This is part two of a series in which I pay tribute to everyone’s favourite fictional fashionista. To read the other posts, click here.
For my next project, I chose this red and white skirt from season 4 episode 7. The location is ‘Scout’, Steve and Aidan’s bar in SoHo.
The skirt is Prada spring 2001 RTW and it was also styled with a black long sleeved top on the catwalk.
I’m making my own version from…. tshirts, of course!
Both of these items came from the Sue Ryder shop in Upminster (though the tags are different) for £2 each (on sale!).
This simple skirt really couldn’t have been easier to make. Firstly, I considered the design, noticing that the red stripes are thick or thin, and the white stripes are all the same thickness, apart from the ones at the top and bottom which are thinner. For simplicity’s sake, I made the thick red stripes twice the width of the thin red stripes, and the white stripes three times the width of the thin red stripes. A quick bit of maths later, it transpired that the optimum width of a thin red stripe would be 1.75cm, making a thick red stripe 3.5 cm and a white stripe 5.25 cm, except for the top and bottom ones which are 3.5 cm. The top and bottom white stripes were actually cut double the width so they could be folded over (so I didn’t have to make a hem). The seam allowance had to be reduced to the bare minimum, 0.5 cm (which is the depth of an overlocker seam) in order to get all the white stripes out of the white shirt. This is based on a total skirt length of 56cm. More excessively complicated maths describing this really very simple situation is below, for those that are interested.
Enough maths… time to start cutting!
I use a rotary cutter, cutting board and a long ruler (actually, a pattern master) to cut these stripes accurately and exactly straight. I cut the shirts through both front and back at the same time to help with keeping cutting lines straight and on-grain.
Before sewing it all together, I cut each stripe (which was actually a loop) up the side seams. I laid it all out on the floor to check whether I had the right number of pieces. You’ll notice below that some of the white stripes are already shorter (at the top of the skirt) – because they were cut from between the armscyes of the the white tshirt, which was all that was left. The waist of the skirt will be slimmer than the bottom anyway, so no problem.
Here’s how the front looks overlocked together. I had to be very careful to be accurate about my 0.5 cm seam allowance so that all the stripes were even widths!
Once both the front and back were done, I trimmed the edges off. Note that I am curving in from the hip to the waist and slightly curving in from the waist to the hip as well. You can see the doubled over top and bottom stripes in this picture too.
Here’s the final skirt after pressing.
Tracking down the bar that doubles for ‘Scout’ in the series was no problem at all since it regularly gets busloads of SATC fans stopping by. It’s O’Nieals on the corner of Grand Street and Baxter Street. Now, this came as a slight surprise to me as I know my SATC trivia. In one episode, Carrie heads down to the about-to-open bar to give the boys a gift of a Mulberry plant, “because the bar is on Mulberry Street”. Turns out that Mulberry Street is the next block down, so I’ll let them off.
We had dinner there on a Sunday night which was great as it was all but deserted, a great time to go. The staff are certainly used to SATC-tourists and were very friendly! (we stopped short of ordering Cosmopolitans, though). One regular patron told us that he had seen SJP in real life a number of times and that in real life she is ‘tiny’!
It’s a great bar. As Carrie observes in the series, it feels like Aidan. There is a lot of heavy wood and the decor is quite masculine. The most spectacular part is the ceiling, which is entirely made of carved wood panels, it’s beautiful.
You can see that we had fun trying to recreate the original photo… though there was no way I was doing the bare midriff/flat cap/bum bag look! Even Carrie Bradshaw has trouble pulling this one off :)
We had also headed over to Greenwich Village earlier that day to check out another couple of SATC must-sees.
The first was the Magnolia Bakery, where the girls have cupcakes while discussing Steve/Aidan. I looked, but couldn’t see a bench outside where the girls must have sat. We had red velvet cupcakes which were delicious!
We also headed over to 66 Perry Street in Greenwich Village which is the exterior that’s used for Carrie’s apartment in the series (though they say in the programme it’s somewhere on the upper east side). There were other SATC fans there taking photos, which I think is a pretty normal occurrence. It’s on a great, quiet street, and you can really imagine Big waiting outside in a limo. We weren’t lucky enough to see him, though ;-)