This past weekend, I stopped by the Kate Spade store downtown. We were running errands in the neighborhood, and I’d never been in to see their lovely clothes in person.
As a sewist, one thing I do in higher end stores is check out all the construction details on clothing. Do you do this too? It’s fun to see how well-made ready-to-wear is put together, and to get ideas for your own projects.
So I was looking at the inside of this very pretty (hot pink!) coat, and the saleswomen thought that I must have been very interested in purchasing it because they kept urging me to try it on. Out of curiosity, I looked at the price tag.
It was $700. Way beyond my means.
Now, I’m not saying that a well-made coat in a great fabric isn’t worth that amount. But as a seamstress myself, I can have a tailor made one of similar quality for about $100. And I’ll tell you one thing, it wouldn’t have an acetate lining.
When people say that sewing doesn’t save you money, I think they’re talking about the inexpensive, disposable clothing that you can buy everywhere these days. If you have champagne tastes and a beer budget, though… you can invest your time and know-how to get “expensive” looking clothes for not a lot of dough.
All this is to say that I am very happy with the way this skirt looks, both inside and out. Even though it’s really simple, it’s also very well made.
The fabric is this really interesting bright tomato red wool. What makes it interesting is the weave. Allow me to indulge in a little fabric geekery here. Check it out.
Do you see what’s so cool about it? The fabric is woven askew! It’s a normal, plain weave, but the threads run diagonally instead of straight up and down. What this means is that the fabric actually stretches across the width and length even though it has no lycra, just like if it had been cut on the bias. Pretty neat, huh?
I lined the skirt in a bright red stretch silk crepe de chine. Since the wool stretches, I chose a stretch lining too.
The pattern is Meringue from The Colette Sewing Handbook, but I cut it without scallops. This is really easy, you basically just fold the curves of the scallops back on the pattern before you cut, and you have a super simple a-line skirt.
But of course the real feature are the cool 60s’looking pockets, right? I swiped the pockets from the Negroni pattern for this, but just rounded the edges of the flaps and finished them with cream bias binding. Super easy, and I love the crisp look.
Oh, and this is my new (vintage) silk scarf, a souvenier scarf from the Côte d’azur, with the names of different places all over it (Saint Tropez, Monte Carlo, Nice, Cannes, etc). Can you tell I’m obsessed with scarves?
So that’s it for the Fall Palette Challenge from me this week! Hope you all are coming along and making some nice stuff too.
Some other posts you may be interested in: