Understated elegance

Having made myself a previous version of the Pleated Pencil Skirt from Delia Creates, I was ready venture into the land of sewing with tweed. I knew as soon as I found this fabric on my trip to Edinburgh that I wanted a pencil skirt out of it. It’s a light weight wool from Moon Yorkshire Tweed and I think is’s an ‘Overcheck Twill Tweed’.

Steaming my fabric

Of course it can’t be put in the washing machine, the finished deal will be a dry cleaned. I diligently looked up tips for working with wool in my Great British Sewing Bee book. First thing it noted was the wool fabric can shrink. It advised steaming fabric well before cutting but warned that because it is elastic when damp it should be steamed in sections and allowed to cool before moving. So I laid my fabric out on the floor and with the iron set on high with full steam hovered it a few inches above the fabric, letting it dry before turning it over to do the other side.
Having spent so much money and time on the main fabric, I wanted to get myself some decent lining.  I’ve normally only used the cheap anti-static lining that is so readily available but figured this skirt deserved a little better. After much research and brain ache reading about polyester, taffeta, bemberg (which I cant find anywhere in the UK), acetate,  and bremsilk , I stumbled across this beautiful 100% silk crepe de chine  (which my Colette sewing  handbook makes a lovely lining) from AmmaRoma on etsy. I initially ordered one meter and only realized my mistake after I cut out my first piece. Because the crepe de chine is only 45″ wide there wasn’t enough for both the front and back! So I had to put my project on hold while I waited for another meter to be shipped. I used scraps of some Liberty print for the waistband facing. So the insides if you sneak a peak are very pretty!

I spent ages trying to work out the ‘right’ side of my fabric and in the end (based on nothing in particular)  just chose one. I made the size 10 again and slightly trimming off  the hip curve  as I did last time.  The pattern is so easy to follow and sewing with posh fabrics felt like a dream.

There are a few niggling details I’m not happy with. First is the pattern matching. It was a difficult design to pattern match the waistband to the skirt because the distance between the checks wasn’t the same as the amount for the kick pleat line.  The matching on the side seams are slightly out of kilter – not terribly noticable but they niggle anyway. Also when I was inserting the invisible zip in the side, the fabric gathered ever so slightly and doesn’t lie flat (visible in the photo below). But as it has proved very difficult to unpick stitches on this tweed I decided I’d be better off with it as it was than risk gouging the fabric.

Despite the expense of my lining, I love the color and it feels luxurious against my legs. I used  my ‘Three Sole Walking Foot’ for the first time when sewing the lining. It certainly made sewing with the slippery silk much easier.

I love the fit  and look of the this skirt, it feels like understated elegance. Plus it looks fantastic with my new shoes.



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