Saturday, October 20, 2012

FO: Side-Buttoned Checked Wool Kelly Skirt


Arlington skirt from Wrap London
I saw the Arlington skirt in the latest Wrap London catalogue and decided that I needed to copy it, but in wool rather than the original cotton/linen mix, which is of little use to me in chilly NE Scotland.  It looked like a simple matter to shift the fastening of a Kelly skirt slightly to one side, so that the buttons fell inside one of the fat front pleats like the Arlington.  Oh, and I would line it too, obviously - no problem!

It was all going swimmingly for ages.  I  cut the fronts asymmetrically, as planned.  I stitched the pockets and the side seams.  I pinned the pleats.  I worked out how to create a buttoned-fly front and sewed the buttonholes.  I even edged the inside flap with linen bias tape - gorgeous!
And then I tried to line it.
I realised that the way I had lined my dark denim Kelly was not going to work for this side-saddle version.  And, actually, I am beginning to think the dark denim Kelly lining is causing the skirt to bunch together at the front when I sit down.
So I though I would "just" make a copy of the main skirt out of a strip of lining fabric and sew the two together within the waistband sandwich.
There was way too much bulk.  When I formed the pleats out of lining fabric and laid them on top of the main skirt, there were far too many layers of folded fabric, particularly over the pockets. 
So... I tried to move the lining pleats outwards to rest either side of the main skirt pleats.  I even sewed them in place.  Luckily, I tried the skirt on at this point, and realised that I had given the tweed pleats the equivalent of a bouffant back-comb, and they were sitting proud of my abdomen in a way which suggested I was expecting a multiple birth at any moment.  NOT a good look at my age!  And this was the point at which I may have thrown a tantrum...
Bias-trimmed side-front button-fly facing and pleats at back of skirt lining
I am sorry to say that, despite having taken immense care with every detail up to this point, I picked up my scissors and sliced a huge wedge out of the centre front lining, cutting a good 8 inches out of the top edge, tapering to nothing at thigh level.  And I seamed it on the outside, finishing the raw edges with a zig zag.  Seriously ugly zombie stitching!
And then I looked at what I had done and I was sorry.  Oh, so sorry!  How long would it have taken to flip the lining over and seamed it on the underside?  Not very.  Oh, Roo!
So I put my sewing away for the day, before I did something even worse.

So here we are, a week later, with a skirt.

It is pretty good copy of the Arlington, in climate-appropriate fabric - hoorah!

But I see that pesky lining is out to get me, and is hanging down at the side.

Sigh.  I'll fix it tomorrow.  Honest!

Pattern:  Kelly Skirt by Megan Nielsen, size XS, altered to fasten below one of the pleats.
Fabric:  1 metre of soft wool tweed from Huddersfield Fabrics on ebay, £17.95 "buy it now".  1 metre of lining from the stash, probably bought in Mandors, Edinburgh.
Buttons:  Vintage, grey lucite from Granny's button box.
Other:  I ran a line of cream cotton lace along the tweed hem on the inside, just because :)
And I used one of my "Persuasion" labels bought from Scrapiana on Etsy:  "I am half agony half hope", which pretty much sums up the progress of this project!

I got there!
I am really pleased that I managed to fathom out how to copy the side-button-fly construction.
The skirt looks very like its inspiration and is comfortable and warm.
It's just not very exciting.
And I don't have (m)any tops to wear it with.  The black polo neck jumper always gets dragged out on these occasions!  At the time of writing, every long-sleeved top I own is hanging on the washing line and only one of them looks like it might work with this skirt.  What was I thinking?!
Maybe its time I made some neutral-but-interesting long-sleeved tops to snazz it up a bit  ; )


Sarah said...

Roo: I absolutely love this skirt - it looks wonderful on you. And, I'm fond of black - so the black top looks great, to me.

I'm so jealous of your creativity and talent. You must have a closet full of garments that you've fashioned.

Hope your FL is doing well as winter approaches. We're beginning to have chilly weather here in our southern USA.

Hugs from across the pond!!

Law said...

I love this version. Sorry you had a lining nightmare. I want to line my next Kelly but am just not sure how. What would you recommend having done it a couple of ways yourself?

Roobeedoo said...

Law - I am at the end of my tether trying to line the Kelly! I reckon if your main fabric is really thin you could probably get away with "interlining", but it gets really bulky over the pleats. If I ever make it again, I think I will cut out wedges in the identically-sized lining where the pleats happen, but seam them on the sandwiched side. I think. Maybe. Ugh!

Donna said...

Ah - I love the Persuasion quote! And I think the skirt turned out wonderfully - hope won out. ;)

dottiedoodle said...

Gorgeous skirt, I love the side buttons. I've been using a silk cotton mix for underlining (from ebay). It's very thin, so doesn't add too much bulk.

Law said...

Maybe I'll just wear a slip underneath instead! The last thing i want is bulk at the back pleats.

sylkotwist said...

Despite your frustrations, it's a nifty skirt with hidden gems – Cotton lace trim on the hem and lovely coloured lining? Give it a week and you'll love it … and if not send it my way ;-) !

Lynne said...

Your skirt looks fantastic! You should be bloomin well pleased with yourself for figuring out how to alter the pattern, I wouldn't know where to start!

Scruffybadger said...

Now I've seen this post in reverse order, having been dazzled by the sunny picture, but, good to read about the story behind it. You've done the inspiration proud, and if you're still learning about sewing, piecing together new openings, faffing with linings, then it just goes to show that it's a never ending process, this being a better stitcher.
I am the opposite of you at the moment....have too many plain basics and now need to get some life into my wardrobe, prints look out!!

Anonymous said...

Persuasion labels? You enabler - that's another trip to Etsy for me.
-- stashdragon

Linda said...

A great need for neutral-but-interesting long-sleeved tops here too. And not too scoop-necked. It is Scotland in winter, after all. I was very disappointed by the latest Saltwater catalogue, as all the tops except a strange bouffante one had plunging scooped necklines.

Mela R. said...

It's hard for me to pick a favorite Kelly skirt of yours but this one might be it (lining aside!). You made a great copy!