Wednesday, May 30, 2007

'Trixie's' Skirt...Making it Work

Next church costuming project: a skit that will be videotaped and shown during an upcoming service. This is a 40's detective at work (it will be in black-and-white), and we'll all be costumed accordingly.

Which is kinda fun...the 40's is one of my favorite fashion eras. I'm the underpaid wise-cracking secretary, Trixie, so I won't be wearing the fancy suits, but I do get a skirt and blouse appropriate to the era. Yesterday I decided it'd be simpler to just make a new skirt than to try and make one of the skirts currently in the wardrobe work; so I started digging through the pattern stash and the cheap fabric bin to see what I could come up with.

I had three or four reproductions of 40's era patterns, but found that one of them already had the skirt pattern traced and adjusted, so it won the's an out-of- print Butterick:

I found a yard-and-a bit remnant of black herringbone-weave poly suiting and squeezed the skirt on. Then, when I sat down to serge the edges, I saw the piece that had been cut from the folded-under portion of the fabric had a slight problem ...there was a roughly-quarter circle chunk missing from the upper left front side seam/waistline corner. Aaaiiiieee! Wait,'s shaped like a shallow pocket opening! Quick, back to the cutting board. I traced off the cut edge, and used the skirt pattern and the boo-boo shape to draft pocket yokes and facings, then installed them. worked! And, bonus...I get a skirt with pockets!

The skirt also had a side zipper; not my favorite zipper installation but I was going to go with it just because I didn't want to take the time to put a CB seam in the little narrow back piece. But, guess what...I had no black zippers. And it was too late for a Hancock's run. Now I finish it to the zipper? But, hey, now I've got pockets! And I had cut the waistband extra-long, just because ya never know, so now I *could* do my favorite zipper installation in the pocket! I removed the serging and the stitching on the inside edge of the left pocket so I could get at the left pocket yoke and stuck a blue zipper there-in. No one'll ever know....

It was a fortuitous circumstance all around.

All that remains is to put a hook/eye on the waistband and hem it. Now I need a blouse. I looked around a bit online at 40's fashions and have two or three blouse patterns that would do just fine, with the right fabric. I really wish I had some black-on-white polka dot fabric in the stash for that, but I don't. Maybe a plain white blouse w/black rick rack trim or something.

I'll puzzle it out while I hem the skirt. ;)


  1. Oh! I have that pattern and a suit made from it! I love it and have worn it for about 5 years now. The jacket is vintage black/white mini houndstooth wool and the skirt is vintage black wool!

    What a fun project! I can't wait to see how yours turns out.

  2. Hmmmm.....I have some black and white mini-houndstooth suiting weight cotton. I wasn't planning on making the jacket, but, well, hmmmm..... ;)

  3. PS...Have you posted any photos of it? ;)

  4. No, I'll have to do a special post just for you!

  5. Ooh! I like this pattern. Can't wait to see how you make it up!