Earlier this year, I attended a conference for my PhD work in San Fransisco, staying in a location near Union Square. Even though I spent four summers in the SF area, I’d never explored this area, but on my way to and from the conference center, I poked around a bit, stumbling on to Britex Fabrics, a fabulous fabric store. Apparently they’ve been there a long, long time, but I did not often go looking for fabric in SF. It’s also likely that as an undergrad I was on the look out for cheaper fabrics than one can find here. The quality and quantity of fabrics is amazing – 4 floors of fabrics and notions! After wandering through the store with chocolate ice cream covered fingers and touching nothing, I came back with clean hands and took my time looking through the fabrics. My grad school budget is still small for fabrics and I like to hunt for sale items, so I combed through the upper floor shelves containing the end-of-bolt fabrics. They may not have been on sale all that much, but it was easier to look through the variety of fabric types in one floor, as opposed to spread over two larger floors!
I found a very interesting stretch woven cotton fabric and while it was on the high side of my budget, I kept returning to it, even a day after I first found it. I can’t even remember how much yardage it contained, but I think it was less than 2 yards. I had an idea for a crop top and skirt out of the material, but because the fabric was so wide, I ended up getting two skirts and a top out of it 🙂
I had my summer trip to NYC in mind when I was designing these garments and I am so thankful that the awesome Tasha could take these photos. If I could change anything , it would be to bring in the sideseams and/or front dart to make the hem of the top fit a little closer to my body and recut the top neckline area to help it lay flatter against my collarbone. I did the thing you’re not supposed to do and made a quick mock up out of muslin, which has a totally different drape than my actual fabric, so I was tricked into thinking everything was okay around the neck. If you look close, I actually totally forgot to put some hooks and eyes in to close the waistband of the flared skirt…Since the flared skirt was the bonus skirt, I wanted to use what notions I had at home and not make another trip to the fabric store, thus the black zipper. The inside of the waistband is faced with grosgrain ribbon that came tied around my recently-purchased living room curtains; it is also dark colored, but not as noticeable. Because I did not line the skirt, the bottom of the ribbon covers the waistband seams and hides them/keeps them from fraying. This did involve doing a technique called ‘stitch in the ditch’ to finish the waistband, which is not the easiest, but works well if you stitch slowly. The pencil skirt I drafted from my own sloper and major thanks to A Fashionable Stitch for posting instructions on how to add the vent! I did take care to try to line up the fabric colors on the skirt side seams and I like the way it turned out.