Tuesday, January 14, 2014

She's got legs, she knows how to use them!

I just made you think of a ZZ Top song! Ha!

Well, I finished my first garment for the 2014 Ready-To-Wear Fast and I LOVE it!

Outfit Details
Blazer: Target (Purchased 2013)
Tank: Target (Purchased 2011)
Skirt: DIY
Purse: Vintage from Reneesance (Purchased 2011)
Shoes: Chinese Laundry (Purchase 2010)
Necklace: Orion Designs (Purchased 2008)
I have a job interview tomorrow and had NOTHING to wear that didn't make me look like a little girl playing dress up in her mother's clothes. Seriously, it was a major problem. I really try to look impeccable for interviews. It's my past career life in business and my perfectionist tendencies combined. I had the tank and blazer already. The blazer is a smidgen big but it's totally appropriate. The tank is actually a spanx style tank but because I've lost weight it isn't OMG SUCKING THE LIFE OUT OF ME tight anymore.

Originally I wanted to make a ponte knit wiggle dress for the interview, but the fabric I have on hand didn't go well with the blazer. The blazer was a must in my mind so I developed a Plan B. I pulled out Butterick's B5249 and started making a muslin of View A. Shockingly the muslin fit almost perfectly with no alterations! I couldn't believe it. It was meant to be! I have a variety of mid-weight stretch cottons in my stash and decided on my darkest brown stretch sateen. I figured it matched my shoes perfectly, contrasted the tan tank and cream/gold tweed blazer nicely, and I was pleased to see it perfectly matched my handbag when I shot my photos. Yeah, totally meant to be!

On to the pattern/construction details:

Pattern Used: Butterick B5249, View A (OOP, Available on ebay) - An unlined, high waist, princess seamed pencil skirt with belt, flounce, shirring and pocket options.
Size Cut: 16 for the back, 18 for the front
Alterations/Changes to Pattern: I took in front princess seams by 1/4 inch to give me 1 inch less in the front total. Also, I trimmed down the hip curve to suit my shape better as I have lower curves on my hips than the pattern was designed for. I made a 3 inch hem instead of a 2 inch one as the pattern stated because I wanted the bottom of the skirt to hit me mid-knee. I omitted the belt and carriers, but may add the carriers later. I have a leopard print belt that would look amazing with this skirt!
Instructions: Didn't use them. It's a pencil skirt with princess seams... A newbie could do it!
Fabric: Dark Brown Stretch Cotton Sateen from FabricMart (I think) purchased a few years ago. I have yards of this stuff left to make slacks and maybe even a jacket. 
Does it look like the pattern envelope? Yes, except I skipped the belt/carriers.
Will this be made again? ABSOLUTELY! This is now my TNT pattern for pencil skirts. The fit is AMAZING! I'll probably work with adding a lining and maybe a vent in future versions. This pattern is insanely versatile. It's a shame it's OOP!

Construction Details:
I SUCK at sewing zippers with a machine, so I decided to try handpicking the zipper for this skirt as my first time ever trying that technique. It's not perfect, but for a first time ever I'm seriously pleased! Next time I make this pattern I will use an invisible zip with the same technique. I'm seriously out of practice with hand sewing but I thoroughly enjoyed working on the zip while watching Downton Abbey and Sherlock (watching the episodes before Season 3 airs on the 19th).

I used a Hong Kong finish with all the seams and bound the raw edge of the facing. The facing is understitched and I hand tacked it down to the seam allowances on the skirt to keep it in place. I ran out of the darker bias tape so had to improvise by using a shade off, but I don't care, it still looks freaking awesome to me on the inside.

I did a blind hem with my machine. It turned out perfect!

I love how clean this skirt looks on the inside! It looks amazing now matter which way you see it! I did spend a good bit of time and put in a lot of work on it, but the end result is so worth it! I have a skirt that will really last. I know this will be a staple in my wardrobe for a long time! Such a classic skirt!