Thursday, July 20, 2017

OAL2017: Gray Melissa Skirt

Today you get part 2 of my Outfit Along project: my skirt!
After deciding on my sweater pattern, I had to pick what to wear with it (to see Part 1 of this outfit - my sweater - click here). I'm a fairly practical dresser, and while I love the idea of dresses I almost never wear them on a daily basis because of my work. I'm a strictly separates gal everyday, so I decided to make a skirt. After throwing around a few ideas of skirt patterns I had planned, I decided to be boring predictable practical and make a pattern I've made a few times before and love: The Melissa Skirt.
This is the skirt portion of the Melissa Dress by Muse Patterns. I seriously love this pattern, and I've still only ever made the skirt! I have a Blue Jean version and a Basic Brown version of this skirt that I wear ALL.THE.TIME. For real. These are the skirts that I grab when I want to run out quickly or walk the dog or just need to be comfy but not look like a slob. These skirts are the perfect fit, perfect length, and even have the perfect pockets - thus they are worn to death. During Me Made May this year, I decided my old ones are looking a bit ratty (I'm looking at you, light weight denim!), so in a fit of "I can't decide what to make for the Outfit Along" I just grabbed this pattern and decided to kill two birds with one stone and sew up another great neutral version.
Having made this before and perfected the fit, sewing this was a breeze. Also having sewed this in 3 different types of fabric I knew what would work best. My denim version is a bit too light weight for the sea breeze where I live right now, and the green stretch heavy sateen was a very unfortunate disaster (I still lament you, green fabric!), but my brown version is just right. How's that for a Goldilocks statement? The brown fabric was a poly blend of some kind that is heavy enough weight o hold its shape in the wind, but it wasn't rough like a canvas tends to be and it doesn't have the diagonal weave that twill has. Maybe it's a gabardine? I thrifted the fabric, but that stuff is magical. I know it has some poly because it doesn't wrinkle much at all. With all that in mind, I started digging through my stash to try and find something similar to the brown fabric. When I unearthed this gray heavy cotton twill that was just the right length, I knew it was meant to be. I honestly have no idea where this fabric came from, which I very odd for me (I can't remember if I washed my hair or not, but I can remember where I acquired all of my fabric and how much it was - thanks, brain). I'm not sure if I bought it years ago at Hancock Fabrics in hopes of making some other project (as I was prone to do) or if I got it from a thrift store or what. I'm just happy I had it! This fabric is a great weight with just enough body to keep its flare and not blow up in the wind.
As far as fitting, I did the same adjustments that I did on my brown version: I added 1/2" to each side of the pocket panels (so my hands would fit in the pockets without straining the fabric), and I removed a 2.5" deep wedge from the center back. This worked out great and this is the smoothest fit I've ever achieved on the back of this skirt. Since this skirt will be worn a ton and therefore washed a lot, I overcast every seam and then top stitched them down. This really helps in keeping everything tidy inside no matter how much it gets battered in the wash. It definitely takes a lot of thread though.
And finally the aspect that makes this design so great: the pockets! These are seriously the best pockets. These skirts get so many compliments when I wear them and they always refer to the pockets and how cute they are. I can fit my entire phone in them. Or my hand. Or my keys at work. They are a very useful but cute touch and I adore them. I also love that this skirt has a button front, and I lucked out with buttons again as I bought a tube filled with miscellaneous buttons at The Sewing Studio in April for $3 and it had the exact amount in this size. I like the lines across the center - it kid of echos all the top stitching I think. Also this was my first time using the button sewing function on my sewing machine, and man I am hooked! It was so nice not to have to sew these by hand. I'm keeping an eye on them to make sure they stay on, so I will report back on that.

So there's my new Melissa skirt! I'm thrilled to have this in my wardrobe and I know I will get a lot of use out of it (especially as it looks fantastic with my favorite gray embroidered Taos shoes - you can see them in the first photo). Yay for useful basics!

Come see my final piece of the outfit up next!

Fabric: 1.75 yards of 50" wide gray cotton twill - $2.00?
Pattern: Melissa Skirt by Muse Patterns
Notions: Pellon SF101 interfacing - $0.75, gray thread - $0.75, 7 gray buttons - $0.25
Time: 5 hours
Total Cost: $ 3.75


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