Friday, August 10, 2012

FO: Scarlet Suspender Skirt, Simplicity 8925

Oh look - I stuck to my plan!  I have been intending to make this skirt since (goes off to check the archive) March! 

Commonsense prevailed and I chose a plain red cotton drill rather than the hand-printed £35 a metre tangerine madness which strobed across my brain for a while.  I think the style is enough of a statement without throwing crazy (expensive) fabric into the mix!

The pattern was supposed to fit a 25.5 inch waist, so I added a quarter-inch to all the side edges.  I needn't have bothered.  I ended up having to sew  my seams twice to reshape the sides and fronts from waist to thigh - it was miles too big!  Ah, Simplicity and excess ease, don't you just love it?
I consulted the Colette Sewing Handbook before inserting the centre back zip, and I can report that their instructions improved my finish, although I will be unpicking stray machine-basting threads for months to come!

For a "mini skirt" it was mighty long.  I am only 5 foot 3 and had to cut off two inches and turn up another two.  Those decorative flaps were looking perilously out of balance, the nearer the hemline they crept.

I squeezed it out of a metre of fabric, but had to line the straps with another cotton as I was short of that crucial 1.5 inch-wide lengthwise strip.

I lined it with black dobby-esque polyester and used black satin bias tape to finish the bottom hem.  The knobbly / studded buttons were bought for another project but I thought they added essential edge to this skirt.

Pattern:  Simplicity 8925 from 1970

Fabric:  One metre of red cotton drill from Minerva Fabrics at eebaay for £8.99; maybe 50cm of black lining from mystery seller on eebaay, price forgotten... maybe £1.50?

Other:  Black buttons - eebaay again, about £3 for 5?  I used 4.
If I had 6, I would probably have put one on each flap, but FL said that would be "twee" and The Girl just wrinkled her nose.


Red is trickier to wear than I expected. 

I think it looks fab with black, but I looked completely washed out with a white top underneath.

The suspender straps look best with a sleeve.  I tried it on with my Raindrops on Roses top and I looked... undressed.  Same problem with my Polka dot top.

But since it is fully lined, it is not really intended for high summer.  (Just as well, living in these parts!)  The lining was essential - the drill is really good quality but creases easily.

It is still slightly too loose at the waist and through the hip, leaving room to tuck in a warmer sweater, but that's always a good thing.

If I want to, I can unbutton the straps wear it as a plain skirt with decorative buttons back and front... but I reckon the "suspenders" are the whole point!

Would I use this pattern again?

Hmmm... probably not in this view.  I was wavering over the button-front version, but now that I've seen the Kelly skirt, I have plans for multiple versions of that one, and I suspect that poor old Simplicity 8925 will be consigned to the pattern box for a long time to come!


Andrea B said...

It's adorable. I love the red with black buttons. I've always wanted to wear suspender skirts but haven't mustered up the courage yet. You pull it off great. Well done!

serendipturas said...

Looks fab, but you NEED to make something in the tangerine madness!

Donna said...

It looks awesome styled with that shirt!! Good job :)

Sølvi said...

Oh, yay! The red suspender skirt! You look fab, and together with the black top, they are looking great. I´ll agree with you on red being a little tricky at times, but teaming it with a teal top might be nice? :-)

Lynne said...

It's lovely! And one metre of fabric - that's some going! I nodded sagely at the bit about Simplicity's ease. I like all the views on the envelope, and I see what you mean about the button view being like the Kelly skirt.

Scruffybadger said...

Rock on tommy!!! I'd agree with you that it appears to be more of a winter/ autumn skirt, and I love the idea of jumpers tucked into its lush cherry redness.....the low flaps are so quirky, and so are the braces....I like it a lot!

Gail said...

When you first posted about making this one, I wasn't sure I'd like it, but I really do!

kbenco said...

It looks great on you.The low flaps look good to me, less conventional and more interesting than the pattern envelope and you rock the suspenders.
Was that a pang for the tangerine madness? Now that you have TNT skirt patterns from a mere metre of fabric you would be practically guaranteed an excellent garment from those pounds.

Kirsty said...

I LOVE it! It looks great on you. What a super cool skirt.

Katy said...

This looks fabulous. I would never have said this was a 70s pattern - it holds up so well. You've got the styling spot on - a stripy top would look good as well or a royal blue top.

Linda C said...

Really "cute" - well done, your usual meticulous sewing job. Solvi suggested teal might do well with the red. What about purple? A pale turquoise? A Polka Dot top with long sleeves? A blue between cobalt and navy?


Kestrel said...

I like it - it looks great with your black top and am sure you'll get a lot of use out of it in the cooler weather (so that's most of the year then!)

Big Alice said...

That is super cute, I love the red! It looks great on you with the black shirt.

jessica said...

This seems like it would be really cheerful in fall or winter :-). Just the thing to nick any winter blues in the bud!

You and your talent for squeezing skirts out of 1M of fabric!!!

LLBB said...


Sarahel said...

Stunning outfit. It puts the suspender skirts I saw in the sunday supplements to shame.

sylkotwist said...

This is great, I wasn't sure it would be but I stand corrected, I love it! You can't go wrong with red and black, would black and white stripes be good with this too? I think so!

LinB said...

Have you had trouble with the suspenders falling off your shoulders? I made a similar skirt in 1992, and ended up having to cross the dratted straps in back -- very "kindergarten." Eventually hacked off the straps and then wore the skirt for a decade, until it looked too shabby even for me to wear in public. Let me look out that pattern for you ... I'll likely never make it again.

Alessa said...

I can't believe I've let my blog list pile up for two weeks.. anyway, what a cute skirt! The suspenders look a great mix between cool and cute and I love the bright colour. :)