I can't have enough skirts - they are just the most versatile pieces in my wardrobe. You can dress them down or up, you can never get bored with skirts.
Prada, who is a truly skirt designer, said in an interview with New York Times:
"The skirt is a feminine symbol, and it's also something you wear every day. It's my T-shirt."I could not agree more, and so, even though I am planning to focus on tops this year, skirts are still high on my agenda.
This project-in-progress is a simple straight skirt, with the lace being the main attraction.
I bought this Chantilly lace at Komolka, my favorite fabric store in Vienna since my student years in Austria. It has been waiting to be sewn for a year now, and, finally, I am ready to cut into it and plan to use couture sewing techniques to make the skirt. I love good planning, and so here are some thoughts on the construction:
To begin with, I will back the lace with silk organza. I have done both, organza and double muslin-charmeuse backing on skirts and find that organza can withhold tension quite well. And I'd really prefer lighter feel to a skirt like this.
Since I am using a different, brighter hue of blue for organza underlining to bring up the lace, I may run into some issues with darts when several layers of fabric in dart intake create areas of a different tone. Now, I can treat this as a design element, or I can conceal that dart intake by sandwiching a piece of lining fabric in-between. At this point, however, I am not even sure whether that's going to be such a big problem, the lace pattern may conceal the darts on its own... but potentially this is something that needs to be checked before finishing the skirt.
I need a center back seam to be able to accommodate a slit, so the zipper will be inserted into that seam as well. I would have picked an invisible zipper (not a very couture treatment I am afraid), but the lace motifs are outlined with a very fine cord, and I am pretty sure that every now and then this cord will get caught in the zipper. In addition, the pattern is quite prominent, so even if I wanted to overlap it (you can see a fine example of this technique on Leisa blog) it would not turn out well. That leaves me with the only other option - hand-picked zipper.
Navy blue silk crepe-de-chine will be used as lining, making the skirt very wearable in hot summer months in Nicosia.
Finally, I will again make a faced couture waistband, with lace on the face side, and silk crepe-de-chine on the wrong side. Grosgrain ribbon will be inserted in the waistband to add stability to it.
I will try to document some steps, and if you are interested in one of these techniques I will be happy to make a tutorial, just mention what you are interested in in a comment here. I would also love to hear from you about your experience working with Chantilly lace.
Getting back to the subject of skirt...
"...Ms. Prada says she never gets bored with the skirt, and maybe that's because she does see it, in the end, as your basic rock concert T-shirt, to be dyed, printed, embellished. In the last few years she has experimented with prints made from digitalized images, and the results, when combined with lurid color or draping techniques, testify to her vision, as well as the skirt's surprising power."