Monday, March 18, 2024

A Classic Gored Wool Skirt

While it may not be the most interesting item in the world to make, a black wool skirt is certainly a useful one.

I have been meaning to try Vogue 1961 for some time, and it seemed like a good option for the textured black wool I specifically purchased for a long skirt last year.

I did decide to add some extra length to the skirt.  Although the model looks like she's tall, and the skirt is a nice tea length, when holding the pattern pieces up to my body, it just didn't look like they were going to be that long.

I was also concerned that a lightweight rayon lining was going to drape differently than the wool and potentially need to be hemmed much shorter to keep the lining from peaking out of the skirt during wear.  Although I haven't ever underlined a skirt in this manner before, I thought that I might as well give it a try.

So before any of the construction began, the main task was to hand baste the layer of wool to the rayon lining.  If you have followed me for any period of time, you are already aware of my love of hand sewing . . . but this amount of basting one black layer of fabric to another was slightly tedious, even for me.  After working with a length of black thread, I quickly realized that using a contrasting basting thread was going to be a whole lot easier on my eyes!

Once that process was complete, the project was very straight forward, sewing each gore to the next.  Since this would be underlined instead of lined, I finished my raw edges with rayon seam binding.

Whether the small amount of exposed wool in the seam allowance would be itchy on my skin was something I thought about, but in the end, decided would not be too much of a problem.

The pattern instructions suggest an invisible zipper, and since this is a princess seam finished with a facing, I decided to go for the invisible zipper.

I ended up adding a few pieces of plastic boning to the facing to keep the upper edge from collapsing.

This has become a standard addition to most of my skirts, and while it takes a little bit of extra effort, I have never been disappointed with the technique.

I also added a lightweight fusible interfacing to the facing.

And if you think that I am going to spend my time removing all of those basting threads, you would be wrong!

Honestly, it's rare that I remove any basting threads unless they are visible from the outside of the garment.

The facing was tacked in place along each seamline.

For the hem, I hand stitched the two layers of fabric together just inside the hemline.  This keeps the layers from separating and shifting as the hemline is folded and stitched into place.

And here is my classic black wool skirt.

This garment has definitely come in handy this Winter.  The textured wool does have a tendency to show lint, but that's just part of wearing dark colored wools, I guess!

Saturday, March 9, 2024

Fluffy Fibers

My knitting projects as of late have been more of the easy to wear type.  I find that I gravitate towards a comfy sweater on rainy days when I wish I didn't have to get out of bed because of the soggy mess outside.  Those are the knits that I pick over and over again during the Winter months.

And I do have a few of those options in my wardrobe, and more hand knit versions have been added to the collection over the years.  But what most of them have in common is that they are darker in color, with a few bright pink exceptions.  So when I decided that a lighter pastel should join the group, this lovely robin's egg blue/turquoise colored yarn seemed like an excellent choice.

I had to check my notebook where I keep track of my sewing and knitting projects, but this sweater was started back in December 2021.  While the knitting did not take very long, it did take an eternity to get around to blocking and eventually wearing the finished knit.  But once I started wearing it this Winter, I couldn't get enough.

This is not my first project using KnitPicks "Wonderfluff" and it probably won't be my last.  While this particular color seems to shed a tiny bit more than the pink and forest green sweaters that I have made, it is rather miraculous how little it does transfer to other items of clothing, like dark colored wool jackets.  For something that looks rather angora-esque, it behaves nothing like that fuzzy, shed-happy fiber.

For the pattern, I decided to make another "Cherie" since I get so much wear out of the previous version that I made.

It's not the most exciting knitting project in the world, but it sure is relaxing to work with a fuzzy fiber in stockinette stitch. 

And I'm not sure that a massively textured pattern would be shown to its best advantage in a yarn with this much aura.

I do have a few skeins in a lavendar hue, so perhaps I will test that theory next Winter.

But for now, I'm quite content with this classic style sweater to keep me nice and snug on a cold day.

Monday, March 4, 2024

Cabbage Roses on a Field of Velvet

I thought that a floral themed velvet was an appropriate outfit choice for a day at the Legion of Honor to see the Botticelli exhibit, and so the first outing for this dress just happened to be at a museum.

The day was rather gloomy with quite a bit of rain, but my Mom and I made the journey to San Francisco to spend the afternoon exploring the galleries.

My main reservation about this dress was the fiber content.  I am not a fan of polyester, and I avoid it as much as I can.  But I was stuck on the thought that this design would look great in a floral velvet, and since the pattern requires a knit fabric, it was impossible to find anything that fit the bill other than polyester.

I have been wearing a silk slip under this dress, so it minimizes the amount of polyester that I feel on my skin, and while I can't say whether it's this particular fabric, or the fact that I'm wearing an underlay, it's less plasticy than I was expecting.  So that's a relief.

As for the changes that I made to this version of Vogue 1907, they are minimal to the overall look, so anyone who has an eye for style lines would easily be able to tell that they are the same pattern.  But I do think playing around with the design was worth the extra effort.

The addition of the band that extends into a tie at center back stitched into the underbust seam works very well.

As for the sleeves, I shouldn't have shortened the length quite as much.  The shoulder seams sit slightly in, and the length of the pattern piece made me think that it was going to be extremely long.

That aside, the pointed sleeve hem does work.  The point has a tendency to rotate slightly toward the outside of my hand, so if I was to do this again, I might cheat the point a bit away from the center line.

But I think that I will leave it for now.

And I really do love the colors and the print, and the silhouette is really easy to wear . . . so overall, this was a successful project.

Dress:  Made by me, Vogue 1907
Earrings:  Nicky Butler
Shoes:  Royal Vintage