Completed: Pulmu Skirt Kit from Needle Sharp

15 Dec

Y’all, I love a good kit. I think I’ve mentioned this before, but I just want to reiterate in case you didn’t hear me the first time – I LOVE KITS. Something about having everything already picked + sorted, then corralled in its own little box just pleases me to no end.

So, today, I have another kit to show you. Or, rather, the results of a project from a kit.

Pulmu Skirt with Needle Sharp

A few months ago, I was contacted by Mary of Needle Sharp, who wanted to send me one of her kits to try out in exchange for some honest feedback. Now, if there is one thing I love more than kits, it’s sharing my opinion! Needle Sharp is a new company that provides sewing subscription boxes. There are 3 different levels to choose from – the Lightweight, the Mediumweight, and the Heavyweight (plus a Starter Box if you literally don’t have the tools), with 3 fabric options to choose from each category. Each month focuses on a theme – this month it’s pencil skirts, last month was wiggle dresses – and the boxes include everything you need to make the project, including pattern, fabric, interfacings and stabilizers, thread, notions, even machine needles. All you need to supply is the sewing machine and any tools (such as scissors, pins, chalk, etc).

I was given several box options to choose from (including upcoming months that haven’t been announced yet!), and I went with the mediumweight pencil skirt box. I chose the rock’n’roll option – black polyester suiting, black pleather triangle inserts. Let me say this is a DEFINITE departure from my style (minus the black part) – I haven’t worn a pencil skirt in ages, and this one is long enough that it requires wearing heels or else it looks stupid – but I’m pretty into it!

I took some photos of the box before I tore into it, so here’s that:

Needle Sharp box

The box arrived on my doorstep with the logo clearly visible, so I knew exactly what was waiting for me (rather than it being a nondescript box that I ripped open with glee to realize it was just a bunch of Amazon books that my upstairs neighbor had ordered, ugh I’m still mad about that lol).

Needle Sharp tissue

Needle Sharp contents

Everything was beautifully packaged, it looked like a present when I opened it. I didn’t take a picture of all the included stuff (well, I did, but it was a dumb and useless-looking picture so I deleted it), but my box contained the sewing pattern, suiting fabric, lining fabric, pleather, interfacing, 2 D rings, an invisible zipper, a spool of black thread, 2 sewing machine needles (80/12 and a leather needle – both clearly marked on a small card), and CANDY. TBH, the candy might have been the best part. I am always so tickled when I get surprise candy.

Needle Sharp fabric care

Another thing included in the box were cards for each piece of fabric, with yardage, content, and care instructions. I really appreciated this, since this information is rarely included with online fabric orders.

While I’m generally not a fan of polyester, the contents of this box were definitely a very high quality. It didn’t feel plastic-y like some polys, and in general the fabrics were easy to work with and handle. That lining shed all over the place like a bitch (a month later, I am still finding surprise tufts around my studio), but charmeuse has a tendency to do that regardless of whether it’s silk or poly. I especially loved the faux leather! It is a SUPER nice quality and actually looks like leather (as opposed to plastic, like a lot of the faux leathers I’ve seen). It is backed with a knit rayon, so it’s super easy to sew and doesn’t require a special foot (I did use the included leather needle). I received more fabric than I needed (each kit comes with enough fabric to make any of the sizes in the pattern), so I have tons to play with and put toward future projects. Pretty stoked about that!

Pulmu Skirt with Needle Sharp

So, now, let’s talk about the pattern – the Pulmu skir from Named Clothing. This was the pattern that was included in my box. As I’ve mentioned, a high-waisted pencil skirt really isn’t the kind of thing I wear these days, but I’m willing to branch out. I loved the way this one looks and I loved the idea of putting a cool fabric in those triangle inserts. This pattern is definitely a neat twist on an otherwise plain pencil skirt, and I’m totally into that.

With that being said, I feel like Named Patterns can be a little hit or miss. Some of the designs are cool (some of the designs leave me scratching my head. Sorry. I’m not a cool person.), the drafting is great and the pieces fit together well. The instructions make me want to SCREAM. Key steps are left out, additional wtf steps are included (like serging all the seam allowances – on a *closed* lined skirt. Really, dude?), but tbh I’m mostly mad because this pattern didn’t include any lengthen/shorten lines. Who does that?? And why??? So, that agitated me. Minor complaint, but frustrating nonetheless.

I knew this skirt was going to be long – the instructions state that the pattern is drafted for someone who is 5’8″ and to shorten if needed (again, then why the HELL would you not include lengthen/shorten lines, like, seriously dude), and I am more like 5’2″! The skirt is intended to hit calf length, and I was tempted to make it way shorter than that but decided to embrace that whole “wearing clothes out of my style comfort zone” and stick with the longer demure length. It does look cool, but the downside is that I have to wear heels or else I look frumpy. The upside is, I finally have something to wear these turquoise Jimmy Choos with, ha!

Pulmu Skirt with Needle Sharp

Pulmu Skirt with Needle Sharp

I mean, seriously, look at how fucking cool those shoes are.

In case you were curious, they are as uncomfortable as they look. I actually bought some new insoles to try out on these shoes and they have kind of changed my life – the Vivian Lou Insolia insoles, seriously amazing. My problem with heels is that all my weight gets pushed to my toes, and it gets incredibly painful really really fast (I took these photos before I tried the insoles and just the time it took to get pictures, my feet were screaming). These insoles redistribute the weight so your heel takes a lot of it, which makes the shoes easier to wear. I’m not delusional and I’m not going to tell you that these feel like sneakers now – but I can wear them and walk around and it’s way more tolerable. They are expensive for insoles – like $30! – but they have a money-back guarantee, so you’re not stuck with them if they suck. I’m pretty happy with this discovery!

And, in case you were wondering why I own a pair of designer shoes that I couldn’t even wear – my boss gave them to me (she never wore them either). I do not normally buy $1,000 shoes just for the hell of it πŸ˜›

Ok, moving on!

Pulmu Skirt with Needle Sharp

Pulmu Skirt with Needle Sharp_4662

Based on my measurements, I’m a size 34 at the hip and between a 34/36 at the waist. I cut my skirt pattern between the 34/36 lines at the waist, grading down to a 34 at the hip to the hem. I also shortened the skirt by 2″ – which took a little problem solving on my end, as the skirt is pegged at the hem and has that triangular insert to contend with. What I ended up doing was shortening the skirt 1″ in two different places, which I think worked quite well. In addition to the pegged hem, the skirt has 2 side slits and an encased lining (it doesn’t hang free; it’s attached at the hem), so I wouldn’t be able to shorten the skirt after assembling it. Figuring out which 2 places to shorten was part of the challenge, but I ultimately went with around the hip area (which, strangely, is marked on the pattern), as well as a couple inches above the slits.

The waist fits great, but the hips could have stood to go up a size- as you can see, there are drag lines all over my butt. I’m not terribly concerned about it – the 3/8″ seam allowance means there’s not much room for fit adjustments, so I’m just gonna deal with what I was given here – but I’m certainly aware of it. Like I said, I cut my size based on my measurements, so I’m not sure if the finished hip is tighter due to my fabrics or an error in the sizing. The fabric recommendations on the pattern aren’t exactly helpful – they just say get fabric with “up to 5% stretch.” Oh, ok. To be fair, my leather inserts are stretch – but the lining isn’t, so it negates that. At any rate, I’m not concerned about it so whatever!

Pulmu Skirt with Needle Sharp

Pulmu Skirt with Needle Sharp

The poly + leather in this skirt pressed surprisingly well (I used medium heat, a presscloth, and a clapper to hold the heat in until it cooled), but I added a bunch of topstitching to get a really sharp edge. I topstitched all the darts, as well as the inserts, and I love the way it looks.

Pulmu Skirt with Needle Sharp

The skirt features a self-fabric facing to keep the top lining from peeking out, and the back closes with an invisible zipper.

Pulmu Skirt with Needle Sharp

The “vents” are actually just slits. I love the look of them but be aware they are not faced like a true vent – so your lining fabric will show. This was my one complaint about the kit is the color of that lining fabric. I know that people love a contrasty lining, but I generally stick with neutrals, especially in a black skirt that is going to show the lining. Based on my feedback, the kits now have the option to choose your lining color (you can get plain black and be boring like me, or a fun contrast if that’s what you like!).

Pulmu Skirt with Needle Sharp

One thing I added was a small bartack at the bottom of the slit, to reinforce it from tearing. BTW, the slit instructions are… interesting. It’s not my cleanest work, but it’ll do.

Pulmu Skirt with Needle Sharp

Pulmu Skirt with Needle Sharp

The skirt includes belt loops and a self-fabric belt that closes with D rings. I don’t know why I love that part so much, but I do. I’ve actually found other ways to wear the belt with different garments, so that’s a bonus!

Pulmu Skirt with Needle Sharp

I think that’s all the word vomit I have to say about this project! In short: the kit was great, and especially awesome for getting me to branch out a little, style-wise. If you are making this skirt (whether with a Needle Sharp kit or just because you own the pattern), I recommend sizing up at the hips, or using a fabric with some stretch (and making sure your lining stretches as well). And also check that length, because once you’ve sewn up the skirt you can’t exactly shorten it!

Oh, one last thing! If you want to try a box with Needle Sharp – use the code HOLIDAY10 to receive 10% off any box! This promo is good through 12/24/17.

** Note: All the supplies used to make this skirt were provided to me as a free kit from Needle Sharp, in exchange for my honest feedback. I was not required to post about this project, I just wanted to!

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30 Responses to “Completed: Pulmu Skirt Kit from Needle Sharp”

  1. zaynabsophiarose December 15, 2017 at 10:05 am #

    Girl, you look hot! The whole outfit is so flattering. I think a kit is also great for procrastinaters that can’t get round to buying the stuff.

    • LLADYBIRD December 15, 2017 at 12:26 pm #

      Thank you! I agree, these kits are perfect for procrastinators – no need to hunt everything down, it’s all there for you! In a box! πŸ˜€ haha

  2. heather December 15, 2017 at 10:41 am #

    i love your skirt! really awesome! happy holidays πŸ™‚

  3. Π›ΠΈΡ‚Π° December 15, 2017 at 10:45 am #

    Lauren, you look amazing in this outfit. And the shoes are just gorgeous. I have the same issue with high heels and thank you for mentioning those insoles.
    Also thanks for the review, it was interesting – I haven’t heard for this company before, however I like good kits too. Straight skirts are not my cup of tea, but I will subscribe to see the next month offer

    • LLADYBIRD December 15, 2017 at 12:26 pm #

      Thank you so much! I am loving these insoles and I’m so glad I discovered them. Changed my shoe-wearing life for sure!

  4. Jennilee December 15, 2017 at 11:15 am #

    1. That skirt is awesome and you look amazing.
    2. I am 5’8″ and made pants from a Named pattern and they have like a four or five inch deep hem (lighter weight fabric so it actually works) so I have no idea who they’re drafting for.

    • LLADYBIRD December 15, 2017 at 12:27 pm #

      Thank you! And holy shit, that is crazy. What height are the drafting for, exactly??? haha

  5. Angela Dent December 15, 2017 at 12:28 pm #

    Absolutely fabulous, you look a million dollars!

  6. Splinters&Stitches December 15, 2017 at 2:24 pm #

    When I saw the front view, I was blown away–you look HAWT! Yeah, there’s a few drag lines, but honestly, as long as the skirt isn’t uncomfortably tight, this needs to stay in your wardrobe. No one but a fellow sewist is going to notice the draglines, and this whole outfit has me heart-eyeing the shit out of it!

    • LLADYBIRD December 16, 2017 at 8:50 am #

      That’s what I figure! Only other sewists notice stuff like that, and most people (not all, but *most*) are polite enough not to point it out πŸ™‚ Thank you!!

  7. Karin December 15, 2017 at 2:34 pm #

    This summer it was soooo fashionable to wear a ankle-length pencil skirt with sneakers! Maybe it was just in Europe but it looked pretty good. Maybe you should just start a trend, although the Jimmy Choo’s are awesome πŸ˜€

    • LLADYBIRD December 16, 2017 at 8:51 am #

      Haha I remember seeing that look making the rounds! I actually did like the way it looked… and sneakers are DEFINITELY way more comfortable than any heels I can imagine haha!

  8. Charlotte E December 15, 2017 at 4:25 pm #

    Maybe you should step out of your style zone more often as you’re rocking this look!!! Although you catch glimpses of the lining at the slits I love that the colour matches your shoes. Great tip about the insoles btw. I struggle to wear heels for that same reason plus just being generally unco so slipping and tripping is a thing πŸ˜‰

    • LLADYBIRD December 16, 2017 at 8:52 am #

      Oh, I always slip and trip regardless of my footwear – I’m one of those people who can fall up stairs. Although tripping in heels is definitely more embarrassing; I can feel the judgemental side eye when it happens. But I agree, stepping out of the style zone is fun and I should try it more often!

  9. Miss Celie December 15, 2017 at 5:28 pm #

    You look terrific in this skirt. Umm, where did you get all that booty from?

    • LLADYBIRD December 16, 2017 at 8:52 am #

      Girl stop, you’re gonna make me blush!

  10. Kit December 15, 2017 at 5:52 pm #

    Ok, first, you so totally have the figure to rock a high(er) waist…. Just love the skirt. Expertly sewn as usual. Thank you for the tip on the insoles! Do not let those shoes go to waste…LOL.

    • LLADYBIRD December 16, 2017 at 8:53 am #

      Thank you! And yes, I am doing my best to not let that happen haha!

  11. bethnegrey December 15, 2017 at 8:30 pm #

    I don’t wear heels that much anymore although a couple of pairs of boots in my closet are a bit up there — so I’ll be looking for those insoles. Thanks! And, this outfit looks absolutely fabulous on you! Kinda 40’s with a little ol’ cheeky (oh, yeah, pun intended πŸ™‚ ) twist. Go get ’em!

    • LLADYBIRD December 16, 2017 at 8:54 am #

      Thank you so much! I definitely recommend trying the insoles – they made a huge difference in comfort for me, which was totally worth the cost! But even if they don’t work, it looks like their return policy is really fantastic. Can’t lose either way!

  12. catherine December 16, 2017 at 12:54 am #

    Oh…. My…… Just what I needed in between my first two days, back at work, saving lives and stamping out disease…. thank you. You got this. πŸ™‚

  13. liz-o-matic December 16, 2017 at 8:44 am #

    Love it! I have the same problem with heels- may have to check out those insoles….

    Although, I feel every woman seems to have a pair of awesome heels they never wear…. I myself have a pair of ridiculously fabulous purple Prada heels (80% off on tax-free weekend!) that I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve worn- although one of them was my wedding πŸ˜‰

    • LLADYBIRD December 16, 2017 at 8:55 am #

      I recommend trying them; they made a huge difference in comfort and they have a solid money-back guarantee if for some reason they don’t work for you! I love shit like that haha

      And yes, I agree with you – it’s so common for women to have that one crazy shoe that they never wear. Yours sound fabulous and TBH I’d be perfectly content with only that one wedding wear! That’s where it really counts haha

  14. PsychicSewerKathleen December 16, 2017 at 10:00 am #

    WOW! The whole outfit is so sexy – definitely a must for New Year’s Eve (if you like dancing you could bring a pair of those folding flats – do they still sell those? women used to bring with them in the ’50’s & ’60’s and surreptitiously slip them out of their clutches when no one was looking) You suit that style so much – have you looked at the Lisa Comfort’s (Sew Over It) favourite pants pattern? It’s by the CA pattern company Decades of Style (’40’s Empire Waist Pants) You would suit these to a Tee πŸ™‚

    • LLADYBIRD December 18, 2017 at 11:48 am #

      I’ve seen those folding flats, but I never understood them… like, what do you do with your heels!? Obviously those don’t fit in your purse. It doesn’t make sense to me lol. I will have to check out those pants, they sound awesome!!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Completed: Simplicity 8012 | LLADYBIRD - December 29, 2017

    […] should I need a black clutch for any of them. The leather piece + wrist strap is leftover from my Pulmuu skirt kit, and the bag is lined with black silk […]

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