Tuesday, April 2, 2013

s.o.s. challenge reveal

· · · – – – · · · Dit-dit-dit  dah-dah-dah  dit-dit-dit

That's morse code for SOS, did you know? I'm not in distress, though. In fact I'm pretty pleased with my new handmade outfit.

If you remember from a few weeks back, fellow blogger Trisha and I announced our little "Stashbusting our Sister (SOS) Fabric Challenge," for which we simultaneously made something with this Girl Charlee nautical-flag-stripe ponte knit we each had in our respective fabric stashes. And today is the big reveal -- to the blog world and to each other. 

And we actually had someone else jump aboard! After I posted about the challenge, Beth from 110 Creations commented that she had the same fabric in her stash as well. She had only less than a yard, so I'm really curious to see what she was able to make.

So here's my knit pencil skirt number. Now, this challenge did not begin with pencil skirt intentions. Pencil skirts are NEVER my intention. I'm a self-conscious pear, you see. I made one pencil skirt last year (see here), but the zipper broke after two wears and I was never inspired to fix it. 

I was impossibly stumped about what to make with this fabric. It's just so graphic. After scouring the Internet for ages, I somehow settled on the idea that I'd make it into a Colette Crepe dress. It seemed like other sewists had success with using a busy print for that pattern. So I bought the PDF, went through the laborious process of taping & tracing & cutting those 83 pages, nearly finished the dress, then decided I hated it. With four darts in the bodice, AND the cross-over back, these diagonal stripes just looked chaotic. And the Crepe sleeve facings do not handle drapey ponte knit very well. Those suckers would not stay put.

With my fabric already cut, I didn't have many options at that point. So I decided that this "challenge" was the perfect opportunity to make something a little out of my comfort zone. Ditch the swingy skirt, I told myself. Make a STRAIGHT skirt. Use less fabric than usual. Embrace dem hips. Go wild!

For the waistband, I followed Kadiddlehopper's tutorial for a knit pencil skirt. It feels slightly unfinished because the elastic is just turned down inside and tacked in place at the side seams, but it does stay put during wear, is sleek to wear under tighter shirts, and feels more stable than a simple fabric band.

I maybe should have gone a different hemming route because the coverstitch is pretty athletic-looking. Oh boi... I just realized I haven't admitted to you all yet that I broke down and bought a coverstitch machine for myself for my birthday (...two months ago). Don't judge. Proper post will come eventually. It definitely deserves accolades, though my bank account is still feeling a bit wounded.

Since I'm new to the striped-pencil-skirt world, I had to consult Pinterest and "think like a fashion blogger" in order to figure out how to style this skirt. What would Kendi do (WWKD)?

Kendi would tuck the front of a button-down shirt into her striped pencil skirt and pair it with heels (Kendi's post here). Okay, Andrea, let's do this. So the same day I finished the skirt, I immediately made an Archer shirt. This is my third Archer! Diggin' it.

The classic-ness of this shirt helps to tone down the bold skirt fabric, methinks. I cut this Archer to be more fitted with the intention of wearing it to work with many other skirts. I made it from a bedsheet, actually, and it's unfortunately super wrinkle-prone despite the poly I know is in there.

I'm still not entirely sure where I'd wear an outfit like this but hopefully I can figure out something. If Kendi can find a place for it in her life, so should I, yes? Though in order to be fashion blogger-status, I need the full ensemble, sunglasses and smug modelly look included:

Boom. Nailed it. Though maybe I still need a sunset-drenched suburban tree-lined street as my background setting. Sorry, until I get a DSLR and a photographer husband and loads of daytime free time, you're gonna have to deal with my cracked and stained sewing room closet corner.

Be sure to check out what Trisha and Beth did with their SOS fabric! And if you're digging the fabric, it looks like Girl Charlee brought back a similar print, but in rayon spandex instead of ponte de roma (here). Until next time...