Several years ago a rep came into the store with all these fabric samples. There were linens and cottons and wools and all sorts of gorgeous swatches of fabric and Linda and I went CRAZY over them. The sad part is that some of them are still in the store today, still sitting on the shelf waiting for that perfect project to come along and be turned into something that will be enjoyed and loved. And this brown fabric with the pretty flowers and the stripes embroidered on there with sequins was one of them.
For years I've come so close to making something with it but I couldn't find a pattern that I truly loved with this one. And as the years rolled on I was losing hope that I would ever get to make something with it. But this Spring I have really come to enjoy some of Simplicity's patterns. They have seemed to really update their styles while still keeping the patterns easy to follow and quick to whip up. So when this pattern came in I knew I had the perfect fabric for it:
Knowing that long skirts make me look a bit shorter than I already am and that the fabric that I wanted to use wouldn't work in the longer version I opted for view 'E'. And the striped and on the brown cotton gauzy fabric give it a cool look.
This skirt is fairly simple. As long as you take a few minutes to mark everything correctly it's easy to get the godets set in right. This pattern does have a wide waistband and a zipper. But I find the wide waistbands to be fairly easy; you have some room to play around with it and get it set in just right. And if you don't know how to put a zipper in, a basic garment like this is a great way to try. There are several ways to put a zipper in but my favorite is the baste the seam where the zipper is going to be by machine; lay the zipper down and hand baste into place then all you need to do is snap on a zipper foot and sew down one side, sew across the bottom and back up the other side. It lines up perfectly every single time. I know, I know... Hand baste?? Even I know that sometimes it's easier to baste than to pin, un pin, pin again and un pin only to be aggravated when everything still doesn't lay down and line up the way it's supposed to. Zippers are one of the few things that I consistently hand baste into place. It only takes a few minutes but can save you hours of frustration.
My next challenge was the hem on this skirt. What was allowed on the pattern was only 5/8" for a narrow hem... Fold up a bit more than 1/4" and then fold again and topstitch close to the folded edge. But here's the thing: This fabric is very soft and shifty. And if the sequins were in the wrong spot they would interfere with the hem and it would be all bulgy and not nice looking. There really isn't much that aggravates me as much as a sloppy hem. I mean you've done the whole project and it looks great but then to let the hem look all wonky is disappointing to say the least. So of course I slept on it (it seems to be a technique that works very well for me. If I just put the project down and go to bed usually the answer comes to me in the wee hours of the morning). All of a sudden I knew what to do: HEM TAPE!
I sewed the soft and easy flexi lace hem tape to the right side of the bottom of the skirt and then turned the hem tape to the wrong side. Not only is the skirt hemmed, but the hem isn't all lumpy, the inside of the hem is finished and I didn't have to curse out the fabric, the iron or the people around me! Here what it looks like:
Once everything was sewn down it was time to press. Pressing is super important when making clothes. I can't tell you how many times I've regretted not pressing as I sewed something. It can be time consuming but I've noticed as I've gotten better and refined some of my techniques I've been able to sew several seams while sitting at the machine and then going and pressing them all. Instead of sewing one seam, pressing it, sewing another seam, pressing it, etc. It has saved me lots of time and energy.
So now for the finished product:
Of course you may see me wearing it from time to time... But if you would like your own skirt you know where to get your supplies- Fabric Mart!