Hot! The “Finally!” Skirt

The Facts

  • Fabric: teal blue wool (stash)
  • Pattern: Vogue 8672
  • Year: 2010
  • Notions: thread, zipper (stash)
  • First worn: September 24, 2012
  • Wear again?: Oh, my…yes. Yes, yes, yes.
  • Total price: $5+

Good, soft wool is not cheap (at least not by my frugal standards). When I bought this gorgeous wool at 50% off, I still paid $25 for two yards,  which is a lot for me. But as it was two years ago and it is solidly part of the stash now, I’m not counting the cost. This truly is one of very few VIP fabrics I have, and when the VIP fabric challenge was given, it was far too warm for wool, so I skipped it. But it also fits the blue challenge and I was finally really ready to cut into it. Really.

Besides price and season, I hesitated to use this fabric for other reasons. I knew I wanted to make a skirt, but I wasn’t 100% sure on which pattern. But beyond that, I wanted to lose some weight first because I didn’t want to have to alter the pattern and maybe mess up with the pricy wool, and I’m too lazy to make a muslin. Plus, if I ever got my act together and actually lost weight (well, inches was really what I was concerned about) I didn’t want to have to alter the finished skirt to fit my new shape.

Well, over the past eight weeks, I have gotten my act together. I’ve been doing Weight Watchers (just like Loran!) and running three times a week in preparation for a 5k on October 20th. I’ve already lost 13 lbs, three inches off my bust, one inch off my hips, and a whopping FOUR AND A HALF inches off my waist! And with the weather getting cooler, the only piece left to the puzzle was settling on a pattern. I wanted one that wasn’t boring, but wasn’t too trendy. I didn’t want this skirt to go out of style any time soon, but I did want people to notice it.

Despite having scads of skirt patterns, I ended up buying a new Vogue pattern on sale for $4.99 that seems like it will be versatile. It’s got some nice details that take the style up a notch while not being on the trend fringe (a place I am never comfortable being). I was a little worried about how well the wool would gather, but I dove in headfirst. A note on fit. This was VERY generous through the thighs in this fabric, so I put it on inside out after sewing the sides together and pinned it snug around my hips, then re-sewed the sides to be a perfect contour with my hips, a step I don’t normally bother with, but with the gathers at the side, no one needs even more bulk there. Anyway, if you try out the pattern, just be aware of that. (Aside: How hard is it to pin accurately on yourself?! Every bend to add a pin moved the fabric, of course. Where’s mom when you need her?)

So, here I am with a bunch of finallys. Finally brave enough. Finally thinner. Finally fall. And finally wearing the fabric I fell in love with. To me it looks rich and sophisticated. Just the look I was hoping for.

We took photos Monday evening near an iconic Lansing restaurant called Clara’s (once the main train station, and you can eat in the restored dining car I’m hanging off of in the top photo). But most of our photos are in the alley across Pere Marquette street behind the Lansing City Mission where my husband preaches once a month. In a couple of the long shots you can see the Capitol Building, where we took photos for three other Sew Weekly Challenges (this, this, and this). On gorgeous, brisk evenings like this one, we remember just how much we love this city.


Erin Bartels

Erin is a copywriter by day, a novelist by night, and a wife, mother, dressmaker, quilter, zoo docent, painter, poet, and photographer in between. She only gets paid for the copywriting.


Comments are closed.

  1. YAY!! The skirt looks great! YAY!! For losing with WW! YAY!! Lansing Rocks! Good Job! :^)

  2. It’s very lovely! And congrats on the weight loss!

  3. CONGRATS Erin! I’ve lost an inch but you and your FOUR AND A HALF INCHES!!!! And that skirt is just gorgeous : ) On top of all that you’re training to run in a 5K while I just walk lots of dogs…Let us know how you do : ) Meanwhile keep up the great work, you’re now another source of inspiration for me (“look what Erin did after just a few weeks I’ll repeat to myself many times in the next few weeks”) and hopefully others on this Sew Weekly journey. If we lived closer we could help each other fit our clothing…

  4. Awesome job, Erin! The skirt is lovely and you look radiant, which makes sense considering your accomplishments. I think you can allow yourself a (discounted) pattern purchase at this point.

    • Thanks! Yes, I have purchased a pattern or two this year. But still no fabric! (But I think I may have to break and buy a lining fabric for the Western Wear challenge coming up.)

  5. The skirt turned out perfect! Sometimes it really pays to follow your gut and bid your time… :)

  6. Congradulations on the weight loss.. The skirt is beautiful and looks fantastic on you.. Love it. Happy sewing.

  7. You look rich and sophisticated and happy and it and shows, you go girl, that colour on you is gorgeous the perfect fabric for this pattern too and well done on losing weight Erin. Exercise is such a great mood enhancer.

  8. Your skirt is great, and – this will sound weird, as I don’t know you – you look more like “you” in your recent photos. Happier? More comfortable? I don’t know, and I’m sorry if this is completely odd from a stranger, but it’s great!

    • This made me laugh. :) I think part of it is that I always get happier looking photos when my husband takes them instead of me using the remote. He cracks me up by making fun of my fake picture smile (which I’ve had since childhood).

  9. Fantastic! Wow, I’m so impressed with your personal accomplishments! You DO look very happy and you wear that skirt so well! I really like the pattern you chose. It has just enough detail to make it special. I’m encouraged by your hard work. I’m going for a walk right now. :)

  10. The skirt suits you so well! And yup, very encouraged by your accomplishments. I just can’t seem to drag myself out to run.

  11. Love that fabric, it is perfect for the skirt. And you look so happy! Gorgeous!

  12. Wow, you look great, Erin. Fabulous skirt. The color looks wonderful on you. And congrats on losing so much weight. Isn’t it wonderful when one loses most of the inches around the waist, exactly where the extra weight is the most annoying? Although I wish i could lose weight on my legs. I keep staring at your legs and I am seriously jealous. ;)

    • That’s so sweet, thank you. Yeah, my waist is my problem area (thanks, largely, to having a huge baby) but I’ve always been pretty content with my legs. :)

  13. Congratulations on it all! You look amazing, and the skirt looks amazing on you – it does indeed look rich and sophisticated (and timeless and chic and luxurious to boot). That is a killer outfit on you.