Peacockish

The title describes not only my skirt, but myself as well. I strutted this skirt last weekend with a peafowl worthy attitude.

I bought 2m of this fabric from Goldhawk Road at the sewing meetup. I thought 2m would be enough for a maxi skirt in my size, but I should have paid more attention when drafting the skirt pieces. I almost didn’t have enough for the waistband, I had to sew 3 pieces of fabric together to have enough. The bias seam line is not my idea.

Pieced waistband sewn on the bias to avoid bulk

I searched for inspiration online, trying to find a maxi skirt that wasn’t just a gathered rectangle. I initially thought of using the skirt panels from Anna but I didn’t want to have so many vertical seams, even though they wouldn’t be very visible in this print. I started going through my patterns/Burda magazines to see what I could use and in the February issue of Burda there was this skirt that looked a bit lot (can’t decide) like Gabriola.

I used the top panels from this pattern and drafted the bottom panels myself. I basically draw a straight skirt starting with the Burda panels as the top of my skirt, cut them at the diagonal lines and then I slashed and spread the bottom panels making them as wide as my fabric was. I added a bit to the length just to make sure it will be long enough. I forgot I needed a waistband too!! That is why i ended up piecing the waistband and in the end I had to remove 7 cm from the bottom of the skirt 😦 . And that was not my only mistake. When I bought the fabric and as I was drawing the pattern, I kept remembering myself to cut everything in one direction, with the feathers going top to bottom. Guess what? I cut my front the other way around… I was so upset, I almost didn’t want to go on with the skirt. But after 2 days of agony I finally decided that it’s not SUCH a big problem and it’s not really that visible either.

But I still felt that I needed to make up for all the mistakes somehow. I’ve recently re-stumbled upon one of Susan Khalje’s videos for Threads magazine where she is talking/showing techniques for building waistbands. I decide to give the 4 layers+ ribbon waistband a try – my fabric was light enough to handle this kind of treatment.

I decided to try other couture techniques as well, so I went ahead with the snap (popper) and hook and thread bars for closure, fell stitched waistband and lining, hand picked zipper, catch stitched seam allowances and 4 point loops for hanging the skirt. I don’t think i forgot anything, this should be it 🙂

I lined the top panels with a cotton silk lawn. It’s very light, but in combination with the main fabric it should be enough to hide my underwear. 🙂

Unfortunately this lead to some puffing in the back, I think the lining is slightly shorter than the shell and there is some bulging at the bottom of the zipper, I need to trim the seam allowances in that corner. There are a lot of seams that meet there. I’ll try to steam press it after trimming, I hope it will get better. I will need to take another round of photos, as I wasn’t able to see this problem before. My mirror must be deceiving 🙂

Oh, there is one more thing I wanted to say about the thread bars – if you decide to use them – sew them tightly, they get looser with wear. I let them a bit loose and they have stretched more.

I am very happy with the ribbon waistband – it springs back flat after sitting, something that doesn’t always happens with an interfaced waistband.

And that’s my Scout, in case you’re wondering. I don’t think there’s much wear left in it, it’s been on a “at least twice a week” program for many moths now. I’m finishing this post and I’m going to cut two more. 🙂

Have a nice sunny Sunday everyone! 🙂

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Me made fail but sew indie May

My MeMadeMay pledge was to wear something handmade every day, and I was so sure I was going to make it. I mean, I have so many nice dresses! But it turns out I overestimated my wardrobe and sick days are not the perfect occasion to wear nice dresses. But it wasn’t only sick days when I didn’t wear me made. What I realized this month is that I (like to ) wear separates more than dresses. My #1 memade was my Scout woven tee, I wore this top close to ten times. The fabric is so soft now, after so many washes. So yeah, I need to make me some more Scouts and other separates.

I was going to join the Clara dress sew along but I want to make at least 3-4 separates before I make another dress – I’m thinking trousers, a skirt and a couple of Scouts.

May sewing plans included Clara, but I didn’t have time anyway. Other than that I’ve done everything on that list. I started working on the Movies in the park shorts a long time ago, in the first few days of May. A funny thing happened with this pattern. There is a dart on the back piece, but on my printed pattern the dart had no “legs”

I googled the pattern and only found two other reviews, but none of them mentioned the missing dart. I decided to make it 7 cm long and compared the width of the back piece to the back waistband to find out how wide the dart should be. After I finished the shorts I thought about checking the pattern on my laptop. The dart was there! Weird! It just didn’t print. But I was right about the length, so all is good. 🙂

I’m very happy with my stitch in the ditch here! Not so happy about the binding, this is what happens if you don’t start at the very top – hand sewing required.

Can you see the stitching below the waistband? Neither can I 🙂

And I’m happy with my matching buttons

I didn’t want so many buttons as in the original pattern, so I used only 3 on each side, and stitch the side seams together. The only functional buttons/buttonholes are the ones on the left.

After trying them on I decided they need a small adjustment on the crotch. The image below is not mine, I only did the crotch adjustment after reading Emma Jayne’s post.

Enough about the shorts, let’s move on to the t-shirt. The free t-shirt! I like my Plantain, but I wanted something more… classic? Tonic seemed perfect. The pattern is made for petites, so I didn’t have to shorten anything. I usually have to narrow the shoulders on patterns, and with this one I decided to cut a size M on the sides and go to a S at the shoulders. Not the best idea. Being for  petites, the shoulders are already narrow too. I’ll use a straight M next time.

I  didn’t follow the instructions for inserting the neckband flat. I don’t feel confident enough to stretch it without measuring before and pin it in at least 4, but usually 8 points. And I like the clean finish I get with inserting the band in the round AND sewing it together on the bias.

Whoa, this is a lot of information for only one post. I hope your MMMay2014 went better. But I think I’m on the right track now, at least I know what I need. Separates and more workouts. Here is my favorite weight lifting routine: