Sunday, 9 September 2012

Skirts on Sunday

First off, thanks for reading and commenting on my last post. It was great to vent and your kind words helped me back on track. I've even made a little time to make progress on the Viking baby quilt that I'll show you on Wednesday.

Onto the actual post, I already posted under this headline once showing you a scalloped skirt and a gathered A-Line skirt. With limited time to sew but quite a few skirts in my closet, I think it's time to make it a regular category for the time being - and likely a recurring one thereafter because I love making and wearing skirts. I'll try to recall what I enjoyed/hated/learned making each and won't shy away from showing imperfections. Imperfections are bound to happen, most of the times nobody but ourselves will notice and sometimes they even are/lead to what endears a project.

The skirt part of my closet:

Today's skirt does not only classify as my first me-made skirt, it also classifies as the first thing ever sewn by yours truly. The tribulations ready-to-wear clothes have in store for me had me swearing for years. Skirts, for instance, would always be shorter than intended. They might look okay whilst standing but most would ride up to what I'd consider too high for work environments and my liking. Dresses would either fit my waist and tummy leaving my cleavage all squished, or fit my breasts but be too baggy in the stomach era. Whilst I might have got away and even liked the first look now and then, neither really appealed to me. Yet, despite saying I should take up sewing to make my own things I never did. Nobody in my family sews and I clearly lacked confidence and conviction, too.

In January or February 2010 a good friend of mine took up sewing and her posts on facebook and kind words motivated me to go ahead. I picked a small, we were never more than two despite the max being four, and affordable class in a sewing supply store close to me and got working on my first skirt during May/June 2010. The instructor helped me choose a simple Burda pattern to my liking, Burda 8176, and I bought some fabric from another lovely fabric store which I pretreated at home before my first class. I'm not a lover of bold prints and much colour, or so I thought, and so I picked a charcoal linen/cotton blend which I wanted to combine with a tiny flower print to make the yoke stand out.

During class I learned all the basics - machine handling, working with patterns without a seam allowance, right and left sides, finishing seams with a zig-zag stitch or scissors, etcetera. I also learned about making bias binding because I got it in my head that a simple hem would not do.

I learned how to insert a hidden zipper and this one certainly looks like a first. It's pretty neat, though, if you overlook the point where the side seam and zipper meet. I learned how to use a seam ripper, too, but wanted to finish the skirt too badly.

The inside shot shows you that the seams are finished with a zig-zag stitch and that the yoke was finished by stitching in the ditch (more or less) of the front seam. The turned under seam allowance extends a bit more than necessary over the stitching but my instructor encouraged me that it's one of those things that get smaller the more expert you become at making them. As everything was stitched safely into place I was happy with the results. It's too easy to miss fabric when working with too little space as I've learned afterwards!

Onto the binding and more stitching in the ditch. Despite being thrilled for the look, just making the binding took time and effort. Attaching it.. well, hems of wide skirts such as this one never seem to end. I was pretty glad my instructor had talked me out of making a circle skirt as my first!

Finished the binding in no professional manner, I know - it was the only thing my instructor hadn't told me how to do exactly and the class was over when I finally finished the skirt at home. I'd already started on a second skirt (more next time) on the side at home and during class before I finally bought a machine. I'd wanted to be sure to be hooked enough to make the investment. Even a less expensive beginner's model is too expensive not to be used! 

So, rather than researching and losing time - don't judge, I wanted to finish and wear it badly after weeks of making -, I just winged it. Like the not perfect zipper and the not perfect stitching in the ditch on the yoke and binding it's something that nobody ever notices when I wear it and I really really love this skirt. I've worn it for three summers now and can't see myself retiring it anytime soon!

I hope you've enjoyed this post because next week I'll be back with my second skirt.

Happy sewing!

1 comment:

  1. Lovely skirt! I admire anyone who can make clothes for themselves! I don't dare try as it'd probably never work out so well for me! Plus I wear ankle length skirts - that's a lot of fabric if I screw up! haha!


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