The “Silver-Flecked Buttons” Skirt
Fabric: Ivory gabardine fashion fabric from Discount Fabrics in San Francisco, white rayon lining from Joann’s
Pattern: Colette Patterns Beignet
Notions: Ten shell buttons, twill tape, interfacing
Time to complete: Three evenings
First worn: January 15, 2012
Wear again? Yes
Total price: $30?
I’ve wanted to make a Colette Patterns Beignet skirt ever since I found out about Colette Patterns. There was something about the shape that I loved. Every time I saw yet another online seamstress make this skirt, I would think to myself, “I must buy that pattern.” This past fall I finally did. But, holiday sewing got the best of my plans to make it then. It still languished after I’d finished all of my holiday sewing since I was a bit intimidated by all of those buttons. In a row. Enter the Sew Weekly “Buttoned Up” challenge. I pulled out the pattern, some ivory gabardine I’d been saving for such a skirt and some amazing ivory buttons with silver flecks, and I conquered my fear.
Surprisingly, the most agonizing part was the hem. I painstakingly hand-stitched the hem using a blind-hem stitch, catching only a single thread of the outer shell with each stitch. Once finished, it was incredibly painful to see that each tiny prick showed just a little bit. I went back and forth over whether I should rip it out, but it seems necessary to hold the hem in place. Next time I might use a fabric that will better hide those tiny stitches. At least it’s invisible in the photos, which likely means I’m fretting about something no one else will ever notice.
The buttons ended up being my favorite part. I only added ten, stopping a bit short of the suggested eleven for my size. I liked the even number and the bit of wiggle room at the bottom. I used my machine for both the buttons and the buttonholes. Though my machine has an easy-to-use one-step buttonholer, we had a bit of a rough start. Initially, the sequence went: sew a bad buttonhole, rip it out, try it again, sew two good buttonholes in a row. Thankfully, after three successions and three bad buttonholes ripped out, the rest of the buttonholes went just fine. And, the buttons were easy. I set my machine to a wide stitch with no length, taped the buttons in place with a bit of clear tape, and stitched away.
I love the buttons. From a distance they hide in the skirt for a nice, subtle effect. But, up close they come alive with their shiny silver flecks.
I didn’t skimp on the inside either. The skirt is fully lined with a bright white rayon. Though white is awfully boring, I didn’t want the lining to dull the color of the ivory. I’ve read countless other seamstresses mention the sewing of the concave facing to the convex lining, and I agree that it’s tricky. It wasn’t so bad, but I admit to wondering at one point if I really needed a lining. Maybe not for another fabric, but yes for this ivory gabardine.
All in all I am very pleased with this skirt. It’s everything I imagined a Beignet to be. Now to dream up my next Beignet…