A Pink Paisley Pencil Skirt // #SewFrosting

For the past month, the sewing world has gotten colorful, sparkly, and oh-so-fancy. Inspired by Heather Lou from Closet Case Patterns and Kelli from True Bias, sewists everywhere are embracing sewing “frosting”. The fun, less-practical pieces that truly exemplifies the magic of making your own clothing, in contrast to (the very essential) “cake” basics of our wardrobes.

As someone whose been sewing seriously for nearly a decade, it’s no surprise that my style has evolved over that time. In the last year or so I’ve been stuck in a weird place, where I have started feeling better and more confident in clothing that I’ve purchased over the things that I’ve made. It’s not the quality or construction of the garments (like my earlier pieces) but a general feeling that I want to feel a little more sophisticated than the wild array of prints, colors and silhouettes that dominated my early 20s wardrobe. This disconnect between my past style and current vision of what I want to wear left me sort of in limbo. I felt I needed to sew with what I currently owned, but if I did, I wouldn’t wear it. Things slowed down.

When I saw the #SewFrosting challenge, I felt the buzz to participate. I had clearly been taking everything to seriously. I took this fabric off my “want to make soon” pile and whipped it up into this skirt last weekend.

The fabric is a special gem from my trip to Britex Fabrics in San Francisco. On the top floor they had all the sale fabrics and “end of the roll” materials and from the pile, this bright neon pink caught my eye. Emerged was this gorgeous jacquard paisley in brilliant swirls of pink and grey. It had to come home with me. With just 2m left on the roll it was made to be.

I anticipated making a pencil skirt with this from the beginning, knowing that the excessive print would probably be *too much* on anything else. Because of the yardage I got, I have plenty leftover from this project to make something else fun in the future.

The pattern is a basic skirt from my vintage stash, Butterick 3882. I love a good pencil skirt and haven’t made one in ages. Since I was using a vintage pattern, there was only one size available in the envelope, and sadly it was not mine. I had to increase the waist by 5cm, so I added 1.25 to each of the side seams. I did grade the pattern back down to the original pattern size from the hips to the hem to keep the silhouette from being too flared. I drafted and cut out an extension to sew a back vent, but after I sewed up the side seams, I tried it on and found I had no problem moving around in it, so I simply closed up the center back seam and saved myself the trouble.

When I make complicated projects I get really lazy about my finishing techniques, in a rush to get things over and done with. However, when a project is as simple as a pencil skirt, I make sure everything is really fancy. I fully lined the skirt, and hand stitched the invisible zipper and inner waistband so everything was smooth and sleek-looking.

Feeling inspired by both this project and the movement online, I got some shiny new fabrics and created a plan for my wardrobe using patterns I already hadve and getting some new patterns that will fit my new vision of my style. We’ll see if the energy keeps up but right now I am feeling excited, rejuvenated and looking forward to this frosting-filled, thoughtful wardrobe.

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