Sunday, 23 April 2017

The 'meh' skirt, and inadvertant vintage

Confession time. Whenever I've posted about my embarrassingly large fabric stash in the past I've tended to concentrate on dress lengths, because dresses is what I mostly make. However there are a few shorter lengths in there as well, mainly because I can't resist the craft cottons remnants bin in my local fabric shop.

This is one of them. I forgot to include a ruler in the photo, but the flowers are about 9½cm / 3¾" in diameter.

The colours and design give it a distinctly retro feel

There was little more than a metre of the fabric, so I decided to make it into a skirt, and used my standard skirt pattern.

I was very pleased with my pattern matching on the back. As ever, I hand-picked the zip.

Pattern matching happiness

Unfortunately this is about the only thing I am happy about. There are some serious fit issues around the waist. These were disguised by the looser weave of the woollen fabrics I've used for this pattern previously, but the firm cotton makes them very apparent. I made the skirt a bit shorter than usual for summer wear, and even with the narrowest hem possible I don't like the length at all. Finally, although I love the unusual colour scheme, it doesn't go with any other items I own. It doesn't even look right with a white top, so I had to hunt though my wardrobe to find something off-white.

All going wrong around the waist

I had forgotten that I'd still got this top, made from New Look 6320. I no longer have the pattern, but found this image online.

I don't have a date for the pattern, but I know that I made the jacket in either the very late 1980s or the early 1990s, so it would be a candidate for the Vintage Pledge. The pattern envelope describes the jacket as, "very loose fitting", and the pattern envelope does not lie. It was an absurdly large jacket. I had made it by the time I met Mr Tulip, and he used to tease me about the bagginess of it.

The top meanwhile has incredible wide sleeves, which on my short torso come down to waist level, giving a very odd look indeed.


All in all, it's not a pattern I regret getting rid of.

But back to the skirt. I think I'm going to take my usual approach of just putting it in the wardrobe for a while and then looking at it afresh, but I suspect it may be beyond rescue. I think I'll go back to dresses for a bit!


  1. I think it's lovely - and I particularly like the zip. I think zips put in by hand are by far the nicest.The modern zip is such an unwieldy thing, and a bit of hand stitching seems to soften it a bit. I know exactly what you mean about loving a piece of fabric - and then not loving the perfectly made outcome. Hence Back-of-the-wardrobe Syndrome - a condition we all have to learn to live with!
    Anyway - I think the skirt would look great in a more chilly season, with black tights and black jumper - cosy and a bit of a '60s vibe.

    1. Thank you Kate! I've come to the conclusion that by the time I've machine-sewn and unpicked a zip a few times, hand sewing is actually quicker - and far less aggravating. Plus as you say, the end result is far less stiff.

      I like your idea of winter wear, and there's the added advantage that the jumper would cover up the dodgy waistband!