Sunday, April 28, 2013

McCalls 6563: 1979 wrap skirt

After all the skater dresses it was time for some selfish sewing, and I wanted to wander back through the challis chalet once more.
I know that there are some challis dresses in my future, but I've really wanted to make this skirt. The pattern is from 1979 and was a gift from a friend.
I just love how effortless and breezy these ladies look! And despite the fact that the top is a total box, I might give it a go. I love those shoulder pleats. But the skirt - I love everything about it. The midi length is my favorite for ease of wear and I love a wrap style. It even has pockets!! Really perfect.
My favorite feature is the little flounce effect in front. The front wrap is shaped at the front edge, so that it drops gently in folds from the waistband. The effect is subtle, but very graceful. It's perfect for a softly draping fabric like challis.
And I had the perfect fabric picked out! Pressed it and got ready to cut, but it just kept telling me that it wanted to be a dress. I sat and stared at it, totally stymied. It was clearly a dress, but I really wanted to sew a challis skirt. I took my dilemma to twitter, and we settled on this blue swirl print.
And I am so glad! I really love it. Pictures don't do justice to the intensity and gradations of  color. It's so intense in fact, that it is really hard to style. I was afraid I had created an orphan, until I tried it with black. All of the blue tops in my wardrobe just look pale and washed out next to it. Black holds her own.
But the final test? Awesome twirl factor!

Today's tip

As I was working on this skirt, I came across a few bias seams and hems, and initially I thought I'd discuss working on the bias (and I will, as I love bias cut garments!), but today I was impressed with how important pressing and steam are to the finished quality of the garments we produce.
By Monster4711 (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
I know that most of us are already in the habit of pressing seams as we go, but it one of those things that is easy to overlook, but which is truly essential to a professional outcome for our work. But if you don't believe me, I refer you to the lovely and talented Ann of Gorgeous Fabrics. Her treatise on pressing, "And Now, a Word from the Pressinatrix" is a lovely summary of the importance of pressing at each phase of your work. Please read it, if you haven't already.

23 comments:

  1. Love your skirt. Love it. Sad I can't see it in person to get all the color. and I love Ann's post on pressing. Love it

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    1. Thanks! It is really unbelievably blue in person. Hard to capture.

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  2. What a pretty skirt! Love that pattern.

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    1. Thanks! I was so thrilled my friend passed it on to me!

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  3. My favorite patterns are from the seventies. Great skirt!

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  4. Beautiful! And I like the skirt too. :) It does have awesome twirl factor.

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    1. Aw, I see what you did there. :) Thank you!

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  5. Very pretty skirt, love the twirl.

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    1. Thanks! Every girl loves to twirl!

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  6. So pretty! Love that color! =)

    I had no idea that people would try to skip pressing until I was working my first professional job and the cutter/draper complimented me and the fact that I pressed as I went. I guess my mom knew to teach me that right from the start and it's always been habit. It does make a huge difference in the finished product!

    ~ Brooke

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    1. Me, too! My mom taught me from childhood as well. It's second nature.

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  7. Major squeefest. Love it to death.

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  8. Very nice. I love that it's a wrap style and yet you can still twirl in it (since that is sometimes a dangerous thing to attempt if the wrap doesn't overlap far enough.)

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    1. The wrap is a dangerous thing! This one is long and has a pretty generous overlap, so no flashing.

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  9. You have made a beautiful skirt. Every girl loves a twirly moment!

    My MIL used to work in a lingerie factory as a seamstress and model. Her work on silks is impeccable. When I first met her she asked me if I made the top I was wearing. I proudly said yes. She replied that I needed to press more - after every seam. That was a defining moment in my sewing. I know spend as much time pressing as I do sewing.

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    1. Thank you! Sounds like your MIL is an amazing woman. How fortunate you are to have her in your life!

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  10. Every girl needs a twirly skirt. Live, love, twirl!

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  11. Such a gorgeous skirt, and colour!!! It looks wonderful on you :-)

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  12. Loving the blue and black together! And the great "twirl factor!" ~Laurie

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