Wool, Silk, and Leather Luxe Fumeterre

I started this skirt at the beginning of the year. I meant it as a replacement of an old high-waisted wool maxi skirt that I loved in theory, but I had made it so long ago that the shoddy construction I used back then drove me crazy now. I used Deer & Doe’s Fumeterre skirt pattern for a replacement wool skirt. I certainly could have drafted my own 8-gore maxi skirt, but I just couldn’t get over those delicious front pockets. Again, I could have figured them out on my own, but Eleonore had already done the work to get the proportions perfect and I like to support indie designers so I went ahead and bought the pattern.

This is a very deluxe skirt that also happens to be quite frugal. I used a gorgeous wool crepe that I picked up at the thrift store for $2/yard, a silk crepe de chine to line the skirt that I picked up at that the thrift store for $2/yard, and leather scraps to accent the pockets from a leather jacket that I picked up free at a swap meet (the rest of it became leather stuffed snails). I’m lucky that such gorgeous fabrics appear at the thrift store on my island so cheap – one of the perks of rural living!

I made a few small changes to the construction so that I could fully line it. I made the fly facing out of the lining (interfaced, of course) since I didn’t want any wool against my skin. I hand stitched the lining down around the fly – although there are tricky ways to do it all by machine, I figured it would be easier to just do it by hand since both the wool and silk were pretty shifty to work with.

I also lined the pockets which is just one more nice little detail that makes the skirt cozy and luxe.

The only thing that I haven’t done yet to this skirt is to add elastic into the back waistband. I’ve continued to lose weight since starting this skirt and the skirt was designed to have elastic in the back of the waistband anyway, so it droops a little bit. In all honesty, I kinda forgot to add it :) I wanted to get the skirt as close to done as possible (including the zipper and button) so that I could get the fit perfect. And then I just kinda went and finished up the skirt without ever adding the elastic. Oops. There will be a bit of seam ripping soon.

I’m really happy with this skirt. I think it’s going to be a really practical thing to have in my winter wardrobe and it feels ever so luscious to wear. I love how it skims my hips and I always love a high waist and a maxi skirt. I probably keep saying this, but I find it interesting that the less sewing time I have, the more I want to spend time on the projects and make them perfect. Maybe the lack of time and the desire for perfection are just correlated (remember folks, correlation isn’t causation), but I would have guessed that they would be anti-correlated at the very least. Oh well. My brain works in mysterious ways, even to me.

Despite what it looks like in the photos, the hem is even, I promise (and sits about 1/2″ above the floor in bare feet). I was on a slope and moving around when I took photos (the taking of which makes me want to not sew anything more that is black since it is so hard to photograph!). I just finished the skirt, so I’ve only worn it once. I paired it with my 1939 bobble sweater that I recently dyed from its natural beige to a light grey. It (along with the wool skirt that inspired this make) was another casualty of my recent wardrobe examination. I realized that I rarely wear it since I just don’t like wearing beige, no matter how much I’m drawn to un-dyed yarns. So I went ahead and dyed it. I pitched it in a pot of black dye, figuring I’d like it no matter what shade of grey/black it came out, as long as it took the dye evenly. I knew it was easy yarn to dye since I’d previously dyed the same yarn for needlepoint and I think it turned out well. I was a little worried about it looking off with the skirt because they are too close in color but not quite matching, but I think the leather contrast on the skirt pockets really help me get away with it. That and my new grey suede shoes peaking out from the bottom. Though I must admit that monotone black isn’t my usual jam, so I’ll probably normally pair it with a brighter top.

Comments 6

  1. That skirt is gorgeous. You really did a professional job on it and the lining looks “factory”. In the photos, the sweater looks almost purple vs. grey and it looks good too. I’d love to make something like that, but in this South Texas heat (it’s March 17 and will be nearly 80 today) I would never have an opportunity to wear it. If/when you add back elastic, I’d like to see how that’s done on a woven waistband. Do you have to make another one so it has “give”?

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      Adding elastic into the back is really easy. You slit the waaistband lining at the side seams, thread elastic into the back half of the waistband and then stitch the elastic down at the side seams. No need to change waistband fabric because the goal is to make it smaller not larger. It’s okay for the woven to gather and it won’t be asked to stretch.

  2. Just lovely! I’ve been thinking of maxi skirts recently and your gorgeous one is giving me a nice extra nudge. Wool crepe seems like the perfect fabric for it!

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