Earlier this week my friend Melanie and I shared a sew-along day across the miles... The wonder that is the internet made it possible to send our progress photos and ideas to each other in an instant. It was great fun! You must go see the wonderful 1940's style tweed skirt Melanie made!! She is a creative wonder and inspiration! For our sew-along, I made a skirt too! :)))
A while ago I had ordered a 2 yd/meter length of what was listed as a dark indigo light denim/chambray. It seems much too thin to be denim to me, I think it's more a chambray in a denim blue. Great quality fabric, though. I purchased the fabric from On Trend Fabrics, a UK-based shop via Etsy. Anyway, also in my stash I had two Simplicity/New Look skirt patterns. I went with the one on the left in the photo, the 6053, and I made the skirt in view D, which has a longer A-line silhouette.
For a seemingly simple project, it turned out to be a difficult one. On the pattern packet is printed *easy 2 hour* ...uh, huh... It took me two days to finish this skirt. I encountered a lot of problems with fit, and that is why this project took more time than anticipated. I had hoped to knock this out in one afternoon! ha... I had cut according to my measurements, but the waist turned out to be w-a-y too big. It took me the better part of the sew-along afternoon to figure out how to deal with 4 to 5 inches (10-12 cm) positive ease, which is considerable... I had already added the zipper when I realized just how badly things were going. Adding darts was the only way to "save" this one, short of taking it all apart (zipper too!) and re-drafting the pattern. The front piece for the skirt had no shaping darts, but I added two to help start cinching in the waist a bit... more about darts in a moment...
Day two of this project saw more work on the waist, as after the darts for the front and the back, the waist facing had to be altered for a smoother fit. And then the hem... The skirt hem was a not so smooth going at times either, trying to ease that circular shape. Using the blind hem foot and function on the sewing machine was a good choice. The hem falls just past my knee.
Back waist view... The back piece of the skirt pattern allowed for two darts, but I had to increase the number of back darts to three more, making a total of FIVE shaping darts for the back of the skirt. The spacing for the extra darts on the back worked out pretty well, all things considered. The waist cinched in more, but not affecting the hip area too much.
I won't even show a close up of the zipper... A lapped zipper was called for in the pattern. But the seam allowance given was just not enough, in my opinion, to create a good lapped zipper. This was actually my first time doing a lapped zipper application. I had looked at some tutorials on how to install the zipper. What I didn't know, until after I had cut out my fabric, was ideally how much fabric ought to be allowed for a lapped zipper. After a lot of struggle I got the zipper installed, although it's not the best lapped zipper there ever was, as the pull of the zip wants to pop out from under the lap fold. Lessons learned!
The fit is not perfect. The waist is still a wee, tiny bit loose. But with the right top it works. And if I wear a cardi, the wonky zip is hidden! It is wearable... possibly even wearable in public! The fabric was great to work with, and it feels soft against the skin and has a nice drape. The fabric was quite wide, so I was able to cut the fabric along the width fold, and so I have a good bit of this blue chambray fabric left. I'm thinking of sewing a top or tunic with the leftovers, if there is enough, and depending on the patttern. (As a side note, I'm trying blue as a color to wear. Black has been the basic color of much of my wardrobe since I was about 12... LOL! Now that I'm maturing, and sporting a more silver-thread look with the hair, the color black--especially near/around my face--is looking a little harsh... What do you think of the blue?!)
This is not the first time I have had difficulties using a Simplicity pattern, or any of the other Big 4 company patterns (Vogue, Simplicity, McCall, Butterick). Just w-a-y too much positive ease for a small person like me. And sometimes the instructions aren't the most helpful. This is the last time I will use a Simplicity clothing pattern. I'm very keen to try patterns from some of the independent pattern designers/companies-- Sew Over It, Tilly and the Buttons, Colette Patterns, Sew Liberated, Itch to Stitch--to name a few that are on my list. Perhaps something to plan for during the autumn/winter for next year...
Not the best photos, I'm afraid... they were taken in evening light, and it was getting very cloudy too, rain promised (yes, we've been finally having some rain!)... Goodness me, I complained all the way to the end here! Sorry about that! LOL... In spite of the sewing difficulties, I did enjoy the challenge! And hope Melanie and I will be able to share another sew-along next summer!
Do you, or have you, sewn your own clothing... or maybe re-fashioned ready-to-wear clothes? Wishing you all a LOVE-LY weekend now! :)))