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Skirts

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I have been feeling a bit down the last 2 days. My emotions have always been up and down at the best of times, so this little slump is nothing to worry about, but I want to make an effort to celebrate the good things.

I think, so far this year has been one of the happiest in my life! I started baking delicious bread, I’m living with my favorite person in the world, I discovered more like minded people who also love to sew and I have been on the most fantastic, memorable holiday! I may not have made much progress career-wise, but I have managed to do some work for people that they have been pretty happy with. I also feel so lucky to be living in one of my most favorite cities. I especially love living in the city area, close to where all the action is.

Sorry for getting personal on the blog… I think it’s so important for me to celebrate the good things! When I dwell on the bad things they seem to grow and fester. When I have gratitude, things seem to get better, or at least I seem to notice all the good things in my life!

So for my second ‘1 project per week’ project, I wanted to make something cheerful to wear during my least favorite time of year- winter. It’s so easy for me to give up on dressing well in winter. sometimes it seems all too easy to just throw on the warmest most boring thing….edit: I tried wearing this skirt with a jumper and tights today, but it was far too cold!

 

Sewing nitty gritty:

I discovered  a nifty way to pining the pleats before I stay stitch them (the way the horizontal pin is pinned into the fabric stops it moving around so much, when you sew)…

pining-pleats

I did one of my favorite things: I used the skirt portion of a dress pattern for this skirt. The pattern is Simplicity 1418 (project runway pattern). It was my first time trying this pattern and I gotta say: I’m in love! The pleats are just how I want them, and I will definitely be making the full dress version of this pattern!

I cut the skirt portion of the pattern out in a size 6. It’s pretty snug, but I want to wear this as a high-waisted skirt with cropped tops and such things in the summer (ah summer I miss you). I also shortened the skirt and skirtpattern by about 13cms or more!

I used about 1 meter 30 of fabric that was around 120-130cms wide.

I drafted the waistband myself and tried a new way of applying interfacing to it, that turned out well! By not applying interfacing to the seam allowance area it reduces bulk!

waistband

The waistband has no front and back, it is simply folded over! It has 2 side seams, one of which became the spot for the button closure (one of the side seams).

I made a super rookie mistake and applied the waistband before the zip… WHAT the hell?! Was a too excited about the pleats? I’m better than that by now, surely?! Anyway the overlap on the waistband turned out to be too big, but i’ll live with it. Looks ‘MEH’ but I’ll show you anyway…

closurenotgreat

Anyway the skirt was so quick and easy to whip up, but the single button hole proved a bit of a nightmare!

Bernie (my old bernina sewing machine) can no longer do automatic button holes. You used to be able to set the length of the buttonhole by pressing the back-stitch button, but this no longer works. Anyway the skirt was so quick and easy to whip up, but the single button hole was a pain.

I did my usual ‘machine blind hem stitch’ for the skirt hem, and invisible zipper. 🙂

Next time, when I make this skirt in another fabric (and there will most certainly be a next time) I will perhaps use velcro as the waistband fastening, rather than a button at the waistband. Lincraft did not have large hooks and eyes (like the sew one ones you get in trousers), which I originally planned to use.

Anyway here’s to my new happy skirt and the happy times to come!

 

 

 

Hello lovely people! Just a quick skirt project to show you!

Burda-7034-01Burda-7034-02I have to apologize for the store bought top (I thought it went with the skirt!)

Burda-7034-03Burda-7034-04If I’m feeling daring I suppose it’s semi-acceptable to wear it with a cropped top (not sure this would be the right one)

Burda-7034-07

Burda-7034-06The insides and Invisible zipper!

Burda-7034-05Here’s a picture of it on the hanger (hoping you have already forgotten how the back looks…)

 

Why?/materials: I wanted to try Burda 7034… I’ve been in love with pleated skirts for a long time.

I also wanted to see if I could make a skirt from a dress pattern by using just the skirt portion and adding a straight waistband to it (not really a new idea but I hadn’t tried it before) . I’m happy to report that it was reasonably successful…projectplan-burda7034-ed

The downside is I always seem to have a honeymoon period after I have made a skirt, I get excited that I can mix and match it with things but then I NEVER end up wearing it, so who knows how this one will fair…

The cotton fabric was purchased as a full roll of discounted fabric a long time ago. I have also made a dress from this fabric way back in 2012.

So what does this one have going for it?

  • So quick to whip up!
  • I like a fuller skirt with short hair
  • I may have got the length right this time…
  • Using my special foot to do a blind machine hem is always swell!

So what do I dislike?

  • There is some funky stuff happening in the back. I’m OK with pleats in the back (because I wouldn’t mind some *ahem* added volume in the back) but I’m not sold on the positing of pleats on the back.
  •  I wanted this skirt to be a little more snug, and sit higher on the waist. The waistband is just a straight piece of fabric, so that is probably not helping things…(If I make this again I may size down).
  • The back has a little puckering, but it does not bother me enough to mean I’ll fix it…

Fitting notes:

In order to determine the length of the waistband (well also width) I took my measurments and I wrote down the length of waistbands already in my wardrobe. Measuring things you own and love is often a good way to get an idea of how you like things to fit.

After attaching the waistband to the skirt and trying it on I ended up shortening the waistband by about 3.5cm, it was pretty easy to do after the fact, by cutting off the excess fabric.

The dress pattern/skirt was a size 8. I sewed the seam allowance in twice (s.a was 3cms before trimming) I will remove 1.5cms from the pattern or go down a size if I make this again.

Would also be cool to add some kind of shaping to the waistband, darts or elastic…

I don’t remember if I shortened the initial skirt pattern, but I ended up cutting off 11cms before hemming

I must remember to make all these changes to the pattern I have not done it yet!

So that’s one item in the sewing pile done!

It was pretty fun to make! If you happen to have some left-over fabric, consider using the skirt portion of a dress pattern you like, to make a skirt!

Wow guys! I made sewing plans and I stuck to them (that is so unlike me). It may be a little boring…. I wanted to make a skirt using new look 6128, so I could test out the pattern just to see if it was worthy of special fabric.

I wore this outfit today and photographed it when I got home meaning that this is how the skirt looked after a day in the city. This denim is lovely and pretty crease-resistant I think I bought it at the remnant warehouse a long time ago.

redskirt01 redskirt02 redskirt04 redskirt05You can see some creasing on the back, but that was after a whole day of wearing it.redskirt06

The verdict on the skirt: It goes with a lot and I like the a-line shape. I love things in bold solid colours! BUT I did have some issues with the skirt shifting around on my body while I walked. Suddently the side seam would be at the front. SO annoying! is it a bad fit, or can I remedy the situation by adding a belt and belt loops to my next version?

Because I took it in so much it sits above the waist, I think I like it but I’m not sure if it’s flattering. I can never tell when I make skirts If I am going to like them. Does it sit too high?

The new look 6128 pattern was not without its problems…Just as I remembered new look patterns have WAAAAAAAAAY too much sewing ease. Perhaps I should just sew with bigger seam allowances whenever I use new look patterns

SP-simplicity6128redfabric

Alterations I made to the pattern:

I cut out the pattern size 8 but I ended up taking the skirt in by around 6mm in the waistband, side seams and the center back (before I installed the zipper).

If I try on an australian size 8 skirt in a store it would be on the snug side but I was positively swimming in the newlook size 8.

I also lengthened the darts on the back of the skirt  by about 4cms. The darts could probably do with being wider I am not blessed with a round behind…Its kind of awesome how lengthening the darts can fix the fit like that. So if your behind is like mine and on the flatter side try lengthening the darts!

I can’t remember if I shortened the skirt but I think the skirt part is around 42cms long (not including the waistband)

I LOVE patch pockets on skirts and I did cut out the triangular ones, but they were not doing it for me.

I wanted to cut out rounded patch pockets but I couldn’t find the remaining red denim so instead side-tab things with buttons for decoration. I do enjoy an oversized button or two (I found these ones at a dollar store haha)!

I could have done a much better job with those tabs…ah well you can’t get too hung up on these things…

Next time I use this pattern:

I want to do a lapped dress zipper, much better for heavier weight fabric and for skirts. I actually find invisible zips much easier and I have not used a non-invisible zipper in a sewing project since I was a teenager. I’m sort of scared.

I’m hoping my adding belt loops (and belt) it will stop the skirt shifting around on my body as I walk.

So here was the inspiration…

skirtinspiration

Image credits: Stockholm Street Style, Aurelie and AngeloStockholm Street Style via pinterest

 I have been very inspired by street fashion and style bloggers wearing bright colours, dressy separates and things with pleats. I wanted a pleated skirt! For reference check out my street style pinterest board here.

A little disclaimer: the pictures show the less attractive parts of my crowded apartment and the lighting was bad because the weather is so dreary. Also my hair is doing that flippy thing that I hate. It was that sort of day! Also I should have ironed the pleats on the skirt more. Also this is a bit of a of long winded post for something so simple. Sorry bout that!

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Materials: New look 6946 (not sure if it is still in print)

The fabric is a lightweight blue drill that was a 2 meter remnant piece from The Remnant Warehouse  (I L-O-V-E that place!) I bought the fabric a long time ago I think the 2 meter piece was about 3 or $4 a meter. The invisible zipper is from there too and boy do they have cheap invisible zippers! Lincraft usually charges $4-6 per zip which is an obscene price and I hate packaged zips, you have to iron them in order to use them, its horrible!

At the remnant warehouse I think the zips were around $1 or less. I bought SO many. If you live in Sydney Australia and you need to stock up on zippers check it out!

Amount of fabric needed: 1.40 meters of 150cm wide fabric or 1.60 meters of 112cm wide fabric

Alterations made: I made a straight size 10 and the only alteration was taking out a tiny 5mm out of the top waistband. Actually I did also shorten the skirt. I cut out the shortest style and shortened it again by 5cm (for reference I think I am around 176cm tall). This is longer than I usually wear my skirts but I feel more grown up :). I would go longer but bellow the knee doesn’t seem to work on me.

Project pros: A super quick and easy project great for getting your sewing mojo back, if you have been working on something more tedious. Versatile skirt. Feminine and easy to mix and match. The pleats are pretty and the a-line is flattering.

The waistband and the skirt pieces are the same for front and back. So nice and simple!

Project cons:  This mid/lightweight drill creases like crazy. This skirt wrinkles a lot after a car trip or a lot of wear. Perhaps I should underline the skirt next time I make it. Would that counteract how much the cotton fabric creases? Also as you can see in my picture the pleats are kind of unruly.

Wear-ability: I think it will get a lot of wear out of it… but then again it does need to be ironed. It’s funny how I don’t mind pressing things all the time as I sew but I really struggle to bother ironing something the day I want to wear it (bad I know)!

I I love the versatility of separates. When you make something a little more plain its like getting more than one new item because suddenly you give new life to other pieces in your wardrobe.

OK so I have been back from my major trip for a while. I really hate how this blog got temporarily derailed by the trip and my leg problem! I still have problems with my leg so I have to avoid over-doing it with the sewing or sewing too much in one sitting. Very difficult. 😦

I had my galaxy tab with me so when I had an Internet I could keep up everyones sewing projects and secretly lurk blogs while I was away. That sounded unintentionally sinister but what I meant was I haven’t commented while I did not have access to my physical computer but I still got my sewing-blog fix!

My top three places I visited were London, Copenhagen (My parents are from Denmark!) and Malaysia! I had a fabulous time and I posted a zillion pictures on this blog http://benandkathstravels.tumblr.com/

I recently completed simplicity 2444 without making a muslin and reveled in its lack of fitting issues. Such a great pattern! No pictures of that yet but I will post some soon!

But OK enough writing. Here is me in Rome wearing the simple elasticated skirt I made (from this post).

 

My leg is better and I am so happy I can sew again.

Simplicity 3823 and the zillion alterations I have done on it has been getting me down. I am on version 7 and it still doesn’t fit correctly. I am really losing patience with this pattern or perhaps just patience with myself. I know I wont be happy with it unless I get a good fit but my skills in that area are sorely lacking. Perhaps its time to invest in some books on fitting, but then the ones I have are not much help….

So If you have followed my blog you will know I always turn to easy/fun projects when fitting a dress is getting to me.

This project is super quick and easy I made the leopard skirt a long time ago and I got a lot of wear out of it in summer. I wanted to make two more for my trip and they are great for travel because they are versatile and don’t take up much space in the suitcase.

I prefer skirts to shorts or pants and these are so easy to wear.

I use 70.5 cm of wide black elastic. The skirt length is pretty short at around 45 cms including seam allowance but it’s quite full and gathered so I think it balances out, this is the shortest I will go for a skirt.

I sew the elastic on top of the fabric with lots of pins.

The zerba print skirt is just one gathered piece. Because the fabric was 120 cm wide I could get away with just using the 45 cm piece I had. The blue floral skirt was made from fabric that was 112cms wide so I sewed is two pieces of 112cms together before I gathered it. thats why the gathers are heavier.

I look weirdly evil in this photo. But as you can see I did not have a lot of luck with taking photos.

I also made a whole bunch of drawstring bags for my trip but perhaps thats a little dull to post. There is so much more to post about but it will have to wait.

Well I attempted to take some photos of me  wearing the leopard print skirt I made…. It has been a dreary day today (where are you summer? it should be hot by now) with rubbish light.

I went into my backyard to take photos. Luckily I was wearing my doc martens so I could avoid getting bitten by snakes and spiders ;).

 The skirt is super simple. I used Simplicity 2451 pattern I have posted about it before.

As you can see I am trying to learn to take “outfit photos”. Below are some failed attempts to get my outfit into the photos….

Hahaha what a noob.