Thursday, 11 August 2016
Too cool for School!
Ah people, I've been looking forward to writing this post for a while! This is my second make for the Vintage Pattern Pledge organised by Marie from The Stitching Odyssey and Kerry from Kestrel Makes. So, it's a skirt. But not just any skirt. This is another 'Blast from the Past' pattern, one that I owned when it was first released, re-found it on EBay and sewn it up again. Why the post title? Well the first time I sewed this beauty up was as my school skirt! So, get comfy everyone, and I'll tell you the story of my old school skirt. First we have to go back in time to the glory days of 1980....
I grew fairly tall when a young lass and my mum despaired of finding a school skirt that we both felt was long enough (and decent enough!). So, after trying on umpteen skirts, she asked if I wanted to sew a school skirt. Yep! So we went shopping in Carlisle and bought this pattern Style 3092.
My mum said I could have a wrap skirt but not a skirt with a split. Looks like a wrap skirt, doesn't it? We also bought some black needle cord fabric, the zip and black lining. Later, at home nearly 30 miles from Carlisle, I started cutting out the paper pattern only to discover it was a 'mock' wrap skirt and it did indeed have....the forbidden split! However, I received special dispensation to go ahead and sew it up but I was warned not to make the split too high. Hand on heart, I did not know this pattern had a split until I was home. Just wanted to make that clear! I loved the finished skirt and loved wearing it at school. Nobody else had one like it!
So, here's my favourite bit, what was happening in the most important part of my life (music obviously!) in 1980? I know you're all holding your breath wondering what I was dancing to at school discos back in the day. Well, I was a big fan of Madness and the first vinyl single I ever bought was 'Baggy Trousers'. Even today I am word perfect for the lyrics of this song. Proud to say! Ska was a big thing at school and other bands like The Specials, Bad Manners, The Jam were also on the turntables and we had varying degrees of success at dancing to this music! Disco was still on the school disco turntables too...remember Kelly Marie and Feels like I'm in love (please, please you've GOT to watch this video...it's brilliant...the hair, the make up...the dancers...soooooo 1980!). Mind you, I do remember piling on the green eye-shadow myself for school discos. What about Blondie and The Tide is High? My mum made me walk into the nearest record shop to buy this single for her. The Nolans with 'I'm in the mood for dancing'? Classics. Every one of them!
So, back to the sewing in 2016. This is a fairly simple pattern, with the back cut on the fold, the front has a left thigh seam and split and the waistband is simply a rectangle. I didn't have to make many alterations at all to this pattern, I just added some length to it but can't remember how much as it was a few months ago. The tricky thing is with cutting out the pattern. You have to cut the front pieces on a single layer of fabric and you have to make sure the pieces are the correct way up. I confess I did try making this pattern at the start of the year but accidentally flipped one of the front pieces over. Undo-able mistake! I threw that mess away.
The outer fabric is a non-stretch dark-ish 100% cotton denim bought from Edinburgh Fabrics. I used an 8" jeans zip and some cream cupro lining bought from John Lewis (which at £12 a metre was more expensive than the £10 a metre denim but totally worth it). The pattern was not lined but I just adapted the skirt pieces to make the lining. I used a jeans button I already had and topstitched using black thread. To finish the skirt hem I used some 1" tan and black tiger print ribbon I bought last year from Edinburgh Fabrics during a blogger meet-up in Edinburgh organised by Helen from Grosgrain Green. I knew I'd find a use for it someday! I like using little souvenirs in my sewing.
The verdict? I like this skirt, I don't love it but then again I took it on holiday to Prague and Vienna and wore it a couple of days so it has been a success. The rectangular waistband is not a great fit on me and a bit baggy. The skirt is quite loose, especially in the front and I wonder of that's due to the front seam. I like the off centre split but I think I'm still getting used to the longer length. Will I make it again? I'm not sure but I'd need to make some changes to the pattern if I did. But I did enjoy making it and wearing it on holiday, just need to incorporate it in my everyday wardrobe now!