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Jun 2, 2010

A man in a pencil skirt...



DRAWS lots of attention!  Get it?

Not something you see on too many other blogs, huh?  (Though Elizabeth just finished a lovely version complete with kick pleat here in a slightly nicer bedsheet.)  Honestly, after a kilt, I think a pencil skirt should be a staple in every fashion-forward man's wardrobe.

You'll b happy to l-arn that my "e" key is on its way to New York and should arrive any day now.  Just $4 with shipping -- a bargain for a major vowel.

What's that?  You'd like to see more of me in my pencil skirt?  Oh, OK....





Please forgive the orange zipper -- it was all I had (left over from my aborted 1953 dress project).

But wait -- there's more.  Yesterday I also drafted an A-line skirt (Lesson 2).





Perfectly respectable if nothing traffic-stopping.  I made this skirt two inches lower on top (just below my real waist); I think it looks more modern.

I used the opportunity to make my very first lapped zipper, which is much nicer than an invisible zipper if you ask me.  Invisible zippers tend to snag easily.  I picked up this technique from my vintage Singer sewing book and it's actually not hard.



My one criticism of Moore's pattern drafting book is that she doesn't get into clothing construction; she assumes you know how to do all that.

I think I need to go to the Salvation Army and pick up a well-constructed skirt with waistband to see how they're generally finished -- like should the zipper go up to the top of the skirt only and the waistband be closed with snaps or hooks (which is what I think) or should the zipper go to the top of the waistband?  Perhaps if there's some woman or skirt-wearing man out there who could illuminate me...

I don't really love the A-line skirt look but maybe Cathy might like it.  She generally shuns anything made out of a sheet and who can blame her.

There are about five more skirt varations -- circle, yoke, etc. -- in Lesson 2 and I'm thinking I'll probably do one or two more and then move on to Lesson 3: pants.  I'm feeling a little skirted out, frankly.

Oh, I received my zouave pants pattern yesterday!

I'd like to stitch up a pair and see what these things are all about.  Simplicity 4688 includes the pants, a shirt, a caftan, a jacket, a vest, a sash, a fez -- and they even show you how to make a turban!  It's out of print but it can be found.  I paid about $10 for mine, which was the best deal I could find online.

OK, time to get moving.

Happy sewing, everyone!

For your entertainment...

33 comments:

  1. Hoorah for Some Like It Hot! It is one of my all time favorites. I love the pencil skirt!
    As far as a waistband, there are a couple of ways to finish it. Unless you're using an invisible zipper, they never go to the top. I like to overlap and use either a button or a jumbo hook and eye.

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  2. All I can say is, I wish my ass looked as good in a pencil skirt as yours does!!!

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  3. this is just my uneducated opinion, but after running to my closet and peeking at about 20 or so skirts....

    The zipper goes to the edge of the waistband, and the waist band then has it's own separate closure, whether it be hook and eye, button, snap, tie or something else. This holds true for every single skirt I own whether the waistband is wide or narrow, "true" or implied, invisible zip or lapped, save one.

    Think of it like a pair of pants - the zipper never (or only very very rarely) goes past the waistband in those, right?

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  4. Thank you, Lisette and Binkydoll!

    Sassy Lassy, in the future, please say "fanny" -- this is a family blog. LOL

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  5. Wow - you look FANTASTIC in that pencil skirt. And a big part of me thinks that just isn't fair.

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  6. Whoa- north of the border in Canada and in the UK "fanny" means something quite different and even less family blog appropriate!

    Not sure if you are familiar with these blogs but they are all written by total sewing pros:

    thesewingdivas.wordpress.com
    behindtheseams.wordpress.com
    hungryzombiecouture.blogspot.com

    If you' re looking for sewing tutorials, check out the archives of these gals. They take sewing to a whole other level... Am pretty sure that there are waistband entries to be found.

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  7. hi, i am your new follower (that sounds a bit wrong). i just wanted to say - good work on the pencil skirt and that it is pretty impressive for a man to be able to really pull off the look. you should start a craze!

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  8. Man you look good in a pencil skirt (he he, good pun there eh?). That is so not fair!
    A line is smart too but not nearly as distracting.
    I agree with binkydoll. The big hook and eye are often called trouser hooks I believe (well UK lingo anyway). You can also use 2 hooks and eyes .
    I have one dress to show you so you can just nag about the other now:
    http://intheheyday.blogspot.com/2010/06/one-dress-for-peter.html

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  9. Just realized most of the skirts I own don't have a waistband, just the equivalent of a topstitched facing (and a bunch use a yoke). Some, not all, of those have a hook-and-eye, even so, but I never bother to use it. (but my closet is probably not the best source of well-constructed)

    Offtopic: Did you deliberately change the settings to eliminate Name/URL comments or Anon comments? I had to link this post to a lame blog I'm not using because I didn't have the basic Name option---I find that having to log into something REALLY reduces the likelihood I will comment, for me, because I don't like the lack of privacy from always being logged in in the background.

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  10. Hi Peter, just to let you know that fanny in Ireland means something far ruder than ass. We use that word for the front bits :-). Its true you look great in the skirt, very slim. I made a skirt today, Kasia, and in this pattern the zip is added into the waistband, and it sits very nicely.

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  11. So the look I like best is the overlap edge of the waistband matches the lap edge of the zipper closing. A little snap on the upper corner makes is lie snug against the underlap part of the waistband, although your skinny middle probably doesn't push out the top edge of the waistband like my middle-aged middle does!

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  12. My goodness but cross-cultural communication can be challenging!

    Daiyami, the comment settings are more limited now for reasons you can probably guess. I recognize this may discourage some readers from commenting, alas.

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  13. haha i love it! real men wear skirts :)

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  14. Hi Peter, your skirts are looking good. Most zippers go up to the waistband then a hook or button or whatever closes that, BUT you could always do the zipper all the way to the top - YOU are the designer, so it's your call.Or not do a zipper, do buttons or snaps - again, you're the designer. Big responsibility, yes?

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  15. Peter, I was hoping for a tech glitch, but thanks for the confirmation. I missed any recent unpleasantness, but it's a shame people can't be trusted with open commenting.

    I'll still be reading and enjoying even if I almost never show up!

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  16. Ha ha ha! All kidding aside, the skirts are perfect fits and I think that's the key! I don't have this particular book, but I do have many others like it. I'm going to give this a try soon I think! Great idea! Very excited for pants.

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  17. I use a zipper that is longer than I need for the closure. I put the zipper in, then put the waistband on and snip the too long zipper off when I do the waistband seam grading...does that make sense??? Anyway it gives a really nice finish to the zipper top and then I add a hook type closure on the waistband. I have lots of pants and skirts with this type of closure, usually with a curved waistband. Love your blog BTW..your humor....love it too. You keep me smiling.

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  18. You are wearing the HELL out of that skirt!! Your ass looks amazing!! I was just watching Some Like it Hot and couldn't help but imagine a remake with Robert Downey Jr in the Tony Curtis role. And maybe Steve Carell in Jack Lemon's. I could not think of single actress beautiful enough or sexy enough to fill Marilyn's shoes.

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  19. Sassy skirt!
    You would normally only run the zip right to the top of a skirt if it is faced - I have a done a tutorial if you need one.
    I'm an invisible zip fan myself, but can understand the use of lapped zips for vintage work! Can you stitch closer to that invisible zip? You shouldn't really see it from the outside, I actually use an ordinary zip foot!

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  20. A skirt with a waistband zips only to the top of the skirt, and the waistband is closed with a hook and eye, or a button. And I was going to say that your orange zipper wouldn't have shown with a lapped zipper application (which I only learned about 2 years ago...dopey me). I made a beautiful butter yellow crepe dress for my son's college graduation, and only had a tan zipper for it. No one knows except me, and my dearly beloved, who operates said zipper...

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  21. Fantastic! You pose with confidence :)

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  22. My invisible zipper tips: Interface the seam allowances in the zipper area. Keep the zipper in place with Wash-Away Wonder Tape (better than hand-basting or pinning, I don't know why, but it is). Use an invisible zipper foot--mine is metal, I don't know if that makes a difference but some people seem to dislike the plastic feet. It should not show at all when finished. It goes all the way to the top on a faced waist. If you have an actual waistband, then a lapped zipper is probably best, and you would finish it off with a separate closure as others have mentioned.

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  23. Well I love it lol. I had a question though I have been looking for a pattern you had called McCall's 3438 from 1972. Thats how I found your blog, do you know where to find that pattern, because I have yet to see it on ebay or etsy. I'm 19 and just got started sewing and wanted to make my own underwear thanks! Love your blog

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  24. this is my first time here and my first impression is just 'WOW'! the pencil skirt look awesome. and i really like you sense of humor :)

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  25. Thanks for all the tips, guys! Welcome Alviana.

    Uly, just keep looking on eBay and Etsy. It will show up eventually.

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  26. Lookin' good! For waistband finishes, you might want to check out "Professional Sewing Techniques for Designers"; it has a great deal of information on various methods (and some of the why's and wherefore's that one needs), and has become my "sewing bible" lately!

    ♥ Casey
    blog | elegantmusings.com

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  27. I ment to add to this, not just leave it at Hee Hee. I have made skirts where the zip goes to the top, or stops at the band, then has a closure. I think it really depends on the fabric and the style of the skirt. Anything goes I say, if it lays on the body nicely.

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  28. Nice pencil skirt! You are rocking as well as Bowie did, in one of his many incarnations.

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  29. That skirt is fantastic! And you look so good in it. I'm very jealous!

    As for the a-line skirt, I have a different technique than what your book suggests. It involves cutting out the dart, cutting up to the dart from the bottom of the pattern and doing a little swivel (that doesn't make much sense does it?!). I gave some instructions to a friend earlier in the year that was learning to sew and she posted a photo on her blog, 'Oui Cherry', so perhaps check out her 31 January 2010 post and you can see the photo of the instructions. It might make a bit more sense. Perhaps.

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  30. I always need a picture when trying to figure out sewing stuff. Does your Singer book cover waistbands? Other than fusible interfacing, I don't think the actual process has changed in 80 years. Although I don't turn under the unfinished edge of the waistband. I would normally finish it off via serger (or binding or the like) and "stitch in the ditch" from the outside. Do you have the Reader's Digest book, by any chance? I still find great illustrations there (and yes, I am the original owner of the first version of that tome-God, I'm old). There's also a revised version, I believe. And may I echo my fellow commenters-life isn't fair, but sheesh, you look good in that pencil skirt! Gee will I look that good in one if I draft it myself? ;-)

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  31. Do you have any pattern recommendations for a masculine A Line skirt? I'm looking for a patter that could work both around the house and for heading out to a club or party.

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  32. I'm a guy who loves to dress as a woman and pencil skirts are really sexy. They make me feel all woman. lol.

    By the way, you've done a grand job on your pencil skirt. It fits superbly.

    Simon Fletcher
    simon.fletch@talk21.com

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