Ok, so it's a skirt. A black skirt. Nothing to write home about right?
So why do I feel the need to post about my latest sewing creation? Because the waist band is made of elastic! Truly!
I had recently purchased some beautiful cardigans (sweaters) and while swiping my credit card through their machines to pay for these beauties (all four of them) I started fantasising about what I'd wear with them ... black wiggle skirt. BAM!
I then went on a frenzied hunt through the stores trying to find a black pencil skirt. After many long unsuccessful searches (everything was either too tight on my hips or too loose on my waist) I suddenly had a moment of clarity and an inner dialogue began:
Right side of my brain (RS) - "Hey Julia, what's up"
Left side of my brain (LS) - "Oh you know, just trying to find me a pencil skirt ... unsuccessfully."
RS - "Hmmm ... I see."
LS - " Yeah it's really getting me down not finding one"
RS - " Hey, so um Julia, you sew right?"
LS - "Um .. yes."
*The sound of a penny dropping*
RS - "Then what the H are doing looking for a pencil skirt when you could be making one fool!"
LS - "Fair call RS, fair call"
*The sound of epiphany trumpets playing*
I decided that was that, I had to make me a black wiggle skirt to accompany my new cardigans.
These cardigans are ridiculously pretty, very form flattering and makes me think of the 50's era where clothing was modest (cleavages and thighs tucked away) but the silhouettes were knock you in the face sexy. Think Joan from Mad Men.
Now pencil skirts are nothing new, and God knows they have been done before, but I really wanted a skirt that emphasised the curve of the female figure,; smooth on the hips and small in the waist, just like Joanie Harris above.
I've made skirts before but the waist band never seemed to really synch in the waist. And then I had a breakthrough.
Now initially I was nervous. Over the years I'd come to associate elastic with plus sized dresses, and that creepy man who sits out the front of my local supermarket wearing sweat pants and most certainly no underwear. Oh.Dear.God. But it's time to be free of my fears and go all 'Justin Timberlake' on elastic and bring the sexy back.
I headed to clegs after work and purchased a strip of black elastic (belt elastic according to the label) about 7cm wide and hurried home to my sewing room to experiment.
I whipped up the skirt using under one metre of fabric of a thick wool/polyester blend that I also purchased from clegs. Once I finished the skirt I measured the circumference of the skirt waist, and then cut the strip of elastic the same length but about 4cm shorter. I then pinned the elastic strip to the skirt, stretching the elastic to fit and sewed it down with a 1.5cm allowance. I also top stitched the seam allowance to the waist band to keep the allowance flat and stop the skirt from buckling.
When the skirt is lying limp and the elastic relaxes, it gathers up a little around the elastic join. When you're wearing the skirt, your body stretches the elastic band out which removes all the puckering of the skirt fabric.
I finished the skirt with an invisible zipper and then squeeled with delight when I tried the finished garment on!
I love how the elastic pulls everything in to the body and emphasises the waist! It is also very comfortable as it moves with you, rather than cuts into you like non stretch waist bands can. Now I'm a big eater, and usually after a big lunch I thoroughly regret what I decided to wear that morning. Now with the elastic, the waist band will expand to include the extra 10 kilos of food I've just shovelled into my belly.
The elastic is also easy to attach as there is no interfacing, no facings and no finishings (apart from the seam allowance where you attach the elastic to the skirt). Genius!
It is such a simple skirt, but one that gives a bit of va-voom emphasising the classic feminine shape. Because the elastic is a feature, rather than covered by a fabric casing, the end result is that the waist band is flat and smooth, rather than bunched up like MC Hammer pants (which, let's be honest I still love).
Too be honest, my trauma associated with elastic first lessened when I made my recent jacket 'Minoru and Me' pattern made by Sewaholic Patterns. I loved how the jacket turned out, and it had a lot to do with the shape created by using elastic. Interesting indeed.
I love this new skirt and I encourage every one to give it a try. It'll make you look small in all the right spots. The possibilities are endless!
I am not ashamed to admit, I am now an elastic convert. Amen.