I hope everyone had a happy holiday weekend! I enjoyed spending a couple days watching the Doctor Who marathon and finally going out to see the new Star Wars movie (fyi: it was so good!). Now that I’ve taken a break from the machine, I think I can get back to the jacket I’ve been working on. It was a little frustrating at the start because I had traced all of the many pieces and put together a muslin, but I messed up my grading and it turned out too small. This time I’m only tracing the necessary pieces first (in a different size), which I am hoping will result in a lot less cursing if muslin #2 doesn’t work out.
Alright, let’s talk about what I have actually finished and photographed! This is one of those projects that I planned as soon as I purchased the fabric, but just never got around to making. That’s probably due to a combination of storing my fabric in opaque bins and not having many occasions to wear a fancy skirt. Not to say that I actually have an occasion for it now, but sometimes I think that it simply being December is enough to warrant wearing black tulle with shiny gold spots woven into it. Wouldn’t you agree? It certainly is a festive month, and after NYE, what other wintertime holidays do we have to look forward to? President’s Day? Valentine’s Day? Gal-entine’s Day??
In keeping with my plan to make more everyday wearable items, I kept this skirt very simple and comfortable. I didn’t use a pattern, just the usual method of making a gathered skirt with an elastic waistband: cut out large rectangles, sew them together along side seams, gather to waistband, insert elastic, hem and done! I was able to get two layers of tulle out of my yardage, and then used one layer of a black nylon georgette for the lining. I also underlined the waistband with the same georgette so that you do not see the white elastic inside.
There are plenty of tutorials out there that show you how to make these types of skirts, and I actually own a few in this style, so I can’t believe I’ve never made one before. One great thing I will mention about making it yourself: you get to decide the size of the waistband before adding the elastic. This is one of my pet peeves with RTW. Being a pear-shaped woman, my hips are about 2 sizes larger than my waist. On some skirts, even if the elastic in the waistband has enough stretch to be able to pull the skirt up over my bum, sometimes the waistband itself is too small. I actually bought a skirt over the summer with this problem, and I have to put it on over my head. It’s not a huge issue, but it is a nuisance. Yet another reason to sew my own clothes!
The hardest part of this project was deciding on the length. When I was cutting it out, I really wanted a floor-sweeping maxi skirt to wear with heels. Then, just before finishing, I thought the maxi would be overwhelming and a midi would be better. I finally decided, with the help of some awesome Instagram friends, to cut the lining to midi length and leave the tulle maxi. I love it! It feels a little less formal like this, and you can see my shoes!
This fabric is also special. I bought it while I was in Sacramento for my cousin’s wedding last February. I had time to visit one shop, and World Class Textile was the closest to where we were staying. We were in a rush, so I only purchased this fabric for myself (also picked up a knit for my sister, who happened to be in there with me).
I haven’t done a lot of traveling since I started sewing, so I don’t have many fabric souvenirs yet. I love that this fabric, and now this skirt, will carry the memories of a lovely celebration and a great weekend spent with family. It would be fun to wear it to another wedding party in the future!
In case you’re wondering, I also made the other items I’m wearing. The turtleneck is a Style Arc Alexi top/skivvy, made in a thick black wool knit (from Fabric Mart). They had a huge supply of wool knits last year and I bought a few small pieces just to try it out. This one has a terry/looped back, and it is nice and warm as well as soft against the skin. I kind of wish I’d picked up more because it feels like it’s very high quality. It has a bit of spandex in it, but not very much because it’s a little difficult to get that narrow neck over my head (at least when I’m trying to avoid smearing my make up). I’ve made this pattern a few times, and all the rest are easy enough to get on and off. It’s a great winter basic – I find myself reaching for my turtlenecks quite often.
I made the turban using McCall’s 4116 (view E) but this video shows you how to make the same exact thing without a pattern. I used a shiny gold lamé knit that I picked up in the remnant section at JoAnn. Sometimes I like to browse the selection in those remnant bins when the cutting lines are really long and I don’t have the patience to wait.
I made it a couple years ago just for fun, and I’m sort of surprised at how many times I’ve actually worn it. I also made one out of a scuba knit that I wore to the beach last summer, and wore that one almost every day of the trip. It’s funny – I’ve never really been a hat person, but for some reason I really like these turbans. Maybe I should try out some more headwear as I work on my style search?