First skirt of the new year, and just in time for the first Me Made Monday of 2015.
Fabric: forest green tweed (it really is green, despite how it looks in the pictures) and brown lining from local fabric store; piping made from green cotton from stash.
Pattern: self-made (see below) from another skirt.
New techniques: I made the pattern for this skirt myself, copying it from another skirt which I love but is getting a bit too ratty to wear. Using pins to copy the pattern (which is apparently called “rubbing off“; an excellent tutorial can be found here) went fairly well, although since the skirt is bias cut there was lot of slipping and sliding.
I made proper piping for the first time, with rope (well, twine) inside it and everything. Next time I would pay a tad more attention to how wide the piping should be to align with the seam allowance better.
For the first time, I added a lapped zipper to something. Not only that, it’s an inset lapped zipper. And not only that, it’s an inset lapped zipper with piping. I searched the whole entire internet to find information about how to make a lapped zipper with piping and found zilch, so I figured it out myself, and remarkably well if I do say so myself (if anyone knows of a tutorial for this, please do comment!)
Lessons Learned: The single problem with my beautiful zipper was that I forgot that if you offset the zipper, you should offset the lining as well. Oops. I unpicked a pit and stretched it a tiiiiny bit and
all was well it stretched the entire bias lining out of whack.
Another minor problem: blend-in thread isn’t always the best choice, especially if you’re doing something like piping where you need to sew back over the seam line.
I learned that grading seam allowances really matters. Grading is basically just trimming down your seam allowances after sewing, especially trimming them at different levels to reduce bulk. It made a huge difference on this skirt, although I’m still not satisfied – the side seams where the pockets join are very bulky 😦
I reinforced a lesson I already knew: use quality hardware. I used these little baby hook-and-eyes and by the end of a days wear they are already worn out (and pulling the fabric out of alignment).
I learned not to combine bias and straight-cut so much, or at least to be more careful with it. In this skirt, the bias cut skirt pulls too much against the straight-grain piping and pockets, and it just doesn’t look as good as it could. And the lining is a disaster; it’s so crooked it doesn’t even photograph straight:
I hemmed the skirt by sewing it to the lining, as I often do – it creates nice volume in the skirt (almost like a bubble skirt, but less poofy). Is there a name for this technique? But because the lining wasn’t perfect, the hem has some problems as well. I should have hemmed it normally.
And finally, a big lesson for me: not everything needs pockets. Gasp! Although I like these pockets (they’re bright green!) the skirt would be less bulky without them, and they don’t add all that much either in design or function.
Overall I’d give this project 6/10. Not terrible, but room for improvement.