When the neoprene craze first came along, I was quick to scoff. Wear a wetsuit, voluntarily?! My sole experience wearing a wetsuit was scuba diving years ago, and because the suit didn’t zip all the way up over my chest 1. I looked like a cross between Pamela Anderson and a seal in a tube sock 2. every time I dove, it filled up with water. Shudder. Then it was gently explained to me that clothing neoprene isn’t quite the same as what wetsuits are made of… it’s more like a beefy doubleknit.
So when I came across this amazeballs lasercut neoprene at Metro Textile last year I gobbled it all up. I gave some to Katy who treated us to cross-over skirt loveliness, and finally decided this weekend that I should use mine as well.
And here we are! A neoprene skirt.
So let’s get the crucial things out of the way here:
1. It took 45 minutes to make! When you don’t have to finish seams, hem or press, sewing is goshdarn fast.
2. It’s streeeeeetchy. And we all know how much I like stretchy waistbands/wardrobes. So comfy!
3. It looks cool, right?!
I made it up as I went along: I started with my straight skirt TNT Simplicity 2343 as the base pattern, but I altered it by removing the pockets (I just placed the pocket piece over the front piece and cut around both of them), removing the back seam, and not bothering with a waistband. I underlined the neoprene with a lightweight merino wool from my stash, but I cut it about 2 inches shorter than the skirt so you’d get a peek of the neoprene at the knees. This just involved serging the bottom of the knit, then serging around the edges and waistband before constructing – easy peasy.
I tried it on at that stage, and it was a touch baggy because I used my regular size of 2343 which is meant for wovens – if you make a woven pattern in a knit fabric, you should typically size down. So, I whapped in two back darts, and then instead of attempting to make a waistband from perforated neoprene (a hopeless task, at least with my skills) I just serged on some 2 inch elastic, which gathered the skirt in ever so slightly. I love that the final thing is slim-fitting, but skims over all the bits that want skimming.
I think this is going to get a lot of wear! I dressed it up all fancy here (Always Be Fancy) with the neoprene necklace I got from COS years ago, but it’ll likely get worn most with tights and boots and a cardi. And I’ll get to feel all fashion-like.
Are you a neoprene convert? Does it make you never want to hem anything ever again? Expect to see more round these parts in the future…