The “I See France” Skirt & Top
Fabric: Brushed corded pique in plaid from Fabric.com $8.97 for 3 yards, blue wool knit ~$.25
Patterns: Butterick 4985 (for top) $1.99; Burda Style Ruffle Skirt #121 (for skirt) $5.40; Butterick 4676 (for sweater top) $.10.
Year: c. 2010, c. 1974
Notions: Vintage buttons – $.05, lace, vintage zipper
Time to complete: 8 hours
First worn: February 2011
Wear again? Yes
Total Cost: ~$17
Of all the fabrics and patterns I could have used for this week's stash busting challenge, I ended up choosing relatively recent acquisitions. The skirt, top pattern and fabric were all from 2010, while the vintage Butterick pattern was the only old-timer, having been bought last summer. I've been in dire need of separates since the great off-the-rack clothing purge of 2010. Despite this, I only ever seem to want to make dresses. They're just so much fun. To motivate myself, I set up a mini-challenge to sew separates at least once a week in February (most likely in addition to my weekly creations).
After the 1940s-palooza that was January, I decided that not only was I going to try to sew a new style, but I would also sew something from this decade. And, for a change, I was actually to make something that had a hemline that went above my knees! I know! How shocking!
I decided to go with Burda Ruffle Skirt #121 for the skirt. Cute. Modern. Playful. And … insanely short. Like offensively short (for me). I doesn't look that short in my pictures because I ended up adding about four inches of fabric to the upper skirt piece! And I'm only 5"4! So if you think this skirt is cute and don't necessarily want your something something shared with the world, you will likely want to add a little something something at the top. Or, a another ruffle. Believe me, the original version of this skirt would have merited a much more vulgar title than the "I See France" skirt & top.
Setting the church lady aside for a moment, the skirt is definitely cute. Will I ever wear it without tights? Not a chance.
As with Burda patterns, you're not going to get the clearest instructions. I recommend this pattern for those who are comfortable working without patterns. Even without instructions, I was able to make this skirt in about two hours.
While the blouse pattern, Butterick 4985, was a relative newcomer to my stash, it had already been buried in a pile of "yeah, I don't think I'm ever going to make this." To me, stash busting isn't just about using something you already have, but rather using something that you're not that crazy about using in the first place.
I wore the blouse to the Alameda Antique Fair today and five women complimented me on the shirt. That's a record! Of course, whenever someone would compliment me, I'd think "just don't look to closely or you'll see that the plaids don't match." That said, even with my almost-compulsive desire to not match my plaids, it was a good idea to give #4985 a chance. Next time, however, I won't use a fabric as stiff as the corded pique. It worked well for the skirt but not so much for the blouse.
The blue sweater top was actually the first thing I made this week and really the inspiration to work with the blue/red plaid. This Betsey Johnson (a young designer) Butterick pattern from the 1970s was not only buried in my pattern stash, but it was stored in a "to-sell" box — only because the bust size was 31". I figured that since I'd be using a wool knit with substantial stretch, I could convince my chest to make it work. While the top is form-fitting, it is certainly wearable. In fact, I've worn it three times since I made it last week.
Yay stash busting!