Thursday, April 29, 2010
As previously mentioned, I am--for the moment--making tailored-style separates for Spring/Summer. Tailored might be a bit too strong of a word, which is why I say "tailored-style." High on the agenda is fitted and pencil skirt. I went through all my back issues of Burda and identified the skirts that interested me. I liked the princess lines, higher waistline, and overall shape of Burda 01-2008-127 and decided to start there.
I paid $11.25/yard for this fabulous silk cotton at Paron in NYC last June. For me, that is a high price so this was a "special" fabric. We all know there's a fine line between "special" and "too good to use." It took a little faith to make that first cut! I have a bit over a yard left so I'm on the lookout for a fabric economical but classy bolero or cropped jacket. Not that I'm promising ever to get around to making such a thing, but ya know. Doesn't hurt to look.
Knowing the fabric would likely wrinkle like crazy, which would make me afraid to wear it, I decided to try underlining with silk organza, as this is often recommended to reduce wrinkling. Handily, I picked up some silk organza at Paron (again!) last month. They didn't have any truly neutral colors, so I bought some very light blue (as the neutralest/lightest shade) and some turquoise (because it's my favorite color). I was going to use the light blue on this but then I was like, "Why not put together my two favorite colors, even if I'm the only one who knows?" LOVE the way they look together. I used the underlining/Hong Kong Finish technique demo-ed on my vintage shirtdress. Actually, I did this project first and from this one I learned that I prefer to add only 3/8 of an inch to the underlining width rather than 5/8".
While I was in Texas for Christmas I found this lace at my mom's huge Joann that actually had some decent knit prints (but I didn't buy any because the prices at Joann are ridiculous even with the perpetual sale or coupon). It is one of my favorite colors so I had to buy it, and when I got it home I found that it matched this fabric perfectly! I don't know that this skirt really "goes" with a lace trim, but honestly I could not resist. I knew I didn't want to use the lace as is, which is wide and gathered. It seemed a shame to just waste it though, so I experimented and found out I could just cut off the lowest motif, which gave me trim wide enough for the skirt but made it so I can use the rest of the lace on a later project and nobody will be the wiser that it used to be slightly wider. I did the hem and the lace trim by hand.
I feel like I am having a "growth spurt" of the you're-not-in-your-twenties-anymore variety lately, ugh, so I went up a size and cut a 38 at the waist and a 40 at the hip. Pretty much from the time I started sewing until about 5 years ago I used to always, always, always make my clothes a little too big, arising mainly out of body dysmorphic disorder of the sub-clinical, garden variety, common to pretty much every Western woman degree of seeing myself as larger than I was and a related belief that I was going to gain large amounts of weight at any moment. It frustrated me that the clothes were too large, but I was just incapable of cutting the proper size because how could something that size possibly fit? At some point during/after a couple years of therapy for general depression (dysthymia, technically) I started making clothes that actually fit. I assume they were somewhat related.
At any rate, at a size 38/40 this skirt is about a size too big, which brought back all these memories. It's not great for a tucked shirt because the waist sits a little lower than it's meant to, and I'm sure it will spin around and around my waist like a whirling dervish when I'm walking. *sigh* Unfortunately, the fabric is very delicate and shreddy, and I just don't think it will stand up to the seam ripper. If I decide I hate it at this size after a while, I will risk the fabric to make it smaller.
So I still need to figure out exactly what size to cut, because a 36/38 is sometimes legitimately a teeny bit too small to be flattering. This time around, I don't think I'm seeing things! On my 40s style faux shirtdress, if you look at this photo of the front you can see how the front skirt pleats are opening up a little too much and there are diagonal wrinkles from the pleat radiating down to my hip. And my tartan pencil skirt with front drape is a skootch snug at the waist; not unwearably so, but not entirely comfortable.
Based on my experience with this skirt, I probably don't need to go up a full size, but could use just a little bit more room...somewhere. It's a lot easier just to go up a size, for sure. I think the alternative is the Full Belly Adjustment. Not looking forward to going there.
This skirt is part of my Spring mini-wardrobe. I had it almost done in time for the PR contest, but the lining for the second skirt didn't arrive until the day after it ended. When I finish reviewing the pieces I'll do a collage just for fun.
I've been afraid to wear this skirt until I photographed it because seriously, this fabric is going to get SO WRINKLED. But the skirt is useless if I don't actually wear it. If it is ever again warm enough to legitimately qualify as Spring, I'll take it out and give it a whirl...or more likely it will give me a whirl as it spins around and around and around as I walk!
Aside from my own neurosis-induced fit issue, this is a really great basic pattern. If I make it again I'll make it a little smaller all around, but also slightly peg that side back seam as I feel the back falls too straight/kind of sticks out a little. I've made another fitted skirt since this one, with a little bit of a frippery detail. Although it's more fun to sew patterns with a frippery detail, it turns out the look I want right now is plain, simple, sleek, and chic. So I may be making this one again soon.
All photos are here and the pattern review is here.