Wednesday, 25 January 2012
My version of the Colette Beignet skirt
Some things you eventually accept might never happen and making the finishing belt loops or belt for this skirt may just be one of them. It almost goes without saying that this skirt has been made using the Colette Beignet pattern - I think it may be one of the most instantly recognisable and well-used sewing patterns ever produced - and every single version of it that I've seen fits wonderfully and looks fantastic.
I loved making this skirt - it's made up from about six (or is it eight?) highly shaped panels and seeing them come together is really quite magical; it's pattern-cutting awe in action. If there was ever a pattern that didn't just sing, but shouted, that the female form is not a two-dimensional shape it's this one. Its design is just so incredibly clever and feminine that it was worth making to witness that alone - every pattern piece depicts a nipped in waist and a curvy hip and bottom area.
When I made it last summer I was a little heavier and it was a perfect fit, it's slightly less so now, but still perfectly wearable and it remains the only item in my entire wardrobe that makes me feel a little Joan Holloway when I put it on (no, the resemblance isn't instantly apparent...but it's there in my head, damn it).
The good things: I like the style; it's a sartorial statement of my ability to line twelve buttons up in a row (yes, this does require celebration - I may hang the skirt from a flagpole outside my house despite the fact that only other obsessive stitching types would understand the point of it); it fits wonderfully with room to spare for a chocolate orange, so what's not to love? Mmm, actually quite a lot.
I think that most of my height (or what little there is of it) is in my legs. For someone not much taller than an eleven year old with little torso to speak of, I worry that a high-waisted skirt has the unfortunate effect of accentuating this uneven distribution of height and makes me appear to be a tube of leg with a head stuck on to the top of a couple of inches of body, which has only been added in for connective purposes and to save the inhabitant of the said body from having to carry her heart and other essential organs around in a rucksack. I'm not sure that could ever be a good look. Circumnavigating this by not tucking in one's top, thus lengthening the appearance of the torso and ability to house internal organs, feels like too great a crime to commit. I've tried it and my inner Joan Holloway flows straight out of my body and is replaced by a feeling that can only be described as 'unhappy grapefruit' (visually and mentally). With this in mind, I think it's more of a wearing around the house kind of skirt, but I still feel pleased that I've made it, particularly as I now harbour hopes (having studied the promo photos for the pattern once again just now) that if I had the belt loops and the self-fabric belt in the same colour as the skirt (rather than the brown plait belt in the photos) it would be an altogether more unbroken look and may work...what do you think?