Monday, April 12, 2010

Now that's more like it

Spring-like, I mean.

This is BWOF 2/2007 #113, which I made and reviewed before, back in January, 2008. Another pattern I made sufficiently long ago that I barely remembered it. Though I do wear the skirt pretty frequently; I guess I just don't notice the details.

I bought this fabric some time last year, in a little store on 40th Street in NYC. I don't remember the name of the store, just that I got snagged window shopping by this really aggressive blonde Russian woman, who dragged me in and started hurling bolts of fabric off the shelf that "suited" me. None of which did, oddly enough. Even a stopped clock is right twice a day.

This is what I found that did suit me. She tried to tell me it didn't work with my skin tone (and she might be right), but I also always knew it was going to be a skirt, so it didn't really matter.

Light cotton batiste, almost no weight at all to the fabric. $6 per yard. And it's by . . . wait for it . . . Betsey Johnson. A little restrained for her, maybe, but I liked it.

I've been holding onto it until I found a fabric where I could use the print on both the straight grain and bias, and after the festival of gray on Saturday, I went in and dumped out all my skirt patterns to find something for this. And it turns out I had something, which was even better - I didn't really feel like tracing, although I would have if the right pattern hadn't already been waiting.

Like the striped top, this took next to no time. I skipped a few steps from the original - I omitted the waistband, which was always a little binding, and just lined the skirt up to the waist and topstitched. If you only take the easy way out once in a while, the sewing gods won't get you. Hopefully.

And this is how the skirt is being worn to work tomorrow. I braved my least favorite store on the planet last week - H&M - because I wanted a couple of lightweight cardigans to combat the air conditioning in my office. I knew they'd have a good selection of colors, and the price would be okay. I just had to get over the fact that I have to buy a larger size in that store than I wear in sewing patterns. I'm a RTW 8, a 12 in the Big 4, and at H&M, I'm a 14.

Obviously a real size 14 can't shop in there. I felt like all the skinny, black-clad salespeople were pointing and snickering, "Look, dumpy 40-something trying to buy cool clothes." It's the only store that makes me feel lumpy and dumpy and 40-something. If they didn't serve an occasional very specific purpose in my life, I'd never set foot through the door.


Karin van Dam said...

Very springlike indeed. Great skirt, it looks like you could twirl heavenly in it. I like to be able to twirl with my skirts and dresses. I know. I'm a big little girl :-)

Ruth said...

Great skirt, and yes, I simply wheeled round and walked out of a store the other day when I told them my size (equivalent to a Burda size 40, Vogue size 14) and the girl said, "Oh, extra large." I am 5'5" and 138 pounds!
I told another friend of mine (who works as a stylist for the wives of politicans) and she went into outraged spasms! "I would kill her!" she said, miming strangling someone! How anorexic do we have to be even to be "medium"?

Almost thirty years ago I read "Fat is a Feminist Issue" by Susie Orbach. Nothing has changed since then, unless things have just got worse.

I was willing to buy some RTW for the spring, but that experience stiffened my resolve to sew or look like crap. I am keeping my money and sucks to the designers, and skimping manufacturers who think I'm XL with a BMI of 23. I don't have to suffer a distorted body image for the pleasure of buying their none too special clothes!

Barbara said...

Oooh, the print! The skirt looks so cheerful!
And about sizes, you know what I hate the most? The one size fits all and especially when the usual petite skinny salesgirls tell me I will fit in! How would a 40/42 fit in a dress meant to be sold to a 34/36? No wonder we cannot find anything appropriate. We are not the target costumers. Even if we are a normal and healthy size 40. I gave up shopping long time ago. But then, I sure prefer making my own clothes!

Little Hunting Creek said...

I love those colors - what a cute skirt! It really looks great with that cardigan and belt
I never shop at H&M, but my daughter loves it. I feel like you do, that they don't want me there anyway.

scormeny said...

Too funny! I bought 3 yards of that same fabric at probably that same store, about a year ago. It's a Betsey Johnson print. It's cool to see what you did with it! I have to get around to sewing the bathing-suit coverup/tunic that I have been plotting to use it.

Rose said...

That's a great Spring outfit!

melanie ajumma said...

Gorgeous! Who wants store bought when you can wear something like this? I'm so jealous, it's exactly what I want for spring.

Gretchen the Household Deity said...

Such a perfect skirt for Spring! The colors are very you.

Nancy K said...

Fortunately for my dd she has a good body image, because everything we brought into the dressing room at H & M was a size too small in her usual size 4. I know, that even a 6 is small, but not when you are used to wearing a smaller size. I could certainly not shop there!
Love the skirt and the cardigan and tee look great with it. The pattern is perfect with the somewhat wild print.