Over the years, I’ve collected a bit of a stash of fabric. Nothing, I mean nothing compared to what Mommy’s got, but still enough where I feel like I ought to be doing something with it. One of my favorite things to do with stash fabric – whether mine or Mommy’s – is look through old patterns around either of our houses to see if I can find something good. And that’s exactly what I did.
I had a delightful grey suiting fabric. Light weight but rather decent quality. I’ve been having the most miserable time finding good business clothes that fit me, so I thought I’d make a skirt for work. I dug through Mommy’s patterns and found an old 1982 skirt pattern that she’d used to make a skirt for her Mommy. Thank goodness! That meant it wasn’t her teeny-tiny pre-kids size. I had a shot at this working.
The pattern was old-school size 12, with a 26 1/2” waist. That’s still a little smaller than mine, but not by too much. I utilized resizing tactics that I learned in a book that is currently at her house where you add inches to the sides by pivoting the pattern piece out from an anchor at the center top. I added a bit to the waist and a bit to the hips.
I also sort of added down the sides by carrying the expanded line most of the way down the pattern. I should not have done that. It would have worked better to blend the extended line into the existing pattern. The skirt’s a bit wide at the knees.
The hardest part turned out to be the pleats. I was so proud of myself. They turned out absolutely gorgeous the first time, with amazingly straight top stitching. I was so excited, I ran down to the kitchen where Mommy was cooking dinner so I could show her, only to realize I’d put them on the wrong side of the fabric. Mommy always says, “as ye sew, so shall ye rip.” I ripped. Boy did I rip. It took a long time to get those pleats right. Let’s just say, third time’s the charm.
The pattern didn’t have a lining, but I like my skirts lined. So, I found a bolt of black lining fabric in Mommy’s closet – I think it’s left from Alfred’s bridesmaid dresses. I used the quasi-assembled skirt as a guide and cut a front and 2 back pieces. I stitched the side seams all the way and the back seam up to about the bottom of the zipper on the skirt. Then, I basted the lining to the skirt and stitched the waistband to both. It worked well.
For the zipper, we dug around in Mommy’s zipper drawer until we found something that was close to the called for size. It’s a fabulous old metal zipper on black zipper tape with a wide zipper pull. Gives some great edginess to the rather classic-styled skirt.
In the end, it may not be perfect, but I have a nice dress skirt that fits me pretty darn well and works nicely with my existing wardrobe. (But not necessarily the part of my wardrobe that I was wearing the day I finished it.)
Pattern: Simplicity 5749 (old school)