Thursday, January 2, 2014

The Tale of the Yellow Skirt - McCalls 3341

Last winter Boden had a yellow wool skirt for sale; I really liked it, but the price, and the fact that I don't look good in yellow, kept me from buying it.  And then I started seeing yellow skirts all over the interwebs.  I mean everywhere. There is even a Yellow Skirt Gang which I didn't even know about until recently.  I decided my yellow skirt should be wool since winter is upon us.  My search for a suitable yellow wool in Richmond turned up nothing, and my relentless internet search was fruitless; yellow simply doesn't translate well on computer monitors - it always looks beige so you are unable to figure out how bright, how green, or how mustardy the yellow is that you are looking at.

So in December I had a business conference in NYC and I was determined to go to Mood Fabrics.  I tried to go last year when I attended the same conference, but I wasn't able to find the store and went to B&J Fabrics instead (where I ended up buying nothing because I was too overwhelmed by choice). This year I was prepared, and based on my Rome fabric shopping experience, I realized that having an action plan was key. During my interminable conference, I wrote up my shopping list:

1.  Yellow wool;
2.  A chambray-looking linen;
3.  Black eyelet.

Armed with my smart phone, I discovered Mood was opened until 7:00 pm, and I found it at the end of the day, skipping the elevator and walking up three flights of stairs, wearing my Gertie coat.  I was half-hoping Gertie would be there (how cool would it be to meet Gertie wearing the Gertie coat???), but alas, I saw no pink hair.

Yellow wool is easy to spot and I found the perfect mustardy yellow wool and bought 3 yards - all they had - even though I really only needed a yard for the pattern I had in mind.  I also found a good chambray-looking linen, but I struck out on the black eyelet.  Here's my haul:

My Shopping With A Plan worked; I was able to get what I wanted in the limited amount of time I had and the wool is an excellent weight.  Here's a close up so you can see the subtle weave:

So after about a year and half I had scored the exact yellow wool I had in mind . . . and then I went home to Cotton Creek, Alabama, and wasn't able to sew with it.  It was on my mind constantly, though, and the very night I flew back to Richmond, VA, I put down my suitcases and went straight to my sewing room and pulled out my TNT skirt pattern, McCalls 3341:

I have been using it for years - my pattern envelope has a copyright of 2001 - and it is still in print.  I would recommend that anyone looking for an easy skirt pattern consider this one, especially if you a beginner sewer.  It's a simple A-line skirt with only two darts in front and two in back.  No waistband, just a facing instead.  Right now, I have nine of these skirts hanging in my closet made in wool, cotton, and rayon.  I like view D, which is the red above-the-knee version on the envelope.

So here it is, an unexciting photo:

I wore it to work today with a black turtleneck sweater my mother gave me for Christmas, black tights, and black boots.  I figured as long as the yellow wasn't near my face, I'd be OK, coloring-wise:

You can see the wrinkling from sitting, but fortunately, the wrinkles don't last - this wool is very fluid and forgiving.

I really loved wearing this skirt today - it was my first work day of 2014, and going to work is always a little more fun when I have something new to wear!  The yellow is exactly as I envisioned it, and having such a bright fun skirt is wonderful for winter. 

I ended up lining it with the lining fabric I used in my Gertie coat since I had quite of bit of it.

I decided against using the yellow wool for the facings since wool can be itchy.  Instead, I used some of the leftover tablecloth fabric I used to make my 1970's skirt last summer.  All these different fabrics make the inside look pretty groovy, but I like the effect and no one can see them but me:

 The result is a comfortable waistband that isn't scratchy.  I think this skirt will get lots of wear this winter - the yellow goes well with navy blue, bright royal blue, and purple.  And I have a beautiful brown cashmere turtleneck (another Christmas present from Mother from a prior year) that will look great with it, along with some brown pumps when the weather isn't quite boot weather.

All in all, this came out as I envisioned, and I couldn't be more pleased.  And the best part:  I get to start working on my Tippi Hedren suit!


Vicki W said...

Very mod! I love it!

neemie said...

I have yellow skirt envy. It's such a pretty color and looks great with the black turtle neck and boots.

KimP said...

Thanks, Neemie! I found out about the Yellow Skirt Gang from your blog! I have serious coat envy regarding your McCall's blue coat. Here's to 2014 and new projects!

Angela said...

Oh wow, I love it. Looks lovely paired with the black. I have a yellow coat very similar colour to your skirt but that is the only piece of yellow clothing I own

Audrey said...

That is the perfect yellow for a winter skirt. It looks great with black, but I can envision it being worn with navy and some other muted colors too.

Meg @ Mood Fabrics said...

So glad you made it to Mood! Great job on that skirt and you picked a fantastic color.

KimP said...

Thanks, Meg! Tell Mood they need to get more yellow wool; I don't think this yellow skirt trend is going away . . .