Flannel, Lace, and Nostalgia
The Sewcialists have a new blog and are doing monthly challenges now. November’s theme was Grunge sewing which sounded like fun. I’m always up for a reason to wear flannel and clunky boots.
I remember grunge, but was pretty far removed from actually owning/wearing anything trendy at that time. The look having been inspired by a lot of things from here in the Pacific Northwest, it could be hard to tell if someone was trying to rock a grunge look or just happened to have come back from a hiking trip. Perhaps that’s why my favorite things from the grunge-look era were those that involved a mix of elements, i.e. the long skirts with clunky boots, or flannel shirts over dresses. On the other hand, it was pretty easy to “borrow” a flannel shirt or two that my mom had made for my dad…and just never give them back.
Ok, so I wasn’t wearing the shirt all ironically or anything. I was on a camping trip. It was fall of 1995, just a few weeks after first meeting my husband (obviously didn’t know then we’d eventually end up together). I went to Diamond Lake with my best friend and her brother (and her mom/stepdad too, but they didn’t stay in the tent with us). As I recall, the music soundtrack to the trip was decidedly not of the grunge/alternative genre, TLC having put out their CrazySexyCool album that summer. I wonder whatever happened to that shirt…and the blue one I also stole from my Dad around that time. I might actually have worn them to shreds; I’m not sure.
All right, I’ve been there/done that with the oversized, button-down-the-front flannel shirt. It doesn’t appeal to wear it again right now. I wanted flannel for this sewalong, though, so contemplated the options. Shirtwaist dress–I like the idea, but I think of that as more retro than grunge. Tunic–again a maybe, but that didn’t feel ’90’s either. I finally decided to move forward with a project I’ve been wanting to do for a while, ever since I saw this.
I found potential in a 1976 pattern. It’s amazing how many items of clothing or accessories I saw and liked in the 1990’s and pointed out to my mom, only to have her say “We wore that in high school in the ’70’s”, so this seems especially right.
It’s a bias skirt with a straight waistband and a side zipper, easy-peasy. The only thing that made this project take more than one day was the need to hang it for a day or two so the bias could stretch before hemming.
One of the things that had me held up with getting this skirt started was wanting to find just the right lace for the bottom. I finally found this shop full of pretties and they had just what I needed. The skirt is unlined and the lace is attached to the outside of the hem of the skirt rather than peeking from inside like the one I was inspired by. Yes, it needs a slip, but I’d wear one even if I’d lined the skirt, just out of habit. It’ll be easier to iron after washing without a lining. No, the plaids don’t match on the side seams. It’s an uneven plaid, so I don’t know if plaid-matching was even an option, regardless of fabric amount limitations. I don’t care, it’s still cute.
The whole look…
Life now lacks a certain starry-eyed innocence that was there in my early teen years, but the flannel is still just as comfy as I remember.