Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Miss Zinnia Solves The Case


Hello, darlings! It's finally, finally getting chilly in Texas. Today is a blustery 48° Fahrenheit--I can hear your cackles, Dwellers of the North!--and the perfect weather to wear my favorite cozy new make: a wool Zinnia skirt.

Not going to lie, this skirt was entirely inspired by shoes, as the best garments often are. When Colette first released the Zinnia pattern, I took one look at it and thought "That is a skirt made for penny loafers!" Conveniently enough, I happen to own four pairs of penny loafers. That's right, four. My favorites are a pair of Bass Weejuns acquired at a sale this summer. They have tassels, a perfect penny slot, and are made from the loveliest maroon leather. They are, quite frankly, shoes for girl detective.


Nancy Drew has always been my style icon. I live for tassels and cardigans and perfectly pressed pleats. Luckily, Zinnia fits that last qualification to a tee. With sixteen sewn-down pleats and a floaty circular hem, it's just the skirt for a girl detective on the move.


My last version of the Zinnia has actually been given away to my mother, because the waistband was entirely too big for me, once it was worn for a little while. It ended up sitting in that awkward middle area between my natural waist and hips, which I don't love in a full skirt. As a result, I tweaked the fit of my second version a bit.

Made up in a maroon wool-cotton challis, still available from Fabric Mart, this Zinnia is a delightfully warm little skirt. Because of those previous fit issues, I sized down at the waistband for this iteration, but then graded back out a size at the hips. It sits right at my natural waist, then gently flairs out into the full skirt. Perfect!



Originally, I had planned to line this version with Bemberg rayon, but I loved the drape of this challis when it was unlined. Because of the cotton content in the fabric, it doesn't attract static electricity like other wools can, so it works really well as is. I absolutely love this color, a perfect winey maroon, which pairs well with most any sweater in my wardrobe and is perfect for brisk Aggie game days! Not that I suffer through football games any more, but you know, in theory it's great for such affairs.

It's funny, the Zinnia skirt really got mixed reviews in the blogosphere upon its release, but I'm starting to love this pattern. It's simple, yes, but that's what makes it a great winter wardrobe staple. It does so well with those slightly heavier, warmer fabrics which can weigh down other full skirt patterns. Don't you long for one in a nice plaid flannel? This silhouette just begs for a romantic bonfire date!



Or, of course, a mystery.

Yes, I do own an antique magnifying glass. Themed pictures, ahoy!


 Tennis balls are showing up mysteriously chewed to pieces. Can Miss Zinnia unmask the culprit?

The details...

Things I Loved: 
  • The fabric! It's perfect for these chilly fall days we're getting. 
  • The pleats! So classic and lovely. 
Things I Changed:
  • Switched the invisible zipper to a hand-picked zipper. If you're curious about this technique, I recommend Tasia's tutorial
  • Graded down a size at the waistband.
Things I Would Change, If I Made It Again:
  • Nothing. Now that I've got the fit down, it's an easy enough pattern to sew up. 
Notions & Fabric: 
  • 3 yards of claret wool-cotton challis: $30
Construction Time:
  • Four cozy hours
Is that a clue? A curiously dug hole!

The culprit is unmasked! The shepherd did it, of course. 


32 comments:

  1. Lovely! I have some purple wool that's I think is about to become a cozy skirt. Good thing, too, cause it's going to be 19 degrees tonight in Portland, Maine!

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    1. Thanks, Rachel! Also - 19 degrees? Yikes! I can barely even imagine what that feels like. You are definitely in need of a wool skirt, my dear!

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  2. Gorgeous! I have been eyeing this skirt and this just makes me want it all the more!

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    1. Thanks, Meg! I absolutely love the pleated version of this skirt - it's a totally worthy pattern purchase!

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  3. Love the skirt, the entire outfit actually. Especially with the boots.

    After my first failed attempt at Zinnia, I gave the pleated version a go and it looks fabulous. The stitched down pleats are really flattering.

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    1. Thanks, Neemie! Those boots are totally my favorite shoes right now. I'm obsessing and wearing them with everything.

      Also, I'm so glad to hear that you had more success with the pleated Zinnia. The gathers on the other version are really somewhat questionable, when it comes to a flattering fit. I had fabric set aside for one, but I'm just envisioning looking like some sort of muffin pooch victim, so haven't pulled the trigger yet.

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  4. That is SUCH a beautiful colour! Love it.

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    1. Thank you, Lonnie! It's one of my favorites for winter. So seasonally appropriate!

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  5. Beautiful! I'm still not 100% sold on this skirt for my body shape; and for the pleated version I kind of prefer the Chardon.. but this skirt is cute! And perfectly match the shoes. I have similar ones that are blue with white polka dots - haven't worn them very often, which is obviously a huge shame, and probably largely because most of my clothes are patterned. Need more plain staples!

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    1. Thanks, Sophie-Lee! Honestly, I think the Zinnia and Chardon are super close designs - there are slight differences, but if you already own the Chardon, the Zinnia seems a bit superfluous. The wide pleats of the Chardon definitely piqued my interest initially, and gave it an edge on the Zinnia, but I'd have to grade one size up. I was not made for tiny European sizing, it seems. Boo! ;)

      Also, your shoes sound so dreamy. I would have the exact same problem though - so few of my clothes are staples like this. Prints are just too much fun!

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  6. Hi! I am so glad I found youre blog :D
    That is one beaytyfull skirt! I think the Zinnia is growing on me as well....
    I love the wine red color you chose. It is one of my favourits:)
    Now I feel inspired ;)
    Looking forward to seing more of youre blog! I`ll ad you to my feed;D and I would be delighted if you would stop by mine as well;)

    Tone

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    1. Thank you so much, Tone! I'm so glad you found me! I will definitely be stopping by your blog.

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  7. Love the colour - it's this seasons colour (apparently!). Interesting to hear Zinnia's had mixed reviews as I love it.

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    1. I had no idea I was on trend! How utterly rare! That's awesome. Also, I'm with you on the Zinnia - I think it's a fabulous little pattern. When it came out, there were some negative threads about it on Pattern Review, but it's a lovely little wardrobe staple, in my opinion.

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  8. I love your mystery. :) You are so cute.

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  9. I love your skirt and your outfit is realy beautiful! gg

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  10. Oh I love your detective-themed photo shoot! Perfect for your lovely skirt.

    Honestly, this is the first version of this skirt that I'm really drawn to. I haven't seen many of them made up for a more curvy body and was pretty dubious about them working for me. I'm also not really a high-waisted skirt kind of girl, but seeing yours makes me want to try it out. You look great in this skirt!

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    1. Thanks so very much, Heather! Not going to lie, I had to live with the skirt for a few days to truly love the fit of it on me. It nips in my waist a ton, which I adore, but the high waisted style definitely takes some getting used to. This is one of those patterns that makes me wish there were more curvy sewists blogging. It can be really hard to gauge how a pattern will look on us, without seeing it first. Comparing myself to the chosen model's body type is, all too often, completely unhelpful.

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  11. Loved this post! The skirt looks great, and the detective theme is brilliant!

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    1. Thank you so much, Lauren! I knew you'd appreciate my Nancy Drew love!

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  12. Your Zinnia looks lovely. I have a navy one in the queue based on their inspiration styling post. Cute detective storyline, too. This look is so Nancy Drew.

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    1. Thank you! Also, I absolutely loved the navy inspiration Zinnia. I was concerned about how gathers would look on me, but it's cute skirt! I can't wait to see yous!

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  13. Gorgeous :) Such a lovely fullness to it and I adore the maroon matched with the pink on you!

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    1. Thanks, Mel! I think this fabric weight worked really with with the pattern - just the right amount of drape to show off the full skirt. It's definitely made for wintery fabrics, in my opinion.

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  14. Beautiful! That color is to die for and I love the way you styled it!

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    1. Thank you so much, Anna! This color is definitely one of my fall/winter favorites!

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  15. What a cute detective! The Zinnia skirt looks so good on you! And I love the color! :)

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  16. I love your version of the Zinnia! The color is beautiful and it looks great on you. I like the way you styled it with the tights and the cardigan. I bought the pattern right after it came out but I have yet to make it. This is making me think I should finally get down to business and start one this weekend...
    -Melissa

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