Monday, February 18, 2013

Sewing Inspiration: Pencil Skirt

I'm definitely the kind of person who gets a one-track mind about a certain project, and can't stop obsessing until all the details are figured out (in my head, anyway). For months I kept seeing this brown wool blend suiting in the remnants at Jo-Ann's. I must have picked it up and put it back a half dozen times. Finally, one day, it was gone, and I was sad. The only thing worse than buyer's remorse is non-buyer's remorse. And then magically, the same fabric reappeared later. I took the plunge and somehow it ended up being half off half off, so I got a yard for $3. Score!

In the September 2012 issue of Better Homes and Gardens, Heidi Klum goes over fall fashion wardrobe essentials. One of them is a pencil skirt. Sometimes Heidi's clothing choices are...specific...but when she goes basic I think she pulls it off spectacularly.

The fabric I bought has a similar texture to the one Heidi is wearing, but the colors are lighter. Believe it or not, finding a pattern for a plain pencil skirt has been nearly impossible. Vogue has plenty of crazy ones with ruffles and pockets and style lines everywhere (style lines=more than 1 yard of fabric).

Just no

All I wanted was a pencil skirt with a waistband, and preferably directions for a lining. This month's issue of Threads had an excellent article about couture waistbands in skirts. One of the featured skirts was a pencil skirt from Butterick 5391.

Perfect. Simple darts, a waistband, and a back zip. You'd be surprised how many patterns omitted one of those things. A LOT of them had no waistband. The only thing this pattern is missing, which I'd like to try, is a lining. I know they can be inserted easily, but I've never done it, and especially not with a zipper. The only reviews on Pattern Review are for different views (pants), and they are less than glowing about the instructions. I'm okay with that, I mostly just want the pattern and would likely rely on outside assistance for inserting the zipper and lining no matter who made the pattern.

The article in Threads mentioned using Petersham grosgrain ribbon inside of the waistband for more stability. If you subscribe to Snippets, the email newsletter from Coletterie, then you know that grosgrain ribbon was a topic in the most recent issue. Seems too coincidental not to be aimed directly at me! Mood has some great grosgrain ribbon, so I think I'll be picking some up with my gift certificate. They're closed today for President's Day, so I'm being forced (in a good way) to delay my shopping spree and to choose items wisely.

A simple, neutral pencil skirt is certainly not something I'll wear frequently since I'm no longer working, but that could always change down the road. Looking at my wardrobe, I have very few dressy skirts, so this project would be a useful one for me. What basics are you missing that you can't believe you've lived without?

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