Bespoke skirt commission

Hello folks, the snuffle monster here! Yep, I still have the lurgy. Between this cold and the cold you ain’t seeing any more photographs of me this week. Luckily my latest make wasn’t actually for me, so I still get to blog whilst high on Lemsip Max. Fun times!

So I dragged myself out from under the duvet briefly this week to complete a very exciting project: my first bespoke clothing commission. A colleague of a friend had brought some silk back from Hong Kong and wanted to wear said silk as a skirt to her niece’s wedding. I went over to her home in South Kensington (a part of town I am always looking for an excuse to hang around) and took her measurements as I intended to draft the pattern myself. Which I then did! Go me! At first it was quite odd drafting for someone whose body shape and size is very different to that of my family (me, my mum and sister are just slightly adjusted versions of each other), but I ploughed ahead and made a muslin. I took this back for a second visit (like I said, any excuse) and lo and behold, the muslin fit! Even when you’re sure you’ve done everything right it’s still hard to believe the end result will be right as well, so it was a good feeling.

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Cutting out the actual silk was not such a good feeling. There was a bare metre, and I could only just squeeze the skirt out of it – ergo no room for error. And although we can buy most things in London, silk someone’s daughter bought for them in Asia is not one of them, so you can imagine the cutting process was accompanied by no small amount of FEAR. But even when it’s someone else’s precious silk you’re sacrificing, you have to fight the fear, right? So, reader, I cut it.

And then I sewed it, and then I did loads of other fun stuff, and hey presto – I made someone a skirt! And I am darn proud of it, if I say so myself.

 

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Ok, so being photographed isn’t this skirt’s strong point… And it isn’t flared at the bottom in reality, it’s pegged…

 

It’s a lined pencil skirt with a fully-enclosed back vent, two darts in the front and two in the back, sitting right on the waist and finishing at the bottom of the knee. I put in lots of little details that I’d never normally bother with (when the client is me). My favourite is probably the zip guard, which you might already have seen me crowing over on Instagram. But it’s just so pleasing…

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And on the inside…

I would’ve liked to use the silk for a facing and then attach the lining at the bottom of that, but there wasn’t enough so it’s lined to the top, sans any waistband.

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The lining seams are simply overlocked together and pressed to one side, but the silk pieces were overlocked before being stitched up.

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There wasn’t enough fabric for the depth of hem I wanted so as you can see from the pic above I stitched on a black satin ribbon and then hand-stitched that up. The hem is pretty much invisible from the outside. Yay! The other tricksy  thing I did was the skirt vent. I used the same technique as in the Capital Chic Martini, the one that gave me so much puzzlement first time around. It’s such a nice finish and although its execution may not have been 100% perfect in this case the overall effect is smooth and again, invisible from the outside.

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So there it is, in all its guts and glory! And you know the best part? The lady looked gorgeous in her new skirt, and clearly felt it too. She was so happy, and the moment we zipped it up and I realised that I actually had made something, from scratch, made-to-measure, that would be treasured by another person – well, I felt proper fuzzy inside 🙂 She now wants another skirt, and a blouse to go with it… I sense a new adventure! Just as soon as I’ve got out from under the duvet… x

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