Another garment that is not a shirtdress!
This is the Cressida skirt, from Jennifer Lauren Vintage. It’s a button-down semi-circle skirt with a faced waistband & side-seam pockets. I went with view B (a single row of buttons) & sewed it up in blue pique, which has interesting mid-weight drape. I’m wearing it here with my shirt tucked in, which is 100% never how I will wear it for anything other than a blog photo (though it looks okay in this one picture). Nothing against the skirt, which was surely designed for tucked-in shirts. The tuck is just not my personal jam. I also eliminated the belt loops because I hate belts.
The JLV size range is not the most inclusive. I went with the largest size, 20, which is sized for a 38″ waist. & this skirt is designed to be fitted. According to the finished garment measurements, there is only half an inch of wearing ease in the waist. My waist is 39″. I took a chance & cut the size 20 with no alterations because there is a little bit of stretch to my fabric, & I hoped the stretch combined with putting my buttonholes as close to the edge as possible might enable me to avoid alterations. Which…in retrospect, was totally dumb. It would have been so easy to just add another half-inch to either side of the waistband & front skirt pieces. Easiest alteration ever. But it all worked out in the end because there are a few other fit issues & I have better ideas for how to address them & add more room in the waist for future iterations.
Yeah. So. I whipped up my skirt & it all came together really quickly & easily. If you’ve ever sewn a button placket or a faced waistband before, you’ll be able to make this in your sleep. & if you haven’t, this is a really easy pattern to learn on! I did a test fitting before I did my buttons & buttonholes, &…yeah. It was too small. So I went with my plan to eke out more space by doing horizontal buttonholes down the placket & putting them toward the overlap, & then putting the buttons close to the overlap on the other side. & the result was…still too small. Because duh. I needed the extra room in the waist & not anywhere else. It’s a circle skirt. Obviously it was going to fit my hips! I could get it buttoned. It just wasn’t really comfortable. So I put it aside for a while & considered how to proceed.
Here’s a photo of my not-beautiful but totally functional solution. I unpicked the waistband at the side seams & sliced the waistband apart. I took a little bit of elastic (like 1.5″) that was, miraculously, black like my buttons & the exact same width as the finished waistband, & sewed it into the gap. I sewed the facing back into place with the other side & topstitched the exterior waistband on either side in a futile effort to make it look a little more profesh & intentional. The final result will not be winning any beauty contests, & may undermine some people’s beliefs that I know how to sew. But it works! The skirt is now a perfect fit & totally comfy. I also moved all my buttons to the far edge of the placket so that the interior placket is covered when the buttons are done up. Because that was another big fail element of trying to cheat more room by moving buttons & buttonholes. The edges of both plackets were exposed & it looked REALLY homemade. I mean, even more homemade than this whole elastic situation.
The pockets gape a little bit now, but I love that fabric so whatever. & a note on the unbalanced waistband: one of my hips is 2″ higher than the other, so I will pretty much never have a level waistband. My waist is actually not level. So I worry less about that & more about trying to have a level hemline. Tragically, the hemline in this photo is also a little *sad trombone* because I’m standing with a knee cocked. I am so good at taking blog photos! I really know how to showcase my skills!
It’s a bit wrinkled here because I’ve been wearing it. & also because pique is like, “Oh, I’ll just hold on to these wearing creases forever, if that works for you. The iron does nothing!”
Unbuttoned. Those sad buttonholes. They look like they’ve had such hard lives already.
& I must warm you…the next photo is an inside view of the elastic fix. I advise you to scroll quickly or have eye bleach at hand.
Yeah. So that’s a thing. Let’s move on.
Despite the fact that I am not super-thrilled with my finishes here (to say the least) & I tried a few things that really did not pan out for me, I am still pretty happy with the finished skirt. I wore it today & my friend Rebecca totally assumed that it was store-bought. It doesn’t completely pass the “practical for a mom lifestyle” test. It did fully blow all the way up to my shoulders while I was with Ramona at the playground. Thank goodness we were the only people there, & my underpants aren’t something Ramona has never seen before. We’ve been trying to potty-train her for an entire year now. It’s to the point where I basically REQUIRE an audience in order to pee. & the whole incident was overshadowed a few hours later when we were at a different playground with one of Ramona’s toddler friends, who fully stripped naked & peed on the sidewalk.
The bottom line is that I do plan to sew this pattern again. I’ll add about 2″ to the waistband & uppermost portion of the skirt, & I think I’d benefit from adding that extra space in the back–kind of a reverse dart situation. I got some pretty purple pique on mega-discount (like $2 a yard) because I like the weight of this skirt. It’s definitely a transitional weight–way too heavy for summertime. But it’s great for slightly cooler days when I feel like being a little bit fancy & don’t have any plans to stand around in windy places. I leave you with a shot of it as it will almost exclusively be worn: shirt untucked, pushing my glasses up.