Monday, October 17, 2011

What I Am Now Calling "The Dustbowl Skirt"

 Front view:

and back view:

 Skirt: tea-length full skirt in charcoal wool flannel, with narrow waistband, side zip, and two-button closure (worn layered over this dress/slip/nightgown hybrid).

I swear I wasn't consciously modeling it on this Burdastyle skirt (second image on the page), but it must have stuck in my mind.  I love tea-length (and longer) skirts--I'm lucky I'm tall, I guess!  The only issue with this skirt is the prodigious amount of fabric at my waist and hips.  Next time I sew with a fabric of this weight (very medium, for wool), I'll go for a flared four-gore rather than a dirndl style.  I like the swirliness, though, and the warmth, and if it's really unwearable, well, I can pick it apart and cut it down!  That's the joy of a garment whose major pattern piece is a 30" x 40" rectangle.

The non-joy, of course, is the 80" hem.  It wasn't finished when I took these pictures--you can see the pins sticking out, yikes!--but I buckled down the next morning and just hemmed it already.  It's not entirely invisible, but I think I can live with that--especially since nobody is likely to be looking too closely at my lower shins.

And I've also managed to squeeze a long-sleeved bolero out of this length of fabric (two 60"-wide yards)!  It's still in pieces, spread out on the couch in my sewing room.  Yes, my sewing room has a couch in it.  Go ahead, be jealous.

Finally, I added some embroidery thread loops to hold a skinny belt centered over the waistband.  The bulk over my hips and waist seems less obvious with a contrast belt.  This is as good a time as any to mention that I'm not much of an accessorizer--I have one gray canvas watch, one brown leather belt, and one pair of brown leather shoes which I tend to pair with everything--and I welcome suggestions for other possible ways to style my outfits.

That's all for now--you'll have to petition Dear Partner yourself if you want to see pictures of her owls-&-bikes apron.  If there's any interest, I can also post a tutorial--aprons are pretty straightforward and don't require a lot of fitting, just a lot of long straight boring seams.  Any takers?


  1. Yes do an apron tutorial.
    I think you should make some contrast color fabric belts in brights such as fuchsia, lemon, and teal - that way you can wear greys, blacks, browns, and navys all week long and still look like you have an "Outfit" on. Or now that cooler weather is upon us have your "third piece" - vests, sweaters, jackets and coats - in colors of all types: pastels, earthy greens, brights or whatever.
    I also watch a lot of old movies (and even though they're b/w) I get the impression that staples such as skirts and jackets might be in greys and somber colors, collars, blouses, and accessories would be in more "fashion" colors.
    I do recommend having a selection of belts and shoes. Good belts are available second hand. Everyone should have several pairs of "everyday" shoes because if you wear the same ones every day they get stinky and ruined (need to air out).
    Also a simple skirt in grey is a great addition to any wardrobe :) I do think a bulky waist like on this garment may look best with a fitted blouse or perhaps a silky blouse to contrast the heavy hand of the wool. Just show us more pictures when you make another fun outfit from this skirt, eh?, and good job.

  2. Kat--thanks, that's great advice! I've been thinking about fabric belts as an option, and I even have a couple of belt buckle kits in my stash somewhere. And I'm dying to try one of those forties-style blouses with the tucks at the waist so they tuck in very neatly--maybe I should put that next on my to-sew list...