Monday, March 22, 2010

Favorite Things

I tried my hand at one more straight skirt -- again using my books rather than the pattern directions which don't call for a lining. My mother had given me this beautiful charcoal wool fabric years ago and I had this wonderful burgundy print lining to liven it up. This time, I made it even shorter (by one inch) and I tapered the pattern by 1/2 inch toward the hem for a total of two inches. Sandra Betzina gives a guide that if your hips are 39" or less, pin out 1/2 inch at each side seam to reduce the hem circumference by 2 inches and if your hips are larger deepen the side seam allowance by 1 inch, reducing it by 4 inches. Of course, taper to the original seamline at the hips.

Interestingly, my daughter, who wears her skirts lower on her hips, thought the tapering made her look more hippy, while I liked it on me. So, it really is preference -- just play with your side seams before you stitch permanently, until you see what you like.

I repeated the French vent (Connie Long gives the most wonderful descriptions and instructions for a classic vent, a french vent, and a kick pleat with variations on inserting and finishing them off). I can't say enough good things about her book on lining. She is so clear in her description and illustrations. I bought the book used because, although it has been around for years, it has become quite pricey!

But, after sewing while reading through two skirts and a jacket, I wanted to go back to something that I've done before and love. And, something where the instructions in the pattern work so beautifully on both the inside and outside that there isn't any need to search elsewhere for techniques.

And, so, I've made yet another Liberty Shirt. This one I will definitely wear as a jacket, rather than shirt. I want to look for some very colorful glass buttons -- maybe even one in each of the color speckles! But, I'm leaving it plain for the moment. My sister is looking for a jacket to wear with a black dress for a wedding and I want her to try this out to see if she likes it before I enliven it with my taste in buttons.

The fabric has been in my stash for a little bit. It was a fabulous sale from Fabric Mart. The close up of the sleeve vent gives a better feel for what the fabric is like, in addition to a good picture of the sleeve vent itself. The fabric has everything -- metallic, eyelash specks of color, sheen! A great piece for black pants and sandals for the summer.

I've not tried the Ikina jacket yet, but do have some very loosely constructed poppy colored fabric that I might try it out on. I like 'artsy' clothing but find it easier to pull off in the summer when you don't need to pull a coat on and you can pair them with sandals and an ankle length pant. So easy.


  1. You did a great job on the skirt, especially the vent. Oh, I love that jacket fabric.

  2. Both the skirt and the jacket are terrific. I love the jacket fabric, and the jacket itself. Sewing Workshop has such interesting designs. Nice sewing!