“Whether or not God has kissed your brow, you still have to work. Without learning and preparation, you won’t know how to harness the power of that kiss.”

Twyla Tharp

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Skirt! Suit!

Okay, so first of all I will apologize for being so excited about making a skirt! This skirt completes a suit along with the jacket in my most recent blog! Working on a basic skirt has been on my 'to do' list for a bit now. Sounds simple enough -- I just haven't done one before. I used Vogue 8523 for a basic straight skirt with vented back. The skirt measured 25 ", but I am only 5'3" and I thought a shorter skirt would be better with the jacket so I shortened by 2" on the pattern piece and then ended up cutting another inch away from the hem area. I think I still would have been better off with 1/2 to 1 inch shorter, but lesson learned. By the by, when you are taking as much as 4 inches off length, do you all take the whole of it off the lengthen/shorten line or do you divide it up over the skirt pattern?

I honestly didn't follow the pattern instructions exactly because I wanted to go to the experts to see how they did construction and I really learned a lot. First off, from Sandra Betzina's Power Sewing, I took several tips. When I sewed the back seam, I used tape on the seam near the vent to reinforce it. I then interfaced the inside of the vent. Lastly, I did not hem and then fold the facing. Instead I mitered the corner, shown below. Thank you Sandra!





The skirt did not call for a lining, but a lining was a must because my fabric frayed easily and had such a soft hand. It called instead for grograin ribbon as a facing, but I drafted facings. I then turned to Connie Long's book on linings and did a lining that went the full length of the skirt and attached to the facing at the top, not the bottom. When you do this you can eliminate interfacing the facing pieces. I also took her suggestion on how to attach the lining to the invisible zipper. Lastly, I used her idea of hemming the lining with lace tape rather than stitching it. I put the tape on, lining it up with the bottom of the lining hem. I then stitched the top of the tape and folded back the lining to the inside and did a zig zag stitch to secure it there. All are pictured below.









Am I happy with my skirt? It should be a smidge shorter. And, more importantly, I should have pegged it by about 1/2 inch as I sewed toward the hem for a much slimmer and updated look.

Did I learn a lot? You bet! I now can alter these pattern pieces and make a skirt that really looks good and fits well! So, yes, I am happy!


Monday, February 8, 2010

Project Completed

The last time I posted anything about my jacket, or even about sewing was November 21. Since then life has simply gotten in the way. First some room remodeling which rendered my sewing space unusable. Then personal things cropped up which made sewing seem irrelevant.

Last week I went into my sewing room for the first time in many weeks and didn't think I had the heart to finish the jacket. But when I tried to move on to something else, I realized that my slightly compulsive nature wouldn't let me start something new while something else sat unfinished. Besides, finishing something long abandoned sort of makes you feel you have some control over your life.

So, here is the jacket -- lining installed -- buttons on. I still have to tack the lining in some spots -- I hate those details!! I'm fairly happy with it since it involved drafting lining pieces which I only did one other time and which Connie Long and Sandra Betzina were a great help with. I also bagged a lining for the first time -- again with help from both of the above.


I have enough cloth to make a matching skirt which I may do. I also have to think about a dress for my niece's wedding on May 1. I bought the cloth months ago (below) and am determined to find an OOP Vogue Pattern (7361) so if anyone out there has any leads on this one, give a holler.