This was a summer of sewing skirts. Tokyo gets so hot and humid that I frequently find myself a sweaty mess of stink by the day’s end. It is not exactly the type of weather that encourages you to wear anything nice. I decided what I needed this season were play skirts — easy, breezy, and sweat-absorbent.
This summer I created a uniform of sorts, and paired waist-fitting skirts with tucked-in tanks. Everything is interchangeable, which makes getting dressed a cinch. Because sometimes it is just too hot to have to think these things through, you know?
The first skirt in this summer’s trio is an easy flared Sewaholic Hollyburn. I love this pattern and made it once before, so this version came together quickly.
I made pattern view A in a size 8 and it fits purrrfectly, though I shortened the hem so it hits more like view B. I didn’t line this version and finished it with an invisible zipper. The pockets pucker a bit, so I need to work on that for next time.
I bought the gray linen-ish fabric in Nippori for 100 yen a meter with exactly this play skirt in mind. I didn’t realize until halfway through construction that it looks like fabric for curtains. Now all I need is to climb some trees and I’m practically a Von Trapp! Sounds like a great excuse to eat more strudel.
Because I’ve been eating so many macarons, I needed a dress with a little ease. I’m only half joking.
I was given a wool shift dress last year and love it. The boxy shape isn’t one I would have selected for myself, but it turns out a simple shift is flattering if done right. I decided to make a summer version using the Colette Laurel pattern. But I’m not sure I did it right.
I made a muslin and thought I was happy, and then finished the final garment in stripes and am solidly on the fence about it. I feel like a stripey marshmallow. Or like I’m wearing jail pajamas. Or, from far away, that I look sort of naked.In hindsight, selecting fabric the same color as your skin tone is not a great idea, regardless of how much you love stripes.
There were a few wins with this project, however. It was my first time installing an invisible zipper, and my first time matching stripes. Victory is mine!I used self-made bias and lined the dress in really soft natural cotton lawn. The lining was more expensive than the striped linen. Maybe I should wear the dress inside out?I think some of my ambivalence about the dress comes from the extra fabric in the back. It doesn’t hang the way a shift dress ought to hang. This pattern is for a dress with sleeves, and I thought I could simply leave the sleeves off and voila — sleeveless! Perhaps I was wrong. Maybe I could take it in a bit more at the back darts? Anyone have advice? I don’t own a serger and dislike raw edges, so I finished the sides with a flat felled seam and taking the sides in is not an easy option.
I think I’ll wear the dress again, maybe with tights and heels and a cardigan and a trench coat. If anything, this project was a good exercise in fabric selection and learning to really examine the fit of a muslin before forging ahead. I think learning to sew your own clothing takes a lot of experience gained from trial-and-error. Maybe this dress is just meant to help me log those hours.
Anyone else ever feel this way?