Shopping: Summer Sales – J. Crew Seersucker Pencil Skirt

In honor of the fact that J.Crew is currently offering up to an additional 75% off certain pieces, and 40% off of a bunch of other items, I thought now would be a good time to post a quick review of skirt I recently got on sale: the Seersucker Pencil Skirt in Fragrant Lavender.


I ordered the skirt last week, when it was marked down to $59.99 plus 40% off (today, it’s $59.99 plus 75% off, so a grand total of $15. But, at the time of writing, it’s only available in size 00). It was final sale at the time, but a light purple skirt was on my want list, so I decided to take the relatively small risk. To improve my chances of getting the right size, I had a quick chat with a customer service rep, who gave me the dimensions of the size 6 and the 8: 30.5 inch waist and 39.5 inch hips and hem for the 6, 31.5 inch waist and 40.5 inch hips and hem for the 8.

I went with the 8, even though the waist was slightly too big, because I  never know about the hips. It was slightly too big, but you really can’t tell looking at the picture, right? It is sitting a good three inches below my actual waist, but the wide waistband kind of obscures that fact.

One interesting thing about the cut of J.Crew’s pencil skirts (or at least this one) compared to others: the hip and hem sweep are the same measurement, which creates a straight up and down look, compared to the more shapely look you get when the hem is a few inches narrower that the hips. By way of comparison, I recently tried on a skirt from Boden with 39.5 inch hips and 36.5 hem. The effect was much more curvy, while here I just look like a stick.



I was kind of expecting a brighter shade of lavender, but this one is pretty pale. From a distance you can’t really see the stripes. I guess that’s fine, it makes the skirt more of a neutral than it would be if it were more in-your-face purple.

The fabric is very lightweight on the skirt, even with a poly lining. I actually have another seersucker skirt (I really like seersucker) from Banana in light blue that I compared to this one. The fabric on the Banana skirt is much heavier. The Banana skirt is also about an inch narrower and fits fine, so maybe I should have gone with the 6. Too late now, though.

All said, I’m pretty happy with it. Which is good, because I can’t send it back.

Shopping: Anthropologie Telephone Print Pencil Skirt

telephone pencil skirt anthropologie

Although I’ve always enjoyed whimsical and quirky clothing choices, until recently, I’ve never purchased anything from Anthropologie, a store known for whimsical and quirky clothing. Part of the reason for that is that I’m just not quick enough. I’ll often see something I like on offer, put it on my wish list, only to find that it’s sold out the next time I go back to look.


I don’t remember when I first noticed the telephone printed Clementina Pencil Skirt, but it was a while ago. I thought it was cute, and I really love old style telephones, but I didn’t really want to drop $118 on it. Flash forward several months, and it’s Memorial Day weekend. The skirt was on sale, plus an extra 20 percent off (in case you haven’t noticed by now, I am an unrepentant sale shopper).

After much hemming and hawing over what size to get, I went one size up, to an 8. Some of the reviews said it ran large, some said it ran small, so I figured it was better to play it safe and go up a size. It wasn’t in stock at the store in Philly, so I couldn’t go and try it on first.

It’s actually fine. I think a 6 would have been too tight in the thigh and would have shown off a bit too much, while the 8 is flattering, but not revealing. It’s a bit loose in the waist, but I’d rather have a somewhat loose waist than too tight thighs and hips.


Here’s a close-up of the print and the side of the skirt. They didn’t do a super good job of lining up the print, as you can see some of the telephones are eaten by the seam. It’s actually a bit worse in the back, but since I’m sitting on it most of the day, it’s less noticeable. There’s also an exposed zipper, but it’s short and I guess I really have to pick my battles here.

Sadly, the telephone print version of the skirt is sold out. But, at the time of writing, a bright yellow tile pattern is available. It might not be as silly and charming as the phones, but looking at the photos, it looks like the pattern actually lines up.

Sewing: What I’m Working On

Since one half of this blog’s name is “sewing,” it makes sense to do a post about sewing projects, after so many devoted to shopping. This winter’s really gotten me down, in terms of creativity and productivity, so I haven’t actually completed anything, but I do have a number of projects in progress.

Violet Pattern

First is the Violet top from Colette Patterns. I bought this pattern (and the fabric for it) a pretty long time ago (so long ago I don’t remember who designed the fabric, but do know that it’s a quilting weight cotton), and never got around to sewing it up, until last spring, when I finally started cutting out the pieces. Then they languished in a zip top bag for another 10 months, before I decided to actually sew the shirt together.

Violet Shirt in progress

It’s still very much a work in progress, but at least at this point the front and back shoulders are sewn together and the Peter Pan collar is finished. I’ll have a review of it when I finish the shirt — which judging from the speed I’ve been working at, should be in another year or so.

houndstooth skirt

Next up is a pleated houndstooth skirt, made from a cotton jersey knit I got from Girl Charlee, again about a year ago. The skirt is modeled after this one, except the knit isn’t stretchy enough not to have a zipper. And I completely messed it up by sewing the zipper in first, before sewing on the waistband.  You can sort of see how the waistband doesn’t fully close, near my arm. There’s no way to get it to close cleanly without completely ripping out the zipper and redoing the side seam.

For that reason, the fabric will be a skirt for only the briefest of moments. I plan on repurposing it to make another version of one of my favorite tops. I might get a different hounds tooth fabric and try the skirt again, but for now the plan is to try the design with a woven gabardine fabric from Liberty. I’m thinking of the hounds tooth one as my muslin, a practice run before sewing up the fancy fabric.