Hi there folks!
Hot on the heels of my last post, here is my second and final Vintage Pledge make of 2015. I had wanted to make three things overall, but hadn't settled on what to make for the third. With time narrowing and no fabric in my stash inspiring me to whip up something just for the sake of it I decided to cap at two in the end (here's my other make- a late '70s jersey dress). I'm sure there will be more vintage makes for 2016, and as my style is all vintage-inspired anyway, I don't think it's worth making something just because I said I might- I need to have something that I'm excited to wear to take the time to create it!
With this in mind I think that next year's approach to my making will be to try and focus on fabric first- there is so much yardage waiting in my stash that I have allocated for particular projects that I haven't got round to yet. While I love the excitement and possibilities of new patterns, often they require shopping for specific fabrics and I think making a dent in what I already have is important - and will yield garments that have existed only in my imagination for too long!
Having said that I'm pleased that I decided to make this skirt up. I did shop for it specifically- like my second pair of Gingers I knew I wanted a specific fabric in a solid colour, so online shopping at Minerva crafts was the way to go to avoid fabric shop temptation that might end in many more metres of frivolous prints! This is a solid black cotton drill, and I very nearly bought it in black and white checks by accident so I guess it must be specifically for uniform making such as chefs' trousers. It was incredibly easy to work with, cuts and presses well and holds the waistline pleats well so I'm glad I went with this, even if it does remind me of something I might have worn to school back in the day! As long as I avoid styling with a v-neck pullover and blazer hopefully this won't come across too much in everyday wear...
I have made this skirt once before - it's Simplicity 3257 from the late '50s, which I bought a couple of years back from Etsy and back then the measurements were perfect, but now I might need a little more room. The waistband was absolutely tiny- even for the 28" waist it's drafted for - so I decided to add a couple of extra inches and then just attach by trial and error rather than trying to match the notches. I made sure to balance the ease so there was more waistband at the front for my belly and a little less at the back where my swayback often means there's a gap anyway, with a little to overlap at the side. It's worked out OK so far, there is still a bit of creasing from wear though.
As I'd made this before (when I barely had any experience with sewing!) I knew this wasn't going to be too much of a challenge and made it in a couple of evenings after work. It's got quite an unusual kickpleat construction- the 'modesty fold' goes all the way up to the waistband, rather than just being a wider extension of the centre back seam. Other than that it's just two darts at the back and four pleats at the front.
I followed all the instructions except for the side zip insertion- instead I decided to use my Colette Sewing Handbook so I had the step-by-step photos to work with (in my first attempt at this skirt I didn't get my head around the pattern instructions for the side zip either and just sewed it in by hand!). They're probably not that difficult really, but I don't have a huge amount of patience and knew I had the Colette book to cover me. I still haven't made anything from that book yet- but I like to have it to hand for solid advice every now and again. I still refer to my copy of Love at First Stitch too (although I wish it had spiral binding!)- it got me into good habits like staystitching and understitching that not all pattern instructions include.
Anyway- this skirt is simple and the perfect thing for wearing with my cropped vintage jumpers, even if this angora number has deposited white fluff all over it! I could maybe do with a little more ease in the hips for the most flattering fit... Perhaps next year I'll try my hand at sizing up these one-size vintage patterns as there's another very cute dress pattern I bought along with this one when I was blissfully unaware of the difference between shop and dressmaking sizes.
Thanks for reading and happy new year everyone!