I finally finished Vogue 8750, despite 125 students and the environmental hazards of nearly being hit by flying kitchen fragments on a more or less regular basis.
Here it is on me and in sort of a bent leg detail that is meant to show you the interesting seaming:
I managed to actually get this done by going AWOL to the sewing room and drowning out the sound of heavy equipment by turning the Sewing TV up real loud. I love the news and so my channels of choice were CNN and CBC Newsworld.
I did a lot of watching this guy do interviews:
Somewhere along the way, I made up a "what if" scenario if Anderson Cooper ever showed up here and decided to interview me about this skirt. Here is how I think that would go:
AC 360: We are joined here tonight by Babs who has just finished the completion of a not leather skirt at the age of nearly 58, a project she has been planning on returning to ever since she did that thing with the iron on her first attempt in 1978.
Now Barbara how did you train for this project?
Babs: Well Anderson I have been making skirts now for 40 years. I have fully explored the waistbands that are too tight and the facings that are too loose. I have made them in velvet with the nap running up the front and down the back and am sure nobody noticed. I have made denim wrap arounds with ties so thick they didn't make bows and I have done the centred, the lapped, the hand-picked, once with pearls, not real, in each stitch, but now work exclusively with invisible zippers because you can re-stitch them 8 times and the stitches don't show from the right side. I find this a plus.
AC 360: Interesting. Can you tell us more about this specific project? My team here did some research and most not real leather is referred to as faux or pleather - what's with the leatherette?
Babs: Well Anderson I went back to the source on this one. Since this particular piece was bought by my next youngest sister in that discount place near the access road behind the Winnipeg airport, my suspicion is that it is leatherette, although I am almost certain, about 87%, that she didn't grab it from the car upholstery section and not tell me. This one of my sisters is pretty honest.
AC 360: Interesting. Now tell me if there were any moments in this project during you really, and this is not an age-related question, doubted you would be able to go the distance?
Babs: Good question Anderson. I was a bit concerned about the curved inserts to be honest. Four of them, two front and two in the back. Those can start pretty good, but you know how it is, once that presser foot starts moving and you start moving those pins-in-the-seam-allowance out you can just see it advancing - one layer longer than the other, like the Wave of Doom - and you know that you are going to be left with a 3/4" at the end. But this is a pretty well-drafted pattern and that almost didn't happen.
AC 360: Yes but to be honest did you trim off any extra at the end of the seam?
Babs: Can you notice anything in the picture?
AC 360: The pictures are kind of blurry.
AC 360: Interesting. We are running out of time here so in closing I have to say I noticed you didn't top-stitch the hem.
Babs: Good eye. I was going to but I was pretty pleased with my top-stitching, yes I know the picture is blurry, but trust me on this, and I figured a stitched hem would ruin the effect. I got some double-sided tape and used that instead. Man is that stuff slick.
AC 360: Interesting. Finally Babs do you have any wisdom you would like to share with other women of your generation considering a leatherette skirt?
Babs: I sure do. First this is a cheap project. Second my leatherette has a very smooth knit backing so I didn't do a lining. It held up well at the Greek restaurant I made my husband take me to last night since he demolished my kitchen. Secondly, it doesn't show the dog hair and does not require ironing, I really mean that, and only used a rayon setting with a press cloth during construction. Third it is easy to maintain. The Tzatziki came right off with Windex. Fourth when I wear it I feel unbearably hip and cool and since I really am not either hip or cool I feel this skirt expresses that perfectly. It's not really leather either. And BTW this is a killer pattern - really slimming, makes this 18 look like 10.
AC 360: A 14. Keeping them honest.