When you’ve had enough of doing one thing only, ie marking exam papers, it’s always best to go and do something completely different… I’ve been missing sewing. The trouble really is that I’ve been internet shopping for patterns and fabric as a way of compensating my lack of sewing and the parcels are delivered almost daily and it’s hard to put them aside until my ‘work’ is completed. So late one night last week, after another 50 were marked, I dug out some gorgeous satin cotton that had recently arrived and searched for a pattern. Oh just to feel the fabric in my hands was pleasure enough! It’s a smooth cotton with a slight sheen; grey/black tiny stripes with giant dinner plate medallions reminiscent of Versace; with just a brush stroke of gold.
I was looking for something relatively easy, not too many pieces or complicated techniques- zip avoidance was preferable and something that didn’t require a million notions that I don’t have as I just don’t have the time to go proper shopping right now- just something that I could do quite easily and still feel a sense of achievement. After all I still have another 100+ papers to mark and need the sewing table as a work space.
I couldn’t resist this pattern in one of Vogue’s recent $3.99 sales. Chado ralph rucci V1310:
|Skirt (loose-fitting through hips) has front extending into tie ends, no side seams and shaped hemline. Both the top and skirt are bias, self-lined and narrow hemmed.|
|FABRICS: Lightweight Silk Crepe, Charmeuse, Matte Jersey. And a whopping 4.3 metres needed at 60″ wide|
Looking through others’ blogs everyone thinks this is a fabulous skirt but there seems to be some reticence about actually making it. Why buy it and make it when you have nowhere to wear it to? It seems to be a skirt of distance appreciation. Emmm…….I’m the one who bought it and made it. There was only one review on PR but Chenille adapted her version to lose the knot. Here goes….
I wasn’t after an evening outfit, which the envelope picture implies, I wanted a skirt – everyday wearable and slightly different. There are no zips, buttons or snaps, just one pattern piece and a bit of interfacing needed. The skirt has a small fish tail on the full length version and is fully lined in the shell fabric. My desire for a day skirt automatically meant a shorter length. Well that’s easy isn’t it? You just fold the paper pattern up and cut out a reduced amount of fabric.
This is the pattern piece, once the 4 sections had been cut out and taped together. I couldn’t even tell where the top, sides or hem where! This was a pin and cut out on the floor job because of that one giant piece. See the curve with the number 6 on it? That’s the centre back and the end of the curve is the start of the spiral seam from the left hand hip.
I had no idea what I was actually doing at this stage of proceedings, I was just ‘doing’ it. You can see that my folding of the pattern to shorten the skirt is a bit hit and miss and in actual fact it was a miss and I ended up patching up the hem to make it even. It was much later that same night when the inspiration came and then everything became clear after that! I realised – this skirt is a toilet roll tube, you know the cardboard roll? Unravel that and you have the pattern for this skirt. OK Mr Rucci, that’s probably a bit simplistic but you all get the idea. So I’m saving you the trouble of getting a headache: when you make this skirt, start with a toilet roll tube, unravel it and then you will understand clearly the principles of constructions. To make the skirt shorter, measure from the end of the back curve to required length and match this length on the opposite edge and then sort of join these two marks up with a curve and cut.
It actually turns out that this skirt is extremely versatile too……
I do this skirt an injustice by comparing it to a toilet roll tube – it is secure and comfortable and most definitely unique. Rather like a sarong in some ways but with shaping and flare.
It is not difficult to make either. The skirt, including the lining or facing, is just one piece, albeit large, cut twice. Sew the spiral side seams on both, sew in a bit of interfacing and tape to stay the waist and stitch the two together. Trim, turn and understitch the lining. Press, hem and wear. No darts, zips, buttons, or even fitting required. It is a bit daunting the first time, figuring out the construction principles but next time it will be a breeze.
I’ve also decided to plan my time better. A few hours of dedicated marking to be rewarded with a few of something else – invariably sewing.
Thanks for reading. Ruth