231 Big Sky Riding Skirt


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Misses 8-20.

At the turn of the 20th century enterprising equestrian women, such as rodeo star Fanny Sperry Steele (1887-1983), wore a divided skirt, or split skirt, that enabled them to ride astride, but preserved the "look" of a skirt. This garment is actually a culotte with a movable front panel that buttons either to the left, for a skirt effect, or to the right for a pant effect.

This sewing pattern has a deep center back pleat conceals the legs, providing plenty of fullness and assuring a smooth hipline. Double front plackets on either side of the front panel are secured with buttons, which extend down to the hem. We've added side seam pockets, not provided on the antique original. Two lengths are presented: a contemporary mid-calf length and the traditional ankle-length.

The Big Sky Riding Skirt looks wonderfully up-to-date with Folkwear's #133 Belgian Military Chef's Jacket. To star in your own rodeo, top it with one of our Frontier Shirts (#212). This "slick and clean" skirt has come to us from the collection of Tona Freeman Blake, who, with Liz Stiffler and Dee Marvine, has co-authored Fanny Sperry Steele's biography. The pattern was developed from Fanny's own skirt by Ruby Erickson of Augusta, Montana. 

This is the paper pattern.  For the PDF pattern, go here.

Suggested fabrics: Medium to heavyweight cottons and blends such as poplin, denim, gabardine, corduroy; linen; light to medium-weight wools; suiting weight silks.

Yardage chart (.pdf)

NOTE:  In the photos, the top worn with the cream-colored split skirt is a short-sleeved version of the Thai Blouse from 134 South Asian Tops and Wraps.