Sunday, August 29, 2010

Skirt #23: Kasia

When it comes to skirts and sewing and a versatile wardrobe, I really think you need to be strategic. For maximum mix/match potential, it helps to decide: am I a printed skirt/solid blouse person? Or do I prefer to anchor printed blouses with solid skirts? That way you can have a few solid blouses/skirts in heavy rotation and then go crazy with pairing them with all sorts of fun coordinates in a couple colorways. And also, am I an A-line skirt kind of girl, which generally begs fitted tops to balance proportions, or do I like fitted skirts, which is a bit more forgiving in terms of blouse options?

For the longest time, I knew my style exactly. Fun, colorful, printed A-line summer skirts, paired with a handful of basic tops [I have 2 white button-downs, plus a blouse/tee in black, red, aqua, navy, persimmon, and green ... and that seems to match every skirt I own]. But then I started sewing blouses this summer, and I participated in Me-Made-May, and that completely switched up my thinking. One, I realized there were so many looks out there that I hadn't tried in, oh, ten years, and since my current look is based on how comfortable I was with my body as a teenager, it seemed like time to branch out. Two, I suddenly found myself needing a couple fitted, neutral summer skirts that could anchor colorful blouses. That was the idea behind the Beignet, and that was also the idea behind this latest skirt.

The free Burda pattern Kasia seemed to have everything I look for in a skirt. Classic with a twist. Fun details. And who doesn't like free? Between you and me, that's my favorite price.

Pardon the wrinkles in the photos. Had taken this skirt out for a test run before I got around to photographing this. Also, due to many, many user errors [read: my own sewing mistakes, then lots of fudging to compensate], this thing lay strewn in the sewing pile forEVER before I finally finished it. The fabric is some unknown "washable suiting" blend from Winmil Fabrics that smells strongly of polyester when I iron it that was gargantuan yardage for $10, so if I wanted I could probably make another 3 skirts out of it. I don't [I wish I liked the fabric better, it's a versatile color, and that strategy would make for some low-cost skirts].

The good: Well, it certainly is neutral, fitted, and different than what I usually make/wear. And I'm glad I didn't make the front bib but converted it into a pocketed, waistbanded skirt instead.

The bad: I hadn't anticipated how the hip panels make it impossible to wear your blouse untucked, which unfortunately means this is not as versatile as I thought it would be. I chose not to line it and I think that was a mistake.

The user mistakes: Somehow I zoned out on the fact that the front and back hip panels are not the same size, so I think I mixed those up because that waistband did not line up. That, or when I tried to simplify the waistband by cutting it in one piece, I effed up the dimensions somewhere, but somehow I wound up taking 5 inches total out of the waist and grading that out to the hips, and the upper hips are still poofier than they're supposed to be, I think. Also, I couldn't find any indication in the instructions if the given size was for the final skirt dimensions [with ease] or for your body dimensions [i.e. without ease].

Intended to make a back vent instead of just a slit, but there were so many off-the-cuff modifications that I decided, for once, to just make my life easier. I really like the length though [pinched out 1" at the petite adjustment area and made a narrow bottom hem to keep it just below-the-knee]. Somehow when this hit above the knee, the proportions look off ... maybe it's a petite thing or maybe it's in the eye of the beholder. Plus, I'm getting a little tired of short hems [which, for me, means 1-2" above the knee] -- maybe it's seeing them everywhere, the visual equivalent of when a song gets overplayed on the radio?

O-kay. I am not exactly sold on this but I am more sold on it than the Beignet, and I think it will at least survive my move back to CA. Also, when my friend John told me that I should just get out my ruler for button placement instead of ye olde Eyeballing Technique and I pshaw'd him that it was more fun this way ... next time, I might listen to Farmer John.


Alexandra Mason said...

I really like it! think i'm going to put this one on my autumn sewing list...i like free too :)

Sigrid said...

I think this interesting style compensates for a fabric that may be a bit unlovely. It looks great on you.

Ali said...

Excited to see this skirt and great discussion on shirt/skirt combos (I obsess over things like this as well! And I've yet to grasp what I like the most). I bet this is going to be a real workhorse in your closet -- just as you said, classic with great details and a neutral color for colorful tops :)

Roobeedoo said...

Similar dilemma over here - I sewed a slew of fancy patterned tops and have no plain skirts to wear them with. I had already printed this pattern (though forgot to set the printer to single-sided - duh!) so this might be my next project too - yours is very nice indeed!

Zonnah said...

It turned out so cute and it looks really good on you!

Tasia said...

Cute! I like it, I needed a basic "wear-with-colourful-blouses" skirt too and ended up making Beignet, go figure!