Some posts fight the writing. This is my third-and-a-half attempt at this.
First, I typed a massive draft into WordPress, which ate it, leaving me paranoid. Then I organised for a friend to grab some photos, but they came out rotten. So, more than a year after I made it, and benefiting from the magic that was sunshine plus skilled and willing friend Sarah plus camera, I finally started again! Except I got half way through THIS draft and had to dash to the hospital to collect punk-flatmate who’d busted his leg and when I came back, WordPress had mangled it again! Can I get to the end successfully?
Assuming I have, then may I present to you my Corazones heart pencil skirt!
I’ve already told you about my seriously yellow skirt, and for those of you who obsessively commit my posts to memory, you’ll recall I hinted at a backstory to come. This is that backstory.
I decided at the beginning of last year to pump out a bunch of pencil skirts in a row. I figured that way I’d get to perfect the fit and the technique, and as I thrash my RTW pencil skirts I knew they’d be a winner. I managed two; this one and the yellow one. Best laid plans and all that. But I love them both so it was still a win!
As part of this plan to assembly line some skirts, I decided to draft my own pencil skirt block first. And I did! I used these two tutorials to do so. The first time it didn’t work out so good as I didn’t get the hip point right. The instructions suggested that the hips, should be 20cm below the natural waist as this was about standard “unless very tall” but I had come to the conclusion that my natural waist was higher than average (a conclusion I’m not so sure about now, more on that another day) so I drafted my hips in lower. That didn’t work so I redrafted it following the instructions and the fit was much better! However it’s not perfect: there’s a slight tilting of the side seam (that I didn’t notice) and a slight puddling of fabric at the top of the zip.
While not a huge hassle for this skirt, I decided to correct for the puddling at the top for the yellow skirt by carving out a tiny crescent moon, in effect deepening the back waist curve. What I noticed on the yellow skirt though is that the waist fits better but the side seam tilt is worse! So, more fine-tuning of the draft to come.
What is a bit of a hassle on this skirt is that it is very snug. I did do a muslin, but didn’t stay-stitch the waist and I think that allowed jut enough bias stretch to disguise the firm fit. However, I still frequently wear this – just not if I’m going out to lunch or dinner, heh.
Again, I adjusted for this on the yellow skirt by reducing the seam allowance – and then took it all back in again! Then again, the yellow skirt is stretchy, and this most certainly is not, given the quilting cotton and lining.
The cotton is ‘Corazones Hearts’ by Alexander Henry from the Folklorico range, and depict Mexican sacred hearts. I don’t know much about Mexican sacred hearts other than that it is Mexican-folk-art-meets-Catholic-iconography, but neither of these was why I bought it. I bought it because I love the colours. It features many of the jewel tones I love to wear, including red, purple, turquoise and teal, and I pair the skirt with all of them. Sometimes at the same time! Note the red shoes, purple tee, and turquoise jewellery!
I lined it with what I think is an acetate, acquired from Global-that-was when they had a sale and I decided to stock up on lining. I liked the abstract print. Which turns out to not be an abstract print but “DKNY” in lots of different directions. I don’t like wearing branded clothing, so this won’t ever end up as a visible lining, but it’s great for skirts!
Construction was mostly pretty easy as I’ve done lots of skirts and they all work the same way. I did have to look up the vent in my trusty Reader’s Digest book, but what was very straightforward. I also had to do some Googling for inserting a lining into a skirt as I hadn’t lined a skirt before. This resulted in me cobbling together a bunch of tutorials in a rather daft way. Somewhere (Threads??) I read about a technique to not have to interface a facing by cutting the lining in full and inserting it between the facing and skirt, top-stitching the bottom facing edge over the top before insertion, and therefore using the lining as the strength layer. I thought that sounded clever. I also read in Sunni’s tutorial about lining about not darting a lining, but pleating it, so as to give the lining a bit more room to move. That also sounded clever. And because I didn’t want to do any more measuring or drafting, both of them sounded easier than chopping the facing portion off the lining and attaching the lining to the bottom of the facing. But I foolishly tried to combine the two, which meant I ended up with all the extra give from the pleats being totally superseded by the overlapped facing! Whoops!
I also didn’t know how to line the vent, and although Sunni’s tutorial seem very comprehensive it seemed very comprehensive, if you know what I mean, and I couldn’t be assed, so I simply cut a vent sized piece out of one side of the lining and hemmed the edge! Lazybones! I will do it properly in another skirt, one day.
You know, when I get around to it!