Friday, May 18, 2012

Jersey skirt, Alabama Chanin-style


I love jersey knits.  They feel like pajamas, and it’s all I’d wear if I could get away with it.  I know you can sew knit fabrics on a regular machine, and I know my beautiful vintage Slant-O-Matic 600 (the gorgeous Miss Kastner) will handle double needles and I could probably—and might, eventually—figure out how to sew jersey fabrics neatly on a machine, but I always just figured I’d wait for a serger to land in my lap.  Then, like a bolt of lightning, there was this

This is all done by hand.  There are only four pieces.  I spent a couple lovely hours in my rocking chair with my needle and thread, and in an afternoon, I felt like I had solved all my own problems.  Hand sewn, felled seams.  Fold-over elastic (I got mine here) and I had a perfect skirt, comfy and cozy and stretchy and, it just skims me in that way I wish all my clothes would do.  I didn’t bother with a hem, who needs hems?  Jersey doesn’t need hemming! 


It’s wrinkled because I wore it already.  And wore it and wore it and wore it.  It’s sweatpants you can wear outside the house.  I feel so brilliant!  Of course, it isn’t me who’s brilliant, it’s Natalie Chanin, and the how-to for this skirt is in this book


Dear me, this mannequin has terrible posture, and no backside to speak of, either, poor thing, but you can see this is the simplest idea ever. There are no zips to worry about, no buttonholes, no channels, no gathers.  It is basic and beautiful.  The book comes with a pattern, but I just converted a simple skirt pattern I already had (because I’ve used it before and I knew it would fit me) by folding it in half and cutting out four pieces instead of two, and subtracting a couple inches at the waist to account for lack of gathering.  Assembly is kind of intuitive, and fold-over elastic is the best thing to come along since waistbands were invented.  If, like me, you’ve always wanted to go to work in your pajamas, make one of these.  Dreams can come true.