Strangely, after working all summer on this:
Photo by Diana Habra Rotheneder
I came home from Costume College and still wanted to sew. Usually, I’m so burnt out at this point that I can’t stand the thought of sewing. Now, that doesn’t mean that I’ve jumped straight into my next big historical project. I’ve actually had the bug to sew some vintage-y stuff that I can wear everyday for work.
Decades of Style has been my inspiration. I picked up a couple of new-to-me patterns while at CoCo and just jumped into them when I got home.
First up is the Arches skirt.
I had a few fit issues with my first version. According to my measurements, I needed to go with the largest size. Silly me didn’t actually measure the pattern itself to see how much ease was built into the garment and ended up with the waist being a solid two inches too big.
I managed to do a couple of quick fixes, taking in the back darts and the side seams…it’s by no means perfect, but it is still super fun to wear.
A couple of notes about the pattern. The directions say to baste those two side front panels all the way down the pleat. Don’t do it. All you need to baste is the folded down part that you will top stitch. Also, don’t make my mistake of top stitching nearly on top of my basting stitches…that makes it rather difficult to take the basting stitches out, and they really do need to come out.
For the second version, I cut one size smaller for everything but the waistband, which I went down two sizes for. I ended up needing to do a teensy bit of coaxing in order to get the finished waist edge of the skirt to fit the waistband, but the fit is so much better this time around.
I also made sure to keep my top stitching very close to the folded edge of the fabric, which gave me a much cleaner look.
Finally, for the second version, I shortened the skirt by nine inches. The original length is tea-length on me (I’m only 5’3″). My short version hits a little below the knee. (I probably could have gone another inch shorter and still been below the knee, but I was very nervous about making it too short to wear for work.)
The second pattern I’ve been using is the “PB & J” skirt.
The fit of this one also gave me some problems, again because the waist was simply too large. (My measurements match the measurements on the pattern envelope, but there are about two inches of ease figured in. I cannot have ease at the waistband of my skirts and trousers…they will not stay up that way. I actually tend to need negative ease on waistbands because I squish.)
Again, I ended up doing some quick fixes that aren’t perfect, but will make do.
And the fabric is so gorgeous!
Because the drape of the fabric is so soft, it doesn’t end up looking much like and 1950’s skirt, but it is still going to be lovely to wear to work this year, especially once the weather starts to cool a bit.
I do think that I’ll end up taking the buttons off, as I pretty much always wear my shirts untucked.
I’m thinking of making a second version with the same modifications I made for the Arches skirt…smaller overall size, taking in the waist a bit more and shortening the skirt .
I’m really incredibly happy with both of these skirts. They are beautiful and, compared to the sorts of projects I’m usually working on, incredibly quick to put together. (Version two of the Arches skirt went together in about two and a half hours…from cutting out the fabric to sewing on the hook and eye.)
I’ve also made a second version of the “Given a Chance” dress, but I’ll save that for another post. I still need to get decent pictures of both versions of the dress.