Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Painted Wool Herringbone Pieces ~ The Skirt

I purchased this fabric years and years ago from Textile Studios which is now out of the fabric business. Some of my sewing sheros bought fabric from them and made amazing garments and of course I wanted in on the amazingness! It is a painted wool herringbone that can be used on either side.  I bought five yards of this lusciousness.



I know that I said that I wanted to sew sheath dresses in solid colors to work with the multitude of cardigans that I own.  But this piece started to call my name...and it's interesting because it's not like I touched it recently...it was just buried in my creative subconscious...moved itself to the forefront and demanded to be used.

So a sheath dress was of course the first choice and since I've been sewing dress, skirt & pants combos...I went with the dress and a different TNT skirt pattern than I've used for the previously makes. 

The skirt's inspiration is once again from Pinterest.  It is a designer skirt by Preen.



Fabric will provide the embellishment/interest for my version and I'm going to use piping instead of zippers. Cause as much as I like that look, it doesn't work for my lifestyle.  I'm also losing the pockets because while they look great on the skirt above, I know they won't work well on my body.



Pattern ~
TNT skirt pattern last made here

Notions ~
9" invisible zipper
black piping
satin lining last used here
brown rayon seam tape
fusible jiffy waistband interfacing

Construction ~
One of the first things you should know about my skirt pattern is that the front piece is always cut larger than the back piece to accommodate the fullness in the front of my body. I think it's important to realize that we are not symmetrical beings...sometimes it's one side of our body that is longer/bigger/shorter than the other. In my case my front is larger than my back so my patterns have been adjusted for that fact.

The second thing is that I used both sides of the fabric to accomplish "the look" of the inspiration skirt. 


I added black piping to both sides of the front panel to replace the zippers used in the inspiration skirt.



I added a vent to the back of the skirt.

My waistband is slim - about an inch wide - because wider waistbands tend to cut into my flesh making them uncomfortable to wear. It's also cut using the painted side of the fabric. 



There are two black buttons on the waistband to keep the skirt closed.  I like buttons so much better than hooks and eyes or snaps.  I ditched those other closures years ago and have never looked back.

The lining in this skirt is the heavier satin lining that I used in the plaid pants.  The painted wool herringbone is a course wool and a lighter weight lining wouldn't have worked as well with the fabric. This is a personal choice developed from my prior experience using this type of fabric. Garments made from it always wear better and are more comfortable when I use a more substantial lining.



I've become obsessed with finishing seams with rayon seam binding. Instead of just leaving edges serge finished, I've been folding seam binding in half and stitching it onto the edges.  I really like how finished this makes the inside of a garment look.



Finally, hand stitching is an important aspect of this garment.  The lining is hand stitched to the zipper tape.  The waistband is hand stitched to the skirt and of course the hem is hand stitched down.



If you're interested in making your own version of this skirt, try Simplicity 1541. It has the elements of my TNT skirt and will work well to emulate the Preen skirt. The pattern is available in sizes 8-24.



A pic or two of me wearing the skirt with a RTW cardigan...





In my 20s & 30s, I use to sew a skirt in an hour or less.  The skirts were never lined and everything was machine stitched.  I was actually proud of that fact and bragged about it a lot. Of course that was decades ago, and my skirts take almost a day to complete now with all of the sewing techniques that I add to the construction.  But the process makes me happy and the extra work insures that the garment lasts for years.  After all of the work that I've put into this skirt's construction, I definitely want it to last.

The dress from this fabric is almost finished and I've decided to make a vest with the leftover piece.  I went back and forth several times ~ vest or a jacket with pleather sleeves.  As much as I wanted to make the jacket, it really doesn't fit my lifestyle...but a vest....well I haven't sewn one of those in years. So the vest with this skirt and a black turtleneck will work really well in my corporate environment.

A Parting Shot ~
I've had these shoes for over a decade and they are still going strong!




...as always more later!












47 comments:

  1. Great skirt and lovely way to work with the patterned fabric.

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  2. I love your interpretation of the Preen skirt so that it suits you and your lifestyle a vey stylists skirt

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  3. Nice use of fabric, using both sides as "right" sides. Looks great!

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  4. That is some gorgeous fabric! Your skirt is lovely.

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  5. Ten years???? I am so envious. I annihilate all my shoes. Even the ones I rarely use.

    The skirt is beautiful.

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  6. Love how you have used the two sides of the fabric, plus the piping makes the seamlines pop - great skirt!

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  7. The skirt is beautiful. The fabric is so pretty on both sides.

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  8. Lovely interpretation of the inspiration skirt. Such nice fabric and the piping just makes it perfect. Love your shoes, too.

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  9. I really like this look. I don't find many black-brown combos that look good together. This is a real winner.

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  10. This is so beautiful! I love how both sides were used in this design :)

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  11. Love your rendition of the Preen skirt. Very classy. A vest and black turtleneck will look great with this skirt. Did/Will you do the front of the vest in the print and the back with the plain side of the fabric?

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    1. Yes, I will definitely use both sides of the fabric for the vest.

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  12. Beautiful skirt! Very inspiring, and thank you for the construction details. I agree with you completely about preferring buttons over hooks and eyes.

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  13. The Preen skirt is very pretty. Yours is downright gorgeous!!! I love the way you used both sides of the fabric and the piping instead of a zipper. It looks beautiful on you!!!

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  14. Gosh you are good! I am always so inspired by your clever use of fabric, piping, and top stitching.

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  15. Your work is always beautiful and an inspiration! Love seeing your style. Thanks for having your blog to inspire us!

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  16. You think so far out of the box, the box is nowhere to be found. I was looking at the picture and wondering where you got such a beautiful match of solid to print. I never would have thought of using the "wrong" side. Just a smashing skirt. BTW, I envy your ability to wear pointy toed high heels. Back problems have forced me into no more than 1 1/4 inch heels--nowhere near as snoopy as yours. In all, a lovely outfit.
    Brava.

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  17. I just adore when both sides of a fabric can be used to create interest. Great skirt, the print blocking with the piping divide is perfect!

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  18. I love this skirt. I'm going to try it with some summery fabric. Thanks for doing this informative, well written blog. I also love the pictures. Good job!

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  19. Ooh, this is awfully sassy, Miss Carolyn! Love this and boy is that fabric yummy!

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  20. I love your skirt, so gorgeous! I love the piping detail. And thanks for all the construction tips.

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  21. Great skirt. It reminds me of my versions of Butterick 5566.

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  22. Beautiful! Your fabric stash has proven itself worthy!

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  23. I always love your creations.. And the fact that you share them with all of us! Such inspirational reading.

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  24. Carolyn, that is a very nice skirt! I love your fabric choice. It looks nice on you. I purchased this same skirt pattern just last week, and will be making one this coming weekend.

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  25. Such a beautiful, chic skirt from such a gorgeous fabric.

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  26. Gorgeous looking skirt and OUTSTANDING job on the construction!!

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  27. Great interpretation of the Preen skirt. Like how you translate inspirations into work appropiate clothing.

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  28. Another beautiful creation! Your wardrobe is just amazing. I have the same waistband problem and handle it by not using a waistband, at least not on skirts. I make a faced waistline as used to be shown in skirts by Ladybug and Villager in the 60s. Are you ready for this next round of snow? We were evacuated last week. Not fun! Stay warm and safe,.

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  29. Wow, I love your ensemble, and your skirt is wonderful!

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  30. I love the extras that you put into each piece. It truly makes them designer quality. I am also enjoying when you list a suggest pattern. I purchased Butterick 5706 and look forward to turning it into my TNT sheath. Will also be picking up Simplicity 1541. Thanks!

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  31. I have a piece of fabric that wasn't big enough to be a skirt on it's own and I wanted to pair it with black but had no pattern. I'm totally going to do it now!! I love this skirt!

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  32. Carolina, clever you are!
    most of what you see liked the set with blue trousers.
    tip - note skirts and dresses - rear halves can be made more narrow - they look back too wide for You. From Russia with love

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  33. Carolyn, I love your skirt!! What a great adaptation of the inspiration skirt!

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  34. your skirt is awesome

    a skirt with a waistband looks is so figure flattering for you

    you sew so very well - go gurl

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  35. Extremely flattering. I hope you make a few more. The piping elevates the skirt several notches.

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  36. Love, love, love this. By the way, if I haven't said so already, Congrats on the new addition to the family. She is beautiful. Had enough snow yet?

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  37. The skirt is very classy. I'm a teeny bit jealous about the fabric, but now I'm considering buying a little bit of fabric and a stencil and some fabric paint.

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  38. Beautiful skirt! I love how you used both sides of the fabric - genius!

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  39. Pretty skirt! All of your makes are lovely.

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  40. Our bodies are similiarly shaped. There is not a straight line on me from nose to toes. My question: do you make any pattern alterations when the pattern states,'waistband sits 1/2 inch below natural waist.' Simple words but they can be profound in the final garment and especially the wearing. I know you have made multiple changes to arrive at a TNT just for you, but how do you deal with this pattern description?

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    1. You can always raise that yoke piece and make it fit your waistline better - that's what I would do. Or you can use another pattern and make the actual alterations that I made to my TNT pattern by cutting through the darts and adding seam allowances. This was just a suggested pattern, a place to start, so that if someone wants to copy the look they could.

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