There are just so many fabrics out there! Fifteen years plus since I first taught myself to sew and I’m still encountering new textiles, frequently I might add. This was my first dabble in neoprene which was fun and quite educational.
I’m one lucky duck because this beautiful fabric was a gift from Jenny of Cashmerette. A little instagram stalking tells me it was purchased in New York at Metro Textiles. I know, who gives away neoprene!?!? Lets just say I was pretty excited. Thanks girl!
The pattern is self drafted and a shameless rip-off of this J. Crew skirt. I moved the zipper to the right side seam (more on that in a sec) so that the neoprene lattice wouldn’t be interrupted by a back seam. I can’t say for certain if the J. Crew RTW skirt is a true wrap, but my version is a faux wrap so I won’t be paranoid wearing it on windy days. A girls already got enough to worry about without the risk of indecent exposure.
The construction was pretty easy since this pattern is your basic mini skirt (two back darts, a waistband, and a side zip) plus a front flap. However I had some very bulky side seams to contend with. Part of this problem was due to the thick double knit I used under the neoprene. No regrets, this double knit is a great bottom weight, but there is no denying that it is thick. All the seam allowances had to be trimmed, especially the left side seam since the front flap added an extra two layers (neoprene + double knit). Those extra layers in the left side seam were also the reason I moved the side zip from its usual residence in the left side seam to the right side side seam. And I’m glad I did because the invisible zip was pushed to its limit with neoprene plus double knit. I tried a standard zip originally because I knew these fabrics would challenge an invisible zip, but it looked awful. It’s impossible to get a sharp press in either the knit or neoprene so the plastic teeth and zipper pull were exposed. I’m pretty sure a lapped zipper would have looked like a growth on my right hip, so invisible zipper it was.
Pressing, this is where I got experimental. I’m going to venture a guess that you’re suppose to finger press this type of neoprene, but I had my heart set on crisp-ish seams and hem. I went ahead and pressed with an iron on a very low setting with a press cloth. When I lifted the iron I covered the seam or hem with my hands to hold the heat a little longer while applying slight pressure. Largely I think this worked, but there were a couple points when the iron was a bit too hot and I might have melted the neoprene slightly. I wasn’t able to notice these mistakes when I was wearing the skirt, but if you look at these pictures very closely you’ll notice some areas where the neoprene looks a little rough in texture. That is probably the result of me melting the neoprene a little. Oopsie poopsie.
Supplies: Pattern Self-Drafted, 1 1/2 yards Lattice Neoprene from Metro Textiles, 1 1/2 yards Black Double Knit from Mill Ends, 1 yard Duet Lining, 1/2 yard Touch of Gold Interfacing, invisible zip, bias tape, thread. Styling:Chambray Button-up, Enamel Bracelet Primark, Heathered Sweater Tights, Kayla Pointy Toe Flats, MAC Ruby Woo matte lipstick, MAC Kiss Me Quick Pro longwear lip pencil.