Hi, I finished my Frocktails skirt in February to wear at the Bay Area Sewists Frocktails event earlier this year. I finished it just a few hours before the event began. It began as my Sew Frosting project but I didn’t finish it in November and then I thought of it as my #SewHappyColor project. However, I didn’t take photos in time to post it during the Reds and Pinks week of that Instagram challenge hosted by Katie Kortman. Ultimately, I consider it my Frocktails skirt.
I wrote a WIP post in February about sewing the pleats and attaching the ribbons. For this skirt, I used three different fabrics – the main fabric is the Marimekko print. I had 1 1/3 yards (~1.2 meters) of the Marimekko fabric, which was 58 inches wide (147 cm). I wanted to use all of it for a nice full skirt.
Side note: When I did a search on my blog for “Marimekko,I discovered that I blogged about this Marimekko fabric in 2013, the year I bought it. I wondered how long I’d had this fabic.)
Because I didn’t have enough for a midi length – my favorite length – I color-blocked the skirt – adding a red panel at the top and a deep violet panel at the bottom. The pleats are in the red panel. If you look closely, you can see the topstitching on the Marimekko fabric in the photo below.
I first thought about making the skirt back in December when I blogged about my Sew Frosting plans. It took my a long time to figure out the pleats – how deep to make them to use all the fabric, how far apart to place the pleats, and how much space to put between the two front pleats for an adjustable waist.
The deep violet panel at the bottom is a quilting cotton I got at Stonemountain & Daughter Fabrics. I brought the Marimekko fabric with me to find a fabric for the bottom panel. It’s a nearly perfect match for the color in the print.
I topstitched the violet panel. This is a machine-washable skirt and topstitching will make it easier to press.
When I wore the skirt to Frocktails, I realized that the ribbons weren’t staying tied and it was gaping in the back. I thought the Petersham ribbon would stay tied. Plus, the red fabric was a stretch cotton, which didn’t work well for that part of the skirt. I used that red fabric because it was in my stash and it matched the Marimekko fabric. I was attempting to sew my stash.
To solve my problem, I added a hook to one ribbon …
… and an eye on the other side to ensure that the skirt would stay together. Here’s what it looks like when it’s hooked together.
Here’s what it looks like when I unhook it.
I got the Petersham ribbon from Britex Fabrics. The ribbon was also in my stash and perfectly matched the trees in the print.
Inside the Frocktails skirt
I lined the skirt with a soft cotton rayon from Britex that complemented the print. I drafted a facing and attached the lining to the facing. Here’s an inside view of the skirt waist.
The skirt has horsehair braid at the hem, giving the skirt a nice fullness without the need of wearing any petticoats or tulle.
More views of my Frocktail skirt
I’m really happy with how the skirt turned out. I think it could use a bit more support at the waist – maybe I’ll add a stiffer interfacing – but I like the length and the colors.
Do you hold on to fabric for years before you sew it? Or do you sew your fabric right away? I’d love to know!