samedi 26 juin 2010

Finished project: Tulip skirt from African patterned fabric...

When I first saw this skirt in BWOF (April 2010 - Skirt 111A), I thought "This is an easy project, 2-3 hours tops and I'll have a brand new skirt for summer". Every project that I have sewn so far has taken me a LOT of time, I would say an average 10-15 hours including the tracing of the pattern, so I was looking for something quick and easy to whip up in just an afternoon (or two)...

I just so happened to go to Dressew one morning and they'd just received a bunch of african inspired fabric, including this one that I fell in love with right away. I love the bold pattern and how the little golden print bits give it a little bit of stiffness and body.

First, let me remind you that I learn as I go, and this was the first time I had to sew "hip yoke pockets". My burda book says that these are the easiest pockets to sew....But, however accustomed I have now become with the technical language of Burda instructions, I just couldn't figure out how to put the four pieces together....It took me half an hour to realize that I had cut the hip yokes 4 times (instead of 2) and had omitted to cut the pocket pieces. Ok, now it all makes MUCH more sense.
Once the pocket and yokes were sewn on, it took me no time to put the front and back together and sew the waistband on. Then I tried the skirt on....

As usual with Burda patterns, it was too big (even though I used the size that matched my waist measurements). But not only that. Talk about major pouchyness going on: the front and back looked like I was seriously pregnant with a big butt sticking out.... No good. Oh and of course the nice stiffness and body of the fabric didn't really help.

Because of all the pleating, it didn't look like the kind of fit issue I could solve just by taking in a bit of fabric in on each side. The excess fabric was obviously in the middle, so I pinned the excess in, then I took my silk paper pattern and cut out the same amount I had pinned on my skirt ( about 2 1/2 inch in the front and almost 4 inches in the back ). Then after unsewing all the pieces, I recut the front and back pieces according to my new pattern.
Fortunately I was able to recut from the same pieces that I'd been using, I didn't have to use my leftover fabric, even though I ended up with uneven seam allowance for the bottom hem, which was easy to fix later on.

Then I had to figure out the new pleating. I actually got rid of them all together in the back, as any pleats was creating unpleasant puffiness. So I ended up sewing basic darts in the back instead.

It took me a few trials to figure out the correct pleating in the front. Because the piece was not as wide as before, I tried 4, 5 and 6 pleats, which meant everytime pinning the new pleats down, then basting the front, back and waistband together and trying on the skirt in front of the mirror to be sure that it looked good when worn.

I eventually settled for 6 pleats: 2 of the original size on each side, plus two smaller ones closer to the middle, allowing to fit the piece to the waistband size. I didn't actually change the fit of the waistband, I probably should have as it is a bit big in the end, and the skirt sits on my hips rather that at the waist, but I think it's alright, and the tied belt helps prevent any turning around action, where you end up with the side pocket in the front after walking down a block...

I did however have to reevaluate the position of the waistband, since the top seam lines were no longer accurate on my new cut pieces. In doing so I noticed that lowering the waistband position a bit in the middle of the front piece actually made any leftover puffiness disappear.

After that, the rest was just a walk in the park ( I'm starting to be quite good with invisible zippers, even though I suspect my presser foot will not allow me to sew as close to the zipper as I could. Maybe I should look for a piping foot as I read somewhere that it worked really well with invisible zippers...). I also finished the side seam and pocket seam allowances with black bias tape. I first wanted to go with orange but didn't find the right tape and I had some black cotton in my stash that worked just fine...

In the end I think it's not so bad, considering it was the first time I had to do this kind of major pattern modification to come up with a proper fit, or should I say even, shape. Fortunately the fabric pattern is really forgiving, and I am not sure I would have pulled it off with a plain fabric where all the little flaws would have probably been much more obvious.

For the photo shoot I went with a "dressier version", pairing it with this black top I found at H&M and my staple black open-toe shoes from Zara, but it is also great with a simple tee and flat sandals for daytime wear...

3 commentaires:

  1. Cette jupe est magnifique. Je l'avais aussi repérée et maintenant, elle me plait encore plus

  2. I'm trying to sew hip yoke pockets for the first time as well... mine are in a shorts. It's a Burda pattern. I don't understand a single thing, and the whole "these are the easiest pockets to sew" just makes me mad! Gahh... these shorts weren't supposed to take forever.

    I have two pocket pieces and two hip yoke pieces - but yeah, it took some time for me to figure it out. Now? I'm stuck. Why can't anyone make a tutorial on these "easy" pockets? I've found lots of people who are having problems with them.

    Maybe you know any tips? The instructions are not working.... oh and by the way, that skirt looks amazing. Good job. I'd wear that!

  3. Hey Astrid
    Yes the hip yoke pockets were a bit tricky at first. It's been a while since I made them so I'd have to refresh my memory, but I could try doing a tutorial at some point. I'm planning on makig a long skirt soon, maybe I can include hip yoke pockets...
    Thanks for reading !