The February theme in the MAGAM group (Make a Garment a Month) was “Fit and Finish.” A perfect theme for me this month; I made three skirts which fit my new body, and I used three different finishes inside!
All three skirts are from this free papavero pattern. I’ve made it twice before; this time I altered the pockets to leave out the pleats, and I tapered the bottom to give it more of a pegged shape.
Method 1: underlining as seam finishing
The first skirt is a mystery fabric I found last time I went up to Budapest. From a distance it reads as navy, but it’s actually a blue and black weave with tiny cream dots.
For the lining, I used Nicole at Home’s brilliant method for underlining and seam finishing. This gives such a beautiful clean finish, plus the seams are very easy to adjust later if need be.
With this method, there’s no perfect way to finish the vent on the inside, so I just finished the edges and left it. I fully intended to hand stitch a patch of lining fabric over the vent to cover all the stiching neatly… but I’ve been wearing the skirt too often to get around to it!
Method 2: fully lined
The second skirt uses a mustard wool blend. The color and fabric are beautiful, but this skirt was a hassle from beginning to end. First I turned a whole load of whites yellow prewashing the fabric. The first lining was totally off and I had to buy more. The second lining, despite being cut as precisely as possible, came out too short in some places and too long in others (I think the wool fabric was to blame, it seemed to grow and shrink as I sewed).
In this version I wanted to make a fully and “properly” lined skirt, including a lined vent. I tried to follow along with this lined vent tutorial, which was very helpful after I figured out the drafting part of the process using paper models.
The skirt was such a problem from beginning to end that it’s hard to find nice things to say about it, but I can admire the fact that with this method, there is exactly zero visible stitching on the outside of the skirt (or inside, for that matter). Even the skirt vent doesn’t need to be stiched down.
Method 3: bound seams
The third skirt, made from a remnant, was an attempt to duplicate the most beautifully finished skirt vent I’ve ever seen. Since the example skirt is unlined, I underlined mine so I could treat it as a single layer. And of course, on the inside of my dull gray skirt I used a wildly bright scrap of quilting cotton for the bindings and waist facing.
The “fit” part of this skirt was different in this one; it seemed a little tight at first. After wearing it a bit (okay, I liked it so much that I wore it three days in a row) it loosened up just enough to fit perfectly.
The first and third methods were the clear winners: easy to understand, easy to draft, easy to execute. But I’m not writing off the second method; I think the majorty of my problems came from bad fabric choice. All in all, I’m glad I tried some new ways of finishing!
ps. these skirts ended up being most of the “bottoms” in my entry to Pattern Review’s Sudoku Wardrobe contest – more about that later!