Wow! A change from Cross Body Bags!
Yes, after all those bags it is now time for me to turn to my “roundtoit” list and get cracking on some dressmaking and Christmas projects.
Inspiration for this skirt came in the form of a promotional photograph for Pavers shoes. No shoes were purchased in pursuit of this project but a lot of lessons learned about my figure and skirts.
I decided to use this construction as a “test” before making a similar skirt using some lovely Mustard wool tweed purchased from B&R Textiles of Salisbury. I had a length of denim in my stash that I had bought from Fabricland so having overlocked the edges put the fabric through the wash to get rid of excess dressing and check for colour run. Unbeknown to me there was a towelling teacloth in the washer at the time – this came out a charming shade of Blue. Now I know to wash the completed skirt separately in future – and make sure the machine is empty before I switch on!
I measured myself and made a note of the inches before turning to my TNT prima dress pattern. I hacked the pattern by cutting through the waistline and adding a seam allowance. I already had a note of cutting line for the bias hem frill so placed the pattern pieces and cut out.
Although the original dress is made with sufficient ease to wear “pullover” style as this was to be a more fitted garment I would need a zip and waistband. I used my favourite lapped zip insertion method using a grey zip from the stash. It went in beautifully and the zip was completely concealed by the lap.
I made the darts front and back then basted the side seams prior to first fitting. Oh dear! I know that I have been losing weight but this was ridiculous! There were inches of excess fabric at each side seam and I could put the skirt on without opening the zip – back to the drawing board. I basted a new seam line 1 inch in thereby reducing the width of the skirt by 4 inches and tried again. Yes, now it was much better. I made a note to lower the waistline at centre front and grade out at the side seams. Having re-stitched the side seams I overlocked the seam allowances and proceeded to attach the bias hem frill. I used the trusty twin-needle for machine stitching the hem and also for top-stitching the seam where the frill was attached to the main body of the skirt. I cut a waistband 4 inches wide and attached to the skirt. Back for another fitting. Oh no! Still too big! In disgust I put the skirt to one side and went out to visit a friend.
Next day – I was determined to finish that darn skirt and make it wearable. Bearing in mind that I might yet lose more weight the waistband would need to be “versatile”. I removed the waistband, removed the zip and re-stitched the centre back seam in its entirety. I re-cut the waistband having taken off another 2-3 inches from the length. I re-attached the waistband by basting on the machine and using the feed dogs to ease the extra fabric of the skirt to the waistband. I left a gap in the centre back seam of the waistband to facilitate insertion of petastretch elastic. Having inserted the petastretch and safety-pinned in place it was time for the third, and I hoped, final fitting.
Third fitting – ah! That is soooo much better! I stitched the end of the petastretch together by using a triple zigzag stitch over a small piece of crepe de chine which covered the raw edges and completed the waistband by “stitch-in-the ditch” from the right side. A final press and it was done.
Conclusion: Now that the waistband fits nicely I find that because my hip joints are no longer symmetrical and one leg is shorter than the other thereby affecting my posture, the skirt does not hang as I would like. To correct this would take a lot of “finessing” and then who knows what my posture will be like once the hip replacement surgery has been completed? So, in future when a skirt is required I shall make a Pinafore Dress and then the garment will hang from the shoulders and avoid all that “quirkiness” of hip joints and posture.
Let’s hope that I purchased sufficient wool tweed to make a Pinafore Dress rather than the skirt I originally planned.