Thursday, January 17, 2013

FO - Easy knit pencil skirt

This is something I made in about 20 minutes at the end of a sewing session before Christmas.  I loved this fabric and made Issy her Go To Patterns Signature Dress in it (blogged here).  I managed to grab some more in a Spotlight sale a while ago, so I made a simple quicky skirt for me :)


Why do I have my bag with me in the garden?  I am not sure...


And apparently it's good for strange dance-like moves.


The side view.  What I like about this skirt is that I can dress it up and wear it out, add smarter shoes / tops and I can wear it to work, add thongs (or flip-flops as I would call them) and a t-shirt and I can go to the beach.  It's also super comfortable :)


What you can't see very well in the above picture, is the waist fold over.  I have some other skirts like that (bought) and I like the extra firmness in the waist.  My original construction technique for this went something like this:

  1. Measure widest part (for me the hips).  This is the cutting width.
  2. Measure waist to wherever you want the skirt to end.  Add hem allowance for the bottom (I just overlocked and turned up and stitched, so I only added 1/2 inch).  Add similar hem allowance for the top, as well as whatever depth of turnover bit you want (if you want one).  This is the cutting length.
  3. Cut a big rectangle in those dimensions.
  4. Sew up the back.  As the fabric has stretch, you will notice I didn't add any seam allowance to the cutting width.  I used a 1/2 inch seam (or maybe 5/8ths...I can't recall and it doesn't matter) so only losing an inch or so of width under the theory that would be enough to make it fitted but not stretched around clingy.  I suspect you could take more for a firmer fit (especially in a thicker stretch fabric like this ponte) without it looking too tight.  Finish the seam.
  5. Hem top and bottom (note the top hem is to the "outside" when your skirt is still a big loop which will then be folded over at the waist to be on the inside).
  6. Try on.
At this point I realised that the straight up and down wouldn't work for me as I wanted some fit around the waist and it just kind of sat there gaping.  If you wanted a version which sat at the hips this wouldn't be an issue.

So I went back and sewed some rudimentary darts.  I made sure they were at the sides (place back seam in middle of fabric).  I made sure the dart end was no lower than the depth of the foldover (or they would be visible) and I made them on the "outside" of the skirt when not folded over, so the waist fold would hide them nicely.  Then I sewed a few different versions to take first a little bit around the waist and then some more.  And then some more.



In this slightly less than attractive back view, you will notice you can't really see the back seam as I did such a good job of lining up the stripes as I cut and sewed the single seam :)

You can however, see how much my waist curves in.  I reached a point with my rudimentary dart method where I couldn't take any more out as I would make the waist foldover too right (as I was sewing them as normal triangular darts).  What I should have done if I weren't a bit lazy, would be to make diamond shaped darts.  The top and bottom points would have been at the top of the skirt and within the foldover respectively, with the widest bit of the diamond shape hitting exactly the fold of the foldover (and therefore taking most fabric out at the waist without excessively narrowing the hip area or the hem edge of the foldover, which also sits at the hips).  I hope that makes sense.

I plan to make another of these and will try that method then.  I instead this time just added a thick band of elastic inside the foldover to make the skirt hug in more at the waist and not feel like it would fall off!


So I haven't yet braved the mother-daughter coordinating outfits but I feel it's certain to happen at some point, even if only in private :)

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