I can hardly believe that Thanksgiving is this week. It has been made very, very real by the fact that my children are out of school for the week, and so I am surrounded by little mess-makers. Therefore: it must be true, and the holidays Have Arrived. Lucky for me I have this to look forward to:
There’s a backstory here. One night, I came home from teaching a class and my husband was still doing some work on his laptop. Since I usually am pretty wired after teaching, I got out my laptop and we laptopped together. Very romantic. I checked my email and my Twitter, and then I surfed a bit. I’ve had a many-years-long obsession with plaids of all kinds, and for some reason that night, I began thinking about plaid. Which led me to search my family name for our clan tartan (there, it’s out: if my pasty coloring didn’t tip it off already, that is). I found a number of sites that will weave your clan tartan in silk or wool, all for not a little money. And they’re GORGEOUS:
I decided then and there that I needed, needed, needed to have yardage of my clan tartan shipped to me direct from Scotland, the motherland. I figured I might make something for my sister, maybe a necktie for my dad, but mostly something for ME. But the cost… Yikes. I mean, one meter of 36″ wide fabric for 70 pounds? That’s intense. Melody suggested that I have some printed up at Spoonflower–genius! But until then, I kept peeking in and looking for fabulous plaids.
I discovered some on special super-duper markdown online (I’m afraid they’re no longer available–all sold out before I even cut out this skirt). I bought seven yards, not knowing what I’d do with it. Then my husband came home and mentioned, in that casual way that husbands do, that his firm is hosting a fancy dress Christmas party in December. Because naturally I wouldn’t need to go out and get something to wear to such an event. Lucky for him, I was immediately struck by a vision:
Fabulously full skirt, fitted silk rib-knit sweater, Grace Kelly hair. Holiday party dress: done and done.
I originally envisioned the skirt with poufs tacked to a stay, giving it some more three dimensionality, but as soon as the panels were stitched it was very, very clear that the fabric is the star here–all 100% silk with shots of metallic gold in raised ribs woven in. I hated the waist line treatment in the pattern–too skinny–so I cut it double the width, and Elizabeth at our Sewing Retreat (where I cut this monster out) suggested a skinny black belt and belt loops. Then I took out the side seams and added on-seam pockets, because, seriously. Then, the peese day resistance: golden sunshine yellow lining, which I have left longer than the hem so it just peeks out to sparkle from beneath. Perfect touch!
I am very, very excited to wear this. The party is being held in an old barn, and I think the simple elegance of a trailing train of plaid silk will be just the thing. Hooray for chances to wear fancy dresses!
HUGE shout out to Maigh, who took these shots over the weekend in front of the most amazing tree in the most gorgeous light. I hardly ever get to be in the pictures, and I’m delighted with these!