Frustrated that I couldn't find printed knits, I began perusing Etsy and eBay for vintage polyester (often double-knits). And sure enough, I found what I was looking for! I know a lot of folks don't like the fact that vintage polyester doesn't breathe well. I completely understand that qualm, but I'm willing to accept it, because I just love the prints and the ease of sewing it. I don't sweat much and get cold really easily so that lack of breathability affects me less than some people.
I did have to deal with a few limitations, however. Over the years, I've learned that big prints (that aren't broken up by solid colors intermixed) tend to overwhelm my frame. Many of the fun vintage prints are large. Also, I found that many dealers only had about a yard available. This was inspiring, though, instead of frustrating. From these limitations, I decided to embark on a mini-skirt project.
And you know what's great about mini skirts?
1.) The classic A-line shape is fabulously 60's.
2.) You can make them with big prints, because you can break it up by wearing a solid shirt.
3.) They are SUPER easy and SUPER fast to sew!
4.) You only need about a yard to sew one.
#3 was a big selling point for me. Making easy mini-skirts really helped me build my confidence. It was also nice to be able to finish a project quickly. The first mini skirt I made took me about 3 hours. Since then, I've gotten my time down to between 2 and 2.5 hours.
Perhaps I should have started sewing something easy like a mini-skirt from the beginning. But, that's not really my style. When I become interested in something, I tend to dive right in.
So, this whole post is leading up to a big project that I'm going to be presenting over the next week or so (maybe more). What happened is I bought a bunch of vintage fabric (mostly printed polyester) and made a TON of mini-skirts. I churned them out real fast, and I can proudly say that there's not one that's a disaster!
All mini skirts were made using Simplicity 7699 from 1968.
Now to present my first mini-skirt project....
1.) THE FABRIC: This first mini-skirt was made with diamond pattern polyester that I purchased from "therickrack" on Etsy. The fabric was a a medium weight polyester, probably a double-knit, but I'm not sure how to tell. Fabric identification is not my strong suit.
2.) THE STYLE: What I love about the mini-skirt is its versatility. I purposely made each skirt short but not super short, so that they could be more versatile. I love the fact that you can wear mini-skirts in fall/winter by pairing them with leggings and a long sleeve shirt. AND, you can just as easily wear them in the spring/summer with bare legs and a sleeveless mock turtleneck. In all cases, I always add a long necklace (preferably a large medallion) to finish off the look.
(ABOVE)3.) THE ERA: I see these mini-skirts as having both a mod and a preppy quality. While the prints are definitely mod, I feel like the turtleneck, boots, and medallion give the look a preppy, college-campus quality. I'm reminded of Ali MacGraw in "Love Story" or Katherine Ross in "The Graduate." I don't remember if they wore outfits like this in the films, but I could imagine the characters doing so. I also compare the look to Nancy Sinatra's mod style on the "Boots" LP cover.
4.) THE PROBLEMS: No troubles to report. I found the pattern easy to follow and the first mini-skirt project was snafu free!
I'd love to hear your thoughts on this style and see any pictures you may have come across. Many more mini-skirts are to come!