Sunday, 29 July 2012

Skirts on Sunday

Warning: Lenghty post ahead but I make up for it with plenty of pictures.

This is what I finished yesterday afternoon and immediately wore for a leisurely ice-cream-laden stroll around the park with my lovely fiancé.

It has quite the history. If you've been following my hen night dress posts you know that I'm trying to tackle bodice fitting issues resulting from a full bust and a taller than average height. Given the nature of the Jamie dress pattern I've eschewed learning how to properly make an FBA (full bust adjustment) once more.* But last summer I tried to bypass the issue by making a tank top dress. I'd seen this tutorial floating on Pinterest and thought, "Hey, that's just perfect because tanks tend to fit just fine". However, obviously I had to make a few changes:

1) Make the skirt hip level rather than high-waisted as that isn't the best look when you're top heavy, in my opinion.
2) Make a scalloped hem because they were all the rage this time last year.
3) Make a two separate layers for more fullness and swishiness. (Is that even a word? I doubt it.)
4) Make the top layer of the skirt out of a wider piece of fabric so it adds even more fullness.

For several reasons I wasn't over the moon with the results and thought about detaching and redoing the skirt as early as late summer. But the amount of seams and gathering stitches to take out put me off until last Sunday.

On 1) I don't think attaching the skirt lower than in the tutorial really was an issue. Attaching something to a Jersey top, however, especially in a hurry, was. The incredibly wonky seam might have been hidden by a sash but I never really got over it. Further, always having to make sure that a sash is sitting right can be annoying. It kept riding up, exposing the seam. This was the main reason why I didn't wear the dress as often as I'd imagined.

On 2) I followed a Coletterie tutorial for an easy scalloped hem but finished it with a zig zag stitch as I don't own a serger. Further, I added a row of stitches close to the turned scallops to make sure they'd stay that way. I didn't trust them to retain their form without further means and wanted to be able to easily iron them after a wash.

The result was pretty from the outside but not so much from the inside and there were always stray threads to look after. Therefore I cleaned up my hems by turning the top under, giving it a press, and hand stitching them down. If you're interested in a good tutorial on a classic blind hem stitch I used this youtube video to teach myself around Christmas last year. See? Much nicer! No checking for loose threads.

But I was and am terribly in love with the scallops and that's the main reason why I had to salvage the skirt. Also, I simply adore the print and could never waste all that pretty fabric. I had already made another skirt (A-line, yoke, zipper, 56 cm length) from it before making this that I've been wearing tons since last summer.**

On 3) I didn't just make the same scallops on both layers. Rather I made those on the top layer smaller for a petal effect.

On 4) Obviously I've kept the two layers but I trimmed down the top layer so both would be of equal length. Makes inserting the elastic easier. Whilst doing so I redid my French seams as well. Last year's were hurried and slightly scruffy.

Elastic in skirts tends to wander, sometimes twist. Especially with gathered skirts you have to check whether equal parts of the skirt are in the front and back when you wear it/after washing. To rid myself of this nuisance I sewed the elastic down in the side seams.

Et voila, I've got a favourite new skirt that I just know I'll wear until it comes apart.

I'm off to finally sew up my hen night dress whilst watching Baywatch and A-Team re-runs. Gotta love ever so slightly awful TV! I'm very excited but if you're not into fashion sewing all that much, don't fear, I've got a baby quilt lined up which will feature heavily in the next couple of weeks.

Happy Sunday sewing!

*I promise to tackle it in the future.
** Oh, you want to know what that skirt looks like, too? Alright, I'll happily comply.


  1. I have always loved the scalloped look on skirts. Very cute!

    1. Oh yeah, scallops are too cute and a great finish to an otherwise simple skirt! Thanks for stopping by. :)