2. Magnolia

Pattern: Self drafted

Fabric: Wool blend gabardine and bemberg rayon from fabric.com

Notions: 1 zipper and fusible interfacing

Time: An afternoon


I’ve been trying to decide what to call this color. Is it teal? Is it turquoise? I don’t know but I love it! I actually think it’s a seasonless color and I expect to be able wear this skirt long after spring has passed. The fabric’s color changes depending on the light – it’s more green in the shade and more blue in the sun – which made it rather difficult to find matching thread and zipper.

Speaking of fabric – this is probably the worst quality yardage I have ever worked with. It’s labeled as a wool/poly blend but at times it felt more like rattan. While working with it, it splintered, split, and shredded. It would stretch out of shape despite staystitching and it was so weak that I couldn’t even consider ripping out stitches.  I had my doubts as to whether it would look okay on but somehow it pulled itself together at the last-minute and made a great looking skirt. I have a feeling the bemberg lining had something to do with it. 

The skirt is self drafted. From my sloper, I dropped the waist and drafted a 2″ contoured waistband. I shortened the hem to the same height as my grey mini skirt (JCrew) and then drafted a lining with a jump pleat (also known as a bagged lining). All darts were removed making it a very straightforward sewing job. Once I had everything cut and interfaced, it came to together in less than an hour. If you’re looking for a similar pattern, try In House Pattern’s A New York Mini. The pattern as written is unlined but you could always add one if desired. 

Have you ever wondered what would happen if you installed a normal zipper as you would an invisible one? Seriously stupid maneuver. I had it in my head that I’d purchased an invisible zipper and couldn’t for the life of me figure out why I couldn’t stitch closer to the teeth. It wasn’t until I tried the thing on that I realized the head was facing the wrong way. That’s right, the pull is facing towards my body. Unfortunately the fabric was so frail there was no turning back and I’m just grateful that I can still zip it up this way. You can see the zipper tape just a hair but from far away it’s really not bad.

I couldn’t help but include a close up of my new shoes. Since my spring palette is so bold, I figured a pair of cream colored shoes would keep bright outfits from overwhelming me. I had my eyes on a different pair and went to Nordstrom’s to try them on but when I saw these Born’s I knew they were the ones.

Overall, I’m very happy with the outcome and I know I’ll be wearing this skirt all spring. I can’t wait to start pairing it with my spring blouses and tops!


52 Responses to “2. Magnolia”

  1. You look great. Love the colour of the skirt and the shoes are excellent.

  2. Totally adorable! I love the colors! Your shoes are cuties, too =D

  3. For a fabric that felt like rattan (seriously?) it looks AMAZING! Another great creation Lizz.

  4. That fabric sounds scary! But good for you for persevering, truly you’d never know it was so difficult to work with because the finished skirt looks really polished! I really like the whole look – and thank you for the closeup of the shoes! They are perfect spring shoes! I love them.

    • Fabric.com is hit or miss but let’s say I’m always surprised by the quality! After having a great day at the fabric store last week, I’m thinking it may be time to lay off the majority of online fabric shopping for a while. Even though fabric.com has very liberal return policy, I’m unlikely to send something back once I get it; I’m tired of not knowing what I’ll be working with.
      I’m glad no one seems to mind the gratuitous shoe picture. I’m pretty smitten with them.

  5. Gorgeous colour & great fit!! love the gratuitous shoe shot too – they’re very cute! 🙂

  6. I love this colour too! I would call it teal and you will definitely be able to wear it into the fall. Another beautiful job and the skirt is the perfect length on you. I will be making up the New York Mini for my Spring wardrobe plan as well so you will get to see a more spring like version.

  7. This is lovely! The fabric sounds like a pain, but it turned out beautiful! Also, great styling and awesome shoes!!

  8. Not only do you sew well- you pose well too! I have pose envy.

  9. everything. EVERYTHING!!! gimmiegimmiegimmie!

    i can’t form sentences looking at these pictures.

    it’s so funny to read about your fabric woes; when i saw the teal i thought “she always picks the most exquisitely made fabrics. i should try that sometime.”

    • No – seriously it was a miracle. Up until I made the last stitch the fabric was crap crap crap and then magically – wwwwaaa – it was no longer stiff and brittle. I think I must have tortured it so much with the iron that it finally caved.

  10. EEK! Lizz!! Are you kidding me? You look so pretty! The skirt is such a fabulous teal and looks so fresh with the geometric print. I imagine you’ll be able to wear this year round, paired with seasonal pieces. Great call on the light, neutral shoes. (pinning this)

  11. HOT!! And the color it teal, to me. I love the colors of your outfit against the background you chose!

    ps- I hate installing zippers.

    • That’s what I’ve been calling it but when I use the search term “teal” I get something a bit different. A blue based teal seems to be more common. Anyhow…
      You know, I wouldn’t have normally chosen to shoot such a bright outfit against a dark colored wall but the lighting was so beautiful in there that I didn’t care. I was surprised when I went through the film at how lovely the colors popped.
      And zippers – gah! I’m still angry that I didn’t notice the type of zipper I purchased. It could have been perfect!

  12. gah, this is adorable! You look so fresh and bright.

    And I am in love with those shoes.

  13. Liz, you look great!! I love all the colors in your outfit, especially the teal skirt. It looks fantastic. Is the shirt self drafted too? Adorable! I’ve had a few disappointing orders from fabric.com too, but I figure each time I order I’m learning about the fabric content and how it’s labeled/described. I have ordered swatches from them and was happy to receive a swatch and to find out that I didn’t want to order more yardage. ha! Well, unfortunately, I think I’ve had more disappointing orders than good ones 😦 I so prefer to be in a fabric store where I can feel everything.

    • The shirt is not self made but rather purchased in Vietnam from a Hanoian designer. It’s silk/cotton and insanely soft.
      I too prefer fabric stores but every once in a while I get swayed by the prices at fabric.com. You’re smart to order swatches – I’m usually too impatient!

  14. Great colours! The whole outfit is tops!

  15. *Mouth hits the floor*
    You are rocking it.

  16. The fabric looks lush, who would have thought it started out so frustrating! And those shoes are excellent. I’m really enjoying your spring wardrobe posts so far.
    I’ve never tried sewing a dartless shaped skirt like this, is it hard to get it right over the…uh…derriere?

    • With the way that I drafted the skirt, the pattern is still shaped for the body’s curves. The dart apices fall on the base of the waistband so they are easily folded out of the pattern. This way, I still get same shaping as a dart but without physically sewing them. Is this clear?
      I’m glad you’re enjoying the spring posts! I’ve been having a ton of fun putting the wardrobe together.

  17. Lovely skirt even if the fabric was a nuisance – I like the colour and the sheen – and it goes well with your top and, of course, the shoes!

  18. I’m sure it was a bitch, but the fabric LOOKS amazing! So shiny! I love it. You look excellent, your legs look phenomenal, if you don’t mind me saying!

  19. i’d call it teal. great color on you! and i love it with the top.

  20. Love that color! It looks great on you.

  21. Looks awesome!

    What shoes are those?

  22. I love the result! And your pins? You should really put them on display more often – great legs! Despite the struggles you say you had with the fabric – your end result looks impeccable. Love it teamed with the red and white. Hot!

  23. despite all your troubles with the fabric it was totally worth it, this skirt is so amazing!! looks awesome with the shoes/shirt/belt combo…dreamy

  24. Woohoo! Beautiful combination. I’d be wearing that skirt all spring, too.

  25. Love that colour. The top goes very well with it. Nice work.

  26. I’m so surprised to read that the fabric caused you so much trouble, because from the photos, it looks really high-end! Gorgeous result, hopefully you also feel it was worth the frustration!

    I love the whole outfit, and I’m wondering if you made the top too. And those shoes! Awesome choice! They’re making me wish I wasn’t doing the seamless pledge right now!

  27. Great job and you can’t even tell you had such a hard time sewing that fabric. I especially love the red and “teal” together. Very spring (it was sixty degrees here in Philly. SIXTY!)

  28. It’s so fun to see your color scheme come together–these are really great outfits. It’s colorful but everything really mixes in a subtle way.

  29. Really, really, really cute! You’ve got great taste! I really admire the way you put outfits together. 🙂

  30. It is a gorgeous colour and, as many have already commented, you have styled it really well. In the pics on my screen it looks more green with blue shot through it, so I bet it was a pain matching notions.

  31. Hi Lizz,

    a great outfit as so many others have said already.
    Just to let you know I’ve nominated you for a Liebster award over at http://rocketsews.otheredge.com.au/?p=137 Not sure if you’re into the whole blog awards thing – I just really enjoy reading your posts.

  32. love the fabric. love the pattern. LOVE your styling! those shoes are fabulous.


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