Simplicity 7216: a nice normal skirt, white fishnets not included. 

The Pattern:
Simplicity 7216, JUNIOR PETITES’ AND MISSES’ SKIRTS IN TWO LENGTHS, copyright 1967 Simplicity Pattern Co. Inc. 
This is a good old basic skirt pattern with three possible looks: Views 1 and 2 are pleated, View 3 is plain, and View 4 uses exactly the same pattern pieces as View 3 but with a different grain line to follow for the bias. 
Here below is my favorite detail of the cover art:


White fishnets! Git it, Girl!
What an outfit this is. Let’s admire it. Blue shirt, bias plaid mini in red and green, white fishnet tights, and blue shoes with big ol’ buckles. Such a contrast from View 1’s white and grey uniform.
I like to imagine that both girls are dressed for school. Just, not the same school. I’m guessing View 4 is skirting the edge of her public school’s dress code with those tights.  
Thing I find culturally interesting: in the US, for the most part, private school students wear uniforms, but public school students do not, whereas in other places (I’ve been told/seen on tv/seen IRL in Melbourne and London but am not an expert on please correct me if I’m wrong) public school students wear uniforms while private school students are the ones that don’t.
Target stores here in Los Angeles sell school uniforms, in tan or navy polyester. I was surprised the first time I saw them, like, “Oh! So you don’t have to go to, like, Diagon Alley to get these, huh.”
I made the most technically boring skirt option —View 3 in the mini length— so as to feature my fabric. 


The Fabric:
I found this green and cream floral printed poly/cotton canvas at a thrift shop a couple months ago, for two dollars. 
My guess is that this is not actually vintage but more of a vintage-inspired fabric, and that somebody bought this yard-and-a-half and spread it over their couch thinking, “Should I re-upholster? Does this look good?” And then they decided no. 
But I decided yes!
I really like this stuff. It reminds me of those solar photos we made as kids, with that special paper you would put leaves and flowers onto and then set out in the sunshine and come back later and sweep the flowers off and you’ve got a blue-on-blue floral silhouette image that looks a lot like this fabric. Anybody remember those?




This is a directional fabric, meaning the flowers and leaves don’t interchange, but have a definite up and down. I chose to cut the wrong direction on purpose, going downward, like they are falling from a garland. Or like I have an entourage who throw flowers along my path. Ya know. I think it’s prettier that way and shows off the sinuous lines better than growing upward would. 

Construction and Time:
This took four hours, from ironing the fabric to hand stitching the hem. 
One thing that kept this project fast and straightforward is that I didn’t have to change the size. Didn’t have to make the waist and hips bigger. This one fits as is, straight out of the package. That, like, never happens. This is possibly the only 30″ waist vintage pattern I’ve ever seen, let alone owned. 
I didn’t even change the length, I figured the rest of it was going so well I would just trust in their version of mini. 
The only change I made was to lift the back of the skirt into the waistband 5/8″ at the center back to 0″ at the side seams, to get the side seams (which were tilting forward) to hang straight. 
I’d go shorter for a winter version to be worn with tights, but for summer and no tights, this works. It looks like a whole lot of skirt to me, proportionally. But that may be because I grew up in the 90’s when mini meant practically rectangular, between the low waist and high hem. 
Oh, and this is fun: this is a “How-To-Sew” Pattern, right? 
I investigated. 
What this means is that the instructions carefully describe how to apply the waistband (in a way I disagreed with: sew to inside, turn to outside, fold and topstitch. I do the opposite, I think it’s easier to achieve a clean line if you sew right sides together first and turn in, and you can always add topstitching later if you want) but then for the zipper they give no instruction other than “see instructions with zipper.” Hahahaha! Love. 

Sew It or Throw It:
Sew it. I mean, it’s vintage that fits without my help, how rare. 
And it’s a nice blank slate, for giant bucket pockets maybe. 
Also, I’m excited that the pleated versions have a separate pattern piece for the inner face of the pleats, which means the inner pleats could be a different color. Fun! 

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16 thoughts on “Simplicity 7216: a nice normal skirt, white fishnets not included. 

    1. Thank you,
      There’s a story with the shoes:
      These are Saltwater Sandals. I bought them after reading Overdressed, I wanted sandals this summer and was determined to buy American made. Did a bunch of online research and found Saltwater Sandals on a couple different lists of American made shoes, (American made children’s sandals since the 1940’s, made out of the leather scraps from adult leather shoes, in a factory in Missouri, etc) but their website didn’t have a big MADE IN USA banner, which seemed odd, plus they were only $40, as opposed to the $300-ish I was seeing everywhere else for American made shoes, so that seemed odd too, but I went for it anyway and bought this pair, and sure enough, the underside of the leather is stamped MADE IN CHINA.
      I’m bummed. I like the shoes, they themselves are great, but I did not succeed in supporting an American shoe company like I wanted too. Maybe the sole is made in the USA, maybe the parts are assembled in USA, or maybe the operation has completely moved to China now, I don’t know.
      I’m enjoying these sandals, but taking this as a lesson to do more thorough research, and also feeling weird about the inevitability of buying goods from China.

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      1. Oh gosh! I hear that! I have tried to support NZ made companies and a lot are moving off-shore. I can say though that many of them can speak with authority and confidence about manufacture at their China (0r elsewhere) ends, regularly visit factories etc.

        However my purchasing hierarchy is:
        1. Second Hand
        2. Made in NZ
        3. Made in country by other countries with strong regulation around manufacture
        4. Made off shore by NZ companies with ethical policies – see Kowtow
        5. Other – only in event where I can’t find elsewhere and actually is a necessity, which is very little

        3&4 can interchange depending on how many carbon miles…

        Of course I mostly sew what I wear, fabric purchasing follows the same order.

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      2. I’ve heard of Saltwater sandals. Thanks for telling me that they’re actually made in China. I love sandals. Luckily, I should be able to get at least a couple — if not a few — seasons more out of my current pair.

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  1. Cute skirt. It always take a while to get used to new proportions – I’ve had that with my latest pant make. But I think the balance is spot on.

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  2. Great fit! I was expecting something much shorter… I blame Cher & Dionne/the 90s too! In fact, I could see them looking fierce in pale fishnets.
    Wrt uniforms, pupils in public and private schools in the UK and NZ wear uniforms. Almost exclusively in fee paying schools (called public in the UK….) whereas some publicly funded schools don’t have uniforms. Mine was boring, kind of like lady #1.

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    1. It is funny, huh, to read “mini” and then see something that long.
      Fee paying schools are called public? Whah???
      I think uniforms are a good idea. I never had a school uniform, but I have tried at different times as an adult to establish a daily uniform for myself. It’s never quite stuck.

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  3. Love that skirt pattern, the plaid is so Marsha Brady…..or maybe my version of her. Great choice of fabric for the skirt – looks fabulous. as-a-by-the-way, fee paying schools in ireland are all school uniform and the school I went to even had different uniforms for when you went into each senior year! (uniform was mainly blue, then it was a green jumper and turquoise tweed skirt for penultimate year, and green jumper green tweed skirt for final year). can empathise with your sandal story, I bought 2 pairs of shoes from a company this year – I have not bought a pair in a long time from them, and they were on sale, one pair fab, the other same size didnt fit at all. I was perplexed and it seems the manufacturing base has moved to China and perhaps the lasts are changing (I thought they were still european made but when I went thru my 4 camper shoes I only had 2 pairs that were european made……)

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    1. Ooh, I love that the uniform changed color as you advanced! That seems like it would feel good, to graduate into green for your last year.
      Related: I just watched the movie Heathers again, for the first time since probably the early 90’s, and was surprised to see how I’d forgotten how they used color in the movie. The four main girls each adopt the color that they play in croquet, so one is always yellow, Winona Ryder is always blue, etc. The school color is red, and at the end of the movie when you see the girl who has seized power and adopted red, it looks like she owns the entire school. It’s pretty neat.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. for my shame I have never seen Heathers – dreadful isnt it…I think I will definitely watch this weekend (my partner is always surprised I have not seen it either – which used be my constant reaction to him not having seen chinatown – he now has so I better even the score………although I have a dreadful feeling I will end up playing croquet, I am far too easily swayed by whims)

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  4. Like it a lot. The bias check version is very Cher from Clueless…. So in Australia we all seem to wear uniforms, public or private, but often in public schools the final 2 years (11&12) can go casual clothes….I loved my school kilt, but hated my itchy woollen jumper. And my mum wouldn’t let me wear my summer uniform above my knees so every morning when she left for work I’d baste my hem up by hand, then let it down before she got home. Devious little strumpet, wasn’t I?

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    1. My (Australian) primary school was public and had a uniform in that it had school colours and people were encouraged to wear them but it was totally optional. Of course that meant my classmates were all in brandname athletic wear while I went to class in homemade tracksuit pants in bottle green. It was SCARRING.

      My private high school had a uniform with all sorts of dumb rules (no jumper without the blazer, had to wear the dumb straw hat in summer, etc), and all sorts of work around. The favourite was that the summer dresses had a tie at the back to make them just slightly less sacklike. Everyone would tie that as tight as possible and then hike the skirt up and fold it under so it was shorter. The winter skirt likewise got the waistband rolled over three or four times until it was basically a mini, albeit with a huge bulky waistline.

      Sewing related, they changed the uniform when I was halfway through from ‘generic brown school uniform plaid’ (brown, WHY) to a fancy plaid they’d had designed which tbh is very nice. But there was an outcry from all the nonnas who had for years been making their daughters and granddaughter’s school uniforms from the sanctioned patterns that you could buy from the uniform shop, rather than buy the exorbitantly priced and poorly made uniforms (that were also notoriously thin and seethrough and there was a lot of the boy’s schools trying to ambush and waterbomb the girls on the way to the bus, which now I think about it is super gross but luckily they had very poor aim). The outcry was so loud that the school had to buy lengths of the designed fabric so that it could be purchased in the uniform shop, too, which I think is lovely.

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      1. I love love love hearing about uniform work arounds. Rolling the skirt to achieve a simultaneous mini length and giant bulky waist is especially hilarious, I loled.
        That’s great that the school was made to sell yardage of the new plaid! Way to go, nonnas!

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