Tuesday, January 04, 2011

My San Francisco Skirt

The fabric that I used to make this skirt has been in my collection for almost five years.  In the spring of 2006, I went to the West Coast for a business trip and stopped in San Francisco for the weekend to visit my friend Lynn.  I'd always wanted to fabric shop in San Francisco and she took me to every store I wanted to see ~ Poppy's Fabrics (which is now out of business), Britex, Fabrix, Stone Mountain & Daughter and Satin Moon Fabrics.  We even went to Lacis.  The entire trip was blogged about here.

So this skirt is made from a yard and a half of a wool blend fabric that was purchased at Stone Mountain & Daughter.  There were two reasons I purchased this fabric.  One because Michael Kors used a lot of plaids in his Fall 2006 line and this one reminded me of the great big plaids he was using.  And two, the piece was already interfaced...from selvedge to selvedge.

After almost five years of lingering in the fabric closet, it's turn has finally come to be used:

Some stats:

TNT skirt pattern

Ambiance rayon lining
7" metal zipper from the notions collection
rayon seam binding
2 - 5/8" red buttons

There are no new techniques or wonderous things to share with you about this skirt's construction.  It's a basic lined straight skirt.  I've used this pattern for at least a dozen years, transferring it from it's original pattern sheet to pattern paper more than once...and the pattern is getting raggedy again and probably should be transferred one more time.

A photo of the back zipper and button closing:

Tomorrow I go back to work ~ my mini break is over.  I've started making pattern alterations on the Vogue jacket that is the cornerstone of my Pinstripe Follies collection.  I hope to finish up the jacket and pants this weekend.

Lastly a couple of answers/statements to comments left on the last couple of posts...

1.  If I use TNT pattern as the pattern designation for a garment, except for my dress pattern, I have no idea what number the original pattern was since I've been using them with various adjustments for a dozen years.  I can tell you that the pattern came from one of the Big 4 and more than likely started life as a McCalls, Butterick or Vogue pattern.  I didn't use alot of independents when I started my journey of making well-fitted TNT patterns and Simplicity patterns were really out of favor at that time.

2.  Thank you for your support regarding the elastic waist pants issue.  I was really grateful to read that so many others also use elastic in the waistline of their pants.  I'm also glad that by writing about this, I helped some other sewists to forge ahead with making pants using elastic waist techniques too.

3.  Regarding the elastic I use in my pants, Jo Ann sent me a link to Create for Less where you can purchase it in 15 yard amounts for $1.15 a yard.  So if you are interested in trying this elastic, here is a source for it.  Thanks Jo Ann for pointing me to this site, I soooooo appreciate it! 

4.  In my posts, I always try to either explain the technique I used when making the garment or I point you to the source of where I obtained the information.  I'm trying to be more conscientious about copyrights and intellectual property rights.  I mean I really wouldn't want any of the writings from my blog picked up and used without my permission so I'm trying harder to send you to the original source.

5.  JeanC. ~ I haven't finished my bedroom/sewing area redo yet.  I lost my window to paint without freezing us all out while doing it so I'm waiting until spring to paint the bedroom and lay down the new carpet (which is still standing in the hallway *sigh*).  Believe me I will share pictures as soon as it's complete. 

6.  Toby ~ the shoes are bone colored and I wear bone colored shoes all year long!  Actually at work these will be worn with either my nude shoes that I purchased earlier this year or my grey patent leather slingbacks.  I have real shoe issues! *LOL*

7.  I highly recommend that you purchase the Threads Archive DVD.  It has a wonderful search feature and I found that article faster than it took for the software to load on my computer!  I know it's a little pricey but it is well worth the cost and the latest version has all of the issues through 2010.

Finally I know the internet is a wonderful source of resource material but I would like to encourage beginning & returning sewists to add a few sewing books to their collection of sewing notions.  You don't know how often I get stuck, need to know something, or refresh my memory and I turn to either my sewing library or my Threads articles.  Sewing books on hand are an invaluable source of information, I heartily recommend starting your own library.

...as always, more later!


  1. Of course, I love it! How can I not love a plaid skirt. What a great way to remember that trip, too.

  2. Nice skirt! And of course I loved going back to 2006 and reading about your trip to my stomping grounds. :) I am amazed you have been blogging for so long!!

  3. Hello! I'm sorry if I've missed this somewhere on your blog (I just started reading when I started sewing over the summer), but I'm wondering what books you would recommend to have in a sewing reference library. I know the Reader's Digest Guide...what else?

  4. Beautiful skirt! I'm so inspired by your sewing. I can't wait to see the follies collection. That fabric is gorgeous. Thank you for sharing your creations with all of us!

  5. Great skirt, and amazing the fabric was already interfaced.

  6. I love a plaid skirt! This looks great, and I'm sure you will wear it often. Plaid skirts lend themselves to being dressed up (velvet jacket and ruffled blouse a la the Scots women) or down (Shetland pullover, tights, and flats). Agree with tour comments about sewing books.

  7. I've been making elastic pants for years. Why bother with all of the work when I'm just going to wear my tops out anyway. Plus, I can gain and loose a couple of pounds and don't have to alter anything.

    I've never used elastic like you use before though. Do you have an old post around on how you put it in?

  8. Some time ago, you mentioned a book on flat-pattern measuring that revolutionized your sewing. As I cannot find the post, can you please list the title and author of the book? Thank you.

  9. That's a beautiful plaid! I've been debating about the Threads Archive DVD. Thanks for sharing how much you like it.

  10. I love that skirt! I am a total sucker for tartans. I was in Britex at the end of November and it was overwhelming. I didn't buy a thing!

  11. Thanks for opining on the Threads DVD. I have most issues but it sure would be nice to click away and read the required issue as needed. When I look for them with the on line index I get side tracked and the next thing I know there is a pile of Threads at my knees as I sit on the floor and leaf through. Birthday is coming so this might be a nice gift.

    I love your plaid skirt.

  12. A great classic plaid is a welcome addition to any wardrobe. I'm always happy to see you dash off another great skirt from your TNT pattern, because it makes me happier that I have only about 3 go-to patterns for skirts. Sometimes I feel silly making the gazillionth skirt that is the same but for color or print, but yours reaffirm for me that this is the right way to go. Also, thanks to you, I've been making warm twinsets of my own this winter, using some nice stretch velour I found on your Fabric Mart. My beloved laughs when I tell him I'm taking off my sleeves so they won't get dirty while I cook! So, thank you for your inspirations (and for leading me to a great fabric site).

  13. Super skirt. Now, what to make to wear with it?

  14. Another comment on elastic waists. I only wear pants for activewear and on long plane trips, and I always use an elastic waist. I use a type of elastic that I call 'boardshorts elastic'. It's never put in a casing, you just use it like a facing to finish the top of the garment. There is a built-in drawstring in the elastic, so I make it loose and comfy and pull it in with the drawstring.

  15. Great skirt! I think I wore a very similar plaid (although smaller in scale) when I was in elementary school - a uniform jumper/pinafore that I wore with a white blouse with a Peter Pan collar and a red cardigan.

    If i ever stumble across that kind of plaid, you can bet I'll be buying some! LOL

  16. The skirt is awesome. I visited Britex about 4 years ago. What a fabric shopping experience. I was in there all day. I did manage a lunch break. I purchased some beautiful woolens and I treated myself to an expensive boucle. I have not made anything with these fabrics yet. It nice read you had your fabric for 6 yrs.

  17. Clara
    Querida paseei para conhecer seu cantinho e amei sua saia ficou muito linda,tenho um tecido xadrez igual este seu e já faz tempo que estou planejando fazer uma sai para mim,mas como sempre o tempo nunca da pra gente,estou te seguindo e te convido a me fazer uma visita vou amar se quiser me seguir tbm.

    Beijos♥ Arlete

  18. I was just thinking about what you said about your skirt pattern getting raggedy..it may last longer if you copy it onto some medium weight interfacing. I know a lot of people use it for copying their Burda etc patterns onto. Just a thought!
    Oh, and thank you for answering my question about your room make over.

  19. I love that skirt. I have a question for you. When you line a skirt to you put 'insides' together or do you face both insides the same way? Does that make any sense? Today I'm wearing a lined skirt I made and the insides are together and it bothers me whenever I see the not pretty side. But I thought that was the 'right' way to line a skirt. Overthinking, right? g

  20. I do love a good plaid skirt. Very cool!

  21. You mentioned the Singer Reference library one day. I was able to get most of the books on Amazon all for under $5, all of them Amazon Prime with free shipping. Great books, I wish I had looked at them last weekend before I ruined my jacket. Oh well! lesson learned.

  22. Next time you come to San Francisco, let me know and I'll come up up on the train and meet you at Brittex! Man, what is it about PLAID WOOL. It gets me in the gut and has since I was a little girl, especially if it has any RED in it.

  23. I enjoy your blog and it is so helpful to see how you adjust the patterns and also like the fashion takes for plus size adaptations. I thought your recent lined gray pants with the purchased twin set looked great on you. mssewcrazy

  24. The plaid skirt is a classic in every woman's wardrobe! Well done!


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