Most Basic of Skirts

In my book, I call for every woman to have a basic, dark skirt.   Annnnddd… mine was the dark-green wool skirt that’s been in my closet for 7 or so years now.  -cough-cough-


Since I’m going back to work soon, in whatever capacity God has for me, I needed a good interview skirt.  I had this navy silk tussah in my stash – I was thinking it would make a good blouse (a serious lapse in judgement).  Bright navy is my “black”.   So, this is about the most basic skirt I could possibly own.  It’s like having a security blanket.  “I know I’m well-dressed, I have on my skirt..”

Because of my lack of hip, I like volume in my skirts.  But volume isn’t really a “thing” in corporate wear.  The only voluminous hem you can really get away with is a pleated skirt, so that’s what I made.   Same pattern as my last pleated skirt, a little bit shorter, a size smaller – the other one is big enough to annoy me, I’m going to have to take it in.


And here’s an up-close of the fabric.  This sew was much nicer – I had almost no unraveling.   This is a finer matka/tussah weave, flatter and much more well-behaved.   (You can’t see properly in these photos, but it shines like a butterfly’s wing – just like all silk).

I’ve done enough sewing this summer that I have a really solid skirt wardrobe at this point.   At least, pre-job I have a solid skirt wardrobe, lol.   Now it’s time to sew some blouses!


The Skirt of All the Colors

This is a five-gore skirt based extremely loosely on the Walking Skirt pattern from Folkwear.  Extremely loosely – I “rubbed off” the pattern from the skirt I’d made, then de-bustled and modernized and shortened some years ago.


I bought this fabric intending to use it as a jacket, and my husband took one look at it and told me that this much color near my face was going to be too much.  (This is the nice way of saying, “Egads, woman!  Too loud!”)  So, a skirt.  This is a silk matka that I bought from my local fabric discounter.   They have a pile of it, and I just swoon over the stuff.   I usually pass over the really bright bits, but as previously noted – this Spring was the Spring of “I need some energy” because I about hugged this.  Okay.  I did hug it.   I like fabric, okay?  😀

But this is the first time I’ve actually USED silk matka, and there was a learning curve.

Lesson 1:  SEW IMMEDIATELY.   The fabric started unraveling as soon as I cut into it.  If you can’t sew this immediately, stay stitch every edge immediately.

Lesson 2:  Don’t even think about laundering.  Not even hand laundering.  I gave a bit a try, in my usual optimistic fashion (I don’t like to dry clean).   Nope.  So much nope.  Not dye-fast (I believe this batch came from India, and Indian turquoise dye is notoriously not dye-fast) AND it unraveled in my hands.  Even stay stitched.

Lesson 3:  Sews beautifully and hides stitches like a boss.  Granted, this is a full rainbow – but I’m sure there should be visible stitches somewhere, and I defy you to find them on the right side of this skirt.

Because of the unraveling issue, though I wouldn’t normally do a seam treatment on a lined skirt, I went through and did catch-stitching on every seam.  Here it is on the zipper, where you have a hope of seeing what that means.   This should keep the raveling to a minimum, and also serves to keep the inside of the seams perfectly flat.


I had to sew the buttonhole by hand, so I guess I know how to do a buttonhole stitch now, that’s a useful thing.  No pix of that though.  We’re all grateful that blends in, okay?  It’s my first go-round.

God had His hand on this – I’m a skillful seamstress, but I am a messy person, and this came out beautifully – and FAST.  I cut/sewed the outer seams last night, and did the rest (including hours of handsewing) today.  No picking out of seams (!!), it fits perfectly (!!) and mistakes are to a dead minimum and invisible.

I have another silk matka skirt to make, then I’ll be muslining some blouses.   The second skirt will be in my pleated pattern though, it’s the interview skirt.  Navy.  Pleated.  Woven silk.   When you know clothes and their messaging, there’s just no reason not to use it.

Dress Two: And That’s Why

Having sewn up dress #2 I found out why dress #1 was in the bag… sewn in a softer fabric, this dress just doesn’t do what it’s supposed to.


Eh.  It’s okay.  I have another day-dress (which was badly needed) and it goes with any number of my cardigans, and it’s cute with a belt.   Since it’s rayon, it’s very very light and airy – win.

On another note, apparently I was craving the brightest colors out of my palette this Spring when I was fabric shopping.  This fabric was a whim-purchase (I don’t normally buy rayon, I don’t normally buy fabric from Joann’s) made with a gift card.   I’m sewing up a second whim-purchase right now… and the colors are the same!

I’m amused.


PS Yes I fixed that hem.

UFO Dress


UFO in the sewing-blogging world = Unfinished Object

This dress has been cut and sitting in a bag for about three years.   Probably more.  Why?  Mostly because the process I used to fit it and set up the sewing was kinda lame.  I know better now how to fit princess seamed garments, and what WAS I thinking deciding that this needed to be underlined rather than lined?  (I know what I was thinking:  Godets are harddddd, and there’s so mannnyyyy of them.  Cough-laugh-cough.  Okay, no not so much).

But I got another length of fabric to sew into this same dress, and I thought, “well, I know I’ve messed with that pattern, I’d better see what kind of pattern changes I need to make to fix my old mistakes and change to my new body”.    So this dress still isn’t as well made as it might be, but HEY – it’s made, it’s cute, and I have a dress cute enough to wear out on a date.

I wrote down my changes, and the changes I’d like to make going forward, so I’ll have that to work with when get the pattern out and start cutting the second dress.

It’s better with a petticoat, btw – and yes, I have a short fluffy petticoat that I made to wear under the original version of this dress.  Not wearing one in picture, my own odd bit of honesty.   Also, this is my frazzled 7pm hair.   Sorry, not sorry.

Going to run out for a quick errand, then see what I can’t get working tonight.  I have a LOT of sewing to get after.  So, I’m gonna.

Underwear as Outerwear Pt. 4

This is the last camisole/corset cover you’re going to see for a bit.   This was a nearly-free shirt, as I used up some scrap quilting cotton in my stash that was leftover … I think from a dress my mom made for my daughter 5 years or so ago.  For real.

It works for over-shorts (I finally lengthened it enough!) but frankly, the too-much shoulders/too-much torso thing is why I tuck my shirts in, and generally try to add hip interest.   And while lifting has given me a free (and painless) breast reduction, it also increased my not-small shoulders.    But everyone still needs shirts for shorts, and summer clothing in general.   Even if it’s not perfection, it’s cute, and functional.


Anyway, I like this pattern and get compliments on it, and return to it often – it’s a quick sew, taking little fabric, and is very “me”.


Thanks, Mood!

Sometimes us buys inexpensive fabrics, online or from a local store.

Sometimes us buys expensive fabrics from Mood.

Especially when said fabric allotment is a Christmas present.

I decided that the best use of my in-person shopping for fabric was going to be blouse-weights – I found out last year that a long-sleeved blouse in good fabric feels ADULT in the nicest possible way.

Two pieces of Liberty of London lawn and one piece of Italian linen later… I’m home from the long drive to Los Angeles.

My dad and I had a nice trip.  I tried Salvadorean food.  It’s good.  Travel mercies were given (thank you, Lord).  And I’m out of fabric money for a while.  😀

Blouse Pt. 2

I added the button placket back to the shirt, put in a couple of pintucks, and added some sleeve interest.   In addition to using “real fabric” (aka the remnant from a recent skirt make) and going with navy thread as topstitching interest, I think this made for a really great summer blouse.

I lengthened it another few inches, which wasn’t QUITE enough to wear untucked, but it’s cute for what it is.  (I’m currently wearing it with its matching skirt, and it makes a good outfit).

I would go sew the other blouse (the chemise, different but very similar pattern) but it’s hot in the patio aka sewing room.  And I don’t want to stand over a hot iron making pintucks in the heat, so…. I’ll just wait.  🙂