It was a pattern I would've overlooked. I'm not yet adept enough to see the potential in a pattern without a model or illustration that I can see myself in. In this case, my model was not on the envelope, but Tasia, who's made the skirt three times, one in black as one of her Top 10 Sewing Projects, which she describes as "the perfect black skirt. Full, fitted at the waist for the perfect hourglass shape, in a fabric that works for both day and night." By the end of Me-Made-May, in which she wore her black (Armani fabric!) version several times, I simply had to have it. Here's her sporting it:
What I love about this skirt is its fullness is created by pleats rather than gathers, allowing the waistline to be fairly flat. It falls a bit above the knee and has pockets to boot. It seems, which I wouldn't've guessed from the cover art, to be an incredibly versatile design: It can be done up in prints for a spring/summery/playful feel or in dark solids for a basic skirt with a little bit of shape and flair. As a basic, it's easy to play up with either retro or contemporary styling.
I finished it just in time to see Chanel and Stravinsky, here's my first jaunt out:
Onto my essential criteria:
- Does it meet the rule of three? Yes, but barely. Since it's the first of it's kind in my closet, I need to learn how to wear it.
- Does the pattern have remake potential? Absolutely! After Operation Ruby Shorts and the evasive Japanese top, it was such a joy to put together. So easy and high reward. I fall between sizes 12 and 14 (two seperate envelopes) but with some help from Tasia I opted to go down to size 12 and decreased the rear center seam allowance a bit and it was just fine.
- Did you use fabric from your stash? Yes! Though black would've been the most versatile, I opted for a dark blue given it's summer. I'd wanted to use a darker fabric, but alas, there wasn't enough, so I used this thrifted fabric and I'd assumed it was a linen blend. I'm thinking now it's more like wool. Wool in summer? Yikes.
- Will this be able to replace something you love less? No, but I am donating something else that's ill-fitting.
One of the things I admire the most on sewing blogs is the amount of body and self awareness that seems to be the natural byproduct of sewing. I suppose, if we're going to make the effort of sewing a garment, we might as well make choices that flatter us. Sewists know what style they're going for and what colors and silhouettes flatter their body shape.
This full-skirt is entering my wardrobe partly in an attempt to flatter my square-shaped figure. My waist and hip measurements are actually similar to some of my friends that appear hourglass-like to me, but my bust is fairly close to my waist making me boyish on top. From what I've read, there are two ways to flatter a square-size body. You can create the illusion of more curves with cinched waists (big belts, peplum jackets, or full skirts with natural waists) or fluttery things around the bust (ruffles etc). Or you can do the opposite, wear loose, flowing items that skim over the body.
In this skirt, I feel pretty (and happy and gay:). There seems to be nothing more feminine than a swishing skirt and heels. But I'm really at a loss on how to pair it. I did some digging in my closet.
Attempt 2: Better, the cap sleeves balance the fullness a bit. But hadn't I said once that I was swearing off skin-tight tees? I might have to revisit that.
Attempt 3: Better. I feel Peggy Olson-y, ready for the office. But I'm not going to the office. :(
I'm unaccustomed to having all this shape on my lower-half and feel like I need tops that balance me. So, what's a girl to do? Sew, of course! From now until the July 4 holiday, I'm sewing tops, hopefully culminating in the white blouse on my list.
I'd love to know from you skirt-savvy gals: What skirt shapes (full, A-Line, pencil, etc) flatter your body and how do you pair it?
Happy sewing :)