Alberta Street Pencil Skirt in the New Moon’s Arms

It’s time for another Literary Sewing Circle instalment! Melanie over at Following the Thread is hosting another great read-and-sew-along based on the book The New Moon’s Arms by Nalo Hopkinson. The book takes place on an island in the Caribbean and our hapless, middle-aged protagonist has a bit of a drunken night on the beach, and ‘misplaces’ her pencil skirt.

Frivolous at Last: Alberta Street Pencil Skirt and Style Arc Lotti top

I’ve been meaning to make a pencil skirt for a while, and this cotton-elastane woven fabric I bought in June calls to mind a Caribbean sunset with its water-washed colours of sand, blue, pink and lavender. Perfect!

Frivolous at Last: Alberta Street Pencil Skirt

I used the Alberta Street Pencil Skirt pattern by Sew House Seven. I’m not normally a fan of patch pockets but I liked the angled style of these ones. I’m also particularly happy with my pattern matching on those pockets. The matching at the side and back seams is a little more, um, ‘flexible’, as the stripes aren’t stock-straight, so a perfect match was pretty much impossible. It’s funny; before I started sewing, matching stripes at the seams wasn’t something I ever noticed! Now I am silently judging those poor wearers of badly matched ready-to-wear stripes. SO happy to have another excuse to be a snob! lol

Frivolous at Last: Alberta Street Pencil Skirt and Style Arc Lotti top

In the book, Calamity, the aptly-named main character, is starting menopause which seems to trigger her supernatural “finding” ability — previously lost items literally drop from the sky whenever she has a hot flash. I *LOVE* this idea of menopause bringing superpowers. And I mean superpowers OTHER than invisibility, which can hardly be considered a superpower when it happens to every middle aged woman, amirite? (I mean, seriously, I’m getting used to my new invisibility powers but two summers ago when a delivery man on the street catcalled me? Twenty years ago I would’ve been indignant. Now? I silently fist-pumped to myself and considered it the best thing that had happened to me all week. Sad. So sad. lol)

Frivolous at Last: Alberta Street Pencil Skirt and Style Arc Lotti top

I’m also wearing a Style Arc Lotti top. Not particularly in love with this one but it goes well with the skirt.

I don’t often calculate how much an outfit cost me but I’m genetically programmed such that getting a good deal produces a lot of dopamine in my brain (did I tell you my parents will drive across town to save 20 cents on cheese?), so let’s break this one down:

  • pencil skirt pattern: about $18 CAD
  • Lotti top pattern: on sale for $6; sewed two tops from it so let’s make it $3
  • skirt fabric: on sale for $5/meter; used about 1m = $5
  • top fabric: on sale for $3/meter; used about 1/2 a meter = $1.50

Grand total: $27.50! My parents would be proud. lol

Frivolous at Last: Alberta Street Pencil Skirt

Check out those sunburned legs! I’m not so good at wielding a can of spray sunscreen before a day of beach volleyball, apparently. Missed a few spots.


Have you read The New Moon’s Arms? If you’re a fan of magical realism (which I am — magic, get in my life!) you might find it an enjoyable read. It might even convince you that mermaids are real! I recommend it for an easy summer read, with just the right amount of social commentary to keep it from being *too* easy.

Thanks so much for stopping by!

— Lori


22 thoughts on “Alberta Street Pencil Skirt in the New Moon’s Arms

  1. Love the fabric you used for this skirt Lori! It’s beautiful. What a great way to showcase it with this pencil skirt. If you love magic realism…you would love Deborah Harkness’ trilogy A Discovery of Witches. If you haven’t read them you should . Trust me you will love these books 🙂 She’s a history prof doing research at Oxford’s Bodleian Library who is also a closet witch and he’s…well he’s a vampire but not by any means a garden variety 🙂 You won’t put them down.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That sounds perfect, Kathleen! Thanks for the tip. I’m a bit meh on what I’m reading at the moment so I will definitely check those out.
      Also, haven’t forgotten about you regarding the podcast…one of these days, I’m coming for you! lol


  2. The SHOES! Your sewing is impeccable, you are not at all invisible just maybe more demanding of respect at your still got it age, but tell me please the brand of those shoes.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lol! Thanks for your comment, Barbara. Ok, the shoes. So cute, right? Except I would definitely NOT recommend them. The brand is Swedish Hasbeens. Here comes a long sob story because I need to get this off my chest! The shoes are really badly designed. The back strap sits way too low on the back of the heel, so no matter how tight you make the strap, it falls down immediately. It was 100% impossible to walk more than 3 steps in these shoes before the shoes were falling off. I saw another blogger who was wearing them in a picture and I asked her what her experience was, and she said the same thing. So I contacted the company, and they basically just said, oh, just tighten the strap, even though I explained that it was a design flaw and not a matter of tightening the strap. GRRRR. Anyway, I decided to take them to a shoe maker, who cut the back straps off, made new straps, and attached them with a rivet so they sit much higher on the back of the heel. And now they fit beautifully and stay on when I walk. I’m irritated that I had to invest $60 more dollars in these already expensive shoes, but I’m happy with the outcome. So long story short? Definitely do not buy Swedish Hasbeens shoes!


      1. Absolutely gorgeous outfit you’ve created and fit is excellent! You can’t possibly be anywhere near menopause? You look very young to me. I was going to ask about the shoes as well. Adorable! Just discovered your blog. Love both your fashion and writing styles.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I had to wait sooooo long for my copy of the book [the first one went astray en route from the US] that I only finished reading it a few days ago. I love it though, and will be following up on other work by the author. I have a vague idea of what I might sew up…if I get my finger out that is!
    Love your skirt, perfect inspiration

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You did a great job on the skirt. Great print and with pockets like those you can carry your book and a bottle of wine! Thanks for the book recommendation. We all need to be aware of our superpowers. You have “it” will have it forever!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, Andrea! They’re not the kind of pockets you’d rest your hands in, because of the inward-angle of them. But I can get away with carrying a lipstick in there. Depends how fitted you make the skirt.


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