Tuesday, May 29, 2012

chevron pleated skirt

I just looked up "chevron" on Wikipedia to see if there was anything interesting to learn about its meaning or why the design is so trendy in clothing and home decor these days.

Zzzz. They said something about military rankings and heraldry and I took a short snooze. Whatever, this skirt print is super interesting. I love the print so much, in fact, that I think it's my favorite I've used of all my me-makes. Rich, saturated colors in a simple geometric design. The chevrons almost look like pixelated tulips in an Atari game or something. Plus it's BLUE and WHITE (and green). Me likey.

The fabric is a cotton lawn I bought from Denver Fabrics online. Fun fact: Denver Fabrics is not based in Denver. Gross fact: The white tank in these photos is the nicest white shirt I have. 

I've never worked with lawn or even touched it but I assumed it'd be soft and luxurious. I guess that's just Liberty lawn, though, so this was a lil' scratchier than I expected. Like grass in someone's... lawn. The weave is loose so it frayed quite a bit, and it snagged pretty easily on sharp things like, you know, all the tools we use to sew garments. But the drape is lovely and I like its semi-sheer airiness. I had a full pleated skirt in mind from the get-go so I was looking for an easy-to-sew light fabric that wouldn't make me look like a cupcake.

OK, I do still kinda look like a cupcake from certain angles. A delicious chevronific cupcake. I blame the lining. I lined it with the softest muslin I could find (give me a break, I'm already $50 over my sewing budget for the month so discount muslin it was), but I pleated it just the same as the shell fabric so it's pretty bulky around the waist. Do you make your skirt linings with equivocal volume to the main fabric, or should I not do that?

Stand up straight!

I tried to speed through the project to wear it to a Memorial Day cookout, but those kinds of plans always backfire. The simplicity of this skirt design should have meant impeccable sewing with a tidy finish, but c'mon, who do you think I am? I tried the skirt on 20 minutes before leave-time with only hemming to do, and then the zipper got stuck at the thick waistband seam so I had to seam-rip it to break my body free. Fail. I wondered later if I could have hemmed it while wearing the stuck skirt so I could still meet my deadline and wear the skirt as planned. Ha. ha. ha. Hmm, still wondering.

This is one of those o-wow!-now-that-I-understand-basic-garment-construction-I-can-make-skirts-without-patterns skirts. You know the ones: gathered or pleated rectangles with a shapeless 2-inch waistband and a zipper. Project R-way here I come. I did consult Simplicity 2215 for the pocket shapes and instructions on inserting in-seam pockets on a skirt with a side zipper. Cheater. Um, actually my skirt looks a lot like Simplicity 2215 all around, but my pleats are improvised and I didn't make a tabbed waistband.

I decided to cut my waistband with the print going horizontal. I pieced it to make a little design element out of the chevrons so the arrows point towards each other at the center front and center back. It's slightly wonky because I had a lot of fitting to do at the waistband after I pieced it together initially.

I had to GIMP all my mosquito bite bumps out of these photos (which are all so blurry and weird, sorry). Seriously, in the summer I can handle the humidity and my neighbors' outdoor speakers, but I can't handle being feasted on by these blood-sucking freaks (the mosquitoes, not my neighbors). It's infuriating, and I have no self-control when it comes to scratching. Ah, and it's not even June yet.

So, what kinds of fabric prints do you love the most? Florals, stripes, animal, novelty, abstract, dots, chevron?