Saturday, 28 January 2017

Leopard Brocade V1247 Skirt

I had such success using the berry coloured triple crepe from Remnant Kings to make my Ailakki Jumpsuit last year that when Hazel contacted me to see if I'd be interested in trying out another of their fabrics I said yes please! A quick browse of the site and this amazing leopard brocade (actually ex-River Island stock) had jumped out at me. The good news for you guys is that there's currently a 20% off store wide sale running right now! Get on it quick if you're hankering for a piece though as the sale is to make way for the new spring collection.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Vogue 1247 Skirt in Leopard Brocade from Remnant Kings

I was really intrigued by this fabric as it looked to have some depth and interest which I couldn't quite work out online. I wasn't disappointed when it arrived. Its quite thick and loosely woven which gives it a wonderfully unusual crinkled texture. In fact it crinkles right up in the wash and needs a good press to flatten and stretch it out into shape again! That somehow sounds like a negative thing but I love it! To make it even more exciting the black of the leopard spots has a texture like chenille. The different colours are different textures and thicknesses of yarn all woven together to create the pattern of leopard spots.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Vogue 1247 Skirt in Leopard Brocade from Remnant Kings

I had been thinking about making a third Rosari skirt inspired by one I'd seen on the high street (I love that pattern and honestly don't think my wardrobe could ever have too many!). However, once the fabric arrived I decided it would be better suited to Vogue 1247 which is another beloved skirt pattern of mine after making a version from this amazing embroidered raw silk a while back. The Rosari has a beautiful a-line shape which I think best suits a fabric which is going to accentuate that with a little bit of a kick. This brocade has a wonderful softness to it which really moulds to the shape of the body so I thought the cut of the 1247 would make better use of it. My favourite feature of the Vogue skirt are those deep pockets concealed in the seam running across the front and something about the slouchy texture of the brocade really works for these.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Vogue 1247 Skirt in Leopard Brocade from Remnant Kings

I fitted the pattern the same way as I did last time I made it; using a larger seam allowance down the sides as my version of the pattern only has the size 12 and up when I ideally need the 10. The pocket sizes and placement don't change with the size so that method works out just fine. It also means I can get the fit spot on as the side seams are one of the last steps. I needed just a metre of fabric and had plenty to spare. The panelled style of the skirt means that all the pattern pieces are fairly small.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Vogue 1247 Skirt in Leopard Brocade from Remnant Kings

Its a nice and challenging pattern with lots of accurate sewing required to match up all those seams and get the binding looking nice and even. The construction method and instructions are fab though so no one should find it head-scratchingly difficult. I find this pattern so satisfying to make as it ends up almost more beautiful inside than out! Theres also something really lovely about the fact that you can't rush making this one. You need to go slowly and carefully and get lost in the process of making which I love. I am particularly delighted with how neat my invisible zip turned out!

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Vogue 1247 Skirt in Leopard Brocade from Remnant Kings

You may have noticed that as I did first time around I omitted the flap over of the waistband at the centre back. I've always found it tricky to get these spot on neat and tidy and prefer the clean finish of running the zip right up through the waistband. Perhaps I should put some effort into perfecting the other technique though! Theres a bit of hand stitching involved to get those insides looking as pretty as possible; both the waistband edge and hem are hand stitched down. I used as small a hem as I could manage (1/2") as this skirt does come up pretty short!! I forgot that I used the raw edge of the silk to create the hem on my last one and that gave me that extra little bit of length. I'm 5ft 3" so if you're taller you might want to consider adding a bit of length.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Vogue 1247 Skirt in Leopard Brocade from Remnant Kings

The fabric was pretty great to work with as it responded so well to steam, which being 100% polyester I was surprised about. I know some people shy away from poly fabrics as they have a reputation for being poor quality and not so nice to work with or wear, but there is a huge variety of them available which vary wildly in quality and type so don't tar them all with the same brush just yet! This particular one feels soft and gorgeous, both to handle and wear and I am glad I didn't pass up on it because of the fibre content. I'd recommend swatching polyester fabrics before purchase so you can give them a good feel. You might be surprised at some of the wonderful qualities they can have.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Vogue 1247 Skirt in Leopard Brocade from Remnant Kings

The lovely spongy, loose weave did mean that the fabric frayed EVERYWHERE in big chunks when cut so it was great that the pattern asks for all the seam allowances to be bound so I could keep this under control! Those chunky bits of chenille were falling out all over the place. I made my own binding from some cotton sateen in my stash. Last time I chickened out and used shop bought bias as the pattern requires so much but I bit the bullet this time as I thought the colours were so great together. Theres a richness in both the maroon and the rusty brown flecks in the leopard. I love that as many edges are bound as possible so that lovely contrasting colour runs throughout.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Vogue 1247 Skirt in Leopard Brocade from Remnant Kings

The brocade is a great weight for this skirt as something with less body wouldn't support the shape but you can't use anything too thick as there are a lot of intersecting seams which are made more bulky but the binding finish. It is a great choice for projects requiring a bottom weight fabric and could also work well for jackets but I'd say if you want to make something with real structure you'd need to underline it with something to give it a bit of crisp support as the nature of the weave makes this quite malleable.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Vogue 1247 Skirt in Leopard Brocade from Remnant Kings

I sort of surprised myself with this fabric choice as the leopard is quite bold for me but there's something subtle about the colour way and scale that makes me understand why some people class leopard print as a neutral (I'm looking at you Nicole!). I am so delighted with my decision and how I ended up using it. Its one of the most interesting fabrics I have come across in online fabric stores; the kind of thing that you might uncover in the depths of one of the stores on Goldhawk Road and know you've hit on a gem.  It can be so difficult to get hold of interesting garment appropriate fabrics sometimes, the kind of thing that RTW clothes are made of but Remnant Kings are really good at stocking this sort of thing.

12 comments:

  1. What a gorgeous skirt inside and out! I love the color of the binding you used. I have made this skirt myself, but I rather like how you ran the zipper straight up through the waistband.

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    1. I was really chuffed that I had that fabric in my stash to use for the binding, I knew there was a reason I held on to all those scraps! Its a great pattern isn't it? I do prefer the clean look of the zip on its own

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  2. I love this! And I'm not certain which is more beautiful, the inside or the outside.

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    1. I think I might prefer the inside! Haha. I'll have to start wearing it inside out! Thank you

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  3. I love leopard! The skirt looks amazing and the finishing, wow!! By the way, would you say that the fabric creases when worn? Thanks!

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    1. No I wouldn't say creasing is a problem at all. There is as I say a crinkled nature to the fabric because of the way its woven but that doesn't get any more prominent with wear, it just sort of gives a nice movement to the fabric and probably actually prevents creasing. It sits really well on me throughout the day.
      Thank you! I really took my time with this one

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  4. You are so right about modern polyesters -- they've come a long way and sometimes they're the perfect fit for a project.

    I love the leopard print, it is such a classic.

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    1. I'm glad you can see the positives about polyesters too! As much as I'm all for organic fabrics sometimes modern man made fabrics have properties and capabilities that amaze me.
      I thought the leopard was quite bold for me, but you're right its a total classic!

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  5. I think you've really done this skirt nicely! Love the detail on the inside, almost as much as the outside of the skirt...could you wear it inside out??? haha!

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    1. If I thought I could get away with wearing it inside out I absolutely would! I love the colours of the wrong side of the brocade. Thank you!

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  6. This is so beautiful and I LOVE it! I just got a serger, so I'm like "serge all the seams!" but your bound seams are SOOOOO GORGEOUS and it makes me want to give it a try.

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    1. I ABSOLUTELY understand the serging all the seams attitude, its taken me two years to start being a bit more inventive with my finishing again but luckily the instructions for this pattern reminded me to try something beautiful this time!

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I love hearing from readers of my blog so please feel free to leave a comment letting me know what you thought about this post/make! Any hints or tips to improve my sewing are always much appreciated too!