This style of faux-wrap, double-fronted design has been on my radar for a while, ever since I snapped a Sportmax green leather number in a waiting-room magazine (in November 13, the camera roll suggests). Imagine that buttersoft, slippery leather (and the colour is a feast for the eyes)! But so expensive! My version – made of a polyester/viscose blend with a kind of shiny, tarry finish – cost £6, plus thread and zip. 🙂
I’m keeping it real.
Hence the washing on the line…
I haven’t had to dip into my winter wardrobe much as the weather has been mild. However, last month while getting ready for an evening at Kate’s, I opened my ‘drawer of black tights’ and found so many imperfect-but-not-quite-destroyed pairs that I decided some short skirts might be necessary in order to retire (to borrow the term from Blade Runner) each pair till it’s bin-ready. This is a practical style, almost perfect for my needs (see end). It’s short but not obviously so due to the varying hem length (which you can adapt to taste). Construction’s easy too, the basic skirt block or a pencil skirt pattern being the starting point (with a centre back zip and waist facing). The split front enables walking ease without the need for lining so making it is quick.
- Redraw the sides of your basic block to hug the figure as closely as possible i.e. narrow the block towards the hem. You’ll still be able to walk due to the front split. However, if you keep the vertical side seams of the basic block, the result with be a more flared, A-line silhouette like on my skirt.
- Do decide whether to hem the back and the two fronts before attaching them to each other, or to leave the hemming till the end in which case the hem allowances will have to drafted equally all the way around (i.e. if the skirt back has a 3cm hem allowance, you’ll have to draw this for the dipping hem too.
- .I have deliberately made this to look like the front is dipping down. You can exaggerate this more (be bold) or change to a straight hem like in the leather skirt.
- It would be a shame to place a dipped pattern piece on the straight grain (green arrow). Use a patterned fabric or napped fabric and play around. I think the desired effect is meant to look a bit like a kilt left open or a tea-towel tucked into the waistband that’s slipping off!
- Remember to stay-stitch diagonal lines to prevent stretching (why not chalk a line and staystitch before cutting from your fabric?)
The only thing I’m not happy about is the itchy waist: my tights have an annoying tendency to slip down. Hopefully, once I start wearing more layers I can tuck something in, to shield me from £6 a metre mock wool!
Or I might attempt this again in neoprene or scuba which I’ve never sewn before: do let me know if you have any experience of sewing or wearing these fabrics. December update: neoprene and scuba won’t work for this (see comments below).