I don’t have much of a fabric stash, particularly not considering how long I’ve been sewing. I usually buy fabric intended for specific projects, even if my intention arises right there on the spot. I buy fabric with a specific garment in mind, even if I don’t yet know the pattern.
Which is what I did nearly 15 years ago, when I bought two pieces of dupioni silk, one a very pale tan and one a blush pink, with pintucks. I thought I’d make either a simple skirt or a shift dress, something smooth and straight, and then a little pink bolero jacket to wear over it. And that’s exactly what I continued thinking, for years and years, every time I saw the fabric on its shelf (or packed it into a box and moved it from one house to another). I couldn’t decide if it should be just a skirt, or a full dress. And I couldn’t decide which specific pattern to use to make it, either way…and so I didn’t make anything.
Until this week, when I decided the reason I couldn’t decide between a skirt and a dress was because I actually wanted both. And that I had enough fabric to pull it off, in a way.
I made skirt with just bit of texture, and a simple shell top, so that they could be worn together or separate, and used with other garments for infinite layering possibilities.
I used my basic A-line skirt pattern and divided into sections and cut it cross-grain, so that the slub and texture of the dupioni catches the light with just enough variation to give the simple shape some slight variation.
You can see that “shifting biases” effect best in this picture from my workroom. The sunlight outdoors floods out the variation in shading from the fabric’s nap. Also, you can see here that I finished the waistband very simply, with just a row of fold-over velvet elastic. The skirt has a side zip, and then the elastic smooths it off at the top. (I haven’t cut into the pink, yet, but I know just what I’m going to do with that, now, too!)
I used my “Wear the Shift” dress pattern for the top, and simply cut it off at the waist for a basic, sleeveless sheath-style blouse. I think the two pieces together work well as a background when I want to feature hand-knitted layers.
This is my “Sophia” cardigan, from one of my very favorite pattern books, French Girl Knits. Which actually makes this yet another “head to toe handmade” outfit…a thing I am finding more common, these days, three months into this project.