Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Simplicity 2413, Silk Organza Biking Skirt

Simplicity 2413 Thumbnail

I bought Simplicity 2413 for the paper bag waist tulip skirt view, but when I was considering skirts for biking I noticed that the pleated view was pretty cute. I like the size of the waistband and the width of the skirt--not crazy wide for this silk organza with plenty of body, but plenty wide to swing my leg up over a bike.

I have been wanting to make this skirt since I bought the organza from Fabric Mart last July for $3.99/yd. I've seen it listed a few times since but at over double the price, so I feel lucky to have snagged some when I did. For some reason, I only bought 1.5 yards. Dumb! I should have stocked up.

I lined the skirt with some Vera Wang rayon satin I purchased during my giant binge from Fabric.com last year when all the VW was $1.95/yd. This is another fabric I should have stocked up on; I think I bought only 3 yards. The quality is just outstanding. On the lining, I went back and forth on whether to have the matte side or shiny side facing out. The shiny side creates a weird interference with the weave of the organza resulting in a headache-inducing visual effect. But, I love the way the subtle shine boosts the beautiful organza so I put it shiny side out anyway, and will warn people not to look at me too closely.

Variable Front and Back Pleat Lengths The pattern uses the same piece for front and back. My front and back are not shaped the same way. I stitched down the pleats as marked for the front, but had to stitch them much further down in the back, converting them more to released darts than pleats. Otherwise, it was just way too puffy over the back, even given the intentional fullness of the silhouette. I may need to stitch down the side-most back darts further still into actual darts, as I am getting a lot of puff on my low hip (just call me Marie Antoinette), but I don't want to interfere with the bell shape too much more; as it is, I have managed to preserve it even in the back.

Waistband Elastic I found a product at G Street called "Waistband Interfacing," though it seems more like some kind of specialized elastic. I tested various interfacings on the organza and (unsurprisingly) they all showed through and looked terrible. Since I couldn't interface the waistband and wasn't sure that interfacing only the waistband lining would be enough, I thought elastic would be a good solution to keep the waistband in shape. The skirt doesn't have that elastic waist look, but it fits snugly and without discomfort. I am sold on this now!

The skirt is designed so that the zipper is sewn both to the skirt and the waistband up to the fold line. So I installed the zipper and then tacked the elastic to the seam allowance and zipper tape at each end. Then I stitched-in-the-ditch (or as close as I can get) on the outside, careful not to catch the elastic.

Fashion and Lining Fabrics as One at Zipper I sometimes treated the lining as lining and sometimes as underlining in this project. The non-zipper side seams of both fashion and lining are sewn separately in their own French seams. Then the pieces were joined at the upper edge and treated as one for pleating. While I love the look of a French seam in sheer silk, I thought the pleats would not look as nice in terms of how the parts of the print would interact.

At the zipper side seam, I sewed the zipper to the fashion and lining fabrics as one, and then French seamed the fashion and lining separately below the zipper. This requires a little finagling and a tolerance for not-quite-perfect at the transition spot, but it's a technique I've done before and it gives me what I'm looking for. I definitely wanted the lower half and the hem of the fashion fabric to hang free, but didn't want to put the zipper only in the sheer fabric because it would look ugly with the seam allowances and everything. It's not perfect, but it is acceptable, both from the outside and the inside.

Front I am so happy I finally had the chance to make this skirt! I adore the New Look silhouette, which seems to be enjoying a bit of a resurgence.

In fact, this project might have been a little *too* successful because I wore this skirt on a ride with Cidell on Saturday and was afraid of getting chain grease on it the whole time. I believe the bikes on the trip will have chain covers, and I won't be lifting it up onto a car rack or doing any maintenance, so the skirt should be safe on the trip. But at home, I think I'll stick to wearing it for non-bike occasions other than commuting (the CaBi bikes I ride to/from work have chain guards).

I'm wearing it here with yet another version of the OOP Simplicity 4509 cowl neck top. This is the last of the purple jersey I used for my Kate Middleton dress and ruffle shoulder top. I curse my fabric economy when laying out because it is *so* tedious and time-consuming, but when I pull off a hat trick of a dress and two tops--with long sleeves on both the dress and one of the tops--on a 3 yard piece of fabric (given that Fabric.com's yards are generous) I do feel pretty smug.

All photos are here and the pattern review is here.

43 comments:

marjoriekh said...

Just gorgeous -- and I love that you are going to bike in this! Please have someone get a photo so we can see you in action.

I like to hike in skirts, and can never find any with all the features I want. I am going to have to start sewing them.

Sewfast said...

Super cute...you will look smashing on your bike trip!

Isabelle said...

Adorable! This is a great skirt to bike.

Clio said...

What a perfect outfit for Spring! If this is activewear, I think I can safely say that you are in no danger of boring your audience with an "all activewear, all the time blog". LOL. I can't believe you are going to bike in this - it's incredibly cute.

Angela said...

Very very cute skirt! Love the fabric and I can't believe you got 2 tops and a dress out of 3 yards of fabric!! Way to go!

ELMO said...

Very cute!! I love the shape of it, and you did a great job lining up the pattern. I have the same fabric, bought at the same time.... but I didn't get any of the lining fabric.

Little Hunting Creek said...

this is SO CUTE!

Elizabeth said...

Love this one on you, and the fabric is so perfect for it! CUTE :)

Farah said...

that is such a nice skirt and it looks awesome on you. I love it!

Karin said...

That is some biking skirt! It begs out for a "sit up and beg" bike with a basket full of flowers on the handle bars. You will look great rolling through the country side. I picture you with a field of tulips behind...actually I remember most of the fields were full of sheep! They are cute too.

Victoria said...

Pretty skirt, the style is so feminine. I love the skirt's volume---it's perfect for a bike ride.

Marie-Christine said...

I think it's a lot easier to get grease on pants than a skirt - that length just doesn't get near the chain at all unless you're doing some calithenics that'll get you in a lot more trouble than just a little grease :-). This is bound to be divinely comfortable, like wearing nothing at all on a warm day (ahem. if it doesn't rain..). This elastic is my favorite - BanRoll is the brand. I used to buy it in 25-yard rolls from Clotilde, but can't find it in rolls any more (sob). Never pinches, never rolls, can be sewed through without ill effect, good stamina in the long term. If you see any more, please let me know! I'll buy 250 yards.

But now that you've mentioned it I'm getting worried about Cidell too. What is she making ?!? You've got to get on her case before the last weekend!! Does she already have a ton of biking clothes or something?

Jane M said...

This is the most wonderful use of this fabulous organza. I'm thrilled you get it at the FM fantastic price. But then to make a biking skirt out of it is sheer genius! Can't wait to see the trip pics.

McVal said...

That is so cool that you're biking in a skirt! So very Victorian of you! :) The skirt is adorable and looks like one my girls would like.

Samina said...

Absolutely adorable outfit! It looks like it would be great for a lot more than riding a bike, though. I think it's adorable for hanging out in, too.

Adelaide B said...

This skirt is perfect for spring. And is cute as hell. I love it when people use organza in unexpected ways.

Lisette M said...

Adorable skirt! I have had my eye on that fabric for a while but I have always seen it at the higher price.

Uta said...

Very pretty! I've been doing some contortions trying to bike in my straight skirts (and wrecked at least one back seam), so this is definitely the way to go. Not even mentioning how cute this is going to look on a bike...!

Summer (Our Heroine) said...

Your skirt is adorable :) What a great idea to wear nice clothes that work for biking!

Faye Lewis said...

So cute and springy!

Rebecca said...

Super Cute. I love that it is a biking skirt!

AllisonC said...

This is simply gorgeous and I really like the way you dealt with the lining/interlining aspect of it. It seems a little bit bonkers that this organza skirt was made for biking, but why not, right?! I hope Amsterdam has warmed up since I was there in February!

meli88a said...

This is the cutest thing ever. You're going to have so much fun wearing it!

Shari said...

Cute skirt! How fun that it's a biking skirt.

Chrissy Weeks said...

I just made a skirt A LOT like this one! Something about this time of year makes me want to wear a gingham or plaid skirt in spring colors. Yours is very cute! And a little better made ;) Cute! Check out the one I made if you want - Chrissy Weeks
http://www.chrissyweeks.com/2011/03/ahhhhh-skirt.html

Lane said...

How very chic to go cycling in a silk skirt! I love it!

Carolyn (cmarie12) said...

I saw that fabric and wondered what you could possibly do with it and you made a wonderful skirt with it. Simply wonderful!

HeathersSphere said...

SEW fun and fabulous, Trena!

Mountain Thyme said...

Love, love, love the skirt...the pattern, the length, the material....love!

badmomgoodmom said...

Your bike trip sounds like sew much fun! You will be the styling.

I used to bike commute in knee-length full skirts, too. The wind would blow right up my skirt lift it up toward my chest. That attracted too much attention, and was bad for aerodynamics, too. Then someone taught me to use a binder clip to attach the skirt around the top tube. Can you visualize it or do you need me to post a pix of how that works?

I am super-impressed by your tetris-like pattern layout skills. But then I remembered that I also got a 3/4-sleeved wrap top, a long bias skirt and a pair of shorts out of a 3 yard (54" wide before preshrinking) piece of linen.

Did you have to resort to piecing scraps in some places, too?

Lindsay T said...

Very pretty and perky! Wish I had some of this fabric.

Katharine said...

LOVELY skirt. I also have great luck bike riding in a CF box pleat skirt. I think you're right, they'll have chain guards on your rented Dutch bikes.
Hey, it's probably a good thing overall that you just bought a little of that lovely fabric. It's so memorable, that skirt would have to be out of circulation for a year before you'd have the urge to wear another incarnation of it. It's not like a big tartan like that will look good as a matching suit jacket, so two pieces would have been quite a lot. There will be more beautiful fabric out there in perfect colours. Never fear.

A Sewn Wardrobe said...

Silk + bike skirt just cracks me up!

When in Copenhagen 2 years ago, folks were often dressed up while riding. I even spotted 2 (incredibly attractive) young guys wearing suits, riding tandem on a bike (while also drinking Carlsbergs!). I've heard the Netherlands has a similar bike culture, so you won't be out of place at all .

Andrea said...

Can I just raid your closet now? I love your skirt. I can just imagine you right now riding your bike with that skirt on. LOVE it!!!!!!!

kathy said...

Lovely.

MushyWear said...

You are going to look so cute biking in this. I love how you used silk organza. Isn't that an awesome thing about sewing? You can use whatever fabric you want for whatever you want to make. It might not always work out, but this is definitely a winner!

gwensews said...

What a cute, cute, cute, flirty, girly skirt! It looks terrific on you. Love the color,love the fabric.

KarenP said...

That skirt is so cute!! The colors looks like Spring.

McVal said...

BTW: Have you ever ridden on RAGBRAI? The week long bike ride across Iowa? It's in late July. My brother rides it every year with his team Marley. My son has ridden for just a day or so at a time. I wouldn't last the few miles...

Ann's Fashion Studio said...

Love the skirt! The fabric is beautiful.

Kathleen Gillies said...

Now all you need to put together is some lovely cushioned pastel silk knit bike shorts to wear underneath (comfort + modesty) LOL. Then again, you can just zip around like "take no prisoners" fly at a whim tourismo. I like to think of myself as a mature tankgirl but for extended rides in new places I would find a chamois insert as my last long bike ride made the sitz region a tad (okay, very much) tender. A lucky circumstance is that you lovely skirt would camofluage padded bike shorts perfectly!

BTW you look very Spring-Adorable in this outfit!

Linda said...

Cute skirt. I kept looking at that fabric when online at fabric.mart. It really made up into a nice looking garment.

didyoumakethat said...

That's a beautiful skirt! I've never sewn with organza; it scares me.