Thursday, May 22, 2008

An Unexceptional Skirt Pattern with Good Results

When I finished my recent B 4985 (check #) blouse, I realized I had enough vintage fabric leftover to make a skirt, and that together they would make a nice two-piece summer dress. I knew I didn't want anything too fussy - the fabric is busy enough - so that immediately narrowed the search down to a pencil skirt or an A-line. The pencil skirt idea eventually got nixed because even though it's in good condition, this fabric is OLD and therefore might not like the stresses of being a snug-fitting pencil skirt.

So A-line it was. Do you know how hard it is to find a pattern for an A-line skirt? Okay, I know I shouldn't need one, but while I was looking for a pattern for the "nuts to you" fabric, I decided I wanted to use the same pattern for some leftover black RPL from Gorgeous Things so that I would have an extra black skirt to take on vacation, and I wasn't going to try pattern drafting a few days before vacation, even as simple a shape as that.

BWOF to the rescue, of course. I passed right by #117 in the October 2006 issue, probably because it was done in shiny fabric with pleated trim at the bottom, but on my second pass through the magazines I concentrated on the technical drawings and realized that this was the perfect basic shape. I also liked the top - somewhere between yoke and waistband.

The patterned skirt was the inspiration for the project, but the black one as the one that got finished in time for vacation. It was comfortable, wore well (and repeatedly, due to the hot weather) and the only change I decided to make for the second version was to move the invisible zip from the side to the back, which simply involved cutting the back in two pieces with seam allowances instead of on the fold. There was nothing specifically wrong with the side zip, I just decided that for the line of the skirt, it would feel smoother to have the zip in the back. I don't notice any difference in the shape or fit of the skirt, but I like it better that way.

As with the top, the vintage cotton sewed up like a dream. This went together in no time at all, and for the finishing touch, and to jazz it up a little, I added a bright purple lining. It makes me happy whenever I see it. It's the little things, isn't it?

Now I only have scraps left of this fabric, but you know what? I can't make myself get rid of them. I've just sorted the scrap pile into two separate piles: wove and stretch. Who knows, maybe someday a project will come out of them.

Yesterday I wore the two-piece outfit to work and I really like it. Most of all, I'm pleased that I finally sewed up some fabric that my great grandmother stashed before I was born.


Elaray said...

You got exactly the skirt you wanted. That is anything but "unexceptional". And, I love the purple lining!

Meg said...

On another topic, I saw a very cute Parisian toile at Rosen & Chadick in NYC last Saturday and thought of you and Trena and Marilyn. It's a deep pick background with the toile print in black of the Eiffel Tower. It'd be cute for an album cover or pillow.

Cennetta said...

Welcome back, Karen. Lovely outfit. Flattering and cool for the warm weather. How lucky you are to inherit the vintage fabric. Adding the purple lining gives it the custom made look and appeal. Love it.

Dawn said...

Those two are really cute together.

Kitty Couture said...

Your outfit is beautiful, and so meaningful. This colourway suits you, too. Great job!