Wednesday, November 30, 2016

FO: Plaid Peggy Redo

Here's a project that was actually 4 years in the making! lol I'm so glad it's finally done and on my bod. 
I originally bought this fabric back in July of 2012 during The Sewing Studio's big bi-annual sale. It was a designer remnant, so I'm not sure of the content. It's yarn dyed and woven with pretty large strands of thread, some of which are stretchy making this a "stretch woven" (which I now avoid like the plague) but this didn't behave like a normal stretch woven in my experience. Back then I wouldn't have known the difference anyway, lol. I bought this with the intention of making a Picnic Blanket Skirt with the tutorial on Tilly and the Buttons. I cut into it relatively soon after I bought the fabric (within a few months) and ended up making this is small stretches over a couple more months, finally reaching the point that you see below.
I had the pockets in, side seams and front plackets done, and the waistband was stitched on but not closed. It only needed the waistband finished inside, a hem, and button holes/buttons to be finished completely. But I hated it. In retrospect, I don't know what I was thinking really. This is a fabric with a lot of body, and I have a thicker waist so I try to avoid any added bulk there. I put it on at this point and felt like a house. It was not a good look. I was very disappointed, so instead of dealing with it then I chucked it in my "WIP" drawer - where it sat for 4 years! Can you believe it? lol In my defense that drawer didn't get opened much since it was full of things I didn't want to work on, ha ha, but still. I knew it was in there and that I liked the fabric and liked the idea of having a skirt from it. I had the notion somewhere down the line of turning this failed project into a Peggy skirt from Blue Ginger Doll, but never did anything to make that happen. Jump forward to a the 8th of November of this year. I'm participating in #BPSewvember on Instagram - a photo challenge hosted by Bimble and Pimble - and the prompt for that day was "Dear Past Me". I chose to tell past me that this gathered skirt was a bad idea and that it would sit for 4 years unfinished. I never realized how long it had been until making this post and doing a little blog investigation. I've been wearing my first Peggy skirt quite a bit lately and thinking that I would like to make another. #BPSewvember brought this skirt to my attention. Bada bing, bada boom, I decided to finally remake this into something I would actually wear...
Since I was re-cutting this from the other skirt, I was at the mercy of the pieces available. I unpicked the whole thing and laid out my pattern pieces. I was able to cut the Peggy front from the Picnic back and the Peggy backs from the Picnic fronts. There were strips of the Picnic fronts left that were wide enough to cut the pocket facings and fuse pieces from, and I had a little of this fabric left uncut that I used for the pocket bags themselves. The waistband happened to be almost identical between both skirts since I chose to make the straight option of the Peggy, so I just left those pieces as they were.
I had been very careful to match the plaid across the fronts of the Picnic skirt (well, as careful as I was capable of being at that time, lol), so I was able to match the fabric across both back pieces as well, but any other plaid matching was not an option. I wish I had thought of the side seams 4 years ago (and I'm pretty surprised I didn't to be honest), but they wouldn't have matched on the Picnic skirt either. So, I just didn't worry about the side seams on the Peggy. There are worse things in the world than disconnected plaids. At least the front and back match, so that feels like a win. I don't notice it while I'm wearing it anyway.
The shining, proud moment of this skirt for me has got to be the back plaid matching. I realize it's not perfect since the black lines are doubled up and look thicker, but the plaid is matched perfectly horizontally across the seam. Woo hoo! And wait ... it gets better ...
There's a lapped zipper in that seam! I know, right?! lol I've never paid so much attention to so many things at once while sewing such a short seam before, so the fact that it worked out (after much perseverance) has me pretty stinkin' pleased with myself. The result is that my zipper is perfectly hidden under the lap. Things got a little trickier with my waistband and I had to shorten the button side to make it level, but that doesn't bother me since I don't think it's noticeable when worn (except to us sewing folk). Considering that in my first Peggy skirt I couldn't even figure out how to make the button flap piece and had to close it with hooks and eyes, I'm just happy I got a button on it this time :)
So, the other best part about this skirt is undoubtedly the pockets. This is another aspect that it seems I didn't quite get right on my first try at this pattern, but I definitely nailed it this time. The pockets are designed to have a natural "pocket gape" so they always lean forward and stay slightly open, which I managed to accomplish this time (the first one seems to just lay flat and I don't remember what I did after so long). The result is that the pockets are just always poised and ready to receive my hands, which just makes me want to put my hands in them all the time. It's like, "Oh, well don't mind if I do," every time I look down at my skirt, lol.
Details! Since this fabric was so prone to fraying, I overcast everything inside. My previous Peggy skirt has had fraying issues since I didn't really know to finish the seams back then, so I wanted to make sure that didn't happen this time. The second photo on the top above is of my rather makeshift cutting. I ended up with some of the fusible interfacing from the Picnic skirt button placket area showing inside my pocket bag. I was able to hide this inside the skirt, but it still funny to see it there. No one needs to know! The button I used was a vintage one from my stash that has a faceted design on it - it was the only one, so I was pretty thrilled to use it. The bottom left photo is of the pocket itself as it naturally hangs. See that gape? Isn't it great?! When cutting out the pocket bags, I knew I didn't want to mess with plaid matching in the pocket bags, so I deliberately cut those pieces on the bias. I actually like this better because it draws more attention to the pockets as a fun feature of the skirt. And there's the lapped zipper again - man, I love that thing. I even managed top stitch the lap at the joint of a black and white line in the fabric, so it's completely invisible in the fabric. I used a vintage zipper from my stash that I snagged for$0.10 way back - woo hoo! And I went with a machine blind hem so that the plaid wasn't broken up by topstitching (since the sides of the skirt curve, it would've looked weird in my opinion).
Here's how the skirt looks with my shirt untucked - it's not bad in the photo, but I just don't love it in real life so this will be one of the few skirts I actually tuck my shirt in with (gasp!). Since this i shigh waisted, I don't have my usual issue of my shirts not being long enough to stay tucked - hurray! It's also worth noting that I shortened this skirt by several inches from what the pattern is designed to be. I did this on my first Peggy as well just because I feel knee length is more flattering on me. It worked great though because the Picnic skirt pieces weren't long enough for the full length Peggy anyway :)
So there you have it - my plaid Peggy skirt :) Talk about making lemonade here, right? I'm so glad to have this plaid monkey off my back and on my butt, lol, in a form I enjoy wearing. Now I want to make more Peggy skirts! This project also made me realize I need more solid colored shirts to wear with it. I'm sure those won't be far behind ...

Fabric: 2.5 yard remnant of black and white gingham style yarn dyed plaid stretch woven - $7.50 (there's still 1/3 - 1/2 a yard piece left of the fabric though)
Pattern: Peggy Skirt by Blue Ginger Doll
Notions: fusible interfacing - $0.50, 7" black zipper - $0.10, black button - free (stash), black thread - $1.00
Time: 4 years and 6 hours, lol
Total Cost: $9.10


  1. Just stopped this on the CCC November roundup and came to see more. I love this story! I've been there too. But you have a great very wearable skirt. I have this pattern but have never made it up. I'm newly inspired to now. Thanks also for writing up your experience so well, super helpful.


Thanks for joining in the conversation!