A fit that didn’t skirt

I happily got started on Newlook 6106, another A-line with more flare than the last version.

The fit was off and very weird. I flat pattern compared measurements with another A-line skirt I had just made. Instead of my usual size 16 fit the ease/size was much bigger. I went down a size to a 14.

After trying on the skirt with all the seams sewn (but not the waistband) it was STILL too big. I took it in at the side seams by another cm (so 4 in total for the circumference) from the waist and graded to the size 14. Finally, it fit better.

Imagine my shock when adding the waistband (cut down to a 14 as well as I thought there was no way a 16 would fit) when I discovered it was too small! I had to use 5mm seam allowance. Luckily this was just enough space.

The corduroy is slightly thicker than recommended. I was worried it wasn’t flaring out under the weight. Luckily, my seam finishing technique (bias binding) helped enormously and by the time I had flipped the hem over it recovered it’s bounce.

The waist band facing is made from a plain cotton. I used a very sturdy interfacing (I think part of my past skirt disappointment is from not using thick enough interfacing) which created a thin but stiff band. I also used my overlocker to safely trim close to the seam to minimise bulk.

I’m very happy with the result, but still puzzled by the fit. I think fitting closely around my waist and upper hips is more flattering and I plan to do this more in future. I just need to wait for the weather to warm up……



A line(d) result

Despite my earlier concerns that my newly finished skirt would be immediately relegated to winter storage it has had an appearance today, along with some tights as the weather has turned chilly.

I am very pleased to report it was both warm, comfortable and cycle friendly.I think, after wearing it all day, it is more a cross between an A-line skirt and a pencil skirt given the hem width. The lining made it very practical with tights and I was thrilled with the waist. It didn’t slide down and dig in. Something that normally happens with clothing usually.

So, here I am wearing the skirt, forgive the slight horizontal crease marks, they have been accumulated from a day spent sitting in front of a desk at work and my nice neighbour took some photos of me after I returned home.

Having been properly inspired by this experience I have now cut out another A-line skirt (with more flare at the hem) from simplicity 6106 using a purple pin corduroy. Using the above skirt as an example to check fit I feel more confident that I am on the right track. I don’t hunk – given this is a summer skirt, that it will be fully lined. But having just bought some more unpressed bias binding (bright yellow for contrast!) I think some more hong kong finish will be used…..

A for effort?

If you have been following my posts for the last months you must have wondered when I was going to return to making adult sized clothing, given my recent tendency to make pint sized versions of outfits. Fear not, today’s post is something made for me. It is ridiculously out of season given the temperature is finally above 15 degrees, but when has logic been a centre piece of my sewing choices?

There are some reasons behind my decision to make this particular item. I have mentioned my stash busting aim and this fits neatly into this goal. How to make use of fabric with out getting too bogged down in a long project. A while ago, after making a skirt to go with the jacket to my sister’s wedding I had been enthused about skirts and bought some more fabric to make another pencil skirt.

Subsequently, I decided after wearing the version I had already made this was Not A Good Idea. Pencil skirts do not allow you to stride about, and are certainly not cycle friendly, which is my mode of transport to work. So my lovely herringbone wool languished in the stash pile.

I then decided to revisit this piece of fabric and reconsider my options. An A-line skirt seemed a good idea, allowing freedom of movement, appealing to my aesthetic and suiting  my more pear shaped figure. The pattern box was duly rummaged through. Happily, I had a vintage pattern from the 70’s picked up for a bargain which included an A-line skirt with minimal darts (didn’t want to have anything too bulky with the wool).

It’s since undergone some modifications! here is a list:

  • shortened by 11cm (can’t believe the length, normally they are too short!)
  •  increased the waist from size 28 inches to more like mine
  • modified the waistband so it had a facing instead of a turnover and colour blocked it with the main skirt
  • added a lining
  • reduced the depth of the hem to 4 cm instead of 5.75 and slightly increased the depth of the waistband as I didn’t want it to roll
  • added interfacing to the waistband (hard to believe this wasn’t in the instructions)

I also, in an effort to make this a really polished item, spent extra effort on finishing everything off nicely. So, to stop the seams fraying madly, I applied a hong kong finish, overlocked everything else to minimise bulk, top stitched the waist band to get everything to lie flat, and used lining fabric for the waistband facing.

I just have to add the zip, and then its done! I am feeling pretty pleased with the result. It just goes to show the extra time and work does pay off. So, here’s what it looks like so far.The bright red at the back is where the zip needs to be added, and won’t be visible once this has been inserted. Oh, the lining is from a bargain I got where it was only a few pounds a meter. I bought something like 6 meters of the stuff and haven’t had much use for it since. Nice to have a fitting project for it, it’s very good quality.


line up – it’s time to view another project!

So, I’ve repeatedly promised to share the silk shirt I was working on over the last few posts. I was putting off the dreaded button holes. No matter how I practice in advance, something always seams to go wrong on the real thing. Happily only one and half button holes required unpicking this time round. A good interfacing does appear to make this an easier process if you are using a delicate fabric.

May I introduce Burda 9792, a nice design but as usual I didn’t like their instructions. They let you leave the neckline seam exposed. Not good! so, some design changes were required. After discovering the collar was going to be too small due to accidentally cutting at the wrong fold line (blaming Burda for this, no other pattern company changes the fold line for different sizes) I bound the unpicked side seams to create the extra width required.

I also ditched the flaps for the pockets and bound the tops, I also bound the armholes (the silk frayed really badly), turned over the edges and top stitched all the seams  and worked really hard to get everything to line up in terms of the pattern on the silk fabric. I feel like I have done a proper job getting this to look professional in terms of finish and feel more confident about working with fabric in future which has a pattern on it.

So, check out my finished work! (yes, that is the most awful pun, I know)….