Thursday, May 23, 2013

FO: Windswept Betsey Johnson Wrap Skirt

Heath - cliff, it's me, your Ka-theeee!

Because I have a blog, I can tell you that this project was conceived on 23 May 2011... so it's taken me two years to make this skirt.  How did that happen?  I was besotted the moment I saw it, and then I lost my nerve.

Stats:
Pattern:  Butterick 4089 from 1970-something, Betsey Johnson for Alley Cat, in size 25 waist
Fabric:  2 metres of herringbone-weave blue linen from Croft Mill, price forgotten but around £15 total?
Other:  30cm of red bandana-print bias binding, halved along the centre line, to face the pocket edges, red topstitching thread, mediumweight woven interfacing for the front waistband.


Process:
I had to piece together the waistband / ties to fit them into the available yardage, so lined up the joins at the side seams.  Otherwise, I did what I was told.
I have to commend the design of this pattern.  Everything fitted together beautifully, with especially clear instructions for fitting the waistband, which I had expected to be a bit tricky... but wasn't.
The only thing I would do differently next time would be to bind the edges of the pockets on the inside, as there are some raw edges under there.  But that's just perfectionism.
I had planned to bind the hem, but in the end I stuck to the instructions and turned it under twice, adding topstitching.  Lots of thread was used in the making of this skirt! 

Verdict?
When I first tried it on, I was a bit disappointed.  The linen has a tendency to stretch out across the bias and is probably a bit too thin for a skirt.  It creases and ripples like crazy, and sculpts itself to the body, which is fine if you are standing up, but try sitting down and you will carry your bum-print around with you for the rest of the day!
However, when I went out in the wind to take these pictures, I found myself enjoying the swish and the swirl of it.  It is rather wild and untamed when it gets out in the weather.  Romantic?
And I am surprised and pleased to report zero knicker-flashing - woo hoo!  I was so worried that this would be a major issue with a wrap-back skirt.  And goodness knows it was tested!

In a different fabric, this skirt has the potential to swoop gracefully.  I am seriously tempted to revisit the pattern one day.  A maxi version?  Ooh!
I like the style.  It has swagger and drape and those huge pockets are so practical and welcoming.
But it is definitely a farm skirt.
An egg-collecting, wildflower-picking dog-walking skirt.
A here-comes-FL-over-the-brow-of-the-hill-skirt.

16 comments:

Maeve said...

Hi Roo, Thats a great skirt. Pity its an old pattern but I think Tillys wrap skirt is similar - has the flap at the back. Oh now I think I have to go and buy that pattern to run up a few for our 'summer'. Well you may wear!!
Maeve

unlabelled clothes said...

It's definitely a wild prairie skirt. Looks good on you. 'bum print' made me giggle.

christinelaennec said...

That looks fab!

LinB said...

Oh, but the linen looks perfect for a summer skirt! In your climate, you definitely want something that swirls beautifully in the wind, as you almost always have to contend with wind. Sewn up In a shorter length and in gabardine or serge, you'd be fine at work in this pattern. Good to know that a back-wrap skirt can be secure. I prefer front-wraps so that, when I grab the skirt to hold it shut in the wind, I don't look as if I am pulling it out of my crack. (I usually put a "security button" half-way down the wrap on a wrap skirt, which defeats the whole purpose of a wrap skirt, which is why I don't make them for myself anymore.)

verykerryberry said...

Totally in love with this! The curve of the front and the pockets, wonderful! I fancy this in a check flannel too. I am now on the look out for this pattern!

verykerryberry said...

Totally in love with this! The curve of the front and the pockets, wonderful! I fancy this in a check flannel too. I am now on the look out for this pattern!

violicious said...

I love this pattern and the Kate Bush reference! Great job!

violicious said...

I love this pattern and the Kate Bush reference! Great job!

violicious said...

I love this pattern and the Kate Bush reference! Great job!

Valerie said...

Love this skirt. Very retro-modern.

Joy said...

Such a great skirt! The swooshy fabric seems perfect for it.

Lynne said...

Ooo! I love the 70s swishiness of this, and a maxi version would be fab.

Stephanie Farinelli said...

This turned out fabulous! I love your pockets!

Marie said...

I love it! Seriously, it's got such a cool retro vibe to it and I love the colour. Shame that the fabric irritates you...hope you get some wear out of it though cause it's one cool skirt!

Elise said...

Ooh this is lovely, you do windswept far better than me! :)

Scruffybadger said...

Where have I been to miss this dreamy creation?! It's going to be a wardrobe staple, surely? It looks soooo stylish and wearable ( ok, linen can crease, but that's its charm) and in our climate long skirts make sense. Love it.