It's been a while since I posted. But in my absence, I've been working on a sewing project in addition to working some crazy hours. Our niece's wedding was October 11 and I needed something to wear. I already had part of an ensemble, starting with a sweater I bought last holiday season from Coldwater Creek but never wore. It was an orphan piece, so I decided to make a matching skirt. I found an excellent match at Silk Baron, so while waiting for the Evergreen silk dupioni to arrive, I began auditioning patterns.
My first choice was the Iris Skirt from LaFred. Unfortunately, this pattern line is no longer in production due to the untimely death of its creator but the design is classic. I traced it off and made a prototype out of one of the many cuts of fabric I bought from the Vera Wang liquidation. This one:
The Iris Skirt pattern is really great. The pattern is well drafted and the view I chose includes lining pieces for a kick pleat. The guide sheet has excellent instructions for installing an invisible zipper, too. I loved putting it together, but quickly realized that it would take longer to perfect the pattern than the time I had available. I've set it aside for now and will revisit it later. A good pencil skirt (with pockets!) is definitely worth developing into a TNT pattern.
By this time the dupioni had arrived and was prepared for sewing by machine washing and drying. I usually prewash dupioni because it knocks down the shine and mitigates the risk of water spotting. I decided to revisit a TNT pattern that I had successfully used before, Vogue 2637. This is an early 1990s pattern that I previously used for my wedding so I knew it would work.
Like the view of the Iris Skirt that I tried, it's a pencil style with pockets and a kick pleat. But this skirt has an elastic waist instead of a zipper. That's ok because I had not planned to tuck in the matching sweater.
When making the skirt, I underlined the dupioni with flannel. This is a technique I learned from Sandra Betzina and Kenneth King's books. Underlining strengthens the garment and prevents wrinkling when wearing. My mom also used this technique when making dance costumes for me and my sister--it makes the garment look more luxe as well. I have plenty of flannel in my stash and just used one of them. The print doesn't show through the dark fabric.
I also lined the skirt to finish it. Because I had made it before, I had already drafted a lining pattern The poly charmeuse is (again) just something from my stash. It's a nice surprise to have a pretty print inside.
Wedding activities started around 3 pm and continued late into the evening, and the skirt performed perfectly through the ceremony, photos (in the cold!), pre-reception cocktails, and reception dinner with dancing. The only thing I would have changed is to snug up the waistband a little bit more. I did the fitting without wearing shape wear, but added spanx for the wedding (which I forgot to wear in the photo above!). Oh well, still wearable and easily fixable in the future.