Sunday, 6 March 2016

Self-drafted skirt

Well, I never thought that the day would come when this blog would reference Britney Spears, but in the words of the former Mouseketeer, “Oops, I did it again”. Yes despite having a stash which can be seen from space, I have bought more fabric.

It all started when I fell in love with a long jumper in a gorgeous shade of orange. I bought it, but then realized that the only skirt I could wear with it was black. As long-time readers of this blog will know, I try to avoid wearing black. Then a friend bought me a lovely dark blue cardigan for my birthday, which wouldn't go with said black skirt. So all in all, I needed a new skirt.

Possibly because I still stick to the quaint, old-fashioned notion that a waistband should sit at the narrowest part of my body, I really struggle to get off-the-peg skirts which fit. Laurie of Teacups in the Garden had the same problem with jeans, and very impressively got round it by making her own! Making a skirt seemed far easier. However as a lot of skirt patterns now seem to have waistbands below the natural waist, I decided to take no chances and draft my own pattern.

I found this material in my local fabric shop. Although it's got a black background, there's plenty of orange in it, and blue as well. Ideal!

Front view

The fabric is quite a strange construction, neither woven nor knitted. It consists of weft threads of a yarn similar to the woolly nylon used for overlocking knits, with a 'warp' of undulating lines of chain stitch. The cream, orange and blue bouclé threads are somehow laid on the top.

Back view, showing the chain stitch lines which hold the weft threads together

I decided that I wanted a straighter skirt than the style in Hilary Campbell's Designing Patterns, so instead I used the basic block design from Metric Pattern Cutting for Women's Wear by Winifred Aldrich, and added a back vent. Because the fabric isn't very stable, I included a lining to give the skirt some structure.

In my stash I found an off-black button with a rippled effect which went perfectly with the material. The buttonhole is hand sewn because a) I don't think my machine could cope with such a thick fabric and b) I'm on a hand sewn buttonholes roll at present!

Somewhere in there is a waistband overlap and a zip opening

And here's the end result. It's actually turned out quite retro; I made lots of skirts like this for work in (coughs) the 1980s. I am really pleased with this one; it fits beautifully (so much so that it was super-comfortable to wear for a five hour drive), and I suspect I may be making plenty more.

The finished skirt

1 comment:

  1. I used to make these in the 1960s but a bit longer. We used to get marks on the back of our skirts from cycling to work no cars for us in those days even cycled to save the bus money. Time moves on I have just made a circular skirt for swing dancing but dont swing quite so well these days