BSM 2018-08-103 Red Umbrella Mini-Skirt
This is a project from Autumn last year. I made it for my birthday trip to Arima Hot springs with my friends.
The skirt comes from Burda Style August 2018, Swinging Sixties collection. Original is here. I loved the cool exposed zip and angled front skirt – a really interesting feature. I was originally attracted to the longer, office ready 102 version from the So chic collection, but I accidentally bought far too little fabric because…
Western/Japanese Fabric sizes
It seems that in the UK (and the US I guess) the standard fabric width available in shops is 140cm. Whereas in Japan 110cm or far more normal. Wider fabrics are available for upholstery but fashion fabric is basically 110cm only – I wonder why, since even western brands Liberty, Marimeko etc are all cut down for Japan?
Usually I compensate for the difference by getting 50cm or so extra – but this time I just forgot – so had to change plans with the project.
Another beautiful Japanese pattern of traditional bamboo umbrellas in red, white and brown on a black background. The colours to me, seemed very autumnal. It’s a busy pattern but not to distracting. I also bought the blue version and will talk about that project another time.
I bought the fabric from a local shop – but it’s also available here.
The fabric is that tough but light cotton yukata fabric that I do enjoy sewing with so much.
This skirt requires a special kind of zip. You need 25cm separating zipper, that’s also pretty. And when I started this project I figured that wouldn’t be too difficult to find. Well I was wrong, in the home of YKK (producer of 99% of the world’s zippers) I couldn’t buy one in any of my local shops.
So I had the choice of separable but ugly plastic, or inseparable but gold zipper. As the main feature of this skirt was the exposed zipper I really had to choose the pretty one. IT just means that now rather than a complete wrap skirt the bottom of the zipper is fixed and I have to wiggle the tight mini-skirt over my ass to get it on and risk the stitching each time. Not ideal – but it works.
Other than that the skirt was really easy to put together. Choosing how and where to attach the zipper to fit was a little tricky – I had to tape it on and wear it around my apartment several times before I was happy with the position.
I do like the skirt but having completed it and worn it a few times there are some things I wish I had done differently.
Busy fabric Vs cool pattern features
This is a recurring problem of mine – choosing fabric designs that mask the complex features of a project. In this case, the business of the umbrellas hids the zip and diagonal cut of the front skirt. I really think a plain fabric would have suited this project better.
I think it’s because I struggle to visualise how a piece will turn out – so when I’m standing there in the fabric store I get pulled to the fancy fabrics and away from the ‘boring’ plain options.
So my new rule: A Complex fabric pattern or a complex project – NOT BOTH.
This skirt needs a lining. If I’m wearing tights – and in Autumn I always was – it creeps right up. I had to keep tugging it down every few minutes or so – but I think that would be a pretty simple thing to add.
Fun pattern that shows off some great traditional Japanese fabric.