Monday, 4 May 2015

Voila: Golden Jubilee Wiggle Skirt


Yay, I have a little Va Va Voom again to show you... this time it's a wiggle skirt refashioned from an amazingly 80s style golden glitter top:

These kind of refashions are my favourite because I feel like such a freaking legend planning it out and then getting a right fit and then thinking I have 'the vision' for *anything*, and what an amazing designer I am. And then, really...'s just a freaking skirt made from two rectangle pattern pieces. But still, it's a finished & wearable project, right?! A win nonetheless! But no fashion designer here!

The top comes from a Gippsland op shop... we went back to Australia for a visit in January and of course I had to do a rummage through a few stores, but it's just not the same as ten year ago... no vintage patterns, no fabric, not even good bedsheets for the 80s let alone 1960s! So when I op shop these days (not so much going on here in Shanghai, and that really is another story) I end up in the clothes racks like everyone else and just look for what has the most fabric. This sparkly number felt smooth on the inside, and stretchy enough for a skirt or leggings so grabbed it and brought it back home to the sewing room...

There are a million millions skirt tutorials for this kind of skirt online...  I ended up following this tutorial for a pencil stretch skirt (but do mind the spelling errors and the lack of photos), because of the larger waistband making the skirt longer or shorter to whatever the occasion. I would like to say I followed the measurement guidelines, but I didn't really... Here's how I 'drew' my pattern...

The bottom piece in that photo is the waistband already sewn. WHAT. It's there as a guide for how lean I wanted the hem bit. (What a dickhead! I might have made it a bit too lean, as it's *preeeeeety* tight around my lower knees!) So yeh, I used the overlocker, made a waistband tube, folded it in half with right sides together, then made the skirt tube (using the existing hem as my new hem) and attached the waistband to the skirt. Of course I overlocked half the wrong way so had to hack off about 2 cms to fix it (everyone does that right, without pinning first of course!) and then it was done.

I wore it to a tapas type dinner last weekend and it was FINE with my wedge heels and looks sassy. I cannot however take huge steps, I kind of toddle a little, so please don't ask me to run for the taxi in this. In Shanghai you take your shoes off before going to people's homes, so luckily this still looks cute enough with flats or no shoes. 

Lately, as I've started sewing again so frequently, I listen to music or podcasts, or watch some Netflix... and then my mind wanders... So I've been thinking about all my friends and all the people I've ever met... this happens a lot when I sew. It began when I first started learning to sew for myself, as I'd talk to my Grandma (she lived in the Granny Flat out the back of my parent's place) and show her what I'd made. Usually things were terrible, but she became a bit of a focus for me, and every time I'd reach for a pin, I'd think of something she had said. She's passed away now but I always think of her looking at my pincushion... and the way my mind wanders these days has spread from her to every woman I've ever met and I wonder what they're doing. Like right now. Sometimes I wonder about women I've never even met, like 'I wonder what Sarah Michelle Geller is up to today'...

Anyways, my mentioning this today, is because I am so happy my wiggle dress is actually so Va Va Voomish, because I was thinking about my friend Marieke and her darling Women of Letters while I made this one! Last Sunday, Marieke, Michaela & her WOL gorgeous girls celebrated their 50th Women of Letters Event in Melbourne and encouraged everyone to wear gold for their golden jubilee. And so, my golden skirt is a garment dedication (!) to Marieke! Love your work & miss you! x

If you haven't heard of the Women of Letters events, they are usually held in Australia but there are occasionally international events AND a New York City event! I would go to all of these every month if I could, and the ones I've attended in the past I now hold very dear to me... as it really is a wonderful moment in time that can't come by again. The afternoons are all about "the beautiful lost art of letter-writing" and usually include a selection of interesting women who write a letter especially for the event, and with a theme. What I find really unique (as a radio broadcaster, and because I'm a 'need access to everything all the time' type person) is that the Letter Reading Out Loud is not recorded... so I have to rely on my memories and feelings at the time when I think of these people.

There's something quite unique about being in the moment and listening and sharing the emotions of these letters. Congratulations for hosting 50 great events in Melbourne guys! Wish I'd been there for a cuddle in my golden jubilee wiggle skirt xoxo

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