ahoy there! skirt

08.02.11 | ahoy there! skirt

Dear friends, I must confess of late I have been feeling rather blah about sewing in general.  I blame the summer heat—it’s frying my brain and ability to want to do anything other than stand in front of the air conditioning with a tall glass of something cool. That and I may or may not have been spending time daydreaming about fall and winter sewing; searching for things like wool jersey and kelly green corduroy. Ahem.

This sounds like a case of a seamstress throwing a hissy fit because she can’t have her wool jersey and wear it now too!

08.02.11 | ahoy there! skirt

But because I still have more months of warm (okay, hot) weather ahead, dreaming of what I can’t wear isn’t doing me any good. So in an effort to pull myself up by my bootstraps and get back into reality sewing, I raided the ol’ pattern stash the other evening to find something quick and easy that appealed. Of course, is it surprising that the above pattern—view C—jumped out at me? Not that I need another nautical or blue skirt (see further evidence here and here), but I had some navy blue broadcloth and was willing to overlook this addition to the blue collection in order to promote the return of Sewing Mojo. (Note: I only realized after sewing this up that it’s insanely similar to the Ginger skirt–so take note Ginger-lovers for variation ideas!)

08.02.11 | ahoy there! skirt
08.02.11 | ahoy there! skirt

I couldn’t make this straight out of the package, of course. First I had to grade the pattern up a couple sizes (I haven’t ever been close to a 24” waist in my teen/adult life), which was a breeze. I also shortened the length to my preferred 22 1/2″-23″ length (knee on me). One thing I would adjust if I make this again is the back hip ease. There is a minute amount, but I don’t like how it makes the back slightly “puff”. I’ll eliminate it in future versions for a smooth fit. Because this was an “easy” pattern, it wasn’t terribly complicated. Which meant I was able to concentrate on things like doing my top stitching evenly, and attaching some hem tape for a pretty hem (since this skirt is a washable sort, I also serged the edge before attaching the hem lace, to prevent any further raveling).

08.02.11 | ahoy there! skirt

My only issue is that the waist feels a teeny-tiny bit big. Like only a 1/4” at the most. Considering right now I’m somewhat swollen thanks to the heat (an odd summertime phenomena that only showed up when I moved to FL… Probably not helped by the gallons of water I drink to stay hydrated.), this isn’t a bad thing. SH convinced me to just leave it as is, instead of becoming mental and unpicking the waistband that went in flawlessly. I swear I did fit this thing before attaching the waistband—but I blame doing it shortly after dinner as giving me a false sense of security. Lesson learned: don’t eat a big dinner and fit afterward.

Now I have a darling (albeit somewhat redundant from a wardrobe perspective) 70s nautical inspired skirt. No, the tabs are not functional—I did mention I was looking for something easy to jumpstart my sewing again? It’s just applied to the top of the skirt. I meant to have six buttons, but all I had were four, so I made do. I think in total, this took about 2 1/2 hours to complete—can’t argue with that!

Whether my Sewing Mojo is back (or if my head is still stuck in the clouds with fall sewing) is still up for debate…

08.02.11 | ahoy there! skirt

top: made by me | skirt: made by me | parasol: Epcot | bracelet: vintage | platforms: Forever 21 | hair flower: courtesy Belle Blossoms

Pattern: vintage 70s McCalls 4589 (thrifted???).

Fabric: cotton/cotton-blend broadcloth in dark navy (thrifted as well, I believe).

Alterations: graded the pattern up from a 24” waist, shortened the hem to my preferred 23” (knee) length. In future I would also reduce the ease in the back that is worked into the back waistband; it puffs just a bit over the upper hip.

Techniques: centered zipper application and topstitching. (This pattern is marked “easy”, so it really isn’t too fancy!)

Make Again? Considering I have a weakness for 70s a-line skirts (we won’t go into how many patterns I have that look similar to this), and this has a few variations I love, the likelihood is yes. Especially now that I’ve perfected the fit!

What have you been sewing lately? Anyone else facing the “summer sewing blues”? (Please tell me I’m not the only one!!!)

August 3, 2011 · 85 lovely thoughts
posted in sewing · tags: , ,

Sam August 4, 2011 at 10:21

Oh Casey, I’m so glad I’m not the only one! I’ve been trying and trying to sew more, especially clothing… but I agree, the weather is just not conducive to thinking and draping on fabric and IRONING.

The hardest part is, I too am leaning towards fall fashions! I’m trying to build up my wardrobe for school, but it’s so hard to sew for Cleveland’s October-November-December while living in Virginia’s July.

Maybe I need to just dive into a complication-free project too, just to get my sewing brain rolling again. We’ll see how that goes!

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Casey August 5, 2011 at 06:52

hehe! I know exactly what you mean about actually doing the fall/winter sewing you’re dreaming about! :D I think if I did procure those wool and heavy material textiles I’m dreaming about, I’d probably change my mind about 5 minutes into sewing them. It’s just too hot and sticky! ;)

♥ Casey

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Maria August 4, 2011 at 11:40

I love the front panel and the buttons you added. This skirt is perfect.
I don’t usually take much notice of 70s patterns but I may have to take a second look for some goodies from now on!

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Casey August 5, 2011 at 06:54

I’ve found 70s patterns can be a real mixed bag… I’ve been picking up more and more of them because they’re still relatively plentiful and cheap. There is lots of styles that I don’t find appealing, but occasionally there are cute gems (especially at $0.50 a pop at the thrift store, I don’t argue! ;) ). I have a little top pattern (a couple actually…) that I’ve been dying to make up from the 70s; it’s got a bit of a 30s/40s vibe to it!

♥ Casey

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Nancy August 4, 2011 at 18:39

I love this skirt. I am waiting for my sewing mojo to return. I fear it might not return until September but, am hoping for sooner.

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Audrey August 4, 2011 at 18:55

You must make it a habit of doing headshots so we can see your lovely ‘dos! I am a firm believer that a good hairstyle is what tops off an outfit and I’m so sad I can’t see yours in this particular set better, it looks swell!

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Casey August 5, 2011 at 06:56

Thank you, Audrey!!! :) I didn’t get a headshot of this one because it was just me and my tripod, and I was starting to get a lot of odd stares from passersby, so I got shy and packed up before I did! ;) (I need to get over this shyness…) Basically the front is just how I arranged it in this video, and the back is a French twist–super easy!

♥ Casey

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ana August 4, 2011 at 23:31

Your blog is so lovely!! This outfit is so pretty!!

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Laura August 6, 2011 at 13:43

I love your skirt! I just got a whole bunch of vintage patterns and have several patterns for skirt variations like this. I am definitely going to make a skirt like this. It is gorgeous. I love your blog and your vintage inspired style.

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Aleksandra August 8, 2011 at 21:46

Love it!

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Rachel Rector August 10, 2011 at 23:05

I just had to snap this pattern up from e-bay as soon as I saw your version! If you make it again (and i hope you do) I would love to see how you grade it & reduce the ease. I’m still a novice at altering patterns!

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Clio August 12, 2011 at 08:15

just discovered your blog and love it! great skirt also!

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the girl never gets older August 12, 2011 at 17:55

oh Casey, you’re a goddess! this skirt is beautiful and looks just like a dream on you! ♥

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