Friday, 6 May 2011

The Forever Skirt

I have now finished my red linen "Forever" skirt, so called because it took me forever to do the pockets on them.   Here are the pictures.

This is skirt 120A from the February 2011 issue of Burda magazine.   I used the red linen I bought a few weeks ago.  It was not great fabric to use.  The grainlines were not exactly straight and the material creases so easily.

This was my first time making welt pockets with a welt strip.   I was absolutely tearing my hair out over them!  There are a few tutorials on the internet but none of them exactly for this type of pocket.    I did two test welt pockets, and the first came out better than the second.  I still wasn't happy so I decided to sit down with my sewing books, the pattern instructions, and a few welt pocket tutorials and try and work it out for myself.  I made detailed notes as I was going along and I now have a very descriptive tutorial for how to make this style of welt pockets, thinking about each step as I went along.   I was so happy when I first turned the pocket to the inside carefully.  Only at that point did it all fall into place and I understood where I was going wrong.  The pockets are not perfect by any stretch.  I do think this fabric didn't help as it did seem to move quite a bit.  I'm not worried about that as I'm delighted that I have worked out now to do welt pockets.  What's more, with my step by step instructions I can now add them onto any project, with any size of welt strip.  This view of the skirt was supposed to have a welt pocket at the back.  I was losing the will for welt pockets a bit at this point so I decided not to attempt another one!

I also sewed in lining.  Facings and lining was a first for me.  I was confused looking at my ready to wear skirts as the linings were attached to the lower edge of the facings whereas in this skirt the top of the facings, linings and the skirt all meet at the top.   I thought I was reading the instructions wrong at first.  I would like to try the ready to wear method at some point.

The skirt was way too wide and I ended up taking it in about 1.5 cm on each side.  I could have done with going in another 0.5 cm at the waist but I could not face undoing the facings and lining.   (I can now see the benefits of doing muslins which I must do at some point).    I was then very good and transferred all the alterations to my pattern pieces (including the 0.5 cm at the waist which hopefully is right).  It is all ready to go for when I do the skirt again.

The pleat was very easy, although the instructions didn't make much sense.  I'm sure they were describing a different type of pleat!

I also hemmed the skirt using the blind hem foot on the sewing machine.  This is the first time I have blind stitched a hem on the machine.  I have always hand stitched them up to now save where I have topstitched the hem.   I did try to do blind hemming on a test piece of fabric ages ago but I just couldn't work out how to fold the fabric!   To be honest I just wanted to get the skirt finished and so I was not really fussed if it didn't turn out very well.  However I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to do.  They are virtually invisible once it has been pressed.  I wish I had made a bit more of an effort to make the hem straight now!

I have bought a swanky new steam iron and I was so impressed at how it dealt with the creases on the linen and the pleat.  

Overall I am delighted with what I have learned in making this skirt.  I'm not over enamoured with the fabric on this one (and in particular the way it creases so easily).   I am looking forward to making this one again at some point with some decent fabric.  However the skirt is totally wearable and I shall be wearing it a lot.  I'll treat it as a wearable muslin (albeit an unintentional one).

Happy sewing.

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