19 November, 2014

The Ch*anel tweed skirt

With the grey boucle jacket all but finished - except for the hooks and eyes along its front opening - I turned my attention to making a matching skirt that, once completed, will give me a work-worthy little suit.

If you've ever given a little thought to Chanel's overall look and feel you might notice that Karl likes the A-line silhouette.  Just look at these:

 I found all these examples by googling "Chanel skirt".  There are lots of others, many with stratospherically high, lap-dancing-only hems, so I picked out just those that I thought could easily be translateable to real life scenarios.
 ....and in pretty sedate colours, too.
 A little air conditioning between the thighs is very nicely offset here by a giant let's keep my ears warm-and-toasty collar.  The overall silhouette is great, and I like how the thick turned-up cuffs offer a stark contrast to the model's delicate wrists.  She looks like a fragile little shore bird safely coccooned in a cozy warm blanket.
 This one is very fierce. And comfortable at the same time.
Although I'm not crazy about the colour and the armscyes look huge on the model, the skirt shape makes my point very nicely.

I've made my point? Indeed. So you won't be surprised to learn that I decided on an A-line skirt for this outfit. For the pattern, I turned to New Look 6511.  Unfortunately this pattern is no longer in print, but I did see it's on offer on etsy today.

Several years ago I had made the midi version view A of this pattern in an olive coloured ultra-suede. This time, I thought the short pleated skirt - view D - was giving off just the Ch*anel vibe I was looking for. I was particularly encouraged by the fact that it's shown in a boucle or tweed in the picture. Yesssss!

I cut a straight size 12, but upon fitting just the yokes found I had to take at least 5/8" off each side of both front and back. Later, after the skirt panels were attached to the yoke, I took out a big wedge out of the centre of the back yoke.  Interestingly, this is exactly the same alteration I did to the back yoke of my view A version.

I interfaced the yokes with a fusible, and that made them nice and smooth while maximizing their stability.  The skirt panels, however, are quilted to a silk organza underlining. It took a lot of basting at fairly narrow (3-4 cm) intervals, but  I'm getting reconciled to these time consuming tricks, and with good reason:  I had used silk organza underlining in a skirt once before, and very much like how it looks and wears.  A lesson well learned.

Before it got too dark to sew, I completed the outer shell:

 Inside front:  the difference between the interfaced yoke and organza-underlined lower panels is clear.  The front has two wide box pleats.
 Inside back:  there's a big difference between my butt and my waist, so the back yoke needed to be severely narrowed at the top.  The lower back is made of three flaring panels.
Front:  these box pleats make it really really cute.  The edges are basted at the  moment; they'll  be edge-stitched once the skirt is hemmed. The  zipper is set into the left side.  Of course you can't see it:  it's invisible!

Tomorrow morning I'll burrow into my stash for a thin, lightweight grey wool for the hem facing.  A facing seems like the best solution for those box pleats, as the tweed is quite thick and I'm sure would prove very troublesome when folded upon itself so many times.