dimanche 19 février 2012

Finished Project: High-Waisted Franken-skirt

I had an amazingly productive week-end. For once I wasn’t feeling frustrated on Sunday night, having to put down my unfinished sewing, knowing I wouldn’t pick it up until the next week-end (maybe). This time Sunday night came and I had managed to accomplish everything I had planned and even a bit more!
The fact that I didn’t look at Pinterest or my blog roll at all might have helped a little :P…

At the top of the accomplishment list: I finished my skirt, Yeah! Only took me what, 3 months? (hum, more like 6...)

The final button went on, then I put it on and did a little dance…and started singing every one of my words instead of speaking them. Then Brice looked at me half-amused half-worried and I stopped. But the party was still going on in my head, believe me!

The main fabric is a silk/wool blend bought at Designer Fabrics in Vancouver. I had it steam-shrunk at my local dry-cleaner. It drapes beautifully and when I first bought it I knew I was going to make a long skirt out of it. I only had $1.30 meters of it, so I cut everything on the crosswise grain, to be able to fit all the pieces.
The lining is 100% rayon found at Dressew. It's funny because when I started the muslin for this skirt I had a very specific idea of what I wanted the lining to look like, and when I saw this fabric in the store, I thought right away "This is exactly what I had in mind!"
Rayon is great because it doesn’t have any static so it’s not at all clingy. I wouldn’t use it for a top (with sleeves anyway) because I’m not certain of its “breezing” potential, but for a skirt lining it’s great.

I am calling it a Franken-skirt because it’s made out of two patterns: the skirt part is from a vintage McCall 5192 pattern and the waistband is from BWOF 2009-01-109.

The alteration to make the two pieces work together was actually very easy. I overlaid both patterns, lining up the waist mark, then re-cut the bottom part in the right place to match the waistband...

The fit of the waistband was actually pretty good right off the bat. I made my now-usual sway back adjustment, then I chopped off about 2 cm at the top (basically one-button worth), because it felt like it was coming up a bit too high.

I interfaced the waistband with muslin, and added boning to make it nice and sturdy. I followed Tasia’s tutorial (which is for a bodice but the principal is basically the same). I debated about facing the waistband with self-fabric but in the end I lined it – with all the construction layers it felt more right that way…

Another alteration I made was to take the sides in a bit at the seams as I didn’t like the way they originally “stuck out”.

I usually insist on having pockets in my skirts but in this case it didn’t work out. Looking back at it I realized I should have altered the pattern in the muslin stage to make slanted pockets but I was too focused on the waistband to think about it then. So I tried adding pockets afterwards but none of my experiment turned out satisfying.
First I tried big patch pockets (similar to this) but it made the skirt too stiff and killed the drape....and didn't look right. Then I tried in-seam side pockets but the opening just gaped awkwardly... So in the end I went back to the original pattern and added the flaps below the waistband. I actually like it a lot that way…

For the buttonholes, I didn’t trust my machine to be consistent so I went to Spool of Threads and used their machine. The result is a super neat buttonhole that I am really happy with. Totally worth the $8 I paid for an-hour rental!
The buttons are from Button Button as always... I always find the right buttons in that store. different. I think they were $1.25 or $1.50 a piece. I think buttons can really make or break a garment. So I’m willing to pay a little bit more for quality buttons. These ones are real horn, but they look a bit more modern that the usual horn button you can find. I think they work really well on this skirt.

I realized after opening them that the pattern called for horizontal buttonholes and I made them vertical (I didn’t even think about it at the time).
I guess horizontal would better prevent buttons from opening on their own when there’s tension but in this case there’s enough ease that this shouldn’t happen.
In doubt I also looked at Sunni’s gorgeous shirt dress and it seems that the buttonholes on hers are vertical all the way down . I guess on a shirt it’s standard to do them vertical and it would look weird if halfway down their orientation changed. But that just reassured me as for a moment there I wondered if I’d broken some Golden Rule of Sewing or something…

I omitted the belt loops from the original burda pattern as they didn’t look quite right, and I’m not sure I should wear a belt with this skirt. I think it would just create a visual break.

I hand-hemmed the skirt with a blind stitch then attached the lining to the hem facing, also by hand.

I really, really like this skirt, it has a bit of that 70’s flare that I am very much found of. The length is a tricky one ( a little lower than below the knee) but I think it works with boots.

The sweater I’m wearing here is one of my first (and rare) purchases from Anthropology (they opened their first Vancouver store last May, a block away from my apartment!)
The boots are a consignment store find. I never buy boots new, as in current styles the shaft is always to wide for my calves (I’m a size 8.5 but my calves fit a size 6…). But I’ve lucked out on a couple occasions in consignment stores. I’m really glad I found these ones as my previous pair is falling apart from being worn to death…

Next on the sewing agenda, I should probably start thinking about spring clothes, but I recently finalized a muslin for a wool vest so I think I’ll work on that next…then maybe pants...

5 commentaires:

  1. This is just so beautiful, and the jumper really compliments it. Wow!

  2. How exciting to finish such a great piece. I really like this length for winter skirts with boots.

    1. Thanks! The length isn't an easy one, but I liked it from the muslin stage so I figured I should try and see how it looks.

  3. This is beautiful! I love your attention to details and careful thinking through all the steps of the project. Your pairing with the yellow shirt is a match made in heaven! Something tells me this outfit will get a lot of rotation this spring... ;-)

  4. Your skirt is lovely and very flattering