I was looking for something relatively easy, not too many pieces or complicated techniques- zip avoidance was preferable and something that didn't require a million notions that I don't have as I just don't have the time to go proper shopping right now- just something that I could do quite easily and still feel a sense of achievement. After all I still have another 100+ papers to mark and need the sewing table as a work space.
I couldn't resist this pattern in one of Vogue's recent $3.99 sales. Chado ralph rucci V1310:
|Skirt (loose-fitting through hips) has front extending into tie ends, no side seams and shaped hemline. Both the top and skirt are bias, self-lined and narrow hemmed.|
|FABRICS: Lightweight Silk Crepe, Charmeuse, Matte Jersey. And a whopping 4.3 metres needed at 60" wide|
I wasn't after an evening outfit, which the envelope picture implies, I wanted a skirt - everyday wearable and slightly different. There are no zips, buttons or snaps, just one pattern piece and a bit of interfacing needed. The skirt has a small fish tail on the full length version and is fully lined in the shell fabric. My desire for a day skirt automatically meant a shorter length. Well that's easy isn't it? You just fold the paper pattern up and cut out a reduced amount of fabric.
This is the pattern piece, once the 4 sections had been cut out and taped together. I couldn't even tell where the top, sides or hem where! This was a pin and cut out on the floor job because of that one giant piece. See the curve with the number 6 on it? That's the centre back and the end of the curve is the start of the spiral seam from the left hand hip.
The skirt is fastened by tying two front sections together. This is where the idea of self lining comes in as the inside of the skirt will show when knotted. Now Ralph, my man, silk crepe does not grow on trees and a skirt that requires a full 'self-lining' needing over 4 meters of expensive fabric is not really attractive to the home sewer. My self-lining is more like a facing. Partly because I didn't have enough fabric for a full length lining and partly because I wanted to make a matching top of the left overs and partly because I don't think my version of the skirt needs a full length lining. If I was doing the evening gown look, maybe I would indulge in the self lining version.
To make the facing rather than a full lining measure the length you want - I opted for just below hips, about 20". Mark this on one edge of the pattern and measure 20" on the other edge and cut out in a rough curve between these two points. You can always even up the hem later.
I was very concerned that the knot and the subsequent gathers would be bulky and fattening but looking as these photos it's not as bad as I thought it would be. However, it is not a skirt that you would want to wear if feeling a little bloated - excellent foundation garments may be required for those days when you're not feeling thin.
Worn with Rhonda's Wrap Your Arms Around Me top; made with four rectangles of stretch jersey. Yes, I need a few tacks along the fronts - Rhonda did mention that.
The back of skirt has a beautiful drape, even without the fish tail in the original design. So the pattern does have some shaping and is not as straight up and down as a toilet roll holder.
Tie around the bust for a strapless, loose fitting dress
Or into a halter neck...
Or over one shoulder for an asymmetrical look....
And you can vary the location of the knot too.. at the side
.......or at the back
It is not difficult to make either. The skirt, including the lining or facing, is just one piece, albeit large, cut twice. Sew the spiral side seams on both, sew in a bit of interfacing and tape to stay the waist and stitch the two together. Trim, turn and understitch the lining. Press, hem and wear. No darts, zips, buttons, or even fitting required. It is a bit daunting the first time, figuring out the construction principles but next time it will be a breeze.
I've also decided to plan my time better. A few hours of dedicated marking to be rewarded with a few of something else - invariably sewing.
Thanks for reading. Ruth