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June 10

Simplicity 4532: Finished

The erratic weather here in Chicago has kept me from venturing out to take pictures earlier.  First it was way too hot out to wear my skirt comfortably(90+ degrees) then it got all rainy and cold (50 degrees) not a day later.  Pure craziness.

But I happily managed to go out during my lunch break yesterday to take some pictures of my Simplicity 4532 1/2 circle skirt to be able to share with you all.

It was raining in the morning, so I had the perfect prop to match my rainy day skirt.  How ironic that the day I choose to wear my skirt, it ended up raining?!  :)

Felix and I wandered over to the Art Institute and I realized I haven’t taken any photos in front of the iconic bronze lions.  You can see one of the lions in the background but I’m actually standing right in front of the other one.

Here’s a closer look of the applique:

I sewed on all of the raindrops on the machine with a satin stitch, but I did all the umbrella pieces by hand with the seams turned under.  I had to baste all of these pieces on by hand first before taking them to the machine.  So if you’re going to try some applique yourself, trust me, you’ll save yourself a lot of extra work with your seam ripper if you take the time to baste.

I sewed an inch wide horsehair braid onto the hem of the skirt, starting with Gertie’s tutorial.  But instead of finishing the hem by top stitching the braid to the skirt or to the underlining, I invisibly feather-stitched it to the skirt shell, since I didn’t underline it.

Afterward, I flipped the hem of the lining to the wrong side and stitched it to the skirt shell’s hem by hand so that all of the seam allowances and hems would be nicely hidden inside the skirt.

Neither a seam allowance nor a stitch can be seen anywhere on the inside of the skirt, after I attached my lining at the hem like this.  (mini yay)

While you can see the outline of the horsehair braid on the outside of the skirt, you can’t actually see any stitches on the outside of the skirt itself.  It would probably have been more inconspicuous a hem if I had underlining, but I didn’t want the skirt to get too thick since I plan to wear it in the summer through early fall.

I really do love this skirt, but I really felt like I was getting looks all day long.  From what I could gather, they were positive looks but I’m still not sure how I feel about being noticed in public.  Truthfully, it made me feel a bit exposed.  Like most people, I do like it when people compliment me on my home-sewn clothes, but at the same time I don’t go out of my way to dress to get attention; it’s just not me.

So I’m not exactly sure where I fall on this.  This topic reminds me of a post that Gina of Vintage Girl did about dressing vintage and referencing the looks she was getting at the store for dressing differently.  And while I know you can only dress to make yourself happy without worrying about what other people think, I still seem to be struggling to find that balance myself.  It does make me happy to wear fun, feminine, cute clothes but I’m not sure if I’m ready to be the center of attention as I’m walking down in the subway.

If you have any thoughts on this topic, please leave a comment.  I’d love to hear what you all think.  :)

  1. Barbara / Jun 10 2011

    Hi! Just found your blog…

    Why is it a problem to be noticed? You so deserve it! You look so lovely! And if you love what you’re wearing as you do, the better. Just be yourself and shine! :-)

  2. weriem / Jun 10 2011

    Pretty skirt, very original! I made a tail coat more than 1 year ago and it’s not a basic clothe but I really love it and I’m so happy when I can wear it!! I don’t think people look at me, I just feel good because it’s the kind of clothe I like and I’m proud of my realisation! I know good balance is not easy to find, sometimes it works and sometimes not… big mystery!
    My tail coat is here (sorry this post is in French… but since several months I’m trying to post in French & in English too): http://weriem.over-blog.com/article-veste-queue-de-pie-avec-brandebourgs-automne-2009-40243664.html

    • Liz / Jun 13 2011

      Your waistcoat (tailcoat) is amazing, Weriem!

  3. Miss Ash Tuesday / Jun 10 2011

    They were looking at you because you look beautiful!

  4. Lauren / Jun 10 2011

    i know what you mean about the ~exposed feeling, especially when you are wearing something that corresponds to your surroundings – i.e., a rain skirt in the rain. mine is when i wear my favorite fiesta dress to the mexican restaurant. i swear i don’t think about it when i put on the dress, but i feel like people think i’m pretty much in a costume and all ~lol mexican~. for someone (me) who normally doesn’t care what people think about my clothes, it is kind of uncomfortable and unnerving!

    that being said, you look ADORABLE! i love that skirt, it is so pretty & cheerful! please don’t let stares keep you from wearing it!

    • Liz / Jun 13 2011

      That is exactly how I felt! Thanks so much for your sweet comment.

  5. Sarah / Jun 10 2011

    Honey, you DESERVE to be noticed in that fantastic skirt!!! I absolutely love it and it looks wonderful on you! The colour is so sophisticated and the applique (which I pink puffy heart I love it so much!!) adds such a nice touch of whimsy!

    Job well done!!

  6. Gail Dokucu / Jun 10 2011

    Your skirt is absolutely fantastic, and you look adorable in it! Your finishing touches are amazing.

    I empathize with you as a fellow Chicagoan. I also love to wear bright and whimsical clothes, and I feel like it draws a fair amount of attention in this town. I just can’t figure out why the majority of Chicagoans seem to stick to grey and black – we get enough of that in our weather! I don’t want it in my clothes too!!

    BUT. It’s not disconcerting enough to make me change the way I dress!!

  7. Gina / Jun 10 2011

    You look great! As the tide changes in our society to dress better, at least I am hopeful on this, we can all come out of hiding. I have been seeing a lot of dresses and pretty colors on T.V. commercials lately. So maybe it’s on it ‘s way. Even without the tide, you look fab sporting this wonderful skirt! I am so glad you did. Enjoy the work of your hands!

  8. Clare S / Jun 10 2011

    Aww, your skirt is adorable!! Love it! I’ve recently learnt to appliqué and might have to finally use it on some clothing myself.

    I do know what you mean about feeling uncomfortable drawing attention to yourself – that’s the reason I have some lovely things I barely, if ever, wear. I have made a resolution that I will wear my vintage navy blue pillbox hat by the end of this year – no more wimping out for me!! It’s hard, but I figure that I’m not going to let others dictate what I wear – life is far too short. So enjoy your raindrops! X

    • Liz / Jun 13 2011

      Clare S. I don’t think I’m gutsy enough to wear a hat either (besides winter hats), but you’re only gonna get encouragement from me to wear it! :)

  9. Stephanie / Jun 10 2011

    I had an interesting experience this year on St. Patrick’s Day. Let’s just say that I go to college and I wasn’t wearing green…. (you can read more about it here http://star-spangledheart.blogspot.com/2011/03/my-st-pattys-day-tradition.html) I definitely stood out. I think I’d have been less noticeable running around in a green bra and panties! But I love that outfit and I say good riddance to anybody who doesn’t. I’m not naturally an out going person (I’m really quite painfully shy!) but I like letting my clothes do the talking for me.

    There are some things that I’m still nervous about wearing out, but I just make myself do it. Then I’m out all day and I can’t exactly take it off. And it’s never really as bad as I thought it’d be.

    • Liz / Jun 13 2011

      Props to you for not wearing green!
      Chicago gets so crazy on St. Patty’s day that I stayed in this past year. :)

  10. Tasha / Jun 10 2011

    Liz, it looks awesome! I love it!

    I know what you mean, however. I already feel conspicuous with lots of tattoos, so sometimes depending upon what I’m wearing it makes me want to just sink into an invisibility hole. :)

    • Liz / Jun 13 2011

      For some reason, you’re the last person I would have thought would feel conspicuous of you’re tatoos and lovely vintage wear. :) You totally rock your look 100%, everytime I see a pic of you on your blog.

  11. Kris / Jun 10 2011

    I don’t love getting attention either, but I find that when I feel awesome (because clearly I’m wearing something amazing), I don’t mind so much. I also feel more comfortable when my clothes get the attention rather than my bosom! :)

    The skirt is absolutely adorable and you look fantastic.

  12. Mmagoo / Jun 10 2011

    I’m a knitter, and not a sewer, so usually the items I make are more accessories than clothes, but I know what you’re talking about. For me, it comes from the distinction between wanting to make things that look *handmade,* but not *homemade.* For me, the distinction is that “homemade” things have flaws that make it easy for a non-knitting observer to notice that it wasn’t bought in a store. On the other hand, “handmade” to me means something that is closer to art (for lack of a better term). Something that cannot be made by a machine, and was obviously done by hand, but still professionally finished and looks polished

  13. Sue / Jun 10 2011

    Your skirt is gorgeous! Yes, the red skirt will most certainly draw attention to you but only in the best way. You look fabulous.

  14. Stacy aka Stacybeads / Jun 11 2011

    Hi Liz, I just found your blog via Rhinestones & Telephones. Your skirt is adorable and it certainly makes me smile! I like to make clothes with crazy prints, and have made my husband lots of shirts with crazy prints as well. We get lots of compliments and no one seems to think our clothes are weird, but we both work in creative environments and hang out with other creative people. I might be more self-conscious about feeling like I was wearing a costume as one of your other commenters mentioned (Mexican outfit in Mexican restaurant, etc.) if the situation was too literal. Maybe it was just the rainy skirt on a rainy day that made people give you those looks.

  15. Liz / Jun 13 2011

    First of all, I’d like to say a big “Thank you” for all of your kind words about me and my skirt. You guys are the best and always know how to make me smile. :)

    I would like to comment on a few people’s questions back to me about the topic of “standing out”.

    I think it’s just me being shy that doesn’t like to be noticed… I don’t think it’s always a bad thing necessarily. I just felt like I was very ‘exposed’ when I was walking down in the subway in my white top and red skirt amongst a sea of greys and neutrals.

    While I think my personality tends toward the shy side, I won’t be letting this feeling dictate how I dress in the future, since I think I could stand to be a bit more outgoing and receptive to strangers. While I do continue to try to find balance, I assure you all this will not keep my from my love of all things retro and vintage.

    Life is indeed, too short, to worry what others think all the time and thanks for the reminder and positive reinforcement. :)

  16. Sarah / Jun 13 2011

    Just read your lovely comments on my blog – thank you!! The kittens are adorable and sooo little! I am beyond excited to have your permission to work on my own version of this stellar skirt! :)

  17. meli / Jun 15 2011

    Wow!! The hemming is amazing! I’m definitely trying that next time I do a lined skirt. I’ll be that took forever to do by hand, though. Props for patience and beautiful work!

    • Liz / Jun 15 2011

      Thanks Meli! I usually sit at my dining room table and watch a movie on my laptop while I do any hand sewing, so it becomes more of a treat than something conisdered tedious and labor intensive. I think it took me 1/2 to 3/4 of a movie to actually stitch it all up, which (for me) is fast since I think I’m a slow stitcher.

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