Monday, May 9, 2016

Style Arc Charlie Skirt in Olive

This is the new Charlie skirt from Style Arc, a slim jeans-style pencil skirt with a front split and an elastic, pull on waistband. Comfy and a bit sexy? Yes, please.

The skirt has faux front pockets and faux fly, with lots of jeans-style topstitching. Lots. I just used regular thread, rather than topstitching thread for this Charlie Skirt, but I added a couple extra bar tacks at the faux fly to make it look a bit less faux.

The elastic waist is interesting, too: there is a casing in the back, but it's meant to be invisible in the front, sewn to the inside of the wide waistband. Totally forgot to take photos of the waistband, but you can see how it is meant to look in Lara's close-up photos, here and here.

I had a lot of difficulty with the instructions. Style Arc instructions are known for being quite brief, which is fine, but the Charlie instructions were both brief and a bit strange. The way I understood it (and I consulted with Lara of Thornberry, who happened to be making the Charlie at the same time as me), if I followed the construction order as described in the instructions, I would have ended up with the elastic waistband caught up in the side seams. I didn't like that; I thought it would be bulky and bothersome. 

So, after some fiddling around, I deviated from the instructions and changed the order of construction significantly to avoid that. I basically ended up sewing the side seams first and then sewing a casing all the way around the skirt, then inserting the elastic. You can see a line of straight stitches on the front side of the front waistband, but I don't care because it's never going to show since I'll likely have a shirt covering it all the time.

Size-wise, I went with a size 16, but I am thinking perhaps I should have gone with an 18. It's a bit snug... like painted on snug. Not unbearably so, but obviously there are drag lines across the hips and belly, especially. When I've sewn Style Arc bottoms in the past (Barb and Ebony), I sewed a size 18, but that size felt just slightly big. Perhaps I shouldn't have experimented with size for a slim-fitting garment like a pencil skirt! Oops! Eh, maybe it'll stretch out a bit over time?

I'm a little bit unsure about the back pocket size and placement. I went with the markings as the pattern dictated.

Next time I might put them a bit lower on my butt. And closer to the center? And bigger? What say you, sewing friends? I'm going to compare them to the pockets on my Birkin flares because I like how my butt looks in those.

The fabric is some nice olive stretch twill I picked up during the Boxing Day sale at Tessuti, making this a very Aussie skirt. Nice stuff, easy to sew. I've been wanting some olive or army green pair or pants or skirt for a while, but I found it strangely difficult to find the right fabric. That is, until I found this stuff and shoved it into my suitcase...

I do like the Charlie skirt a lot! Very easy to wear. Once I get the fitting adjustments figured out, I'd like to make one in stretch denim with contrasting yellow/gold topstitching. I think that would be a wardrobe workhorse!