There was a definite design progression to this holiday outfit becoming the final product you see here. At some point during the summer I came across three yards of this striped silk taffeta in the prettiest shades of cream and greenish-gold. It was much to hot at that time to think of working with a fabric with this weight and body, but I knew it would was destined to be a full midi-length skirt with dramatic box pleats at some time in the future. So come the beginning of December it was finally the appropriate weather and season to get working on a festive striped silk skirt! While working on this skirt, I saw this collection which included this top and it was perfectly clear to me what had to be done. I love the play on short and long and how despite both items being loose the proportions are still flattering.
I self-drafted the skirt pattern after carefully designing how I wanted the box pleats to look. I love pleats – there is so much you can do with them to achieve so many different looks! I know that they require more math than gathering, but it’s not that scary, promise! The stripes ran parallel to the selvage, so I couldn’t just cut it at the length I wanted and insert some pleats and a center back zip and call it done – but it was probably for the best because I was able to include side-seams which allowed for in-seam pockets. I love having pockets in my skirts and dresses.
I used about two yards of the silk for the skirt, but not the entire width of the fabric since it was 60″ wide. I was actually able to get the silk top out of the leftovers I had from that two yards I used for the skirt. The skirt was simply three rectangles joined at the side and center back seam and pleated into a waistband. It is fully lined with a polyester lining fabric.
If you don’t want to endure the math to design the pleats for your own skirt there are many similar pleated skirt patterns out there, including this one from Burdastyle – you’d just have to lengthen it to be a midi. It even has side seam pockets, but darts in the back instead of pleats. It looks super-chic in that (hopefully faux) black leather so someone seriously needs to make that up soon…
I also self-drafted the crop-top to have a bateau neckline and had the seams fall straight from the arm scye so it would have a boxy shape. The top is loose enough so it fits over my head, there are no zippers or bottons or closures of any kind. I did include a bust dart, and that’s where some cleverness had to come in to keep the front and back stripes lined up. I calculated that with the bust dart, it would raise the lowest edge of the white stripe 1.5″ so I had to decrease the white stripe across the back by 1.5 inches. To do this I separated the white and gold stripe of a section large enough for the pattern piece then shortened the white portion by 1″ and then stitched it back to the gold using 1/4″ french seams, then cut my back piece. I used facings to complete the neck and armholes of the top since inserting a lining without any top-stitching would have been too fussy. I generally try to avoid facings whenever possible, but they seem to have been the appropriate choice for this top.
2 Yards of Silk Taffeta for Skirt and Top
2 Yards Polyester Lining for Skirt
1 Invisible Zipper
1 Silver Pant/Skirt Hook
Lipstick: Russian Red from M.A.C.
DÓrsay Heels: Report Signature
Pearl Bracelet: Borrowed from Katy
Pearl Necklace: Belonged to my Grandmother
Dogwood Flower Brooch: Gift from my friend Clarisse
Glasses: Oliver Peoples, Riley