Thursday, August 29, 2019

A Designer Skirt Inspiration Comes to Life for a #SewcialMashup Challenge

As I was browsing the Fall/Winter 2019/2020 Vogue Paris Collections magazine in late July, I marked a skirt I thought could be fun to recreate. Then on Aug. 1, a #sewcialmashup Instagram challenge was announced, challenging sewists to take two patterns and "mash" them together to create one look.That was the incentive I needed to try and recreate the skirt. Here's the skirt I sewed for the challenge.  

 It looks great coming ...
... and going!

Here's a pic from the magazine. I found my inspiration skirt online at Neiman Marcus with a retail price of $5,790. Saint Laurent ruffle-tiered leather button-front skirt
Mine is not leather, nor did it cost me nearly that amount of money to create. I used a black designer techno knit from Fabric Mart Fabrics (almost like a double knit) making it more practical to wear (and clean).

Black is so difficult for me to photograph, and I think you can see the skirt details better in this flay lay.
This is what I did to recreate the look.

To start with I choose a button front skirt pattern, Simplicity 8792, and a pattern that had a flounce, Vogue 9349
From the Simplicity pattern I used view A, the long pencil skirt. I eliminated the wide waistband. I liked the idea of a pencil skirt, even through the designer's leather skirt is described as "A-line" as I thought it would be more flattering on me.

This particular pencil skirt has side front and side back seams, which made getting a close fit easy. And a close fit was needed for this skirt, as the addition of the flounces added a bit of weight.

Because this fabric had no visible right or wrong side, I marked the pieces with colored stickers to help make sure the pieces were sewn together correctly.
Once I stitched the skirt together I basted a line down the center back to use as a starting point when adding the flounces.

I measured the length of the pencil skirt and divided it evenly to determine how many flounces to sew. In this case it was easy as the skirt was 36" long, and I decided to add six flounces. I added marks at each seam line 6" down from one another to use a guideline for adding the flounces.
I shortened the flounce pattern piece from the Vogue pattern to 7-1/2". That allowed for a tiny hem and for each flounce to overlap one another.  I stitched six flounces, each consisting of a back and two fronts. 

Because the skirt was a pencil skirt, the circumference was almost equal from top to bottom. However, the waist needed a  a smaller flounce width-wise.  Since I'm not a math wiz, nor a pattern drafter, I simply pinned the flounce in place starting at the center back and center front, meeting at the side seam.
 I pinned the excess, marked it, and stitched a new side seam to fit. Easy peasy.
Beginning with the top tier, and starting at the center back, I pinned each flounce in place, then stitched with a tiny zig-zag stitch.

 Here's the work in progress.
I planned to leave the flounces unhemmed as I was concerned a hem would add weight to the flounce and it wouldn't hang correctly. However, I changed my mind after all the flounces were stitched in place and added a tiny hem to each.
After I had all the flounces in place, I had a "duh" moment and realized my Simplicity pattern didn't have a separate front band, and the designer inspiration skirt did. I cut a band the length of the skirt and the width I thought looked good. I used a lighter weight fabric for the band facing, to eliminate some bulk at the seam, but did add interfacing. I basted a row of stitches where the new seam line would be for the front band so I could try the skirt on before committing to the final band placement.
Once I was happy with the placement, I trimmed the excess fabric, turned the band facing to the inside, pinned in place, and removed the basting stitches that were showing.
At this point I auditioned buttons deciding on these black shank buttons in my button stash.   I thought they were more inline with the designer look.
When I added the buttonholes, even though I had two layers of fabric and interfacing, I added a small piece of stabilizer to the backside to make sure I didn't have any trouble with the buttonholes.
The waistband was cut from a TNT skirt pattern I've used for years.  I stitched in the ditch to hold the band in place, and trimmed the excess fabric on the inside of the skirt. I didn't want a shank button at the waistline, so I added a skirt hook and eye so it will be flat.
I'm so pleased with how the skirt turned out!
Even though it's not leather, I think it looks similar to the inspiration skirt.
It pairs perfectly with my "Never Forget How Fabulous You Are" t-shirt!
Before I go, a big shout-out and thank you to Lori, from Girls in the Garden, Lindsey, from Inside the Hem, and Pfaff who sponsored the challenge. If they had not offered this challenge, I likely would not have tackled this project.  So thank you ladies!

 By the way, if you're on Instagram be sure to follow me (@thesharonsews) as I post sneak peeks in my stories quite often.


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  1. How fun is this!!! Great job!

    1. Thanks Lisa! I had a lot of fun making this skirt, and it's a joy to wear.

  2. Wow, what a fabulous skirt! Love the label too.

    1. Thanks Graca! My labels are one of my favorite touches too.

  3. What a great new skirt! Love how you made this work!

  4. Wonderful and your tee shirt is the perfect foil!

  5. I admire your sewing skill,something I don't have, but you have removed every element that made it chic. The waistband, the mid-calf length, the slight A-line, the obvious button placket....

    1. Marilee Judith Gramith9:36 PM

      Your criticism is not only needlessly snotty and judgemental but it is unfair and inappropriate. You either missed or ignored the fact that this challenge was a "mash-up", which definitively requires a "combining" of patterns to create your design. It also assumes that you will apply some of your own, skills as well as uniquely conceived design features to produce something NEW and not simply replicate an existing design.

    2. Dear Unknown - thanks for visiting my blog and leaving a comment! I know my skirt is not an exact copy of that beautiful designer skirt, but I am really pleased with how my skirts looks and the changes I made to fit me and my lifestyle.

  6. Marilee Judith Gramith9:20 PM

    W0W!!!! This is FABULOUS!!!
    I also love that you styled it with a graphic t-shirt. Very on trend but also the nice contrast of basic cool and glamour!
    Have you thought of wearing platform sneakers with it??
    How about a plaid,lurex, biker jacket??? Plaids are supposed to be coming on big this fall/winter. :-)

    1. Hey Judy! Love the idea of a biker jacket! I have a really fun denim one, as well as a black faux leather one. Platform sneakers are a no, due to my current balance issues, but I do have some fun sneakers I could try!



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