Amanda vs Gingham Taffeta Awesomeness

Three words, people.

Silk.
Taffeta.
Gingham.

After an almost five month sabbatical from the craziness of me noggin I’m coming back to you with a hot mess of crazy/awesome. Because while I have a rather mature Liberty frock, flirty gingham sundress and super cute boat tee and shorts combo ready to share this seemed the most obvious way to ease on back into things as lady like as ever…

Some things never change…

But what has changed is the fact I have silk taffeta in my life… This is the stuff 80s prom dresses and dreams are made of! Last September I was down in Melbourne for the epic Frocktails event and had a bit of a fabric binge with a number of the other fine ladies in attendance. We meandered into The Fabric Store and lo and behold I came across the majesty of this gingham and it was love at first sight. The freaky thing was this was one of only a handful of times I have known exactly what I wanted to make out of a fabric when I bought it. Puffy pleated skirt here I come! A little bit taffeta prom queen and a little bit 50s gingham. This is sheer perfection in Amanda-land!

So pattern wise I free styled this bad boy like a boss. I measured my waist and then added an inch to the ends to get the waistband length. I then cut along the fabric so the band would be three checks high. Booyah. For the skirt itself I used the width of the piece and played around with the pleats using the checks as a guide until I got the desired puffiness. Because if you are going silk taffeta it is an insult to the fabric to not have as much volume as humanly possible!

Okay, let’s talk some real talk. This was a super quick sewing project. As in, six days after I bought the fabric I had sewn it up in 15 minute chunks in the evening. And I wore it to a work function (and looked fierce). Heck, I even took photos to share it with y’all. That was until I looked at the photos and realised that it was too long- it looked saggy and not puffy and was relegated to lose three inches off the hem. Which really is no bigs, right? Unless you are a crazy perfectionist who wants to catch stitch this bad boy like a boss and it takes you a few hours to get this done. So poor little puffy skirt got put into the mending pile and as my sewing course folios were due it got ignored. And then Christmas projects began and the gingham marvel was left to be stylish in the corner of the room…

Cue a crazy post sewing-room makeover and I dug our little friend out, serged the excess off, popped on some Sherlock and invisibly hemmed it like a boss (side note: if you need to debrief after this season let me know- all of the amazings!) The hem stitches are placed so carefully that it is invisible to the naked eye unless you are being a super creeper and getting all up in my skirt’s grill. Not cool.

See what I mean?

And can we take a moment to pay a big snaps to my shirt? It’s an origami panda. And it totally feels like it was designed with this taffeta in mind. Crazy panda + silk taffeta = my happy place.

And let’s be honest, where would I be without some crazy posing? A lady has to flaunt her mad raptor skills!

What I liked about this project:

  • Invisible hemming like a boss!
  • The fact I totes made this up as I went- I get this is a basic skill but it was so freeing after finishing my Tiki dress of five billion steps
  • How well the checks matched! I unpicked the zipper twice to get the perfect match.

 

What I would change next time:

  • Gather rather than pleat- I feel there may be more taffeta oomph from gathering… Though I may be wrong…
  • Keep the length shorter. While I love tea length stuff on other women it makes me look like an angry dwarf (sans beard). And while I am all about heading to Isengard to smack down Saruman with my elf bro, brooding ranger and epic wizard friends in tow I don’t want to look like I have stumpy dude calves.
  • Hem the dang thing in a time period that isn’t five freaking months. You know, just to mix it up.

 

Self Drafted Skirt
Pattern: Me noggin… Does the gin I consumed while I sorted out the pleats count towards creativity?
Fabric: 1 metre of gingham silk taffeta (feel the 80s, people) from The Fabric Store
Notions: YKK zipper, thread in stash

See also: PoppykettleTilly and the ButtonsCation Designs

And if you have made it this far thank you so much hanging round while I was having my little sabbatical. 2013 was, in all honesty, a bit of a jerk to me and I’m rather glad to see it gone. Here’s to an epic 2014 – I have a new sewing room, many projects and a fancied up blog to show off…

Here’s to staying sassy!

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