A smattering of different ideas to fuss up a pencil along the top row of images
I decided to tackle a couple of pencil skirts for Self Stitched September. I had purchased the Jenny pattern from Burda Style awhile back and thought it was time to stitch it up. I just got rid of two ready-to-wear pencil skirts, boring black and brown ones, that had definitely seen better days. I’m always amazed at some of the things that I’ve chosen to buy over the years and how poor quality they really are. The brown skirt had this awful polyester nylon lining that clung to anything and everything. And the black one was completely unlined, made from some awful polyester junk. Both had side zips, both dug into my waist, and both were too baggy in the hips. Do you have that problem? I simply can’t STAND it. By the end of the day, I want to cut myself out of the thing. Uggghh….
I’m in love with the pencil skirt in the middle, that olive color is to die for and it looks beautifully fit
Well, onto more pleasant things. I needed some inspiration. Nothing like flying by the seat of your pants without a road map. I keep a creative inspiration journal with me and when I find clippings of things I like I cut them out and paste them in it. Surprisingly, I have a thing for pencil skirts. I find the silhouette they create rather clean, sexy and up town. And they are so feminine. They bring out all those curves. Bring out the firetrucks!
The two bottom images are fabulous, a mini pencil skirt and that gorgeous blue traditional pencil skirt
Tried making a pencil skirt lately? I’m also in love with the fact that something so sleek and sexy comes from 1 – 1.5 yards of fabric. That’s definitely something to write home about. Not to mention, you get to line it (or not, depending on your preference) in something you want to line it in, like silk. Or maybe even that bemberg rayon lining. Oh, the lush!
The image in the middle is a great idea, adding a border along the bottom to spice it up and bring it out of the ordinary
Just a little pencil skirt love for your Thursday morning perusal.
Most of the time, when my sewing adventures don’t quite work out I don’t usually say anything. And I definitely don’t show you anything. Usually it doesn’t happen that often. I do try to keep a chin up and move on, not get too depressed about ruining an acre of fabric, but this past weekend was different. I was up for making my second, dark colored half slip out of this gorgeous navy blue silk charmeuse I found. And then I thought, “Let’s move onto the full version instead.” I had tested the pattern, because this is silk you know, not cheap and definitely not worth ruining. Surprisingly for a slip, there were quite a few alterations that needed to be made to the pattern. I felt rather impressed with myself that I took such care in testing the pattern actually.
Then, it was time to move onto cutting the blue silk. I made the mistake of cutting out the bra portion first and then turned my attention to the skirt only to find that there wasn’t enough fabric. I had bought the last of the bolt and was rather unhappy with only the yard and a half I got, but I was quite sure I could make the most of it. I determinedly cut out the back portion of the skirt and found that there was absolutely no way to cut out the front. I had purchased this silk from Hancock’s and since we have two locations here, I thought I could get lucky and find some more silk at the other location. Of course, they didn’t have any. Of course.
the very sad pieces of navy silk
So I came home, empty handed, and decided that the half slip version was going to have to work. I proceeded to cut out the back of the slip from the back I had cut for the full slip and again found that there was not enough fabric for the front half, even though this was the half slip. I tried cutting it out anyway, a little off grain, thinking this wouldn’t matter much. Ha ha ha. After cutting out the front and finding that it hung completely wrong, I’m here to tell you, I’ve completely destroyed an entire yard and a half of beautiful silk charmeuse. The loveliest part is that I’ve cut it up into little pieces that couldn’t possibly make their way into anything else garment wise.
It’s a pretty sad story, I must admit. There were no tears, which is surprising, but even worse, there is disappointment. Silly, silly girl. Tricks are definitely for people like Houdini. (I know you thought I was going to say “kids” huh. But I’m not a rabbit so what’s the fun in that?) Possibly even worse than all this, is that I actually “fff-ed up” on something so silly, a slip. A SLIPPPPPPPPPP!!!!!!!!
Believe me when I tell you, all of us have our moments of utter shame and complete ineptitude on a very easy project. So, if you are having one of those moments, I’m here to say, you ain’t alone Sister! I recommend that you bookmark this post for future reference when those moments come along. Just remember, I messed up on a SLIP!
This heart wrenching story has been brought to you by:
- $16 a yard navy blue silk charmeuse, which had the most beautiful purple tint to it
- a very easy vintage slip pattern
- Gingher shears, the likes of which you’ve never seen cut into silk
- last, but not least, a silly disappointed red-headed girl
This week has been a terribly good week for me. I’ve been able to get some sewing done and go thrifting, which by the way, I made a serious haul. Found a pair of pants, a sweet pink raincoat and a few more sweaters. I’m getting more and more excited for Self Stitched September and have so many ideas to put to use for that month. It’s most definitely going to be a September to remember!
Gertie’s half slip tutorial and Isaspacey’s version
Isaspacey informed me that Mz. Gertie has posted a most useful and perfect slip making tutorial. It’s just like the slip I made, except you make your own personal sewing pattern. Hands down, handmade slips are the way to go. From cut to finish (after having made the paper pattern) you are looking at about 2 hours, if not less time. Best investment I’ve ever made. And just for a few more ideas to throw at you, my pattern also had grainlines for slips cut on the bias. Don’t leave out that option if you are finding you would like to make one of your own.
Here’s a few places online that sell silks, if you are interested in trying your own slip version, but don’t have access to silk in town.
I even thought about that lovely Bemberg rayon lining fabric would work for these.
And did I mention that I’m in love with plush back elastic? If you are going to try making your own slip, definitely give the plush back elastic a try. It’s really soft against the skin and makes it so the slip doesn’t ride up, in fact it doesn’t ride anywhere, but stays right in place without digging into your tummy. It’s also known as plush finishing elastic. Definitely give it a Google search.
I realize I’ve gone a bit slip crazy. And it won’t be ending real soon either as I bought more fabric and trim for a dark colored version. Oh yes, and speaking of trims, definitely look here for lace for that bottom edge. Soon, very soon, I’ll be onto the full-version slip. Just you wait.
Alright, enough about slips already. Have a lovely weekend, friends. Many sewing adventures await you, I’m sure.
When I’m out shopping or thrifting I always look for silk, real silk not polyester or nylon, underthings. They are seriously few and far between. I don’t mean a nightie or lingerie either (although, I suppose they fall into somewhat the same category), I mean underthings, you know like slips. I’ve been in dire need of underthings, aka slips. I have had a skirt slip, manufactured from horrid nylon that has been my standby for much too long. It was high time for something new.
The two camisoles hiding behind the skirt slip were thrifted “nighties” that have since been cut short to be made into camisoles. The skirt slip is a recent stitched up fancy that I’ve long been meaning to do and never got around to. I don’t generally wear skirt slips, but I have two skirts that require them, even though the skirts themselves are lined. And judging from how much wear the nasty little nylon slip got, I apparently wear slips more than I even thought. All of these underthings are 100% silk making them more breathable than nylon or polyester. With the heat around here, it’s a definite must.
I made the skirt slip from this vintage pattern. Really a pattern is not necessary as I didn’t even follow the instructions for this one. In fact, I might just write up a tutorial, because I’ll be needing a black one too. I used a very light pink silk charmeuse, vintage lace for the trim and plush backed elastic for the waist. Ummm…have you tried plush backed elastic? If you haven’t, you really need to. Not only does it hold the thing in place and keep it from slipping all around town, but it feels fantastic compared with other elastic type waists I’ve tried. So fantastic, it’s like it’s not even there.
Do you ever wear slips? Do you have a hard time finding natural fiber slips? What are your secrets for underthings?
PS ~ after two days worth of wear, I’m in love with my silk slip! 100% no cling to skirts, complete breathability and not to mention the luscious feel of the silk against my skin is heavenly. Won’t ever be going back! Highly, highly recommend!
In preparation for Self Stitched September, it was definitely time to start pulling out unfinished projects from the stash. Surprisingly, I haven’t had this sweater in the stash for very long. I really, really should have taken a before photo, but of course was much too lazy to do that at the time. So, this sweater came from some Nordstrom inspiration. Nordstrom’s is probably the nicest and most up-town department store we have here in Utah. And somehow, Mr. S gets their catalog.
This catalog arrived in the mail the other announcing a HUGE sale. I saw this rather dashing working girl outfit and convinced myself that I had to have that grey sweater, because I don’t knit and well, I couldn’t just make that as I could the rest of the outfit. Friday was the beginning of this supposed sale and so after a short day at work, I ran right over to see if I could get my hands on that sweater. Much to my dismay, I found the table of sweaters, no greys were left and then when I picked one up of a different color and handled it in my hands I almost starting laughing uncontrollably. Luckily, I stopped myself before I started. The sweater felt as thin as paper and I immediately knew that after two or three washes this thing would be toast! I had seen enough, right then and there, I gathered up what was left of my pride and stomped out of Nordstrom’s with a very serious chip on one shoulder. I have one phrase for you, “cheap in the disguise of expensive.”
I marched straight home, where I promptly got to work on my cashmere version of this sweater. This sweater was thrifted for $4. I’ll have you know, that I didn’t spend a dime more either, I used what I had in my stash, which makes me feel like a million dollars, maybe even 2 million. It had a small blue dot on the sleeve which has since been cut off. There were, much to my delight, no moth eaten holes in it. I found it in the ladies section, though have since discovered that is was a men’s sweater because it buttons up the wrong way. No matter. It was rather large, so I gave it some shape by taking in the sides. I followed this tutorial of Casey’s for saving the cuffs and bottom edging. I gave it some fresh buttons and with the scraps left over from taking in the sides and shortening the sleeves, I made one of the flowers. The other flower is made from some charmeuse silk that has been cut on the bias and gathered into a roll to look like a carnation.
I’m rather happy with the sweater in general. The color isn’t my favorite, and it isn’t grey, though I will be on the lookout for a grey sweater very soon. However, it shaped up rather nicely. I am completely in love with the medium weight cashmere. Who knew? Cashmere at a thrift store. I’ve never had a cashmere sweater and have always wanted one. It’s luscious and so so so soft. So there you have it! Something for $4 with much better quality than something for $45, thank you very much!
Thrifting much lately? Found any real gems? I want to hear all about them.