Pachyderm paradise

I recently finished a super-cute retro inspired skirt that I thought you might enjoy

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I used this utterly adorable retro fabric that Nana gave me for the skirt:

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Look at the elephants! How could you not love it?

I didn’t use a pattern: just drafted a quick waistband and then box pleated the fabric too it, and fussed with the pleat widths until it the fabric fit right.

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Box pleats

I indulged my taste for quirky finishes with bright pink binding around the inside edge of the waistband, and my taste for pedantically perfect and historical finishes with a hand-sewn in zipper (which is often easier than machine sewing, unless you use invisible zippers).

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Hand sewn-zipper 

And then I realised that to give the correct vintage silhouette the skirt was going to have to sit quite a bit higher on my waist, so I got to unpick my beautifully sewn in zipper and a bunch of the pleating, take in the waistband, and re-pleat the skirt and sew in the zipper again.

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It’s all about the vintage silhouette!

But now the skirt looks perfect, and it was clearly meant to be, because I went shopping on Saturday and found the perfect blouse, shoes, and belt to go with my skirt, all in the same vintage clothing store! 

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Those shoes! Just looking at them makes me happy! 

And, to make it even better, after four days of waiting I finally got weather good enough to wear it, and discovered that my friend Madame Ornata is a great photographer, and was willing to do a full on photo shoot with me (I was just hoping for a few snaps from someone who wouldn’t complain!), so we spend a lovely evening rambling along the waterfront and taking pictures.

We ended up getting so many gorgeous pictures that I can hardly decide which ones to show you! Here is a slideshow of my favourites:

Skirt: by me, retro fabric from Nana’s stash
Blouse: retro from Missy’s Room
Shoes: ‘Heather’ by Sojo
Belt: retro from Missy’s Room
Cuff: from Thailand
Sunglasses: DG

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5 Comments Post a Comment
  1. I just discovered this skirt of yours and am in love. Pachyderms parading around a skirt in green! Those shoes!

  2. Amanda says:

    Absolutely love!!!

  3. Annette says:

    This skirt is beautiful! My daughters and I would wear this in a heart beat! I would love to see more of your work, and hear from you more about sewing. My eldest daughter is very good at this sort of thing, and has an eye for detail, any suggestions? Please keep posting, I love what you do.

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Meet the Dreamstress

Leimomi Oakes is the Dreamstress, a textile historian, seamstress, designer, speaker and museum professional. Leimomi is available for educational and entertaining presentations, textile and fashion advice, special commissions and events. Click to learn more

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