Tuesday, December 16, 2014

TNT replacement pencil skirt in crocodile 'leather', Burda Easy AW 2008-2009, Tribute to Peter Pan's crocodile?

(I read that the recent 'live' update of the beloved Peter Pan musical starring Mary Martin in my childhood days was a complete bust. That is sad, but the fantastic original is out there on DVD. Let's hear it for the ticking crocodile!)

Sometimes, if you haven't been sewing with a plan, or even shopping with a plan, you find that something languishes in the back of the closet because it has no 'friends.' Some years ago, on a whim, I bought an expensive brown leather coat that went with nothing. Not only was it not in a stylish motorcycle cut, but on an off day, it made me look something like a Stasi interrogator from the 1970's.
(In case you're too young or whatever to know what that implies, you're lucky.)

I had also restyled the Ralph Lauren brown tweed hacking jacket my daughter found in a vintage store last year, but again, it got less wear than I would have liked, because it was missing a match for the bottom.

Not that I didn't once have a brown skirt. Some years ago, using a pattern from Burda Easy I had sewn up a skirt in antiqued pleather with a bronzy leaf pattern on it. But as you only get what you pay for, it has now lost all its sheen and, cracked and shabby, joined the 'rack of shame' with other overloved items I can't bear to let go.

(I just read that hoarding is a possible sign of impending dementia. If that doesn't motivate me to donate half my closet to charity, what will?)

 In better days...

So, I realized that I would get a lot more wear from my chocolate-brown genuine-leather jacket, brown tights, brown turtleneck, brown shoes, brown boots, and various blouses with brown notes, not to mention my Bobbi Brown lipsticks :) if I filled in the gap with a new hard-ass brown skirt.

All I could find was crocodile pleather. Now, frankly, there are a lot of textures I find alluring, but generic man-eating reptile isn't one of them.

Still, that was what I could find. So I used the same Burda Easy pattern as above, (eliminating pockets, bows, etc. and leaving off any facing, but attaching the lining to the upper edge and turning down. The outer 'fabric' was too substantial to include facings with darts as well as lining.)
and with some care, produced a new skirt for wintry, wettish weather. And here's a better shot of the 'crocodile' finish:

Here I am, above, in Nyon, committed to lunch  a la croc. with friends(Please ignore Nyon's weird orange street planters. It's a charming town otherwise, with a Roman Museum, lots of music and film festivals and very friendly people.)
 I made the skirt slightly longer than before to accommodate high heels on occasion. The skirt also had to be carefully calibrated at the sides, so as not to be left ripping out seams. Below is the fitting progress of a side seam at the butt level to find the best fit using what is, basically, fancy plastic. I pegged the skirt in at the hem one inch on each side. Glueing the hem up three inches wa also a bit of an experiment. The first glue was too liquid and in the end, a variety of Elmer's worked best.