Saturday, August 01, 2015

Without A(nthro)pologie

When I first saw Anthropologie's Chambray Hanky Hem Skirt in person, I was sold! Unfortunately, the $118 price tag meant that the skirt was not sold (to me, anyway!). Not ready to be thwarted, I found some lightweight denim similar to chambray at JoAnn's and got to work. 

Well, that's not strictly true. I bought the fabric and then waited for a while, because I've recently been suffering from sewing paralysis. I have projects I want to do, with fabric ready and waiting. But I keep putting them off out of fear! Once I cut the fabric, once I start sewing, there is the possibility of failure. Never mind if it's a few dollars worth of fabric. I worry that it won't turn out, and therefore I don't even start. 

But this post is not about my psychological issues, it's about a skirt that I (eventually) completed.

My knock-off is far from being an accurate copy, but it has enough of the primary features for my taste! I opted to make the lower skirt in one piece, unlike the original. One thing I was not expecting to copy was the rear zipper. I have never done an exposed metal zipper before, though I've noticed they're "quite the thing" in recent years. A quick search in my zipper stash revealed a sturdy metal zipper in navy. I decided it was meant to be and went with it!

It turned out to be a favorite feature, and I'm really pleased with how tidy it turned out (thanks to wash-away double stick tape!).

Yes, the snap is copper. It's what I had! *wink* Also, notice the "seam" to the right
of the snap? That was a last minute extension necessitated by not making the tab
long enough. Sometimes the difference between success and failure is a "band-aid."
Just keepin' it real.

The pattern was pretty much made up on the fly, using my measurements and some basic math calculations (i.e., figuring out how big to cut the hole in the lower skirt portion, based on my hip measurements). I love hanky hem skirts, but a full circle skirt starting at the waist can look a little "bushy" in my opinion. Having the circle start at the hips seemed such a brilliant concept. By the way, this type of skirt is just a square with a hole cut in the center. It's a very simple design.

I used buttonhole elastic in the rear waistband for a snug fit -- with a few more pounds of baby weight to lose, I didn't want to invest in tailoring a skirt only to have it too loose in a few months! Unfortunately, it ended up a bit bigger than I expected. It works, but I do wonder if that will still be the case a few pounds from now. It would a nightmare to alter, because the inside yoke is self-lined and I did more top-stitching than usual. Fortunately, I don't tuck in any of my tops, so the elasticized waistband is never visible.

I did have to take in the hip area after attaching the "hanky" portion, because it was just too wide and made my hips look huge. I had already decided to take a "dart" in the circle at the side because the extra fullness wasn't needed near the hips, so I just increased the size of the dart. Fortunately it doesn't detract from the circular feel of the lower skirt.

The hem, of course, is the main feature of this skirt! Because I wanted my skirt a little longer than the Anthro skirt, I had to do a little finagling -- the longer the skirt, the longer the "points" become. I didn't really want them tickling my ankles! So I sacrificed a bit of "pointiness" for the sake of practicality, and trimmed the corners of the square down. The picture below will hopefully show that a bit:

As you can see in the next picture, this does downplay the whole hanky-hem concept a bit, but I think I'm quite comfortable with that.

In the end? I definitely prefer the lyocell (like Tencel) used for the Anthro skirt -- it's silky and has a gorgeous drape. But my fabric is just fine, and is remarkably lightweight. I also wish it was a bit more tailored, but considering the difficulty of construction (the way it was put together made it extremely difficult to alter once assembled) and the fact that my postpartum shape is still changing, I'm happy with the result. I've already worn it half a dozen times, so there's that!

No, it's not lopsided -- I'm just standing a bit funny! 

A new wardrobe staple for my rehabbed postpartum closet, and an effective cure for Anthropologie fever. Now if I can just conquer that crafty paralysis...


  1. Nice job!! I have enjoyed your skills of sewing for a while.

    I too have the crafty paralysis problem, nice to know I'm not alone. :0) I have my stash of fabric that is just waiting for me to use it, but the paralysis comes into play. Maybe part of the problem is that most of the time I don't have a pattern to go by, I'm just trying to make do with something I saw. However, sometimes I just say enough and bite the bullet and start cutting, so far so good. :0) Say, if you find a cure for the crafty paralysis, let me know.

    Have a great day,

    1. Carie,

      Thanks! I think you're spot on with the pattern thing -- I always want something "specific," which means either deviating from a pattern or coming up with something entirely new! Scary stuff, that. :-)

      I'll be sure to let you know if I find a cure!


  2. I really like the toned down points. To me it makes it more wearable looking.

    I'm totally with you on the paralysis. I think I have to move my craft room because I get so anxious I'm going to wake the baby I get nothing done!

    Thanks for the dose of inspiration!


    1. Yucchi,

      Yes, I'm quite satisfied with the toned down points! I don't feel self-conscious about them when I'm wearing it (which means I actually *do* wear it -- quite often, actually).

      Ah yes, waking the baby would not be an ideal consequence... hope you are able to get that sorted! Here's to sleeping babies. :-)



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