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Mama Deb
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Mama Deb [userpic]

What I need and cannot find are chef's skirts.

There are chef's pants. These are, traditionally, loosefitting drawstring pants with pockets, made of a black and white houndstooth material, usually called "checks". The idea is that checks don't show food stains so readily. Of course, these days, these pants can be made of a large assortment of patterns, but checks are still common. Excecutive chefs show their rank by, among other things, wearing *black* pants.

What I want is something along those lines except in a skirt. And they don't make those. I'm pretty sure there isn't much of a market for them. Now, if I work in a restaurant that requires that I wear pants, I'll wear pants - if I can do that for martial arts classes, I can do that in a kitchen, especially since I'll also be wearing an apron. But given a choice, I'd rather not - and I'm not required to do so in my current assignment. I'll probably wear older gray skirts under my school whites (I am required to wear whites, but I have those.)

So. Let's say I do get a permanent job someplace, and in that place, I can wear skirts but they prefer checks. I know there are seamstresses on my flist. Could I commission someone to make me chef's skirts? (This is for future reference, not for current need.)


I'm not a good enough seamstress to do that for someone else, but I would suggest that if you find a good fabric, to buy a bunch of it, even if you think it will be a while before you need the skirts.

Fabric is readily available. So that's not a problem.

Lots of seamstresses around here should it prove necessary.

For me I'd say yes, you could commission someone rather easily, provided they can find the appropriate fabric. A skirt is rather simple to do, honestly, especially for something like this where you'd probably want a simple a-line. It's a bunch of straight seams and putting in a waistband or a pocket for a drawstring. I've even drafted plenty of skirts on my own when I didn't have a pattern at hand, which finally proved to me that geometry was useful outside of school.

Fabric is easy. I did an online search, and cotton houndstooth is out there.

(And no math is wasted. Ever.)

DIY convert pants to skirts (easy! can be done w fabric glue!)
cut seams of pants up the inside of the thighs, through the crotch
open the slit pants and cut the legs to desired length.
use cut leg portions to fill distance between the split
voila!! chef skirts!

I need to find my sewing machine and get it serviced first (poor thing hasn't been touched in almost eighteen years.)

I wouldn't want to trust seams to fabric glue given the environment - lots of heat, moisture and movement.

Places that sell medical scrubs usually sell scrub skirts (especially here in the south, because a lot of women wear skirts for religious reasons) and it probably wouldn't be that hard to find some in houndstooth.
If I see any around, I'll point you there.

I checked. (And given that a lot of Orthodox women are nurses - including the very impressive woman in my Parshah group who is going to nursing school NOW, in her fifties. And she will be a marvelous nurse, too - and not a few are doctors, they do need these.)

Solid colors. But still - something to keep in mind for the future.

If you want an unstructured drawstring skirt, nothing could be easier--assuming you can find the fabric. You just take a piece of fabric as long as you want the bottom of the skirt to measure*, sew the cut ends together, put a casing in the top (just fold over the top selvage & sew it down), whack the fabric off at the right length, hem it and run a drawstring through the casing.

An A-line drawstring, like mari4212 suggested, would be a bit more work, but it's not something any professional (or skilled amateur) seamstress couldn't whip together in an evening.

The catch, as I said above, may be finding the fabric.

I think looking for scrub-skirts is probably a good idea, too.

*IOW, if you want a 60" wide skirt, buy/cut 62" of fabric--the 2 is for the seam.

Edited at 2009-03-27 10:07 pm (UTC)

Fabric is easy.

What is less easy are pockets. Pockets are useful. (Also getting the machine serviced, of course.)

I wasn't actually suggesting you make them yourself, just trying to explain how simple they'd be.

But pockets aren't all that complicated, especially on an a-line skirt. The pocket is just a rectangle folded over on itself. You make the opening on the side seam and sew the pocket into the waistband and side seam of the skirt. Then it either hangs loose, like pants pockets, or you topstitch it to the skirt front.

Making one like a pants pocket--with the cutout--is a bit harder, but not much.

I'd be tempted to offer to make them myself, except I've had decidedly mixed results with long-distance costuming/sewing work. I much prefer to have the option of having the person try the stuff on in-progress.

This is, at most, a distant problem. We will burn the bridge of making skirts when we come to it.

But you know, you'd think they'd have them anyway.

But you know, you'd think they'd have them anyway.

I dunno. Most women who work in the restaurant/food service industry don't have any reason not to wear pants, and they're more practical for some aspects of food service. (I'm thinking lifted 30# crates of lettuce, etc. Pants don't ever get hiked up between you and the box. *wry g*) I suspect the number of women who prefer/need to wear skirts is a small enough segment of the customer-pool that it's not worthwhile for a mass-manufacturer to produce or a uniform supplier to stock them. Sort of like the problem you were discussing a year or so ago about finding suitable wedding dresses for Orthodox brides.

I'm betting that if you get a job in a kosher kitchen they'll be okay with you wearing a skirt. A competent seamstress should be able to work up a simple, durable pattern in an appropriate material. Good luck!

You'd be surprised. I am making ZERO assumptions.

Although I can't see why a skirt would be a problem. Aprons are as loose and shorts and capris seem popular.

*nod* If it's a safety issue, I'm sure that can be worked with.