I should be adding it to my wishlist….

    • Hi Kat! You’re up late! Love those 1am breast feeds!! Actually I think it’s got lots of great info in it and I want to try several of the patterns. Lovely artwork and photos throughout. Think I paid $33 from I suggest you check the size chart!! Hope you are going ok x

      • 2.30am now. Daylight savings. Ugh. I’m getting a lot faster at typing one handed during the nighttime feeds 😉

        Thanks for the opinion on the book – think I’ll add it to my Christmas wish list.

  2. Your skirt looks wonderful Trish, so clever of you to think of doing that. And so patient with all that unpicking! I discovered the Gorman outlet shop (Brunswick Street Fitzroy Melb) on Saturday and I believe that if you have a good rummage upstairs I might have come across fabric from Gorman and Alannah Hill collections. I do admire both labels but sadly they are completely inappropriate for me, look gorgeous on tall & slender The Dancer, but she can’t afford them! (Or should that be, “mum can’t afford them for her”). But the fabrics can be lovely and I figure if I can pick up some bits and pieces I can pretend I can wear Alannah Hill…..

    • Wow! That place sounds amazing. I just love Fitzroy! Totally my kind of scene! I just love Alannah Hill’s clothes but have the same problem – it’s all really tiny and very expensive! Using her fabrics to make appropriate clothing is the answer! Thanks for your kind words!

  3. This is a beautiful outfit! I bought this skirt form Birkenhead Point today..for $39!!! It was the last one left… I’m so stoked! Can’t wait to wear it out 🙂

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