It all started with this blog post. I just think everything about this outfit is fantastic. I love the circus-y quality that Lilli manages so effortlessly, and the tutorial seemed so simple. I could do it in a weekend! Oh, little did I know...
I ordered this fabric on Etsy, and got it in relatively short order. I just cut it in half down the length, intending to pleat the whole of it into a really full skirt. I was encouraged by comparing my measurements to Lilli's. Then I read the instructions .
Readers, math is not my best subject. No matter how many times I crunched those numbers, I could NOT figure out how on earth she managed to get her pleats flat and even and not overlapping one another. I couldn't make my pleats not lay on top of each other. Then Tilly made this pleated skirt and I got terribly discouraged. So easy! they declared. The stripes/chevrons make it idiot proof! Sewed up a dream! In an afternoon! Fuck it, I thought. I set it aside and cut the waistband. I was careful with my measuring and striped matching, since I had to piece it, and I interfaced it (I thought) properly. Um, wrong. I interfaced the front half of one piece and the back half of the other. I nearly cried, but instead I just forged on.
I cut a single pocket, because I didn't want the side zipper to interfere with the second one. Then I bravely lopped off enough from each skirt piece to make the pleating lay the way I wanted it to. I set to carefully pinning my admittedly MARVELOUS pocket into my neatly matched stripes, and sewed that son of a bitch up. I went to pin the pleats into the waistband and... It didn't fit. It was in, fact, about four inches too big. On a whim, I tried the waistband on around myself. Too small. Somehow, mysteriously, I had shrunk the waistband. SERIOUSLY FUCK IT. I walked away.
All of this occurred two weeks before my aforementioned time off. I bunched to damned thing up and threw it onto the pile on the dining room table. I spent some time making lamb shanks and embroidering instead. Then on the day I wrote that last post, I gave myself a talking to. Ridiculous, I said. Quit being a baby. Quit being a quitter. And I picked up the stupid fucking skirt and finished it.
I fixed the tight waistband by adding two loops and two giant covered buttons. Yeah, I said two. Only one pictured, you ask? That's because a 4 inch wide band that sat on my natural waist tipped this right into weird EGL territory. I am certainly too old for that foolishness. I didn't come to that conclusion until I had blundered my way through topstitching that monstrosity on, though. I was so over the whole process that I didn't even bother unpicking it. I just took a pair of scissors to it right on the skirt. I trimmed the waistband in half, turned the raw edges in, and topstitched THAT, too.
|my stripey pocket! it's flannely!|
The last thing I did was finish the hem by hand. I had intended to turn it up further and blindstitch it with my machine, but I liked it better hitting me right at my knee, so I added some hem lace and catchstitched it by hand instead. It took me about an hour and a half to finish off the handstitching.
My weekend project skirt ended up taking about 16 hours all told, spread over the course of about a month. It's done, though, and I proudly declare it number 14. I like the way I styled it today, although the herring weather caught me off guard, and I was chilly. I just threw on a pair of black tights and a cardigan and moved the scarf to my throat, and it looks awesome right now, too. I want a turquoise or aqua or jade cardigan to wear it with, since I think the cobalt Lilli flaunts would come off a little jingoistic here (she's in New Zealand, I think.) Somehow I think this combo needs blue to set it off. What do you guys think?