Friday, 11 November 2011

Paco's Tennis Skirt

Crossed-over "tennis player" style, calf length
Top tucked in version

This A-line skirt with crossed-over front has waist finished with inner facing. I bought enough fabric from My Fabrics to make a sleeveless top, Vogue 2912 as well. This top is a favourite - I think I'm up to 7 so far in different fabrics and slightly different finishes, but it is now out of print at Vogue and you have to pay a fortune for it. Although I don't do sleeveless, I always wear a coordinating or contrasting cardigan or jacket with this outfit, thereby  remaining true to my "don't do" rules. I also had enough fabric left over to make an obi belt with coordinating ribbon as ties. The pattern for belt was self-drafted but strongly influenced by Parze at

I made the skirt in a very fine wool check with an iron-in underlining, which I can't do very well, hence the wrinkles in the photos. Funny thing is, when I wear this skirt the wrinkles aren't obvious at all. 

Top out with obi-belt as waist accentuation
This is the one thing thing I'm learning from blogging - photos and reality are two different things entirely. Apart from colour changes and, of course, Doris being a thoroughly different shape from me, what you, the reader sees (and judges) is not what the real world looks like!

There are three closures on the skirt; two snaps and a hook & eye on the outside of the wrap for security! And good news for me - no zips! This skirt wraps all the way across the front so that there really is no risk of upper thighs being accidentally shown to the general public as you stride down the street. Here you can see what the fabric really looks like: it is a finely woven check, gold tones, with a flash of rust and a background of earthy mossy green. The skirt was fully lined with a beige/pale gold china silk. I mixed sewing methods on this one and this may have resulted in a not-so-perfect-finished-item. Paco's patterns do not come with instructions, either he believes we are experienced sewers who know what we're doing or else you decide for yourself the best method or you look online! 
I lined the skirt in the traditional "Vogue instruction" method and then found this - Tany. So, one side of my skirt is Vogue and the other is Paco! You see, I have followed Vogue for so long now that I didn't know any other way. Then the online world opened my eyes and I see that there are better, easy and different methods available to achieve the same result. 

In the end, I had to hand sew some of the lining but not all. I quite like hand sewing, especially if it's to finish a garment. It gives the couture look and some quirkiness to unique hand-made garments. I actually like the slight unevenness of hand stitching as this actually shows that is was really done by a breathing real-life person and not a machine programmed to resemble a human being.
Paco's patterns are hand drafted and so accurate that I didn't need to do an Erica-B (add 3") and the wraps of the skirt at the front line up exactly.  I left the top stitching off for a while, but even though I under-stitched the lining, the fabric and the lining kept coming apart as I wore the skirt. So I relented and machine stitched around the edges with a 3.5mm stitch. Now it works just fine.
It has rained all afternoon here in Northern Ireland (nothing unusual about that I suppose), it is windy and cold (9 Celsius) and I think winter is starting her tour of Northern Europe, so this outfit may have to be put away until the spring. But I'll look forward to bringing it out again in March/April 2012.
In the meantime, I think I'll try the skirt in a heavier fabric to carry me through the winter......

Thanks for reading.

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