The Gray Skirt, Part III: Style.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008 Jonette 8 Comments

Okay... Now we have the perfect Beginner's canvas, here's where the fun starts.

I believe the look of a skirt points out the direction your outfit will go down for the day. Sweet? Quirky? Sexy? Flirty? All these elements are fun to have in your wardrobe, specially when you're in a come-out-and-play mood. but the one style a lady must never banish from her wardrobe is The Classic -- a hand in her favor, with good manners and comportment for trump cards.

I'd been fancying to turn the project into a simple soft-pleated skirt I adored in one of my Japanese sewing magazines. Modest, tasteful, elegant. I was not entirely sure how merciful pleats would be on a curvy figure, but there was only one way to find out. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

It was then that I realized, after measuring, folding, and checking notes, that(1) the skirt's waist diameter would not be enough to give the real pleat style justice, and (2) The back panel was taller than the front. Having swallowed and said that, I began working with what I had. I had to Improvise.

Eventually, I settled on a large box pleat in front, and two mini Watteau-ish pleats on the back of the skirt. From then on, pin, pin, pin.

the front...

... and back.

The front box pleat, top view.

The Watteau-ish pleats, top view.

Very carefully, I began sewing the vital parts of the pleats together. Again, giving the pleats a good press from a hot iron works wonders. The pressed pleat edges may serve as points of reference, should you let go of it or lose track. After attaching an invisible zipper to the side, voila! All done.

Not quite how I expected it to turn out, but I do reckon it still works. What do you think?

From this...

... To this.

Front, side, and back, respectively.

*sigh of relief* Well... that's that.

I've reluctantly shown the finished product to online galpals and stylist buddies for two reasons: One, I was really quite unsure if it was a success or a failure, and Two, I think I may have just made something accidentally Lolita. (Hmm... On one hand, I may have ended up channeling some of Atelier Boz's designs here. Ah well...) In truth, I was quite relieved to hear a good array of mixed positive reactions and with what genre of style it would fit into best. (It was a toss up between Steampunk and Lolita, Goth came in second, Cosplay and even -- gasp! -- Punk.) It's a comfort to know that the skirt is versatile by itself, and will not be "boxed" into one particular fashion.

All this made me realize that I'd best wear this with a petticoat, black stockings and these babies, and that it would be, er, prudent to keep this safe until I've something fitting to wear it to, like a social dress-up gathering, a cosplay event (should I have the nerve to go), or until a sheer maniacal glee to feed off the attention and shock of the common folk seizes me. (Which I hope will not come all too often or too soon.)

I must say it was quite interesting (and might I say satisfying) to see the results of this exercise. I do know it looks rather costume-y, and that part makes me feel good about it. I guess this might be the Theater side of me coming out to breath, and I wouldn't mind going through this process all over again.

Something in the corner of my head starts teasing, "okay, so what's next, Aristocrat or Madam?", but I'll be leaving that to the gods of creativity to steer me to my next project. Hmm, maybe a nice, decent everyday skirt. We'll see. :)


  1. I don't think your pleated skirt is costume-y :) I love it! It's a bit aristocrat and I personally prefer that over madam. I think that in general madam has longer skirts. I might actually go for more aristocrat and gothic pieces. I have my fun for this season with lolita but as I am getting older, gothic and aristocrat look pleasing in my eyes. :)

    You look awesome :D

  2. Well, others might think it is, but I'll take your word for it. Thanks! :)

  3. I love what you did! And the shirt goes well with it too. :)

  4. you didn't post the back or side views on lj, and i have to say i love it even more now!

    it kind of reminds me of a mullet - in a good way! you know that saying, business in the front, party in the back? that's totally your skirt! it looks very elegant and sedate from the front, but the back has almost a bustle effect. it's very lovely!

  5. Thank you, yanka! it still needs a petticoat and a "proper" top, but you're most gracious! *curtsy*

  6. Hehe, thank you amy! it wasn't expected but I am quite happy with its bustle effect. Now, the occassion to wear it to, though... ^_^"

  7. We should dress up one of these days and meet-up! :D Who says we need special occassions to be pretty? ;)

  8. Clair, oh no, I could never... or should we? :D


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