The subject of today’s post is not practical. It’s not an afternoon project, and it’s not really a project for beginner sewers. It’s not something that will be worn more than a handful of times in its lifetime, and the cost-per-wear value is almost nonexistent. This skirt is not a lot of things but none of that matters, because this skirt is magnificent. It’s the every-once-in-a-while “treat” project, where we indulge ourselves a little and buy the pricey fabric and really invest the time into crafting and building a quality item of clothing. A special item, to be worn when you want to look and feel like a million bucks.
There’s a history behind this skirt. I designed the original, which I named ‘Charlotte’, a few years ago after seeing a truly special sequin fabric and envisioning a floor length skirt for myself out of it. A few months later, I included it in a spring collection as a test to see how customers would respond to it, and it was a hit. It was the single most expensive garment in the line to produce so eventually we had to stop selling it, but I’ve carried a torch for that skirt for years.
Late last year, I decided it was finally time to make one for myself, only it wouldn’t be floor length. I thought a lot about the length for this skirt. Floor length is obviously more elegant and showstopping, but it’s completely impractical. I mean, let’s all consider for a moment just how ridiculously impractical it really is. Where on earth would I ever wear a floor length sequin skirt? Even the semi-formal events that pop up on the calendar every once in a while certainly don’t call for a floor length skirt like this. Plus, it’s kind of a pain to wear, as skirts like this sometimes are. You’re constantly picking it up to walk up and down stairs or get in and out of a car, and it has an annoying way of trapping all the heat on earth underneath the skirt, surrounding your legs in suffocating temperatures more unbearable than Texas in July. But boy is it pretty.
Letting go of that design broke my heart just a little bit, because the shorter length doesn’t quite have that wow factor that the maxi has, but it still packs a punch. For me, the midi length is more versatile. I can style it for parties or formal events, but it also works for a special date night. It’s also appropriate year round in Texas, which is an important thing to consider when you invest so much time into making your clothes.
I wanted a skirt with some volume to it, but nothing too enormous. I drafted a half circle and that, the simple yet chic half circle, is the pattern for this skirt. (For more information on drafting this pattern, see this post from January.) The fabric is a sequin “cracked iced” design on white mesh, which I got from Fabrics World in NYC. I treated the sequin fabric like an eyelet or lace and underlined it in a bottomweight white twill, to help with support and give the skirt some body. The hem is finished with a facing, which is fully interfaced. The skirt is lined in bemberg rayon and I put an exposed zipper in the back. I did this for two reasons: there’s no chance of the fabric catching on the zipper, and it was the easiest zipper application for this skirt. Also, it matches and looks pretty great. I originally thought about using horsehair braid in the hem (which is why my facing is 6″ wide), but in the end decided there was no need. The skirt has just the right amount of volume in it.