Sunday, September 21, 2014

Month of the pencil skirt: (Part 3 of 3). The Charlotte Skirt in silk/wool tweed.

Okay, there are three posts associated with this lovely tweed skirt, but after that, I promise: no more skirts!  I'm sick of looking at my bottom half, and I'm sure you feel the same!  Don't I look grumpy about it?
This final pencil skirt is a project for Britex.  The fabric is a truly incredible silk/wool blend in a very subtle tweed pattern.  The weight and hand are glorious--perfect for a pencil skirt.  The pattern is the Charlotte from By Hand London.  I love the version with the ruffly peplum, but that just isn't going to fit comfortably into my wardrobe at this time, so I went with the basic slim fitted version.
In addition to some dart reductions at the waist, I added a kick pleat at the back.  (A tutorial for this simple addition will be posted shortly).  Maybe my stride is too long or something, but I'm not sure how a person could walk in this skirt without a back vent or kick pleat, so it was a necessity for me. And even with a kick pleat, I still can't impress the crowds with moves like this (scroll down a bit to see Shelley in action).   Alas.  Anyhoo, here's the kick pleat from the inside:
More significantly, though, is what's going on under the hood (or rather, inside the garment).  Again, I'm not sure how or why a person would make a wool skirt without some kind of slippery fabric on the inside, but I went with my standard rayon Bemberg as an underlining instead of a lining.   And instead of a standard, basic underlining, I did the most intensely satisfying sewing technique I've tried in a long time: the Hong Kong finish + underlining in one!  Underline and make beautiful seams all at the same time.  And yes, a tutorial for that will be posted after the kick pleat one.  Take a good look at the inside of this skirt:

Maybe for Halloween I'll be "inside out clothing girl" just so I can show it off.

For the hem, I took a page from Laura Mae at Lilacs and Lace and used rayon seam binding, with a hand-sewn blind finish.  (The best part of the underlining, by the by, is that you sew a blind hem to the underlining, not the wool, so it is truly blind!)
The skirt is VERY high waisted, with a wide waistband.  It hurts me to show this picture, but here's what it looks like:
The upper edge sticks away from my body a bit, so down the road, I may reduce the width of the waistband a bit.   But hidden under clothing, it doesn't look too bad!

This skirt has really opened up some blouse and sweater options in my wardrobe.  This pink sweater, for instance, is so short-waisted that it's a little revealing when I lift my arms (like to point out something on the white-board for instance).  Now, I'm fully covered and stylish, too!

Keep an eye out for my two upcoming tutorials: drafting the kick pleat and the Hong Kong finish-underlining in one.  Happy month of the pencil skirt!

Resewlution 2014: September garment #3.


  1. Anonymous2:06 AM

    This is, by far, the best of your three skirts! The fabric has a nice hand, it's so flattering, and the longer length is really classy.

  2. The inside is so beautiful! Definitely wear it inside out!

  3. Ha ha. you look infinitely more dignified by not trying to test the limits of that kick pleat! (thanks for the link up)
    All of these skirts have been beautiful. Loving the fit and the fabrics and I'm definitely looking forward to your lining tutorial as I'm with you, a wool skirt MUST be lined. For sure.