Monday, July 25, 2011

Rusty red wool/silk skirt

I've made a new skirt...
I found this yummily coloured, beautifully textured wool/silk mix fabric in a remnant bin in Tokyo, the day of our shopping trip with Yoshimi and Novita.  At the time I just picked it up instinctively, with only a quick check to see it was enough for a little skirt.  When I got home and actually laid it out however I could see there was quite a lot of fabric, too much for just one little skirt.
Oh well, maybe I could make a longer, almost-ankle-length skirt...?
I had originally intended to go for my ol' favourite Vogue 7303, but here's the thing; two years ago I bought another plainish skirt pattern Vogue 8363, and have rudely ignored it because of my steadfast and loyal allegiance to Vogue 7303; the poor thing has languished uncut in its packet.  I decided it was high time to try out a different skirt pattern, gave myself a strict talking to and bravely took out the new pattern.  And set to making a three-quarter length skirt (actually view C, lengthened).... but by the time I had reached the point of hemming I knew that a longer skirt was not the right choice for this fabric.  It is such a heavily textured fabric, and is so visually impactful that the big unbroken expanse of it in a longer skirt was just too overpowering... so I ended up cutting a big chunk off to finish up with the very same little skirt that was my original vision for this fabric.  Full circle!
Because this fabric is quite special to me, a memento of our Japanese trip, I went all out to fit and finish the skirt as well as I am capable.  The skirt is lined with raspberry acetate lining fabric, the inner raw edges are finished with HongKong seaming and the lower edge is hemmed with bias tape.  I searched and searched for a suitable button and failed dismally.  So I tried out something new to me; covering a button with my own fabric, using one of those kits you see in the haberdashery section.  Super easy, and the perfect finishing touch!  I don't know why I've never even had a go at this before!
I do have one teeny tiny regret... I have read somewhere about how iron-on interfacing is never used in couture construction, so I decided to go for sew-in interfacing in the waistband.  This was basted in and the waistband was finished, but I could feel the interfacing was waffling loosely about on the inside of it, so I decided to topstitch the waistband to hold everything firmly in place.  That worked, but now I kinda regret doing this, I think this style of fabric and skirt together suits a much more clean finish without any topstitching, and the loosely woven fabric is not the sort to take kindly to unpicking... I'm more afraid of damaging the fabric in the unpicking stage than I am of the look of that topstitching, so it stays.  This does not diminish my love for the skirt; buuuut... should have stuck with the iron-on interfacing!
And no need to worry about that cut-off leftover fabric, it has been put to good use already too!  Results to appear here soon...

Skirt; Vogue 8363 with modifications, rusty-red wool/silk mix bought in Tokyo
Top (not seen); Metalicus
Cardigan; Alannah Hill (bought damaged, and repaired)
Tights; Kolotex
Boots; di Sempre, from Zomp shoes
My review of this pattern...
Pattern Description:
Skirts A, B, C, F have front and back darts and back zip.  A; ruffle.  B; lace overlay and back vent.  C; side buttonhole closure.  Skirts D, E have front pockets and front and back darts.  E; purchased trim and snap closure.  F; front stitched pleats and back vent.  Skirt length is 5cm below mid-knee.
Pattern Sizing:
6-20 overall, I bought the AA (6-12) and custom-fit to myself during construction, as usual
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you had finished sewing it?
Essentially yes, except that my version is a simple short skirt incorporating none of the variations pictured...!
Were the instructions easy to follow?
very easy!
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I like everything about this pattern.  Super easy, stylish, a basic wardrobe builder.  It might even be my new favourite skirt pattern!  Without a doubt I will use it and use it over again.
Fabric Used:
Wool/silk tweed, polyacetate lining
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
This version pictured is a short version of view C, without the button/button band at the bottom, the only other adjustments were fitting alterations.  Also my skirt pictured is fully lined, provisions for which are not supplied in the pattern but is an easy alteration.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Definitely yes, to both!
Very easy, very basic, therefore a very useful pattern.  It has no standout or trendy features, so it will never go out of style.  This pattern is a winner that I will hang on to forever...!
(below; going for a fashion magazine pose...)


  1. That skirt is so perfect on you!

  2. Love the skirt! The fabric is beautiful.

  3. Really nice. You are right, that is an interesting fabric and it's the perfect length. I am impressed at the couture techniques you used, fusible interfacing notwithstanding. And, while I love your goofy doggy, it's so nice to see a kitty for a change!

  4. Nice and great fitting skirt. Looks like a great wardrobe staple.

  5. I love your skirt! the fabric is gorgeous.

  6. Beautiful fabric and finishing = lovely skirt. I am anxiously waiting for the next installment of this fabric, the colour and texture are very appealing even from here. Wool and silk, yum, the close up on the button looks great.

  7. wowwwwwww ! I love it and so in fashion for A/W 2011

  8. You're looking wonderful in that pic! I love the outfit, the skirt looks great with that top and I love the boots! The skirt looks like it fits you wonderfully, and I like that you went all out on the finishing!

  9. Perfect choice of pattern for that fabric. It looks great!

  10. That looks a beautiful coloured and textured skirt - a perfect souvenir from Japan - my daughter bought some cotton for me when she was an exchange student in Japan - I am still searching for the perfect pattern to use with this lovely fabric as it is so special to me.

  11. Love that skirt, it fits like a glove on you! Wonderful fabric!

  12. Beautiful! That is some great looking fabric

  13. Yes, that's the perfect length. I love the rusty color and I'm completely impressed with your hong kong seam finish on the inside.

  14. That's just gorgeous & you're right - the length is just perfect as it is. What a lovely momento of your trip.

  15. What a beautiful skirt - everything about it just looks perfect. I think you've done the fabric proud & like that it has meaning for you as well as being gorgeous!

  16. I'm not sure which is more perfect, the skirt or the moggie. Beautiful fabric.

  17. It's beautiful all around--fabric, fit and finishing. Well done!

  18. I love the skirt at THIS length and the way that you have styled it. In many months of reading I felt an urge to begin trying to sew again myself.

  19. What a classy little skirt. You are sure to get so much wear out of this and it is beautifully finished. Love the color and texture.

  20. Beautiful skirt (on your great body, of course!). And what a cat! So furry... and all in one single color!