I have nearly finished my Biki of Milan skirt.
I underlined the silk chiffon with silk organza, having joined the back piece due to shortage of cloth.
I considered a range of colours and fabrics for the contrasting waist band and pockets. I put it on Instagram and asked for advice. All got a vote or two, but the blue-pink chiffon at the end won hands down. I went with it and am pleased with the result.
I considered using the remains of a favourite, reddish pink 1980s silk shirt (a man’s shirt taken into fit). It had finally fallen apart in the wash. One cut down
sleeve was big enough to create the pocket linings. Such a nice old pattern, with its perforations and two differently sized pocket sides. You will notice I don’t have the pockets on the grain, which isn’t too worrying – just so you know it was deliberate to get the pockets out of one sleeve – I am even stingy when I am recycling cloth. In fact I feel sad throwing away silk, always acknowledging all the work the little worms had to put into make this lovely cloth.
I made the bound buttonholes with the blue Iris silk as I thought the pink might look a bit obtrusive. I like this one which came out with a bit of pattern in a blue patch. I enjoy bound buttonholes and in a really delicate fabric like this I think they can look really sweet. I used a small stitch and counted the stitches across the ends.
I actually haven’t made up my mind on the buttons yet. I bought three floral – possibly scabious – buttons in Chienvert in Brussels, but I think plain dark blue might be better. What do you think?
I like the skirt, but I can’t say I liked making it. It was a complicated and long-winded construction process and working with chiffon is not easy. I am not entirely happy with how I constructed the waist band (using 1″ tape, joined together, so it was soft but also solid enough, and I wrapped it with four layers of chiffon. The pockets only have one layer over the interfacing so they have come out a bit lighter. The button band has a point at the top which just doesn’t stand out enough. The button band and fold over pleat at the front was so fiddly and fussy and I am not sure it added much. In retrospect I like the skirt because the Iris silk is pretty, and a lined, mid-length, flared summer skirt with pockets is a wearable item. But the skirt was over-designed. I have pinned the “bow” at the waist band and it is needed to cover the press studs but it isn’t quite working. I honestly think if I had just stuck with a simple, traditional skirt with a zip, using these fabrics it would have been just as nice, and saved me hours of time.
Often, when I finish a pattern I want to make it again but better. I am “sew” over it with this one. I have probably put you off but if you would like it, do let me know. It is has about a 26″ waist (although mine is bigger), and the pattern includes the light blue skirt I had made already.
That’s all there is to it. Because I had underlined the skirt the hem is invisible. And the skirt is lined with some beige habotai so it will feel nice to wear. I might have finished it last night but it has been a long week and we are watching House of Cards so I will leave it until later today.
Only two more items to go now. And a whole month in front of me. Let’s see how it goes.