DIY SPORTY LUXE: Skirt of A Thousand Pleats

ADA SPRAGG | Not Your Nanna's Sewing | DIY Sporty LuxeADA SPRAGG | Not Your Nanna's Sewing | DIY Sporty LuxeADA SPRAGG | Not Your Nanna's Sewing | DIY Sporty LuxeThe inspiration for this DIY’d outfit caaaame to me in a visionnnn (cue woo woo eyes). No. Wait. It was Gorman. It came to me in Gorman. I was wandering around, trying to figure out what to make with the two yards of METALLIC GOLDEN LINEN under my arm. Something that would slip casually and effortlessly into my hand-made wardrobe without so much as a ‘Sup guys?’. Wait, backstory: I had a scheduled free choice project upcoming with Britex Fabrics, saw ‘Brilliant Metallic Gold Stretch Cotton & Linen Blend‘ in their novelty section, thought ‘Oooo funsies’ and ordered it without another thought. So when the fabric arrived, exactly as described in all it’s metallic goldeness, I was a little confronted. Okay, I totally freaked. Me, a metallic virgin, cruising through life certain there were two types of people in this world: metallic wearers and non-metallic wearers. And here, I, of the non-metallic variety, with two yards and a time-frame.

ADA SPRAGG | Not Your Nanna's Sewing | DIY Sporty LuxeADA SPRAGG | Not Your Nanna's Sewing | DIY Sporty LuxeADA SPRAGG | Not Your Nanna's Sewing | DIY Sporty LuxeI must stop right here and tell you this fabric is LUSH! Metallic and gold, yes but shiny and blinding, no, with the linen content giving it this beautiful grainy, matte, texture. No sunglasses necessary. It was more: what could I make that would do it justice and that I would wear, like, on my person? I saw visors and high waist summer shorts and cropped tees and two-piece sets, which were all not bad ideas. I almost cut out the Named Inari dress and realised I would wear a gold shift dress probably never. I petted the fabric, held it up to the mirror, sifted through Pinterest, thumbed the pattern stash; all the usual hot spots for divine inspiration but nothing, NOTHING! I thought I had made a huge mistake.ADA SPRAGG | Not Your Nanna's Sewing | DIY Sporty LuxeADA SPRAGG | Not Your Nanna's Sewing | DIY Sporty LuxeThat is how I ended up in Gorman, one of my favourite Australian clothing brands and one of the few places I still buy RTW (when I’m not shopping for “inspiration”). If you’re not familiar, let me summarise: for colour, print and pattern lovers, Gorman is the mecca. Add to this killer silhouettes, interesting cuts and designs which are virtually ageless and you will understand their almost cult status. Gah, just see for yourself! I buy significantly less Gorman these days but my hand-made wardrobe is influenced by them more than ever. And it was looking around at their current collection Moth and Moon with all unlikely combinations of colours and prints they’d paired so beautifully with metallics that I realised I’d had it SO wrong! I had put metallics in the too garish, too blingy, too glitzy, too much something box. When what I’d needed to be asking all along was: ‘WHAT WOULD GORMAN DO?! The answer…some awesome sporty-luxe pleated skirt, probably.
ADA SPRAGG | Not Your Nanna's Sewing | DIY Sporty Luxe
ADA SPRAGG | Not Your Nanna's Sewing | DIY Sporty LuxeI found this pattern for a Pleated Wrap Skirt and it was exactly what I was imagining! I LOVE that it’s a wrap skirt. After putting zipper’s into everything, the idea of not sewing one and climbing into a piece of clothing in a new way is novel and fun! I was hoping someone might have posted a comprehensive review on Burdastyle with detailed illustrations of each step, but alas, no. It is truly an amazing skirt and totally worth the sew but you need to be prepared to do your own thing with the instructions; I abandoned them after paragraph two because they made-a-no-sensa to me. Oh and there’s the mystery of the phantom 4th pattern piece. The pleated section is supposed to be made up of four lengths of fabric, three long + one shorter one, stitched together. It never became obvious what this shorter length was for. I didn’t have enough fabric to cut it out and when I attached the pleats to the yoke they fitted perfectly, having used only the three long lengths…ADA SPRAGG | Not Your Nanna's Sewing | DIY Sporty LuxeADA SPRAGG | Not Your Nanna's Sewing | DIY Sporty LuxeAhhh the pleating. Ohhh the pleating. My gawd. The PLEATING. Four point two meters in total. I’ve never pleated anything before in my life. Which was probably a good thing, going in blind. Granted, the instructions did say ‘create pleats with commercial pleating machine’ which I thought was hilarious (sure, just let me get one out of my pocket) until I later found out that there are real places that do this, should you want to avoid hand-pleating yourself. Then there was the question of: does this fabric even hold a pleat? Does it ever! This fabric loves any kind of pressing pleated action. It holds a crease so well you really want to transfer it to a roll / tube after it’s been folded up in the mail. I can only guess it’s because, with the iron cranked to the max setting, you’re virtually melting the 2% lycra content in the fabric into a new shape, forever. It’s magical. My pleating plan was to draw up 1/2 ” pleats on the back side (the fabric melts from the front side, der) and break the pleating job down into sections and hours. My forearms cried. I wanted to quit. But the vision! THE VISION!ADA SPRAGG | Not Your Nanna's Sewing | DIY Sporty LuxeADA SPRAGG | Not Your Nanna's Sewing | DIY Sporty LuxeADA SPRAGG | Not Your Nanna's Sewing | DIY Sporty LuxeSomewhere during Pleatgeddon I needed a distraction in the form of a woven Linden Sweatshirt. If you’ve ever sewn a Linden, you will know that it’s like coming home. For my first Linden ever (to be blogged soon) I made a 6. In a knit, the fit was perfect. For this woven version, I sized up to an 8. The fabric is a cotton eyelet from The Fabric Store, which I dyed navy. The cuffs, hem band and neck band are ribbing, a delicious navy merino from here, which made the whole sewing process the same as for a knit version. I French seamed the insides, since you can see through from the outside. My only mod, which I’ve done for both Linden’s now, is to shorten the length of the hem-band by 2-3″ so it fits closer to the hips and then hangs over the top. To me, this is how a classic sweatshirt sits.ADA SPRAGG | Not Your Nanna's Sewing | DIY Sporty Luxe

Sew proud, sew very proud!

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