Tuesday, February 26, 2013

An Emerald Leather Skirt for a Trip to Oz

Faux leather is off the beaten path in Mood.  It's on the third floor, way in the back, behind all of the scrumptious designer boucles.  The Saturday that I was in Mood NYC, I was back there all alone!  But the treasures people, the treasures that are in that section are mind-blowing ~ well at least to a fabric junkie like me!  As I was pulling out bolt after bolt, I stumbled upon this goodness...



...and I knew right away what it should be!  It was love at first sight, really it was! So Todd helped me get it to the cutting table where a conversation ensued about what the fabric should be called.  Now this was a most interesting conversation that involved Shaft & Superfly, whether the fabric was a vinyl, a leatherette, pleather or a faux leather.  Somehow we even managed to get the 70s drug dealers in there, yeah I think that's how Shaft & Superfly showed up!



I've used this pattern before and it's a pretty easy sew but I did add a degree of difficulty by making it up in the pleather.  It's Simplicity 5914 and one of my favorite skirt patterns.  At one point I thought about studding the seams but that was just a little tooooo edgy for my day job. Since I primarily sew for my day job, I really want to be able to wear this to work.  So I scaled it back but I really like this!

A few tips for sewing with pleather ~
  • Only pin the fabric in the side seams because the pins will leave marks in the fabric...and I used them sparingly so that I wouldn't have any issues.
  • You don't need to finish the seams because the pleather won't fray.
  • Use the proper needle for this project.  I started with a fresh size 90 stretch Schmetz needle
  • Use the correct sewing foot.  You can use a teflon foot to insure that both pieces of fabric move together and don't drag.  However, in this instance because the fabric was felt backed I used a regular zig zag foot.
  • When pressing the pleather, use a good pressing cloth, a lower setting on your iron and a clapper to make sure the seams lay flat.  
  • I also finger pressed the seams open prior to pressing.  It made getting the curves open and to lay flat easier.
  • Only press on the wrong side of the fabric
  • Also, Sandra Betzina does a great segment on sewing with Faux Leather in her book, More Fabric Savvy.  Of course I checked it after I had already started to work with my fabric!
This skirt is my on trend dream.  Pleather and emerald green are both hot for fall.  I've managed to incorporate both in one garment.  If you're interested in using some pleather, it's really fun to use for a garment or to incorporate as embellishments, you can find a great selection on Mood online here.



Some stats ~
Fabric and pattern listed above.

Notions ~
Rayon lining from the collection
9" invisible green zipper

Construction Details ~
I lined the skirt in a heavier rayon lining that I had in my collection because if I left the skirt unlined the felt backing would have caught on my stockings.  Also adding the lining gave the skirt a little heft something else I wanted.  

There isn't a hem on the skirt.  Since the fabric won't fray, I just left the hemline with a clean cut finish.  

Adding an invisible zipper was easier than I thought and gave the seam a clean finish which was nice on the pleather skirt.



I'm wearing it kinda conservatively ~ well as conservatively as you can wear a pleather skirt!  It's for Fashion Fridays at work ~ when the staff dresses down a little and I dress a little fashion forward.  It's an interesting on trend addition to my wardrobe.


This is how I will wear it out with friends...



...or with a cardigan and a tank top...



Final thoughts ~
I don't sew many casual garments but this pleather skirt will probably see more time out and about for social events than at work.  It was a fun sew and something different from what I normally make. I really like how the skirt drapes in the back. It also has a closer fit than my skirts usually do because this pleather doesn't grow and it wrinkles like heck...

Now how does this fit into my basics declaration, well it doesn't...but it wasn't meant to.  This is my Mood Project for February. One of my personal goals for my monthly Mood garment is to use fabrics that I wouldn't normally use. Also, to step outside my comfort zone to sew a challenging garment because I don't want to do the same old, same old.  This opportunity allows me to challenge myself, to use fabrics from all sections of the store and to add to my creative journey.  This skirt is the exception to my basics rule but it is kinda funky and fun, isn't it?

...as always more later!






39 comments:

  1. Oooh! I love this pattern as well, and have made a couple of skirts from it. Your pleather one is fabulous, and the fabric really does drape well - who would have thought?

    Love it!

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  2. Love the color choice and the pattern. You're making me think about getting out of my comfort zone. This is super cool!

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  3. Carolyn that looks great! What a funky chick! Are you really coming to visit us down under? If yes would love to meet you.
    Therese

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  4. I just love it. Great color, great drape!

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  5. What a fun new skirt, and such a great color too!

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  6. Love it! Tha's my favorite color!

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  7. Woo hoo. And I thought you meant you were about to come to Australia too.

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  8. I love this on you! Isn't it fun to step outside of the fashion comfort zone? As sewists, I think it's just part of the process.... :)

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  9. Absolutely fantastic!!! And so very versatile; it goes with EVERYTHING!!! Well done!

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  10. That looks really cute. Nice swish factor.

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  11. Oooh, love that colour! I've been wanting to sew a skirt in leather or faux leather but thought it was too hard, so it's good to read your tips and hear that putting an invisible zip in wasn't too difficult. You're an amazing source of info as usual!

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  12. Love. Love. Love!
    Thanks for your great tips on pleather too.
    -Sewingelle

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  13. This skirt is beautiful. Thanks for the pleather tips.

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  14. I would not have thought that pleather would work for that skirt pattern; so glad to see that it did. Love it!

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  15. That looks like amazing..I wonder if you can able to do it on a faux leather fabrics like we have on our collection feel free to visit here

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  16. You no sooner said "Shaft" than I could hear the music in my head. You go, girl. Very swish.

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  17. OMG! Pleather envy! What a fabulous colour, and I love a "leather" skirt that is full, not pencil. It just seems more luxurious somehow. *love*

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  18. Love this skirt! The color is fabulous. It looks great all the ways you've styled it. In your opinion, would this fabric work for skinny jeans?

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  19. Gorgeous skirt and it looks fabulous with the lace top, as well as the yellow printed cardigan.

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  20. I love it! The paneled skirt looks amazing on you and really plays up the way the "leather" reflects light.

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  21. Let's face it, grean faux leather runs the risk of being campy. But your pattern choice and the way you style and wear this skirt is just so darn classy. Bravo!

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  22. LOVE IT!!! My favorite look is the one with the little ankle booties! I might copy this one Ms. Carolyn!

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  23. This is superb! Love the skirt, love the look. I want this for my very own.

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  24. "Fashion Fridays" sounds like such an awesome work tradition! In my office, we can wear jeans on Fridays. Which is nice, but definitely not as cool as Fashion Fridays.

    Fab skirt! Very on-trend, indeed.

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  25. I have that pattern, and use the tarnation out of it. Your new skirt is pretty, especially with the sunny yellow printed top!

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  26. I love how it looks paired with the yellow cardigan!

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  27. This skirt definitely is funky, fun, and gorgeous! I like how you gave it different looks with your styling. I've made this skirt pattern. It's a good one!

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  28. Alright now. Looks real good with that yellow.

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  29. Brilliant with that twin-set! Lovely, fashion-forward, chic! Brava, Carolyn!

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  30. I enjoyed reading this post, I love the color your chose for the skirt, I like the pattern also, its very flattering for you. I hear you on the creative aspect of sewing. Lately I am more excited about my spring fashion collection inspiration than the new patterns from the pattern companies. I feel like my soul is crying out for experimentation.

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  31. I love the yellow with the skirt!! Lovely!!

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  32. I would never have thought that pattern and pleather would make such a fantastic skirt. It supports my theory that classic patterns and unique fabrics often make the most exciting garments. All your stylings look great!

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  33. Lovely skirt, Carolyn. I had to chuckle at "Shaft and Superfly" and immediately Issac Hayes's Shaft theme song popped into my head. Lol

    Great find.

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  34. I like your idea to use the Mood garments to try new things. I would never have thought to use pleather for that kind of silhouette, but it really works and the colour is gorgeous.

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  35. Oh what a cute skirt, Carolyn. That faux leather looks pretty real on my monitor. Wonderful job!

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