Thursday, 27 September 2012

Pleated skirt, lucky last work wardrobe piece

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I like to think that sewing allows me to indulge my creative side, but clearly my creative side is completely subject to my goal setting side.
Having mentally planned a 2 skirt work wardrobe for my daughter, I was unable to let it rest once she had finished work experience, and had to make the second skirt to soothe myself and allow me to move on to anther project. I dare say she will need some work clothes in the future!

My plan for this skirt was inspired by some very cute skirts that my older daughter had tried out in Cue, for which we had bought very expensive jacquard denim in which to try replicating the shape of the skirt. (I notice that there are no skirts with this pleating on the website anymore). I wanted to try this non-pattern sewing out prior to the denim.
My daughter and I auditioned 4 different bottom weight fabrics from the stockpile. I had about 5 yards of cotton twill in grey/green cross woven with deep charcol from Michael's Fabrics - This is from a $7 per yard  bundle (+ postage works out to about  another $5 per yard), but I suspect it is far more luxurious than the $40 per metre denim as the hand and drape is so beautiful.  The twill looks terrific with 3 of the 4 blouse fabrics, and the reverse side of the bolero jacket, leaving us both feeling very clever at our wardrobe building skills.
The skirt is simply constructed - in theory.
I took 2 x a full width of the twill (about 150cm) and sewed the short ends together  making an in inseam pocket on the way.

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 I then cut the back piece in half,  inserted a lapped zipper and started draping.
The front and back are first pleated so that 1/2 of the front (or back) waist measurement is brought to meet at each centre front (or back). The remaining outer layer of fabric is then reverse box pleated to fit this measurement, with the pleats meeting at approximately half way between the side and the centre of the front and the back.

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This makes the skirt extremely full, with double pleating, making the waist look tiny, particularly when it starts out as the waist of a fit 15 year old with an hourglass figure.
In practice, the tweaking of the pleat positions  for a flattering position and to sit smoothly over the  derriere and hips took several attemps and a lot of pins. In retrospect, using the full width of the fabric was a mistake, as the inner pleats are too large, extending past the side seams at the back, which made fitting more difficult, although we are happy with the skirt now that it is finished. For my daughter's dimensions, I should have used less width. (The Cue fabric must have been more narrow - as I saw the selvage in the seams during close inspection after my older daughter tried it on)

The waistband is a straight strip, interfaced, and buttoned at the centre back.

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You can see here that I overlapped the back outer centre pleats due to the excess fabric.

The hem is machine blind stitch, and seems to show very clearly in the photographs where in real life it is not noticeable. Weird. The fabric has a very slight sheen, so maybe this is the reason?
Having rather a lot of the fabric left, I was considering a pair of trousers to fill out the wardrobe, but fortunately, have no burning urge to sew these in the immediate future. Phew!

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Full wardrobe constructed
Here is the full wardrobe I have sewn for my daughter - she has a RTW black straight skirt to pad this out.
Pattern review entry
Here is the 5 piece wardrobe I am entering in the Pattern Review mini wardrobe challenge.

23 comments:

Kyle said...

WOW! Your daughter looks like a model!
The skirt is great but I LOVE that scarf shirt!!! Gorgeous!!

K.Line said...

What a gorgeous girl! And you've made her a beautiful wardrobe.

Summer Flies said...

That's a great wardrobe! I love those skirts pleated all around like that... from when I was about your daughter's age too... I love the bolero still and perfect cover for air conditioned offices but I wouldn't have thought of that. Good luck in the contest.

thecuriouskiwi said...

That is a really skirt and suits your daughters cute little figure. I noticed that my hems often photograph up worse than in real life. I hand stitched my wedding dress hem (shiny!) and I thought I did an amazing job, it was completely invisible to my eye but you can see it in the photographs!!

Suzy said...

The whole wardrobe works really well together, your daughter looks so professional!

Carolyn said...

Gorgeous, both your daughter and the very professional mini wardrobe you have made for her... You can count on a vote from me!
It is weird how things like invisibly stitched hems sometimes show up in photos and not in real life, and how other things like interesting and complex seamlines show up in real life but not in photos; I've noticed that too!

Uta said...

I love this wardrobe. You make the best real-life clothes, useful and beautiful. Inspiring!

janessewandtell said...

Ooh! Would you make me a work wardrobe I could do with exactly the same for my office but never seem to have the time to make the pieces myself

janessewandtell said...

Ooh! Would you make me a work wardrobe I could do with exactly the same for my office but never seem to have the time to make the pieces myself

Karin said...

This is a fantastic work wardrobe, that I am sure your daughter will be able to use for years since it is all so classic.

LisaB said...

Karen, I rarely come out of lurkdom to comment but just had to this time. I find your sewing and your approach to it to be very inspiring. You're so down-to-earth and relatable. Thank you for taking the time to blog about the wonderful garments you make for yourself and your family.

ejvc said...

Great grouping, Karen. You really are very talented and skilled. By that I mean you have a really good eye for what works with different fabrics and for different needs, and of course the skills to pull it off. Always an inspiration.

Mary Nanna said...

Your daughter could totally be a Burda model! You just need a hunk of a guy in soft focus in the back ground and the illusion would be complete! I suppose the skirt would have to be made of duchesse or kid leather to really Burda it - but what I'm trying to say is what a lovely professional collection you have put together and how gorgeous your daughter looks. A winner!

Lyndle said...

Awesome wardrobe! Cute, work-appropriate and ge appropriate. You must be in line for mother of the year!

Lyndle said...

Of course that was supposed to be Age appropriate..

MushyWear said...

What a very sophisticated looking wardrobe. Love the shape of the new skirt and everything looks wonderful on your daughter! Good luck with the contest.

katherine h said...

Great wardrobe that you have put together!

SewRuthie said...

Wow! I think this is great :-)

a little sewing said...

the work wardrobe is just stellar, but I particularly appreciate your characterization of your creativity & goal setting. You had to "soothe yourself", that made me laugh because I know that feeling!

fabric epiphanies said...

Your daughters skirt looks lovely and looks lovely on her.

Janine said...

You have created a terrific wardrobe here - definitely looks like a winner.

The Slapdash Sewist said...

What a nice mom you are! I really love that wardrobe, I would be happy to have it for my work closet!

Sew Sister said...

I love the skirt job it looks really good on her!