Sunday, June 09, 2013

FO: Lace, the Final Frontier (Betsey Johnson 4089)


 Stats:
Pattern:  Betsey Johnson for Butterick 4089, from the 1970's, size 25 waist, with an extra centimetre added at centre front and back.
Fabric:  2.2  metres vintage broderie anglaise, found on ebay for about £10; 1 metre Sevenberry Bandana Collection Collage in red £9; and 0.5 metre Sevenberry Bandana Collection Paisley in red £4.50 both from Fabric Inspirations.
Other:  Vintage crochet-style cotton lace, gifted to me by Debbie of Minnado's House.  An "I am half agony, half hope" label from Scrapiana, an Etsy UK seller.  Zip, interfacing and thread from stash.

Ever since I  pounced on this heavy vintage broderie cotton on ebay a year ago, I have been searching for the ideal pattern to make the most of it.  For a long time, I planned to interline it with a strong-coloured voile to make a simple Boden-inspired a-line skirt.  But how predictable that would have been!
So the fabric sat in the stash, a contant niggle at the back of my sewing brain.
It was only when I was making my linen wrap skirt with the same pattern, that I hit upon the idea of leaving it unlined, as the final flounce on a 70's prairie skirt.  Because it starts below knee-level, it doesn't matter that the lace is so open.  
 
If anything, it makes the maxi length a lot more wearable, and less... um... Amish?
All the time I was sewing, I was looking forward to combining it with my cowboy boots.
And wondering if I could justify buying another pair!
  I have left the bottom un-hemmed as the broderie stitching is incredibly sturdy.  Even if it starts to unravel with wear, I think the distressed effect will add to its charm.
The final layer is cut like a circle skirt, and I had to shorten it three or so inches to fit the pieces onto my narrow fabric.  Luckily, it turned out to be Roo-length!  The first time I tried it on, I sashayed around the house, enjoying the twirl and transparency of that final flounce.

 Verdict?
Oh my goodness!  I know it's crazy and eccentric, but I love it!
Usually, after taking my photos of a finished object, I change back into my jeans before I sit down to write a blog post.
Today?
I'm still wearing it!
I wore it to cook the dinner and to bring in the washing and to sit on the sofa and catch up with the weekend papers. 
As soon as I finish this, I will settle down to my knitting and I will still be wearing my new skirt.
I think that says it all.

25 comments:

Rachel-Lou said...

This is my favorite Roo make ever (gosh that makes me sound like a stalker!) perfect combo of fabrics and trims x

Gail said...

Utterly fabulous!

beassewingadventures said...

Ooh! It's fabulous! The broderie anglaise definitely gives it a perfect 70s vibe!

Valerie said...

Love your skirt and your atmospheric photos. Beautiful use of the lace.

Jenni said...

Don't comment often, but HAD to because that skirt is Fabulous!!

Shar said...

This is so lovely! I would never have thought to use the lace as a layer - just perfect!

MaryinTN said...

Awesome!

Linda C said...

I really love this creation. I could well see having a skirt like that and wearing it everyday. Is the trick for wearing a long skirt like that to have it divided into almost equal thirds? You and I are very near the same size and a couple of years ago I had mentioned not thinking I could wear pants with wide legs. You had mentioned that I needed to get then in scale to my size and it would work. You were so right. So I can only believe that the skirt would work if it were in proportion and divided into thirds. Thanks for the great idea. Is that a new scarf?

LindaC.

jessica said...

Love!!! One of my favorites yet. Seems perfect for about the house, or a casual pop into town :-). Superb!

Curious - I'm itching to make a Robe Sureau, how did you find the ease in the pattern? She doesn't give final measurements, and the last time I tried to measure the pattern pieces and do some math, I lost 4" somewhere in my math :-P.

Scruffybadger said...

Oh my!! This skirt is a new frontier, you're right and I think you could be at the pioneer of a new outburst of tiered maxi length skirts!! It's stunning and the choice of fabrics so careful to result in " the most awesome maxi skirt in the universe" You have changed my view of maxi skirts....the lace is out of this world. There, does that continue with the space exploration theme?

Maeve said...


Its fabulous, looks great on you, wear it all summer! You could also start a trend.

azterya said...

It's beautiful.

verykerryberry said...

Oh wow! I just love this. The eyelet fabric on the bottom is genius! I bought this pattern after seeing your wrap version. I am a big Betsey fan and I particularly liked this option as the hip fit is slim and drapey which is how yours looks.

Macska said...

Oh, that's simply gorgeous! So fun, and quirky, and pretty. Love it! :-)

I like the setting for the photos as well - it matches the skirt perfectly.

Carolyn said...

Oh goodness! This is too lovely for words. I would be wearing this beauty full time too. Thank you so much for the never ending inspiration!

christinelaennec said...

You have outdone yourself here - which is saying a LOT! Beautiful, and lovely to read how happy you feel in it.

Donna Hensley said...

Seriously rad!! This totally made my day!

Lynne said...

Swert child of mine!! This is fab-u-lous!! I absolutely love maxi skirts, and this is, without doubt, the most gorgeous one I've ever seen! May you long enjoy it's swishiness. :)

Kathryn said...

This is just so gorgeous, I can totally see why you didn't want to take it off! I love the way you've used the different fabrics and can't imagine that broderie anglaise on any other pattern now!

LinB said...

I hope you at least took off the skirt to shower! Although, come to think of it, you could have washed the skirt and yourself at the same time ... and treated it as one does curtains, hanging up the damp fabric as you mean it to dry, right on the curtain rod. Not that I am equating you with a curtain rod. I can fully understand why you are in love with this tiered skirt.

Alessa said...

Definitely fabulous! :)

colleen said...

Your pleasure in the making and wearing of this skirt is totally infectious and I find myself still smiling. It's all charm.

colleen said...

Your pleasure in the making and wearing of this skirt is totally infectious and I find myself still smiling. It's all charm.

Cazz said...

Wowee!! want a fabulous vintage style skirt. Can fully understad why you love it.

acharmofmagpies said...

This is so delightfully charming and unique and looks wonderful on you. It'll be interesting to hear how the unhemmed broderie anglais holds up, you'll have to schedule a review for us!