I don’t know you, but I absolutely love wearing long skirts. Midi, Ballerina, Maxi… I love them all. Recently I’m all about ballerina length, because ankles my dear friends, even in 2019, are sexy.
Embellished with a button down fastening, or wraps, or slits they also are an extremely playful take on modesty. Granted, there is nothing truly modest about a button down skirt with 3 out of 7 buttons done up as a brisk walk or a rascal breeze makes your hem billow in the wind.
Add to the mixer a little flirting with wacky animal prints (who’s been able to escape this trend?!) and the sizzling summer weather we’re getting then you’d realise that this skirt was pretty much inevitable.
It all started with the research for a wrap skirt with a flounce (not ruffles!)… there are quite a few patterns out there from both indie and large pattern companies, and after quite a lot of ahhh-ing and uhhmm-ing I settled for the Simplicity 8606, as I favoured the really tall flounce and the fantastic floatiness it gives to the skirt.
According to pattern charts I was in between size 12 and 10, cut 10 and there’s enough ease to stil fit softly around my hips (waist is a non issue since it’s a wrap).
The fabric is part of my loot from the London Stitchers Meetup in Walthamstow market. Not sure if the fabric is poly or viscose, possibly a blend of the two. It doesn’t crease easily but it’s not as sticky and hot as 100% poly would be.
In terms of patterns modifications I cut view B (maxi), but it ended up way too long. As my main interest was the flounce, I took it up at the main skirt hem without shortening the flounce, which basically ended up being skirt view D and the flounce of view B.
You can see above my pattern piece next to the original pattern. The difference is that when I shortened it I took the chance of making it a more dramatic high low hem (minimal in the orignal pattern) which basically adds about 3 inches to the back hem at the centre back, tapered to the original lenght of view D skirt in the original pattern.
This did imply fiddling around with the flounce to make it fit the now smaller edge of the main pattern piece. I definitely improvised that bit. I still wanted the side and back seam to match so I sort of eased it in as if it was a sleeve. I did rows of gathering stitches on the flounce and distributed the excess as evenly and invisibly as possible (thank goodness for the magical property of cutting on the bias!) and luckily with this busy print and floty fabric is pretty impossible to spot while it’s on. A dressmaker examining it up close would be able to tell, but a dressmaker would also never tell my dirty little secret.
Finally, the pattern calls for a buttonhole in the waistband to cross the two sides of the wrap – which I didn’t do. I wasn’t really digging the idea of having a slit in such a slim waistband, so I just didn’t interface the waistband and wrapped the two sides over each other. So far it works! you can’t really tell in the picture due to the belt, but it’s really hard to notice even when I wear the skirt without it.
FEELS & WEARABILITY
Allow me a moment of reflection: the very moment we step outside our front door, we take ourselves on a little parade. We see and are seen and our power it’s in what we choose to display.
Have you checked out the brilliant IG hashtag #fashionfeelsfabulous? It’s a joyful celebration of how we make our garments, and they make us too – in the way they make us feel, move and interpret the world around us.
I often judge the success of a particular sewing project based on how it makes me feel when I wear it. Does it empower me? Does it make me feel loved and safe? Or perhaps clever and put together? In which way will that garment help me feel more myself the day I will reach out to it?
This one’s key word is “allusive”: It has 85% coverage, in the sense that most of the time all it shows are my ankles (even with really strong wind, ask me how I know). And yet, with every step it moves around me ever so softly framing the figure – alluding.
Allusive garments are those that at a first glance are extremely modest. Long sleeves, or long hems, loose shape, possibly a covered up neckline. And yet they suggest more than what they reveal.
This little number for instance: the contrasting, vibrant print works incredibly well with my complexion giving me a 24/7 slight tan and the drape is just perfect. It’s a very compact, smooth crepe – totally opaque – with such a fluidity to the fabric that makes it move hypnotically like I’m in a constant slow-mo video.
I’ve worn it equally happily to work, with a black cardi and pumps, to the theatre with heels and pearls, and dancing on a rainy day with military boots and a leather jacket. And it has never failed to make me feel a milllion bucks.
It’s sweet, with a tangy twist, and a poorly disguised fiery flare hanging from each ripple and fold.
It’s basically a flamenco-dancing strawberry if such a thing existed and so I name it, because there’s power in names and I never skip an opportunity to abuse it.