Good afternoon, y’all! I don’t know about you, but my July absolutely flew by. In between houseguests and summer trips, this was one packed month. That’s especially true, when you factor in my favorite summer happening: the Romance Writers of America National Conference! Each July, 3000 genre fiction authors descend on one city and talk about our industry, books, and latest authorial gossip. With three days of business meetings and workshops, capped off by a fancy gala, it’s also a great excuse to dress up a bit.
Originally, I had planned to make a formal gown for the awards gala, but time got the better of me. Instead, I opted for a project that had long been rattling around in my head: a silk faille pencil skirt. After making a silk faille cocktail dress this spring, I fell in fabric love. Not only is faille an elegant, luscious fabric, but it’s also surprisingly easy to work with. Those categories so rarely intersect! Mood Fabrics also has a killer selection of silk failles to choose from, including quite a few designer bolts.
One such bolt was this gorgeous floral faille from Marc Jacobs, with shades of coral and blush on an olive background. Both it and its sister colorway, this perfectly autumnal maroon, are ideal fabrics for the fancier side of work wear. Y’all, it was seriously all I could do not to buy more yardage to make a whole floral suit! Wouldn’t this print make the sweetest little blazer?
As it is, I went with a classic pencil skirt pattern. I’ve been working my way through a few pencil skirt patterns recently, on the hunt for my ideal silhouette. This particular one is Butterick 5466, a darted pencil skirt with a faced waist, in lieu of a waistband. Because this print is pretty busy, I wanted a skirt that wasn’t overly pieced or embellished. It would be a shame to break this pattern up and, with such a large repeat distance, lots of yardage would be wasted trying to pattern match the fabric. 5466 is ideal for such a task. There are four darts on the front, four on the back, with only the side seams and a traditionally zipped back seam to concern oneself with.
From cutting to hemming, this skirt only took me about three hours to construct. That’s with the additional details of a hand-picked zipper and catch-stitched hem, as well. It was an ideal pattern to sew up in one afternoon. With such a busy summer, that was a godsend!
Even better, this fabric was amazing to work with. I cannot sing the praises of faille enough. It pressed like a dream, the darts blended in beautifully, and the hem became virtually invisible! The only issue to think about is that faille does have a tendency to fray, as soon as it’s cut. To keep this problem at bay, I used Fray Check on the seams after cutting, then pinked every seam on the inside. I usually opt to serge or use French seams in my garments, but this is one fabric that works perfectly with pinking.
In the end, I had the perfect skirt for RWA. I can’t even tell you how many compliments I received on it! There is nothing more gratifying than thanking outfit admirers, then following up with an “I made it!” It’s been five years since I began sewing and that still never gets old. Of course, they don’t need to know that the fabric was crazy fun to work with and the skirt only took a few hours. Some mystery has to be kept alive, after all…