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!
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|