I made this skirt several years ago, from the same pattern as this version. But I probably only wore it twice before making it into what it is today. It was one of the first articles of clothing I made “correctly”, as in following all of the steps, learning to adjust the fit (adding an extra pair of darts on the back & front to compensate for the difference in waist:hip), stitching in the ditch, etc. But it still didn’t look good on me, and that’s because I chose both the wrong hem length for my figure, and the wrong textile for the length.
I absolutely love this fabric – it’s almost a corduroy, but not really; kind of a velvet burn out, with a little bit of stretch. That stretch makes it a good choice for a snug garment, so at least I got that part right. But it’s just too heavy for such a long skirt. And such a long skirt definitely makes me look frumpy. Yeah, the woolies don’t help, but I took this back in January or February.
This seemed like a much better length for me, so I went for it. First I folded the skirt under and checked the length. Then flipped wrong side out, measured and pinned and did another mirror check. From there, a line of hand basting went in. Yet another measure all around to mark the cut line. I wanted to make a wider hem, which looks nice on heavier fabric, and especially now that this was going to be a mini.
In college, I had a pretty cool tie collection going from all the amazing thrift stores where I went to school. Most of them went into a quilt for my sister & brother-in-law, but I still have all the ends. Light bulb moment!!! A silk Hong Kong binding would be the perfect treatment, and a great way to use up scraps I’d been toting around from place to place. The silk would be thin enough for use as a binding, and ties are always cut on the bias. Ideal!
As you can see, I took in a bit from the side seams while I was at it. I left the side and back center seams finished in their original manner, which was serged. Just seemed a bit crazy, even for me, to take apart the waist band unnecessarily.
I also pondered a bit over what was once a slit below the zip in the center back. I needed some sort of opening there – one needs to walk, after all. But a slit seemed a little much on such a short skirt. And they aren’t very stable. So I opted for working in a sort of godet/kick pleat piece. As an afterthought, and like a lot of my figuring out the engineering of garments, it’s not really in there correctly, but it works.
This little number got a lot of use this winter, and is not longer a dud in my closet. Win for recycling my own projects!
Note: Experiencing a bit of sewing frustration at the moment, so I’m happy to have written up most of this post in advance. Why so glum, you ask? Well, the silk underlining on my 1970s keyhole dress shrank. I had pre-washed the cotton pique before putting it away all those years ago, but didn’t think the silk would be much of a problem in a cold water soak/lie flat dry. Alas, I’ll be unpicking and re-hemming. And probably mixing up a cocktail or two.