Wednesday, 9 October 2013

With reality: knit skirt


Today's skirt is brought to you from in front of the English paper pieced wall hanging, simply because I'm growing tired of all my photos being taken against a white wall and I thought you might appreciate a change too.


This skirt is made from Miss Matatabi's wonderful With Reality knit fabric. I spoke about it in this post, but basically it's a brushed cotton double gauze fabric that looks like a knit, but feels like flannel. It's a real head-twister and it doesn't get any less confusing once you work with it. When the fabric first arrived I still couldn't quite imagine how it would look once it was made up into a garment and it was only once I'd sewn the waistband and front panel together that I had a sense of what it would be like and began to feel thoroughly enthused by the wonder of this fabric.


This fabric is unlike anything I've ever worked with. One moment it looks so very truly knitted that I can't quite believe the contrast between what I see with my eyes and what I can feel in my hands and the next it looks impishly faux-knit. I had a very pleasing moment when I'd nearly finished this skirt. I was trying it on to work out the hem length and was wearing it with a grey fine-knit jumper. I asked my husband what he thought of it so far and he looked at me with confusion and said: both look really great, but which have you actually made? The look on his face suggested he didn't believe I'd made either. It had totally foxed my husband even when he was only a metre away from it, but what pleased me even more was that he had no idea whether I'd made the jumper or the skirt - my hope is to make things that blend seamlessly with well made shop-bought clothing. Mission, on this occasion, accomplished.


I placed the waistband so that the knit pattern runs in the opposite direction - I love this effect, although I'm not sure how visible it will be normally as I often wear my tops untucked.


I lined the skirt with what I had to hand - some lovely Venezia lining in a minty green. It wouldn't have been my first colour choice to go with this, but it grew on me and the skirt has a deep 2" hem, so it's unlikely anyone other than me will ever see it.



The skirt itself is my own pattern. I'm really happy with the fit of it, although it sits slightly lower on my waist than I'd like, which is the way all my skirts, shop bought or handmade, sit. I always know at the outset that I should draft a smaller waist, but then I get the fear that it may end up unwearably small, so lose my nerve and go for a waist that will fit, but may drop down a little for a being an inch or so too big. However, that is the beauty of skirts - they will usually fit somewhere in the space that lies 2" above or below one's tummy button (there is no nice word for that. The word belly makes me feel slightly unwell and navel feels overly medical).


My children have been fascinated by this fabric - they suggested it would make a great snood (probably triggered by a snood I have in an identical colour and knit pattern, but actually made from real wool), which it would. I actually wore my skirt out this afternoon: straight away, without leaving it to settle for a few weeks. I normally feel slightly self-conscious when wearing my own hand-made clothes - I find it feels something akin to walking down the street naked with my soul on show - does anyone else feel like this? I have so many ill-fitting, badly made shop-bought clothes, but because they're made by someone else I feel detached from this, yet I find even the slightest flaw or thing-I-could-have-done-better hard to let go when I've made it myself. However, this fabric is so curious that I feel somehow more confident to wear it, because my focus is on the fabric, rather than the fit or my sewing. 


You can find other 'with reality' fabrics, including this one, here. I love these faux wool dots fabrics. These fabrics are so warm and cosy to wear, lovely to sew with and fascinating to look at - I highly recommend them. 

Florence x

24 comments:

  1. I bought this fabric after reading your original post. I agree about the faux vs. real aspect depending how you look at the fabric. I was thinking of making a skirt too and yours looks so nice I think it's a definite now! The fit is great. What a perfect analogy about wearing your home made clothes. I do feel a bit self conscious as if random people can spot any mistakes I've made!

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    1. I'm so pleased you love it too - do let me know when you've made your skirt - I'd love to see.

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  2. Skirt looks amazing - I kept looking for the name of the pattern so I could make it myself! and I completely agree on the word belly, yuk!

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    1. Thanks, Kate. It often seems quicker to self-draft with something simple like an a-line skirt rather than going through the trauma of pattern fitting from scratch. Sorry not to have a pattern to share. x

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  3. it works brilliantly, a really stylish piece!

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  4. Fabulous skirt! I love the dotties too - thinking of a-line skirts for my girls, lovely with wooly tights to match the spots.

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    1. Yes, I'm really tempted by those dotties and had thought of it for my girl too.

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  5. I can't get over this fabric-- it's just so unusual and interesting! I love how your skirt turned out-- beautiful job!

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    1. Thank you - it is indeed the most curious fabric I've ever seen, but I think in a good way!

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  6. Whatever the fabric it looks pretty darn good from over here. Jo x

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  7. I love it. have a full length linen skirt that I have loved wearing all summer and I am really keen to make something of a similar style but with something other than linen for the winter months. Your skirt has just the fall and drape I would love and I think these fabrics look like they would be just perfect.

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    1. I hope you like them if you buy - they are gorgeous and so incredibly soft.

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  8. You are absolutely adorable and the skirt is amazing too! I love it!

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    1. Blushing. It was such a treat to sew with it - thank you so much for sending it for me, Frances. x

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  9. Ooo tummy so much better than belly... I appear to be from a tummy family though sadly my husband is from a belly one. Our poor child is most confused!

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    1. Yes, it's funny how words can cause a problem when you bring two family's ways together.

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  10. Hmmm... the important part of the comment appears to have been lost. I did mean to add just the perfect winter skirt!

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  11. Love the waistband with the cables running horizontally. I have the same issue with dressmaking generally- my fear of things being too small inevitably ends up with rather generously sized clothing, I'm working on that!

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    1. So pleased to hear you do this repeatedly too - it's so irritating (although obviously I'm not pleased that you're actually ending up with waistbands not quite where you'd want them)

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Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a message - it's always really lovely to hear from people.

I now tend to reply within the comments section, so please do check back if you've asked a question or wish to chat.

Florence x

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