Sunday, September 17, 2017

When I Put My Red Skirt On...

I recently made a bright red pencil skirt, inspired by the first week of the Pattern Review Sewing Bee. I didn't have a pencil skirt on the sewing list for fall, and wasn't planning on sewing along for the Sewing Bee -- I don't do so well with time limits -- plus I have a sewalong of my own on the go right now ;)

But the challenge was to make a pencil skirt inspired by music, and as I read the rules, a song by a group I've recently been listening to a lot popped into my head. Rosie & the Riveters are a vintage-folk band from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan (close to my hometown) who are both fun and socially aware, not shying away from stating their feminism in their songs.

The particular song that jumped to mind when I saw this challenge is called "Red Dress". It's a peppy song about the confidence that comes from wearing the perfect red dress, in this case, a gem found at 'the Sally Ann'. Since I do most of my clothes shopping either in the fabric store or the thrift store, this one really speaks to me. And the tune is great too! Listen to it in this music video the group made -- you can find many more on their website.

Anyhow, I spent a full day going through my pattern and fabric stash, trying to decide what I should make for this contest. I finally decided on the wardrobe pattern Simplicity 1919 because of the skirt's cute ruffle at the back which acts as a walking pleat. Then I matched it up with some heavy red stretch fabric in the stash which I had originally bought with Jalie's Eleonore jeans in mind... but I so rarely wear pants I thought I would use it for this pattern instead.

side view of the substantive ruffle!

It worked, but the fabric is quite stretchy -- more than I'd anticipated. I had to take the waist in even more than I'd originally decided. It's still a bit loose but wearable, so no big deal. I think the rest fits well, and smooths over most of my lumps and bumps, even if the heft of the fabric gave me a little trouble with getting clean seams (it's not easy to press this). I'm going to show you two unflattering pictures just so you can get a better idea of how this turned out.... oh, the sacrifices sewists make.

Not sure why the zip is bumpy in this pic, it is smooth while I wear it. Despite the flaws, I love this deep red and find it really fun and comfy to wear. I think it will go with many neutral tops and be something I can wear nearly year round, with the addition of tights.

So although I had no plans to make a skirt, this has now started me off on all sorts of ideas for other patterns I'd like to make -- after all, I think I looked at every skirt pattern in my stash before picking this one!

Coming up soon, I'll have a great pull-on stretch knit skirt in this year's velvety fabric ready to share; I'll be refashioning a velour maxi tank dress from the 90s that I found at -- yes -- the Sally Ann! Have you made any great thrift store discoveries lately?

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