Tuesday, January 24, 2012

half-circle skirt: best thing i've ever sewn

"Best thing I've ever sewn" could mean many things, and certainly this wouldn't meet everyone's criteria, but my navy blue knit half-circle skirt is definitely the most versatile thing I've sewn, not to mention economical, comfortable, easy. All those things combined, for me, make it the best. It took me maybe an hour from start to finish. That's crazy. An HOUR. I spend more time each day reading Damn You Autocorrect. Why don't I make more half-circle skirts? Ooh, that gives me an idea for how to celebrate Pi Day this year (3/14).

A couple weekends ago I took an inventory of my entire wardrobe, or at least the things that can be worn in public and weren't in the laundry hamper at the time. I even took pictures of most everything (just on hangers, not on me, geez), which was tedious but helped me get a birds-eye visual of what I have and what goes together and what I need. Some good did come of it; TWENTY-FOUR of the items previously hanging in my closet have since been designated to the "consign or donate" pile. Yikes. 

But perhaps most importantly, I realized how many tops I have that weren't worn very often because they were missing a common denominator. So once I figured out what that was, I made it. This navy blue knit skirt is that one piece that brings it all together, and here's a small sampling of how far this bad boy can extend into my wardrobe.
handmade top: blogged below
handmade top: blogged here
handmade top: blogged here
urban outfitters infinity scarf
target ribbed top
thrifted top
f21 top
thrifted cardigan
I'm sure you're aware by now that when it comes to my apparel I don't pay much attention to these things you people like to call "seasons." I do own some sweaters, actually, but they're monochromatic neutrals and not as fun to photograph. I'm actually surprised by how many floral prints I own. When'd I get so girly?

This knit fabric was the only thing not on sale at Hancock Fabrics the other week, but I bought it anyway because it was exactly what I was looking for: drapey, comfy, stretchy, navy, stable(y). It was 60" wide so I only bought one yard - $12.99, still not bad for the total cost of a skirt. I used Patty the Snug Bug's circle skirt calculator to help determine the radius and skirt length, then kinda followed this Online Fashion Courses video tutorial for making the pattern. I interfaced the waistband with self-fabric, and just serged it all right on up. 

My sewing-with-stretch-knits confidence is way up. I hope you're proud. The red/orange knit top in the first photo above is another recent creation. I made it by tracing a RTW shirt that's my go-to for casual wear. I think I found the original top in the juniors' section of Target; it's supposed to be a dress for a 13-year-old or something, but of course I wear it with legitimate pants. I did make my own version a smidge shorter than that so there's no confusion.

I hate wearing jeans, but sometimes I have to because this is the American Midwest (or South, depending on who you’re asking) and it's pretty casual around here. I mean, I went to college in rural Ohio and I felt overdressed wearing a cardigan instead of a hooded sweatshirt to class. 

When I am forced to wear jeans (for what? I dunno, tree climbing?), I feel more comfortable pairing them with a long sweater or top that covers the derrièreThis fits the bill! The derrière bill, if you will. It has a wide scoop neckline in the front, a lower scoop in the back and elbow-length sleeves that (hopefully) draw attention to the shoulders instead of dem hipz. 

The fabric is a vintage polyester knit from Etsy (shop: EstateByRobin). Virtually unwrinkleable. Thanks, '70s! The shop owner described it as a "warm summer tomato red" though it does look quite orange, especially in photos. As long as it's not considered tangerine tango I'm cool with it.

Have you tackled knits yet, or are you still wary of them? Knowing this crew, you've been fearlessly zig-zagging 'em up for years now. I'm glad I finally learned how to properly sew with them because they've already made some great garments. I'm also grateful for my serger (and the lovely parents who gifted it) for helping me take the leap.