It's about exploring and sharing my creative adventures (mostly sewing these days) ~
~those activities that sometimes obsess, usually inspire, occasionally frustrate
~and always provide a delightful maze to wander through.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Plaids and Tablecloths and Skirts..oh YES!

My first adventure back into sewingland after my recent hiatus = my version of sham's popular (with GOOD reason) Tablecloth Skirt.   How appropriate, since I've actually had the pleasure of getting together with her THREE times in the past week - too much fun! (but watch it...she's an Enabler have been warned......)  Since she has detailed the drafting so well here, and has a fabulous gallery of numerous versions of the skirt made by sewists everywhere, I won't go into those details, other than to say this is SO simple to make, and SO much fun to wear....just make one of your own already, ok?
In honor of shams, I'll start with a twirling shot ;-)
I'm not normally that much of a plaid person, but I knew this yummy silk/cotton blend would be perfection for this skirt, so I went for it!   Here's my entire pattern (biggify for the details):
I ended up (after some "how did I manage to do that???" mistakes, which I blame on my brain not being completely back in my body yet) with a 39" square, and 14"x39" rectangles (this doesn't include S.A's).  I meant to start with a larger square, but with my 5'4" height and way short legs, that would not have worked at all!   The smaller the inner square, the more dramatic the points are - next time (oh yes, there will be a next time!) I'll make the square smaller.

I did make a couple of additions.  The length of my skirt is great for heels, but I thought it would be nice to be able to shorten it.  A quick addition of 4 buttons - one at each "point" at the hemline (note:  these are not really "points" - when you've sewn up the seams joining the short ends of each rectangle, you have a straight hem - they just fall into rounded points when you're wearing it - it's magic!).  Then I sewed buttonhole loops with round elastic at the real points - where the rectangle seams and the corners of the square meet.
(if you haven't made the skirt yet, this will make sense when you sew it together, trust me!)
Button at the hemline; elastic loop at the point.

Buttoned up!
When the skirt is buttoned up, the hemline is not only shorter, but falls more evenly - I think it gives a more casual look.

The other addition I made was a little patch pocket (I get nervous when I leave the house with no pockets in my garment - I've accepted this as a fact of my life; apparently I'm not only a bit of a button addict, but I'm a bit of a pocket addict as well.   I'm covered with this skirt.  ;-D   I first made a pocket so that the plaids were angled crosswise to the body of the skirt so that they stood out; I thought I would like the look, but I didn't.   So I matched the plaids so that pocket blends in.  I cut an oval-ish shape, folded it right sides together and stitched the edges, then turned it right side out.  In order to make the pocket lay a bit flatter & make it more secure, I also added a casing & a strip of elastic at the top:

Here's the completed pocket:

A couple of looks:

Full length, just a little bit dressy, just a little bit vintage-y
The blouse, btw, is Decades of Style Collar Confection.  
I made this blouse pre-blogging life, but it's reviewed here on Pattern Review
Striking a pose...

I think I could go square dancing with this look! 
Or maybe to a country BBQ? ;D
Hem is buttoned up here
Amazingly enough, I think I can pull off a variety of looks with this skirt using tops I already have - who knew that plaid could be so versatile!  (I still need more shoes though......)

Things I learned, and what I would do differently next time:

  • Make a wider waistband.  1" doesn't quite do it for a skirt with this much fabric.   Even though this is a lightweight fabric, it tends to pull the waistband off kilter.  I probably used elastic that was too wimpy, and cut it too long, but I'll live with it.   (I sewed the elastic onto the fabric, so changing it out would be a BEAR!)
  • Cut the square a bit smaller, for more dramatic points.
  • For a more flattering look, I would consider cutting the waist hole smaller & adding a zipper.   Or maybe darts.
  • This particular fabric is a bit crinkley in one direction.  In one of those 20/20 hindsight moments, I discovered that ripping a crinkley fabric does not equate evenness with the stripes on a plaid.  I had to choose between keeping the grain straight, or the stripes straight.  I chose to cut with the stripes, since the hemline is naturally uneven anyway.  Crinkle plaid fabric could be an issue in a different pattern (note to self:  remember this when working with crinkles!!!)
A Great BIG Thank You to shams for her excellent work and generous sharing with this pattern - I'm loving it!

I hope I've helped encourage a few of my readers to try this pattern out, if you haven't already - how about you?


shams said...

Oh, oh, oh! JillyBe, this is fabulous on you! I love the pocket and the ability to button the corners up to make the skirt shorter.

I love it!

vtmartha said...

This is perfect on you, JillyBe! Love your button adaptation. I am still looking for the right plaid.

MarcyF said...

This looks wonderful on you. And what a fabulous idea to add the buttons to be able to change up the look! I'll have to try that--I've been thinking about making another one of these for the summer, just haven't decided which fabric

Karin said...

This is lovely! You and Bunny are really making me want to sew this skirt!

Margy said...

Jilly Be, this is fabulous! A great look on you...and your clever button adaptation is ging in my file. You are definitely making up for lost sewing time! So wonderful to see you not once,but TWICE this week!

luckylibbet said...

Looks GREAT! - Heather

gwensews said...

That is so dang cute! Love it in palid. Wear that and strut your stuff!

Jillybejoyful said...

Thank you for gifting us all with this shams! :D

Jillybejoyful said...

It does work really well in a plaid, doesn't it? I do like the other patterns people used though.

Jillybejoyful said...

Thank you Marcy - I'm really happy with the button option.

Jillybejoyful said...

Bunny's version is SO elegant - I'm delighted & honored to be included in the same sentence as she! ;D

Jillybejoyful said...

These pictures turned out really well - I just hope it actually looks that good in 3D! ;)

And in my perfect world, I think I would love to lunch with friends every day - that was just delightful :)

Jillybejoyful said...

Thanks Heather! :)

Jillybejoyful said...

I will, I will :D

glorm said...

If you had put the top and skirt on hangers (from the bottom pic) and asked me if you would look good in that outfit, I would have said that it was a definite no. But, on you, wow! Nice touches you added also.

Jillybejoyful said...

I really like that shirt (RTW) - everything BUT the fit! I bought it before I started sewing again, & I really, really should see if I can alter it - you can see how ill-fitting it is.

ElleC said...

You are brilliant! Love the button idea. I may add this to my skirt and see if it works better for me. I am going to add a free hanging pocket on the inside of my skirt too, I like the idea of a secret pocket. Secrets are fun.

Jillybejoyful said...

quote: "You are brilliant!" I liked you from the first post I read of yours. Please come visit any time. ;-D

Valerie said...

The skirt is beautiful. I want one! If it wasn't winter here..but it is a timeless design so in a coupe of months I'll be sewing my own.

pdiddly said...

I love your version of the skirt - it is such a clever concept

kbenco said...

This is a terrific version, and I love the buttoning idea.Your outfits all look great.
I am making myself version 3 at present, from a heavyish plaid wool (my summer ones were worn all-the-time so I need a winter one), and it is still working out rather nicely if I do say so myself. It is such a good pattern.

Jean said...

Love it! The button idea is so cool -- it really changes the look and makes it so versatile. I also just read your earlier post about your mother -- I was so sorry to hear the news. The pear tree in her honor is so nice. I'm glad you're back to blogging -- I've missed your fun-to-read posts and inspirational words. Look forward to reading more!