One of my favorite sections to browse in Mood Fabrics – whether I’m shopping in store or online – is their incredible selection of brocade fabrics. No matter your budget, fiber needs or color preference – I guarantee your perfect brocade is lurking in there somewhere. I don’t have much use for brocades in my admittedly pedestrian life, but that doesn’t stop me from perusing the new arrivals and requesting a few swatches with every order.
Which is how I ended up with this amazing Red & Black 3D Brocade from moodfabrics.com and I knew I’d have to find a way to make it work in my wardrobe. If this fabric looks familiar, it’s because Sarah Gunn also used it to make a party dress, although I didn’t see this until after I had sewn mine!
Brocade always screams PARTY DRESSSSSS to me, and I loved sewing + wearing last year’s Brocade Party Dress as well as the skirt I made before that, so I decided to continue the theme with another party piece! For maximum wearability, I opted to sew a skirt as then I’d be able to switch between different tops to change up the look. I didn’t want to make another circle skirt, so I spent some time thinking and researching before deciding to go with pleats set into a wide waistband.
I started with Simplicity 1873, using just the skirt pieces. The dress pattern does not include a waistband, but that was easy to draft (desired length + height(2x) plus seam allowances). I cut a size 10 with the longer length, and ended up letting out a couple of the pleats to get a good waist fit. I also ended up removing about 2″ of length when it came time to hem.
For added warmth as well as ease of wearing this with tights (a must when it’s cold outside!), I added a black silk Charmeuse lining, using the skirt pieces but omitting the pleats (I just folded them out before cutting my fabric). I also included inseam pockets with the same silk, so I could opt out of carrying a purse if I felt so inclined. The skirt closes with a center back invisible zipper.
One really interesting feature of this fabric is that it is already interfaced – giving it lots of body and a nice weight. The skirt is able to stay full without the use of any special undergarments, and the hem is simply turned and blindstitched (I didn’t need to use any stiffener at the hem as I have in the past). The brocade responds well to pressing – although it did smell musty whenever steam got involved (probably due to the polyester content) – and fraying was minimal, although I did choose to serge my seams even though they are covered by the lining.
Along with the skirt, I made a simple bodysuit to wear with it! I used Mood Fabric’s amazing Black Bamboo & Merino Wool fabric (currently out of stock, but this is regularly carried so check back as I’m sure it will be back!) due to its warmth, breathability, and 4 way stretch. I figured this would be a great underlayer for more than just my skirt – it looks fabulous with both pants and skirts, stays tucked in, and the high neck and wool content make it quite warm without being overheating.
I used two patterns to get this look – the top half is the Niko Top from True Bias, and I used the bottom half of the Nettie Bodysuit from Closet Case Patterns to do the bottom. I followed the directions as instructed, except I used picot elastic around the legs instead of the suggested fabric strips. I wanted the bottoms to have the least amount of bulk possible, for when I wear this suit with pants. The snap crotch is finished with silk scraps (the same charmeuse I used in the skirt lining, actually!) and has sew-on snaps.
I gotta say – I’ve never really understood the bodysuit trend, but OH Y’ALL I GET IT NOW. This is the *best* way to wear form-fitting underlayers that actually stay tucked in as you move around, and don’t show a weird roll right over your stomach or hips. Bonus, staying tucked in means they don’t creep up and expose your backside to the cold. It’s kind of amazing, especially for skirts. Get on it!
I’ve worn this skirt to a couple of holiday parties, and it has gotten some great compliments! The bodysuit has seen even more attention, as it works just as well with jeans as it does a miniskirt. I do have to apologize for the lack of, well, me in the photos – but despite my best intentions, I have not been able to get a good shot of myself in this outfit. So the dressform photos will have to do!
I hope everyone has a great New Year – I am so excited to welcome 2019 with open arms!