Sunday, 4 December 2011

Plain Black Skirt (..almost)

I tried to make a plain black skirt but it's hard when there are piping techniques to try out. The result is a black skirt with a little bit of bling. Here is my third make of the Miss Chalmers' Skirt from Papercut patterns.

As with my first and second makes of this skirt I added slash pockets at the front and a welt pocket at the back. This time I added self-made piping. I used an old black gingham blouse of mine for the piping and the welt pocket. I read around the subject a bit first and looked at these tutorials on piping: Colette Patterns (adding piping), Colette Patterns (make your own piping) and Fashionable Stitch.  

There's one thing I will do differently if I make this style of skirt again with piping.  I made three piping pieces to correspond with the lengths of the bottom of the waistband front and waistband back pieces. The cording inside the piping needs to finish about 2 cm or so from the edge so you can sew the side seams (so you're not sewing over the cording). The cording inevitably moves about when your working with it and wriggles further down. The main problem is that the piping at the side seams of the skirt are bereft of cording so there is no continuous line of corded piping at the sides of the skirt. My tip would be to make one long continuous length of piping (see the Colette tutorial). Make much more than you need, say 2 inches more either side of the entire length of the waistband. Once it is pinned in place you can then cut down what you need, and undo the stitching of the piping so you can cut the cording at around 2 cm in. I might try and pin the end of the cording down so it doesn't shift.  

I don't know what the fabric is as it was part of the lot I bought from the retired seamstress. I think it's man-made as it doesn't crease.  (I'm loving fabric that doesn't crease). I had a terrible time hemming this skirt. I added a ribbon at the edge and then blind stitched the hem on the machine.  It didn't evenly match at the side seams for some reason and ended up bunched at the sides. I usually have no problem with hems but for the first time ever I unpicked a hem. I ended up sewing the hem by hand. It still hasn't come out brilliantly but it's better than it was.

I've just finished a relaxing week off work. We went to the Museum of London and I had a brilliant time looking at their costumes. I was squinting through the glass to see how the edges were finished and exclaimed loudly when I saw a neck edge was not finished! There was even a leather bikini from roman times!  A wonderful museum.  

Happy sewing.  


  1. Really cute! I love these skirts so much!

  2. Thanks Sonja! I'm not at all bored of making them either!