Self-drafted skirt

A couple of weeks ago, I made this basic pencil skirt block.

Now, as you will have noticed, I’m not really the corporate chic kinda girl, and you might have asked yourself why I bothered.

Well, the reason behind this was that I was hoping to be invited to a 2nd interview for a new job. My contract with my previous employer had come to an end, and to be perfectly honest, by that time I was ready to move on. The only fly in the ointment was that there are not a lot of jobs open right now in my field, and the few there were didn’t thrill me.

Now, that might sound incredibly spoiled and a tad snooty in times of recession, but I do believe that it’s a better deal for everybody involved if you like your work. 40 hours a week are simply too much time to be spent doing something you can’t draw satisfaction from.

Back to the pencil skirt … now, in my line of work, the dress code usually is “business casual”, heavily leaning towards casual – as long as you’ve covered your primary gender characteristics, you should be fine. But interviewing is a whole different affair, and it’s always a good idea to err on the side of caution and let people know you’re willing to make the effort.

And a quick, inexpensive and easy make to achieve  that – tadaaa, the pencil skirt.

So I bought some purple herringbone suiting and matching lining, and set about drafting a pattern.

Purple Herringbone
Purple Herringbone

Then it turned out that I didn’t have to go the the 2nd interview in person, and that the company I was talking to prided themselves in not having any dress code at all (which is not to be confused with not being dressed for work, mind you!). You see, they’re in Gibraltar, where it’s hot and sunny and sometimes really hot and super sunny. Suits just don’t make a lot of sense in that kind of climate.

So I started rethinking what kind of skirt I could make (since I had all the notions and such), and eventually settled for this as my inspiration:

Inspiration For source click on the image, please.

Some hacking of my basic skirt block later, this was born:

Self-drafted skirt with pocket flaps
Self-drafted skirt with pocket flaps

I think it turned out well. The pocket flaps are fake, there are no real pockets, which is a bit of a bummer, and I’ve hence tried to wrap my head around how to include real pockets underneath, without a real result so far. Tips will be super welcome!

I have not used a waistband here, as I felt the look would be cleaner without, so instead I put a facing on the inside:


The zip is inserted as a lapped zipper – I should have known that wasn’t the smartest choice, as it’s a tad bulky due to the heavy-weight corduroy I used (leftovers from this jeans), but in itself it turned out beautifully:

Lapped zipper
Lapped zipper

But of course now I’m all over this, and really want to make this skirt:

Really now … For source, please click on the image.

Or maybe something with double-welt pockets.

Oh, and the job? I’ve got it, and I’ll be moving to Gibraltar by mid January. I am so excited – they have monkeys over there!!

Monkey in Gibraltar. For source, please click on the image.


Basic skirt block

My plan for Saturday was simple: go to fabricland, don’t get lured into buying tons of fabric (maybe, if they still have that black wool/cashmere mix … I still need a warm coat!), grab some thread, fusible interfacing, a couple of zippers, new needles. Go home and sew up the muslin for New Look 6010. Added bonus points for using the massive bedcover I scored a little while back in a charity shop.

But then I made a mistake and looked out the window. I now wished I’d taken a photo for you … it was raining. Raining like it would never, ever stop again. It was raining when I woke up in the morning, and it was raining when I went to bed, and it didn’t stop even for a minute in between.

Now, I know that that’s the kind of weather England is famous for, but in all fairness, here in Brighton it happens rarely. Usually, when it does, it’s in winter. And it’s utterly depressing.

It was clear to me that I had no desire to venture out in that storm – did I mention the rain was flying sideways? It was.

So I decided to get myself another cuppa, and catch up on the roughly 430 sewing blogs I follow. This lead me to discover that there’s a free tutorial on Burdastyle on how to make a basic skirt block (amongst others, like bodice, dress, trousers … so much fun in the future, I just know it!). With me having planned sewing time, but not being able to obtain the thread (and not willing to press ahead with non-matching thread, of which I of course have several miles), I figured why not spend the morning trying this out?

skirt block drafting

Sadly, this is the only photo I took of the process, but in all fairness, there isn’t a lot more to see. With some paper (I used brown paper), a ruler, a measuring tape and a calculator, it took me a good hour to draft the block. French curves come in handy, but aren’t totally necessary.

When I was finished, it was still pissing down. Why not sew it up quickly?, said I to myself. Luckily, I had a bit under a meter left from my leopard print for the Temperley Knock-off, and I thought the somewhat wild fabric would save the skirt from being utterly boring, not having any details to speak of.

While it’s not perfect yet, I’m very chuffed with the result:

Leopard pencil skirt front

You can just about see the wrinkles in the front – that’s the part that needs  a bit work. I’m afraid the dreaded “prominent abdomen adjustment” is dangling over my head …

Leopard pencil skirt back

What you can’t really see here, as I wasn’t going to do a bum close-up, so you’ll have to take my word for it, is that the back waistband fits perfectly. It lies flat, no gaping, not a wrinkle in sight. Which kinda, sorta consoles me about the fat belly thing.