Hot! Venda Skirt

I’m using this photo of my Venda skirt because it is the garment that consistently gets the most comments, both online and IRL.  Now that I have 8 more months of sewing experience under my belt, I really should go back and improve the closure.  Snaps?  What was I thinking?  I know orange zippers are hard to find, but COME ON!

Name & Location: Vicki Muise / Montreal, Quebec.


How long have you been sewing:  1.5 years

Why did you want to commit to The Sew Weekly Challenge: Having a theme around which to work actually encourages my creativity.  Looking at a big pile of fabric and patterns often doesn’t.  Having an online circle of like-minded sewing friends is a wonderful resource; there are few people in my day-to-day life who would squeal with joy at finding 4 metres of vintage silk at an estate sale, or advise me on serging vs. french seam finishing!

What do you love most about sewing garments: Planning the project, layout and cutting (believe it or not), and that moment when the garment first starts to look wearable.

What do you hate most about sewing garments: Getting the fit right for a small busted / long waisted / broad backed / pear shaped body with a forward tilted waistline.  It almost never works straight from the pattern.  Transferring markings from pattern pieces to fabric.  Oh, and Burdastyle instructions must be translated on babelfish or something.  What is up with them?!?!

What do you want to accomplish this year with regard to the challenge: Ramp up my skills such that my fit is better, my finishing is of a higher quality, and I feel confident enough to start drafting and draping on my own.

Your biggest non-sewing goal of 2012:  Purge my unwanted belongings!  There’s nothing worse than a house full of things that aren’t being used, when there are so many other people in need and only a finite amount of  space in my home. My kids play with about 15% of their toys, I regularly wear about 20% of my clothes, I keep books I know I won’t read again, I still have all my old cassettes and VHS tapes….it’s taking up too much space in my life, literally and figuratively.  Out they go!

What are your favorite sewing/fashion blogs: 

Sewweekly, of course, plus Debi, Veronica, Adey, Sarah and Oona’s individual blogs.  verypurpleperson.  Malepatternboldness.  The Slapdash Sewist.  The Selfish Seamstress (I was just about to drop her from my blog roll when she decided to grace us with her selfish presence again, after many moons).  Burdastyle, because when I first decided to start sewing again, I did a quick google search for “free online sewing patterns”, and up it popped.  I was astounded.  I had absolutely no idea that there was such a thriving online sewing community, sharing patterns, tutorials, advice and praise.  I think I currently have about 75 blogs on my blogroll. Please take a look – maybe you’ll discover a new favourite!  I don’t read any fashion blogs.  I guess I’ve reached an age where I’m no longer concerned about fashion.  I only care about style.




Vicki used to sew when she was young and free, but then raising young'uns and bringing home (some of) the bacon took up all her time. Now her closet is full of skinny clothes, maternity clothes and post-partum clothes, none of which fit properly. Maybe that's why she started sewing again in 2010.


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  1. Love your skirt. Did you draft it or use a pattern?

  2. Thanks! No pattern – I saw a similar skirt on burdastyle and just started cutting. It is basically one pleated rectangle for the skirt and one folded rectangle for the waistband. And it should have a zipper, but, you know how it goes….

    The original post here:

  3. I’ve loved this skirt ever since you posted it on Burdastyle!

  4. “I’m no longer concerned about fashion. I only care about style.”

    love that. erm, but why must it be orange? there are so MANY colors to choose from!

  5. It had to be orange because of my scientific mind: everything must match, everything must line up precisely, everything must be the same colour. Yes, that’s why.

    Oh hell, it was just an excuse. I was too lazy.

    And I just read on your blog that you’re moving back to LA? Boo! Who is going to get me so liquored up on my next trip to NYC that I wake up at 6am with my hotel key card stuck to the side of my face? Hunh? DAUGHTERFISH? Nettie? Anyone?

  6. I loved this skirt Vicki everything about her is just perfection.

  7. Ruthanne Edward

    Yay, another Canadian! There don’t seem to be too many of us here. I love that skirt but I am a little intimidated by the idea of drafting at this point.

    I am coming up to Montreal in the next couple of weekends (I live in Ottawa.) There will be vintage store shopping and I would also like to check out some fabric stores. Where would you suggest?

    • Hey Ruthanne – I’ll ask the same of you about Ottawa! I would recommend checking out kijiji, craigslist or for Montreal estate sales on the days you are here. There were so many people working in the Montreal garment industry back in the day, and I’ve found some great things at sales. I get most of my fabric there or from the Village des Valeurs on Jean Talon or Boulevard des Sources, but it is really hit or miss. I wouldn’t want to tell you to trek all the way to those outlets and find nothing. Rue St. Hubert between Jean Talon and Villeray has a lot of fabric and notion stores too. Debouk @7254 St. Hubert was my favourite, but it has been closed for renovation for a while – may have reopened, since I haven’t been on that stretch of St Hubert in a few months. Happy hunting! (Oh, and if you eat meat, you should definitely try to get a table at Au Pied de Cochon on rue Duluth for dinner. Yumm.)