Sunday, 10 November 2013

Make a Garment a Month - My October Garment

Yes, I know it's well into November, but I finally finished my underlined stretch linen skirt!! I wore it all day today and felt great in it.
The fabric is a stretch linen I that's been in my stash for over 2 years.  I love the feel and colour and wanted to make something really nice with it - so there it sat for a while.... Last month I took Sarah Veblen's underlining class and I then I knew what I wanted to do with my fabric. As it's a stretch woven I needed to underline it with a compatible fabric, so chose a brown stretch cotton sateen from Spotlight. Both fabrics have a similar amount of stretch, and will breathe nicely.

The hand basting did take some time. I used the Japanese silk basting thread from my class kit. Lovely. I then finished off the edges with a 3 thread overlock stitch. Basting around the darts helps keep both layers of fabric in place. The silk thread slips out easily when the darts are done.
It may not seem like much to you, but this is my very first invisible zip!! I followed the instructions from my Craftsy class - Design Sew and A-Line Skirt.  I watched the video several times to psych myself up to it - and am very pleased with the result. I just used my regular sewing foot. Unfortunately, as you can see, the zip is about 2mm out, but I thought I could fix this when I applied the waistband.
Somehow, despite careful measuring, the waistband went on wonky, perhaps because I had to stretch it a bit to fit (the skirt had stretched out a little). I didn't see this until I'd sewn and clipped the waistband ends, so had to decide whether to leave it or try to fix it. I decided to try to fix it. The waistband now meets in line, but I have a pucker and some not great hand sewing instead. I'm not sure if it was worth the effort, but who will see it at the back?
The hem and waistband are hand finished with a catch stitch. For the waistband, I toyed with the idea of stitch in the ditch, but, firstly, I'm not very accurate at it and can get a bit wobbly, and secondly, at the moment my weight fluctuates and I want the waistband to be able to stretch a bit for comfort. The catch stitch for the hem only catches the underlining fabric, so is totally invisible from the right side. The catch stitch also allows the fabric to move and won't restrict the stretch. I wore the skirt all day today and never felt restricted or constricted.

I drew the skirt pattern from my Sure-Fit Designs Dress Kit using the directions from the downloadable Pencil Skirt leaflet. I'm really glad I downloaded the leaflet. The instructions explain how to remove the wearing ease for a dress to make a more fitted skirt. It would have taken me many muslins to work this out for myself! I didn't do a straight pencil skirt, I flared it out just a little bit, partly as I think a slight flare suits me, and partly because I didn't want to do a pleat or other feature. I was hoping there was enough stretch in the fabric for movement.

There are a couple of minor tune-ups for next time. I will straighten the hip curve towards the waist - just a matter of finding which curve on the stylus best reflects my body. Also, the front darts need shortening just a little.
Today I wore my skirt with my empire line top - made from my SFD Empire line dress . I fell in love with this double sided print and made a twist dress with it last summer. Keen to show off both prints, I have used the different sides for the upper and lower sections of this top. While I was making it a little voice inside my head was telling me that it's not a great idea this time and that it might be less flattering than, say, the floral print all over. I could remove the lower section and turn it the other way. Even though fabric will be lost in the conversion, there is just enough ease and stretch for it to work. What do you think?


  1. Great outfit. We are very hard on ourselves when we sew. Who will see the back indeed?? Not unless you tuck in your top! I love the "two toned" top. Makes it special

  2. Had to come back after seeing your comment on my blog and say woo hoo and congratulations to you for conquering the scary zip...... I am yet to conquer mine!!

  3. Well done, they look great. I find invisible zips trickytoo, and I put them in by hand

  4. Leonie - thanks for sharing your latest SFD accomplishments. You look lovely and comfortable in both the skirt and top. Both are well done! You did a great job on your first invisible zipper (they don't always turn out that well). Kindly, Glenda

  5. Great invisible zip and you are doing so well drafting your own patterns - the fit is really goodl! I don't mind the top in the 2 different prints as they tone so well (from being the same fabric I suppose!)

  6. Hi Leonie - the skirt looks fantastic - as does the zip insertion. It goes so nicely with your top.

    It doesn't matter that it took longer than a month to finish - you finished it, and that is what counts :)

  7. Very impressive skirt and you are having a wonderful time with the SFD and love seeing the results.

  8. Hi nice to meet you! I love this top. I like the two prints together and wouldn't change it. The skirt is lovely. g