Passing through the Darkest Night

This week, we passed through the darkest night of a very dark year toward the light of the new year. As the days start to get longer, I find I have much to celebrate. We have come through a very hard year and discovered strengths we didn't even know we had. At the same time, we grieve the losses around the world due to COVID and hope we can begin the process of healing in the months to come. 

This year, we have chosen to celebrate at a distance, staying home and cooking food and watching movies, with an outdoor picnic with family on Christmas Eve. In our apartment, we decorated one of the houseplants with lights and stuck a few presents under it. At this point, half of the gifts are just bottles of wine ;) I also have a new skirt to show you that is just as warm as the season itself. 

Pattern: self-drafted
Fabric: 2 yds velvet
Cost: gift

I picked up this fabric in the summer at the only in-person fabric shopping I've done all year. I loved the rich berry color and, while I didn't know what I'd do with it, I knew it had to be mine. I sewed it up before Thanksgiving as a festive outfit to wear for the holidays. 

After looking through my stash, I found a had some A-line and circle skirts, but nothing quite like what I wanted. I decided to draft my own 3/4 circle skirt, with just the right fullness. However, the joke's on me because I realized my calculations were off. The front and back are each drafted with a center seam and I realized after making it that EACH half was enough to make a 3/4 skirt, meaning with both panels together I had made a 1 1/2 circle skirt - even fuller than a full circle. No matter, I like the final result and all its volume. If you're looking for similar volume, I love circle skirts (and all their fractional variations) because they aren't gathered at the waist, reducing bulk there. So you get all of the fullness at the hem with none of the bunching around the waistband. 

The other thing that's different about this skirt is that the front and back actually have different volumes. And this part WAS on purpose. I have a much fuller backside and sometimes find that circle skirts add a little too much volume back there. So the front is drafted with two panels equalling 3/4 of a circle while the back is drafted with two panels equalling 1/2 of a circle. 

You can see in the photo below how this makes the back just a little less full and sits a little flatter across my backside. Please just ignore the bunching around the zipper - if you haven't heard all the complaints this season, velvet can be quite uncooperative!

I borrowed the waistband and pocket design from the Sewaholic Hollyburn Skirt. This pattern has a lot of fans online and I do like the company, but I find myself wishing the skirt was fuller which is why I didn't use the complete pattern here. I also realized it has a straight rather than curved waistband, which isn't my favorite. It did not want to cooperate with the velvet and I find doesn't give as nice of a fit. But the pattern does have pockets, which are always nice to have!

While I don't often wear skirts, colorful midi skirts have a special place in my wardrobe and I can see myself getting some use out of this one! You know, once we can go to parties again...

Happy new year and may you stay safe and happy!

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