I have a new finished project that has (sort of ) been 2 years in the making! The Beignet Skirt!
A few weeks ago, I decided I was finally ready to tackle this project. The funny thing is - I have no idea why I was so obsessed with this fabric, lol. Not only is it a fairly light color, which I try to avoid on my bottom half, it's also polyester. This is a suiting that I got from Joann's and I remember that I was so excited about it that I would check every time their sales changed to see when this would be cheapest - I can't remember what exactly it was called, but I know it had "Rebecca" in the title. It's an ok polyester, I guess, and it's a pretty pattern (almost linen-like white streaks printed on the teal/blue), but it's pretty thick - almost 70s thick. Yeah. Needless to say, this project turned out a bit too warm for the current weather here in Florida, so this is an AC-only item. Luckily past Megan purchased the coordinating lining (Ambiance with "Rebecca" in the title too), and it just happened to be bemburg rayon, so there's that. In the outer fabric's defense, it did sew really nicely and didn't fray, so that was nice. I had to use a clapper religiously while pressing if I wanted to even be able to tell it had been pressed at all, but we got there in the end.
The best part about this project was the result of my muslin - this pattern fit great right out of the envelope! That has never happened to me before! Once this was discovered, I happily cut into my long-saved fabric and got to work. I made this skirt over the course of a few weeks since my schedule has been incredibly busy these past few months. I spent a few hours one night cutting, then marking and sewing the outer shell the next night, then had to wait over a week before I got to go any further. By that time it was my day off, so I was able to spend most of my day finishing it up and by that night I only had to pick my buttons - a major instagram related dilemma in and of itself, lol. I had always planned on using white buttons with this fabric, but when I went to Hancock Fabrics to purchase them I also came across some teal/blue and white swirled ones that matched perfectly - and I am not exaggerating that, it was an exact match. I was so torn! I put pictures up on instagram, and literally everyone said to go with the blue ones. By the time the skirt was done, I just still couldn't get my original plan out of my head, so I went with the white ones. Sorry, everyone! lol Even when the buttons were picked, it had to wait another 5 days before I had the time to sew them on. Oh, the joys of adult-ing.
Now that the skirt is finished, I can see that it's a little too big just at my hips and below, so I will be slimming that area down next time around. Other than that, I could not be more proud of this skirt! This skirt is by far the most complicated this I have sewn so far - not that it was incredibly hard, just time consuming due to all the different pieces and how it is lined.
I did make the belt and belt loops as the pattern calls for, but I figured that realistically I will probably end up wearing it with my shirt untucked as well, which would look like above. I don't really love this look now that I look at the pictures (it seems to make my hips look wider since it's a bit too big there), so I guess I need to figure out a longer white shirt that won't constantly come untucked like every other shirt I own (I have a long torso - it's unfortunate). The other issue I have with the color is that ... I literally have nothing to wear with this skirt except white shirts, lol. I think it looks super boring with just a white shirt, but none of my cardigans really go with the style of the skirt, which has lead to rather frustrating times getting dressed. So, I've technically made more work for myself, lol, but oh well. I like making t-shirts anyway. I'm more excited about the accomplishment of actually sewing this piece, so I'm not that put out about it.
Details! Just take a look at that curve - gorgeous! I went really slow and pinned the daylights out of it like a princess seam, then cut lots of notches to get it like this. I was seriously amazed when I turned it right side out :) I also ended up hand picking the blind hem, and this is the first time I've ever had to do that. I'm a big fan of my machine's blind hem, but this stinking fabric showed everything like a line of puckers along the bottom when I tried to do it by machine. My hand stitches aren't perfect, but it's much more "blind" than it would have been otherwise. I machine stitched a narrow hem on the lining though. The pockets are perfectly hidden inside the side seams. And oh my gosh I cannot even describe what I went through over those belt loops. This polyester hated to press, but that is incredibly compounded when you're working with such teeny tiny pieces that are only supposed to be turned under 1/8th of an inch. Ugh! My clapper came to the rescue, but I will confess a few minor burns to my fingers in the process. They came out really well, all things considered. I also didn't include a pic here, but I posted on instagram of me using a mallet and blade from work to cut the button holes open - this fabric was so thick that my little snips just couldn't handle it, so I brought it to work with me and hammered them open. It worked very well, and I didn't have to buy yet another expensive sewing tool - score!
Here is the only somewhat feasible looking outfit I was able to make that didn't look too crazy-pants (or does it? lol) And here's a slightly embarassed confession - this was my first time making more than maybe one or two button holes on my machine. I did have to unpick two of them, but only because I didn't get the needle exactly lined up with the others. I call that a success :) I impressed myself there as well.
Anyway, in spite of its little quirks, I am ridiculously proud of this skirt :) I also am proud to say that I managed to tick this off my list before my 30th birthday, so I was able to wear it on the big day. This project was a bit more expensive than my typical el-cheap-o projects, but I have now lived and learned, lol. I'm a total tight-ass, what can I say?
Fabric: 2 yards Polyester with linen print "Rebecca" - $12.00, 2 yards Ambiance Bemburg Rayon in "Rebecca" - $10.00 (all fabric from Joann's two years ago)
Pattern: Beignet by Colette Patterns - birthday gift 2 years ago
Notions: 12 buttons from Hancock Fabrics - $2.20, 1.5 yards of Riley Blake Bird Print Twill Tape - $2.99, teal thread from Hancock Fabrics - $3.00
Hours: 12 hours total (including muslin making)
So yeah, another project in my wardrobe :) I'm planning a denim version next ...