When I was visiting the Mood Fabrics store last month in New York, I had no intention of even stepping foot in the wool section on the top floor. Don’t get me wrong – I love wool, and I ESPECIALLY love wool crepe, but as Tennessee rapidly approaches summertime weather at breakneck speed, I was afraid I would have little to no use for a big piece of cozy wool until much, much later in 2013. And I don’t know about you, but I don’t want stuff my gorgeous fabrics away in a bin until the seasons flip – I want to sew it nowwwww.
I had already made up my mind, but Carolyn had other plans for my shopping. She coaxed me up to the third floor, where I followed her lead over to the wool crepe section and we discussed how much we loved this stuff and how fantastic the color selection was. I mentioned that wool crepe wasn’t suitable for Tennessee summers, and wasn’t it a bummer that I wouldn’t be taking any home during this shopping trip?
Then I spied the yellow bolt at the very top of the shelves, and it had to be mine.
Since this kind of saturated yellow doesn’t do favors for my coloring, I decided to make it into a skirt so there would be plenty of space between my face and the yellow. I felt pretty silly making a wool pencil skirt just as we’re creeping into 75* days – I mean, I’ve always thought of wool as a winter fabric (and I’d guess that a lot of people feel the same way). The best coats are wool – why would I wear wool in the summer heat? Isn’t that just asking for a sweaty disaster?
Carolyn reassured me that while I may not want to wear the very heaviest fabrics during warm months, wool is actually quite lovely for summer. It’s very breathable, and since crepe is so lightweight and spongey, it’s the perfect choice for summer suits and separates. And honestly – it doesn’t take much convincing for me to sew up wool crepe. It really is a wonderful fabric, and the colors are so brilliant. Editor’s note: The designers who shop at Mood always gravitate toward our wool crepe–it’s one of their favorite fabrics. It’s wearable nearly all year-round and it presses and sews like a dream. Take a look at some of the single-face wool crepes we have here for $14/yard.
So here’s my little wool crepe pencil skirt for spring – in the kind of bright yellow that would almost be embarrassing if it wasn’t so awesome. But sit back down for a spell, there’s a lil’ surprise in the back…
… a circular flounce insert! I call it a party in the back, my boyfriend calls it my tail. Either way, it’s a fun little addition to jazz up an otherwise plain pencil skirt (well, as plain as a *bright yellow* wool crepe pencil skirt can be, I suppose!).
This pattern is Vogue 8317, which I received during a sewing swap (also while I was in New York – thanks, Oona!). Just based on the envelope art, the pattern is a bit dated looking (I originally thought it was from the early 90s, but the copyright date is 2006), but the line art showed promise. I made a 10, although I probably should have done a smaller size as I needed to take in quite a bit at the waist. I also shortened the skirt by about 2″ before cutting into my crepe.
The skirt is fully lined with Bemberg rayon. I originally wanted a bright yellow like the crepe, but there wasn’t any in the store when I was there (nor was there any white – at least not in rayon!), so I ended up getting a light peach that is very close to my skin tone. Surprisingly, it picks up quite a bit of the hue of the wool and almost looks like the exact yellow I was trying to obtain. Love it when that happens!
I also made my bow-neck blouse, using polka dot cotton batiste (from Mood, of course) and Simplicity 4676, a vintage pattern. The batiste is quite sheer, so I underlined the body with white batiste. I love this stuff – it’s incredibly soft and lightweight, and the black and white pin dots go with EVERYTHING. Seriously. I will probably end up wearing this top all summer, it’s so good! Editor’s note: Here’s a selection of cotton batistes available online at moodfabrics.com.
I made this outfit to wear for Easter dinner with my family, but I can definitely see myself wearing it all throughout summer, as well as pairing up the individual pieces with different tops and bottoms. And in case you were wondering, wool crepe gets two thumbs up from me when it comes to summer wear. Just make sure you pair it with a lightweight, breathable lining, and you can wear this amazing fabric year-round.