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June 29

Gabriola Skirt: It’s lovely but…

Every spring I get on a maxi skirt kick.  I’m not sure why, but every spring I find myself hunting for the perfect long skirt pattern to make up.  This spring was no exception.

Gabriola Skirt

I actually started on this skirt pattern late last fall and the fit wasn’t quite right.  I set it aside while I worked on some other garments and let it languish.  But the spring itch for a long skirt kicked in and I figured, I might as well finish my gabriola skirt that I had started.

Gabriola Skirt

I bought this fabric from my local fabric store and its to die for.  It’s wool & silk blend, with a twill-ish style weave.  It results in the most supple but drapey fabric.  The color is just another bonus; I’m pretty sure I would have bought this fabric no matter what color it happened to be.  In real life its a purple/blue kind of fabric – it changes color based on the light.  In short – its the bees knees of fabric.

Gabriola Skirt

When I tried on my skirt this spring, it was too large.  To get it to fit, I had to majorly reduce the side seams at the waistband, which resulted in a funky angle at that side seam – instead of a nice smooth waistband.  Lucky for me, non-sewers rarely notice seam lines and no one has been the wiser.

Gabriola Skirt

The other thing I noticed was that I found I had removed too much length from the hem.  I could only serge the seam and turn it up once (1/4″ hem) and you can still see the serged stitching from the inside of the skirt. Ack!  Not sure how I managed to do that given my short stature.  I can only wear flats with this skirt now, which isn’t a huge deal…

Gabriola Skirt

I had to majorly lighten these two detail images so you can see the yoke style lines.

Front View:

Gabriola Front Yoke

Back View:

Gabriola Back Yoke

As you can see, I added in my own lapped zipper, as I really loathe invisible zips and avoid them at all costs.

Lets get to the crux of my blog title for this one: “The Gabriola skirt: It’s lovely but…”

It’s exactly that with a big “BUT” at the end of the sentence.  I love the fabric, I love the swish factor, but…. it really doesn’t feel like ME.  I’m not sure what I envisioned with this one, but the style really feels off.  I feel like I’m wearing someone else’s clothes when I put it on.

I know I have been sewing up some more modern garments as of late – but this feels like I’ve crossed the line between ME and too modern/stylish.  It’s a hard feeling to have, given I love this fabric so much.  I put a decent amount of work into this skirt in order to get it to fit right.  So this conclusion is difficult to come to at the very end of a make.  As nice as it is, it’s just not ME.

Gabriola Skirt

I wore this skirt to work once and got some nice compliments on it.  I’ll probably wear it again on my “didn’t feel like shaving” days when the weather gets cooler again.  But I have to say, I’ve only worn it the one time and its not something I gravitate towards given the option of something else in my closet.

It’s really just too bad… but it’s my own fault in the end.  I feel like I should have known better – and I’ll be counting this in the ‘learning experience’ category of my sewing projects.  Lovely fabric doesn’t make up for a design that doesn’t reflect who you are.

Has this happened to anyone else???

  1. llynnda / Jun 29 2016

    I love the skirt on you. It gives you height and if you would wear a top(sweater, blouse, jacket etc.) that is a wee bit longer you would look even taller and slimmer. However, I know what you mean by “feeling” its not you and I also know, no matter what, any positive comments , are just not going to fly.

    But I still say , you look lovely,

    • Liz / Jun 29 2016

      Thanks so much Llynnda. I do appreciate the nice comment. :D I can honestly say, I think this skirt is flattering on me; it nips in my waist and shows off my curves really well. The back view is the best, imho.

      But… I feel so much more comfortable and “me” in my recent shirt dress (modern pattern too) than I do in this skirt any day of the week. I’d totally be giving this skirt away if I knew of someone else that was 4’11”. heh Anyone taller and it would cease to be a maxi skirt.

  2. kristicraft / Jun 29 2016

    That fabric is amazing, and I seriously love that color. Worst case scenario, maxi skirts can be pretty good sources of fabric. I’m sure you could get enough fabric out of that for a more vintage-style top you’d actually love. Or if it’s too bottom-weight, maybe some shorts or even just a shorter skirt. :D

    • Liz / Jun 29 2016

      Yeah… Kristi that was the first thing I thought of too. But with all of the seam lines in this, it makes it really challenging to make something else out of it.

      I’ll probably still wear it to work every now and then, but we’ll see.

  3. Tasha / Jun 29 2016

    It’s so pretty, but I totally understand the “this doesn’t feel like me” thing. I’ve done that many times. I mean, the good news though is you’ll never know you love or hate something unless you try it, so it’s probably something you can cross off your list. (Although if you’re at all like me, that won’t stop you from occasionally exploring almost the same thing again in the future and thinking “but maybe now…” Maybe explore a different maxi length style that is more you, or in a dress format? I have a couple of 60s and 70s Hawaiian maxi dresses that I love, but they still kind of walk the line between modern and “me”. It’s also difficult when you try something on and others love it and try to convince you why it looks great on you (I’m telling my own future here with something I just finished)… at the end of the day if you don’t dig it, that’s what matters!

    • Liz / Jun 29 2016

      Luckily I haven’t done this before. More often than not, my weight fluctuates or my preferences do and I have fallen out of love with garments & fabric. I think I forced this one and regret using this fabric on it.

      (I have a maxi dress I need to finish up that I’m totally smitten with! so I know there’s long styles out there for me.)

      Hmmm I’ll have to wait for your blog post to see what you just made up that you’re not crazy about. Honestly, it’s nice to know, this has happened to others and that I’m not alone.

      • Tasha / Jun 29 2016

        I’ll save you the wonder– cheetah print pants. The same Butterick pattern I’ve made a slew of, and they’re really cute, and I thought “ooh patterned pants, this will be so great!!” but I’m kind of like… why the hell are my legs so busy / this felt “me” in my head but doesn’t look “me” to me. Ha ha. Maybe I’ll grow to like them, we’ll see. ;) Looking forward to seeing the maxi dress of which you speak!

        • Liz / Jun 29 2016

          Ahh yes I saw your cheetah fabric on instagram, it’s a cute print. I can’t do prints or plaids on my legs – its just too busy for me. Are you gonna post them anyhow??

  4. strange yarn / Jun 29 2016

    Have you considered shortening the skirt to a midi or just below the knee? It would be so cute paired with a patterned blouse.

  5. Sarah / Jun 29 2016

    That color!

    If it’s any consolation, I seem to do this often. I buy a fabric that I love thinking that it would make x y z garment, then later say, “What was I thinking?”

    How about shortening it to your favorite length?

    • Liz / Jun 30 2016

      I know – the color is so saturated and luscious. I wish I had more of it – but there are always more lovely fabrics to find out there.

  6. Lynsey / Jun 30 2016

    Your skirt is lovely, the fabric looks lush but understand how you feel, that’s the difference with rtw clothes and try before you buy which is so much easier than sew before you try. Would shortening it to a knee length help? They’d be far less swish going on, I love the look of the jumpsuit trend and I’m tempted but pretty sure I wouldn’t wear it.

    • Liz / Jun 30 2016

      It’s not really the length that bothers me – I love the swish. But it’s more the yoke and style lines… makes it too modern for my liking. Sounds silly… but the whole design is what’s not “me”. heh I wish I could just shorten it and have it be fine, but sadly I’m sure I’d feel the same way no matter what length it is.

  7. Akram Taghavi-Burris / Jun 30 2016

    The skirt looks so comfy, great run around town outfit. Glad you finally deiced to make it. The colors as well as the whole outfit looks good on you ;)

  8. Rachelle Crosbie / Jul 1 2016

    I’ve made things like that before too, I’ve got a lovely full circle skirt that I rarely wear. It looks best with a full petticoat under it and although I adore the look it just feels wrong on me. I still wear it very occasionally, but I’ve got to be in the right mood; I actually feel more comfortable in my 1775 era polonaise dress than I do in the 1950’s skirt!

    • Liz / Jul 5 2016

      Yes! I love the look of a circle skirt on others – but it looks just rubbish on me/my figure. I’m much better off with a 1/2 circle skirt myself. But I do hear you on the sentiment of wearing something that doesn’t feel “right”.

  9. Lisette / Jul 1 2016

    Those type of projects are so frustrating. I’ve had a lot of them! The skirt looks quite beautiful in the photos. Could you maybe pair it with a 1930s style top? It does fit into a late 1930s silhouette (the swish seems very Ginger Rogers!), and you could always shorten it.

    • Liz / Jul 5 2016

      I’ll have to try this… I do have a little white blouse that I could try pairing with this skirt. We’ll see. I just packed it away as it is too heavy a skirt for summer-time wear, with the wool content and all.

  10. K-Line / Jul 3 2016

    I totally understand where you’re coming from. BTW, I think, if you modified the proportions slightly, it would fit your petite frame even better. May not be the kind of style you love, but it might feel more “you” at that point.

    • Liz / Jul 5 2016

      Thanks Kristin. I love that you’re commenting while you’re off on vacation. :D

  11. Annabelle / Jul 11 2016

    I wonder if it feels more you now that you’ve had some time to mull it over? Sometimes it takes me a few wears to make something feel like it belongs in my wardrobe. It looks lovely on you, and the color is pure gorgeousness. Perhaps the right top could make it more 40s? Though I guess it would be evening 40s rather than daytime 40s, which is more your style.

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