A Skirt & Tee for Back to School

Adventures in apparel fabric, part deux! I wrote about the adorable Cuddle fur vest last time; let’s talk about the rest of the girl’s outfit – this darling skirt and top.

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The skirt is our Potato Chip Skirt pattern, made in the lined view. It has a flat front, elastic back, and POCKETS! I used this gorgeous Robert Kaufman chambray, lined with the same poly satin designer lining with crowns that I used for the faux fur vest. Not a traditional pairing of fashion fabric and liner, but it works, and I love how they look together!

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I liked the nautical print of the chambray when I saw it online. I LOVE it in person! Something about the pen-and-ink quality of the images, the deep black on gray, and the particular motifs almost look a little steampunky and it fit right in with my ‘urban back-to-school’ outfits.

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It’s a refreshing change from blue and red nautical prints for sure. It’s a slightly lighter weight than quilting cottons. Plus, I forgot to mention something really exciting in my last post discussing quilting cottons vs. apparel fabrics. Most apparel fabrics are 58″-60″ wide – so much more for your money! So when you are pricing fabrics, be sure to check the width.

I love the way this fabric looks on my finished skirt. I opted to use a simple black piping to set off the pockets, and blind-hemmed the skirt so other details would not distract from the fabric’s print.

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Special tools or notions needed to sew chambray: none!

The liner was a little slippery and needed a fine and sharp (70/10) needle. Even with a fine needle, the hole punches made by the needle are more visible than I’d like them to be. I used wonder clips to avoid pinholes, though if you don’t have clips, you can of course pin within the seam allowance.  Special tools or notions needed to sew liner: 70/10 needle, wonder clips, patience.

The top is from our Garnet Dress, Top, and Skirt pattern. I made the long-sleeved top view and finished with a simple neckband, omitting the pattern’s collar to keep the outfit looking street-casual.  The fabric is a black and olive heathered stripe rayon/lycra jersey knit. “Drapey!” said my model when she tried it on. Clearly, her mom sews and has taught her the vocabulary! Mama, your work is done here.

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The fabric is a lighter weight, very stretchy, and yes – drapey! As a pleasant surprise it was easy to sew, not curly at the edges or shifty to cut. I used my serger and coverstitch exclusively on this (not sewing machine) so had no problems with the machine eating the lighter-weight knit. If I sewed by sewing machine, I’d probably use a bit of stabilizer under the presser foot when getting the seams started.

Special tools/notions needed: ballpoint needle, 100% polyester thread. I stabilized the shoulder seams with clear elastic as I do with all knit tops.

Overall, I am thrilled with the ready-to-wear look of this outfit, and the model loved it too. #winning! I’ll be back again soon to tell you about the boy’s outfit.

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Jen’s line of PDF sewing patterns for children is at www.tiedyedivapatterns.com and she blogs here.

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