Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Pastel Pink with Flare (Butterick 5650)

Earlier this year I came across a compelling image in a fashion magazine. A pale pink, flared midi skirt, paired with a boxy pale pink oversized jumper.  It looked terrific - a modern take on the 50s skirt shape - but I can't for the life of me find that image now.

I made this skirt to try to copy that image, and the shape, colour and drape of the skirt fabric are exactly what I was trying for.  The length is perhaps a smidge too short, but I'll live with it. And I've now also made a pale pink jumper to go with the skirt, totally copying fashion!! I'll have to take photos soon of the jumper - it's ended up more fitted than I expected, but I'm still happy with the result. Amanda of Bimble and Pimble's November sewing questions on Instagram (look for #bpsewvember if you're curious) have got me thinking it might be interesting to show you how my inspiration translates into sewn garments? I'll have another go at finding that inspiration photo to share with you so you can judge for yourself how near or close I was to the mark :).

OK, so back to this post - back to my pale pink stretch cotton, flared midi skirt.

Earlier this year I made the same view (view A) from this pattern, Butterick 5650, in chambray with a silver stripe down the centre (you can read about it here), and I am still loving that skirt shape and length, and yearning to have more in my wardrobe.  But last time around I moved the grainline around to make the seams I was adding easier to sew. PLUS the silver stripe turned out to be not quite on the straight grain, Second time around I committed to stick to the rules.

UpSewLate: Butterick 5650 front view
UpSewLate: Butterick 5650, another front view just because I love this skirt
The fabric grain obviously affect the way the skirt hangs, so this time around I followed the grainline recommendations, and I put seams exactly where I was told to.

am really glad to see that I did what I said I'd do ("Version 2 is going to be by the book"). The final result is much better, although there are still some annoying excess folds radiating from the top of CB when I wear this, which I don't believe are intended to be there. Is this to do with my being so short waisted? Is it a sway back issue? Is it just the pattern?

Answers on the back of an envelope can be addressed to PO Box 999 in your capital city, or simply comment in the box below :).

 UpSewLate: Butterick 5650, back view
My pattern was already cut out in a size 14 (thank you previous owner, and thank you for donating this pattern to the second hand shop), and I added 2cm in total at the waist, tapering out to nothing by the hemline. As with my last version, the skirt feels quite fitted at the waist - it IS a loose-fitting flared skirt as described on the pattern envelope, but of course even a loose-fitting skirt needs to be fitted at the waist or hips so as to stay up!

UpSewLate: Butterick 5650 side view

UpSewLate: Butterick 5650 side view with dodgy posture to make the front hem dip :)
The fabric is a medium weight stretch cotton, which I bought from Tessuti Fabrics in Surry Hills at the start of the year.  If I remember correctly it was on sale and something like $10 a metre - and I think I bought about 2 metres. 

UpSewLate: Butterick 5650 - how much flare, you ask? 
The stretch cotton has proved to be an absolute delight to cut and sew... it was firm enough that it was a pleasure to sew, my overlocker loved it, and the resulting skirt is nicely fitted around my waist and hips with some give (streeeetch) in case of a big lunch.

UpSewLate: my overlocker loved this stretch cotton
I had a limited amount fabric that I was determined to make this skirt from, only just enough to cut the skirt from at the regular (view A) length, so that's the length I made it. In fact this length is not quite right for me - I'm taller than average at about 1.73 metres, and my extra length is in my legs, so this standard length of skirt ends on my calves instead of mid-way down my shins as it's supposed to. There's a lesson for me - measure the lengths, not just the widths! 

UpSewLate: Butterick 5650 is fitted at the waist 
Hmm what else is there to tell you? I didn't make many pattern adjustments: 
  • let out the waist, tapering back to a size 14 at the hem
  • swapped out the regular zip for an invisible zip
  • left out the pockets as I didn't want extra bulk on my hips 
    UpSewLate: close up of invisible zip, and waistband hand stitching in Butterick 5650

    Next up I'll show you the boxy hibiscus print top I was planning to wear with this skirt - but it turns out too that a boxy waist-length top with a flared skirt is not necessarily the best look if you have a thick waist! 

    Have a great week, and see you soon

    - Gabrielle xx


    1. I LOVE this outfit! I mean I love the skirt, it's gorgeous, even if not the length you hoped for. But that top! I love it, what is it? RTW or me-made. Can't help with the fitting issues, but I saw Lena gave some advice on IG.

    2. I love your skirt, it's beautiful and hangs perfectly! When I saw the first pic I thought it was your inspiration from a magazine but it was actually your awesome outfit and self :)

    3. Fabric Epiphanies19 November 2014 at 20:30

      The skirt is lovely and the pink was a great choice. I haven't converted to midi length yet but being only 160cm tall, it may not be a good length for me anyway.

    4. Gabrielle Corbett20 November 2014 at 00:31

      Thank you Jillian! The top is RTW - I wish I could say I made it but I didn't! I was walking past the shops by my office the other day and saw it in a window, massively on sale ($99 down to $19) and only 2 sizes left, one of which fit me! It's not something I can wear to the office obviously, but I really like it - reminds me of some of that sculptural Dion Lee stuff crossed with early Madonna :). Yes. Lena has been very helpful, and she definitely knows a lot about fitting!

    5. Gabrielle Corbett20 November 2014 at 00:32

      Thank you Chichil - what a compliment, you're too kind! I will have to find that photo in the magazine, it probably looks quite different to how I remember it!

    6. Gabrielle Corbett20 November 2014 at 00:43

      Thank you Andrea! Maybe try a midi length pencil skirt to see if you like the way the length looks on you? Interestingly I was advised by a high-end fabric retailer in Paris that I should avoid exactly this dress style because it would do my middle aged shape no favours - but I think if you like a style you should just try it!

    7. So gorgeous. The whole outfit is just so cool but elegant at the same time.

    8. I absolutely love this outfit on you! You've got great abs for that peekaboo at the midriff. I've just made a linen midi circle skirt & want to wear it with cropped tops - I can't seem to get the proportions rught though. Looking forward to seeing it with your hibiscus top!

    9. Wow. Very gorgeous. I agree with the earlier comment - the first image I thought was the inspiration pictures until I read more and realised it was you. Simple classic elegance and I can see it being styled it lots of ways for a really versatilie wardrobe piece. The length still works and looks great where it is because of your slender legs, although I think you would totally rock the full midi length too.

    10. Thank you Ms McCall!

    11. Thanks Rachel! I don't actually have good abs but luckily my flabby section is just lower than my waistband :). Yes, I know, the proportions are surprisingly hard to get right... Your linen midi circle skirt sounds terrific - if a crop top isn't working, what about a fitted top with cap sleeve? I'm really looking forward to seeing it!

    12. Hee hee, I also thought that was the inspiration photo as you were talking pink and the skirt inside colour looks more buttery yellow. Love the whole outfit... the top is perfect for the skirt and a real steal... great outfit!

    13. Gosh you look good and so elegant.

    14. Only in France would someone say that! I love this on you - especially with the top!

    15. The fit looks great. I love looking through fashion magazines thinking 'I wonder if I could make something like that'. I look forward to seeing the jumper.

    16. Love it! Beautiful!

    17. Great skirt. I think it would look great with a boxy top.

    18. Super pretty skirt! I get that issue sometimes with the zip as well - I find that interfacing further down the skirt seam seems to help a little. Apart from that, I think it's connected to swayback (or big butt in my case) as it only happens to me when the skirt is skimming or fitted, not with big pleated or gathered ones.

    19. Gabrielle Corbett26 November 2014 at 23:50

      Aw thanks Janine ;). This shape is such a versatile one isn't it, even if not the full length - and I do hope it is a classic one too! I can really imagine you in a skirt like this actually, looking elegant and poised...

    20. Gabrielle Corbett26 November 2014 at 23:51

      Thank you Maria!


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