Gingham fix

April 30, 2016

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Back in March I traveled to New Orleans to attend a great wedding (I’ll show you the dress I wore soon) and I took the opportunity to visit one of my favorites stores in the whole world: Trashy Diva. They carry their own retro clothing line, with 40s and 50s influences, exactly what I like to wear. Actually when we entered the shop my husband said to me “Oh I see… Everything here looks like stuff you’ve made..!”. I guess my taste in clothing is consistent!

By the way, they also carry this great cropped cardigan, that is perfect with high-waisted skirts and dresses. It’s the exact same one as the “Dream of the Crop” from Modcloth, but in many more colorways and slightly cheaper. I already have it in black, navy and pink, and I’m seriously considering ordering a few more given how much I wear them.

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Dolly Tie Top en in red and white gingham et in chambray
Hottie Mini Dress and Gathered Mini Skirt in black and white gingham
High Waist Shorts in seersucker

Anyway, visiting this store is always very inspiring, especially this year because gingham, chambray and seersucker were featured prominently in the collections, and I love these fabrics. The issue is that Trashy Diva’s garments are pretty pricey; it’s hard to justify spending $88 in a simple gathered skirt when you sew, no matter how pretty it looks among all the matching garments. So I made one instead!

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I happened to have in my stash two yards of Robert Kaufman black and white gingham. I had ordered it to make a blouse: I wanted to sew a mix of Cardamome and Datura in a large-scale gingham, which is actually pretty hard to find. The website didn’t mention the weight of the fabric so I took a risk, and it didn’t work out at all. It’s a heavy and rigid fabric, which is great for a skirt because it gives enough volume to be able to skip the petticoat, but the blouse was not to be.

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Making the skirt was really straightforward: I cut a strip of 4 inches * (waist measurement + 1 1/4”) for the waistband, and cut the rest into three identical panels of the fabric’s width (each one 22” high). I could have used only two panels, as I did for my flamingo skirt, but I wanted more volume so I went with three. I interfaced half of the waistband, sewed the panels together, gathered them to fit the waistband and sewed them together, then I added an invisible zip in the back, folded the waistband and topstitched to finish it. Unlike with the flamingo skirt, no hand-sewing was required, so this was a really quick project!

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With the three panels, the skirt has a lot of volume and looks good without a petticoat, but the side seams are somewhere towards the front. It’s not actually a problem because they are completely hidden by the pattern matching at the seams. The only issue I have is that with such a heavy fabric and with so many gathers, there is a lot of bulk at the seam allowance in the waistband. The bottom of the waistband is very thick, while the top is pretty light (with only two layers). It is a little strange to wear but it is not that noticeable so I’m okay with it.

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I’m really happy with this skirt, and I like the large print more than the tiny print of the Trashy Diva skirt. This weekend I’m finishing a short-sleeve Mélilot in chambray and they are going to look so cool together! 🙂

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Gathered gingham skirt
Gathered skirt without a pattern
Robert Kaufman Gingham from Harts Fabric

Comments

  1. Lynne

    - May 2, 2016

    Gorgeous! What’s not to love about gingham!

    • Camille

      - May 6, 2016

      Thanks! 🙂

  2. Jo

    - May 3, 2016

    I’ve been looking at this fabric and dawdling over making a decision because of the weight – I wasn’t sure if it would be any good for a skirt or dress but I can now see that I should just go ahead and do it! I’m with you in preferring the scale of this gingham check – the small (1/8″) check is too reminiscent of primary school uniform for me.

    • Camille

      - May 6, 2016

      Yes it would be good for a skirt or a dress, but definitely not a top / blouse as it doesn’t have any drape. Think lightweight upholstery fabric. Looking forward to seeing what you make with it 🙂

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