Wednesday, June 10, 2015

I Made a Skirt!

It still needs hemming and a little hook and eye above the zipper but otherwise, it's done.
I haven't made a skirt in at least 20 years, possibly more, in fact other than a couple set of pajamas with elastic waist bands and nightgowns I've really only made quilts or nothing at all. My sewing machine has sat idle for years at a time. But after wearing an old slightly too tight jean skirt last month during a heatwave I decided I was really comfortable and ought to have another, better fitting summer skirt.

Last year I had tried sewing a short sleeved top with seersucker fabric. I already owned a pattern but that pattern was bought when I was much thinner, still, I picked something like size 14. I didn't realize how different store bought clothing and pattern sizes were, and even though I stared at the bust, waist and hip measurements, seeing that I was not the pattern's size 14, it just didn't sink in. Suffice to say, it was pretty much a disaster and remains unfinished.

For the skirt I already had Simplicity pattern 5914 and it happened to have larger sizes included so I chose view A, size 22, the shorter tulip shaped skirt without embellishments. First thing I did was make one out of an old sheet because my shape has changed a lot since I last made fitted garments. I thought I had figured out to widen the front seams to hide the belly and took in the waist in the back. Seemed to fit. So the next day I pinned and cut the denim and started sewing.

Turns out the added fabric in the front seams was not needed and I had a devil of a time removing it and getting the skirt to hang straight. The tucks in the back waist though were perfect and so I continued. The zipper instructions in the pattern guide were confusing but the zipper package had much better ones and the zipper went in just fine. I had to do mock French seams inside to stop the fraying. That was a pain in the butt. First I tried just folding and sewing, then ironing each side and sewing and ended up folding, pinning and then sewing. Took all afternoon but not bad for my first ever mock French seams.
Today I added the facing for the waist (there is no waist band), used twill tape for stabilization for the first time ever. It's supposed to keep the waist from stretching out of shape. After pressing and trying it on again (did a lot of that these past few days) I noticed one of the front seams still didn't look right so took it in a little more and it's laying reasonably flat now. The instructions say to let it hang overnight before hemming so that's what it's doing. Hopefully tomorrow I'll get to the hemming and have a finished skirt to wear.

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