The Sincerest Form of Flattery – Talbots and the Spring Palette Challenge

Talbots is one of those stores I have spent much of my adult life making fun of. It has just always seemed so stuffy, old and decidedly bourgeois, I couldn’t imagine myself ever wearing anything from there. But either the brand is undergoing an overhaul or I am turning into a stuffy Muffy in my old age. Because this bright, ladylike skirt from their Spring line inspired me:

I had planned to make a pencil skirt (namely, the Burda Jenny) as my next project for the Spring Palette Challenge. When I lost my ambition to print and trace and yadda yadda, I was left floundering about what to do next. Thanks to Talbots, I came up with this:

It’s a revisit of the Butterick 5285 Fast & Easy pattern that I attempted in my earliest sewing days. It did not go well. This time, it went well enough for me to add a few fancy details: pockets, bias-bound seams, a narrow hem and a grosgrain ribbon-faced waistband (in yellow to tie it in with the other projects in the challenge).

You’ll notice that this skirt is not precisely the same as the Talbots skirt, which is pleated rather than gathered at the waist. Several views of the Butterick pattern do have an option to do pleating (I seriously considered view B) but I made the decision to go dirndl because of how much I really hate gathering. I know that sounds counter-intuitive. Sewing is a fun hobby, why would I do something I hate?

It’s sort of like in college, if I had a class I hated, I forced myself to show up early and sit in the front row. Or how the worse I feel, the nicer I dress. Somehow, dealing with unpleasant things head-on takes the sting out of them. Does that make sense? I really need to try to apply the technique to more aspects of my personal life. But that’s another story for another day.

The Rundown:
Pattern: Butterick 5285
Fabric: Pink stretch poplin from Chic Fabrics (Are you noticing a theme yet? It’s one of my favorite Garment District shops.)
Crucial Tool: Seam ripper (for when the gathers didn’t turn out evenly and I had to take the waistband back off and try again)
Helpful Hints: Megan Nielsen’s pdf tutorial for how to make a dirndl skirt


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