After receiving word from Fabric Mart that I could make up McCall's 6884 in the beautiful olive, brown, and silver wool sweater knit that I fell in love with over at their site, I decided that an outfit was in order, and that I would make the other pieces of this outfit. I had some stash fabric for the tunic/top I made, but I knew I wanted to make an a-line skirt of something very fall-like, but that also wouldn't cost me a pretty penny to buy.
Literally the next day after receiving word that I would be using the sweater knit, I saw that a "buy the piece" Shetland wool in a pink and brown houndstooth came up for sale. I love Fabric Mart's "Buy the Piece" category, there are some amazing hidden gems there. You don't get to choose the yardage, but all the pieces in that category are super discounted. For instance, this bit of pink and brown Shetland wool normally sells for $25 a yard (though it is on sale today for $15--woo!), but the "buy the piece" I bought was for $10 for 3/4 yard. So quite a bit of savings! And after I received it, I noticed that the cut was closer to 7/8 yard, so a bit of a bonus on top of it.
So after you count in the fabric costs, this skirt comes to around $15, since the lining came in a free bundle from Fabric Mart and the fabric on the waistband was from my stash (and I only used the wee-est amount). I would call that a successful sewing project. I know for a fact skirts like this, fully lined, with pockets, and in a thick Shetland wool (seriously so thick and warm), retail for closer to $100 and more at places like Boden and J. Crew. On sale, at the very end of the season, you might be able to get a skirt like this for closer to $50, but by then all the sizes and colors have been picked over, especially ones in a fun color like this one is. ;-) Yay for sewing!
The one issue I had, and it is minor, is that I did have to carefully choose both the pattern I wanted to use and the placement of the pattern on the fabric. I didn't want a pencil skirt, I knew I wanted an a-line, so that immediately limited me. Many of my a-line skirt patterns are too full and so would not have worked with this amount of fabric, but Simplicity 2152 (http://www.simplicity.com/p-
Unfortunately I didn't have quite enough fabric for the patch pockets the pattern calls for, but I figured I could add inseam pockets to the skirt from the lining. That worked out fine, though they gap a bit. I definitely plan on using the patch pockets next time I make this pattern up. Fortunately my lining fabric looks really nice with the houndstooth wool, so it is just a cool flash of contrasting fabric, but because I am persnickety, it does bother me a touch.
One of the things I did have to be careful of was placing the houndstooth properly with the pattern pieces. In the end I chose to match brown houndstooth to the singular notches, and surprisingly, it worked quite well. There are only a few places where the houndstooth doesn't line up, and overall the effect is that the plaid is properly aligned throughout! Yay!
I made up the size 14, and it fits fine. There are a lot of seams in this project, and if you so desire, the seams can be used to better fit this skirt to your particular frame. The seams make sewing it up take a while longer (especially if you line it and use the same pieces as your basis for the lining), but again the time is worth it. Seems most of my sewing ends with the phrase, "but the time was worth it!" LOL.
I love how the lining looks, even if I know I could have sewn it in better. I am still learning how to properly (and RTW) finish the insides of my garments, but slowly I am learning. I love the mix of fabrics, even if the inside is less tidy than I want it to be. I want to point out that the stash fabric I used for the interior waistband is the same print as the tunic/top, but instead of being the rayon knit, it is a very sturdy bottomweight made from cotton/lycra/poly. The waistband is very sturdy and stands up well. The mix of heavyweight wool/interfacing/bottomweight cotton is a good one. It is a pain to properly trim and turn and sew (especially the hand sewing, eek), but again, "worth all the effort." ;-)
Anyhow, I hope that you all will consider looking in the "buy the piece" category, especially at the smaller cuts! It is possible to make something for you from these, you just have to be very crafty and careful with what you choose!
Have a great day! If you want to see the original blog post I wrote on the entire look, go to this blog post (http://blog.