I love skirts. But skirts mean legs and years of working on my feet during 12 hour shifts have taken their toll. But now there are awesome boots, leggings with flats and even Sally Hansen leg makeup, which I adore, by the way! So I am on a skirt tear. I've ordered some black cross dyed linen for a vintage look pattern but it won't be here until later this week. In the meantime, this stinkin' skirt bug has hit bad.
I pulled out all my bottomweights, opened them up and started measuring. I also pulled out all my skirt patterns. Could I find enough yardage to make the skirt I wanted, once I figured out what that was? It was like haggling at a yard sale, but eventually we had a meeting of the two participants. It would be Simplicity 1464 and the blue denim border print you see above. I had just enough to make it in a longer length. I think it would be cute in the shorter length but it was the waist I was concerned about and I had thoughts that it could make this project one condemned to the back of the closet.
It's been a while since I've worn a full profile skirt with a waistband. This could be one of those reality moments that hit post meno. Fingers crossed, I proceeded. That style was one of my favorite and most flattering in younger years as my waist to hip ratio worked well with that look. This pattern says the waistband sits one inch below the natural waist. I didn't want that. I was going to make this sit higher, closer to my natural waist. It needed to be fairly stiff so it wouldn't wrinkle with bending and would keep its crisp look. I would not do the band shown as the border print would add interest.
This fabric was purchased long ago, I think maybe from the now departed Fabric Fix in Manchester, NH. ( tears ). It is 100 cotton denim but very lightweight. It looks just like jean fabric but is the weight of a chambray, so nicer for the skirt. It has little snowflakey motifs and a border. I like that I had to run the border on the length as I think it's probably a better look for my height. Where the little snowflakey motifs hit near a seam and in one case, the bottom of the lapped zipper, they looked more like unravelling denim. I took out a Tee Juice fabric marker and painted the motif that peeked out of the bottom of the zipper making it look like a poor installation. Worked like a charm! Sewists need permanent markers nearby for these sorts of moments! There is no lining, none really needed and the waistband is backed with a medium weight fusible cotton interfacing. It's working well to keep it all upright in the waist. I thought about doing boning but the interfacing has it under control.
This is Simplicity 1464. It has pants, shorts and long and short version of this skirt, having bands decorating the lower part of the skirts. There are three box pleats in the front, three of the same in the back and a side lapped zip. It is unlined. I added 8 1/2 inches to the short version to get the length I wanted. I like that the skirt is curved at the hemline, therefore falling much better than a simple tube. The pattern has shape to the sides, no tube here!
This was really Sewing 101 and would make a great beginner pattern. I did things a bit differently to make sure the waist fit. I sewed the front waistband to the front skirt panel, then did the same for the back pieces. The notches and seams matched perfectly. There are only three pieces to this pattern, front and back being the same. This way I was then able to baste the two sides together to check fit. Good thing.....seems I imagined my waist to be much bigger and ended up taking out another inch on each sewn side seam, down from the size six. That was blended down into the hipline and also made the waistline raise, my goal. . This skirt has a really nice hipline curve.
Seams were all serged before sewing started. They were then machine stitched and pressed open. The waistband facing was the last thing to happen and was serged at the bottom and then ditch stitched on the public side in the waist/skirt seamline. That made the waistband finished and the innards hidden. This has a lapped zipper that I ran to the very top edge, no snaps, tabs or buttons. I do that almost all the time as it gives a cleaner look. The 5/8ths inch hem was serged and topstitched, all very simple.
This project gave me great pleasure. That is because it was very simple, great fabric, it fit in the end and most of all went quickly. I don't espouse sewing fast nor do I belong to the Make It Tonight, Wear it Tomorrow Club. But I really enjoyed starting cold turkey on something at 11.30 in the morning and having it nicely completed at 4:30, the same day. I can't tell you the last time that has happened for me and I took my time, too. I think my lesson is: let the pattern and fabric talk. Choose a simple design, Don't race and just enjoy the process. And don't always feel you have to change it up, "make it better", embellish it further, or use a couture technique. This is real sewing that anyone can achieve. I like that. Highly recommend this one, a very enjoyable make. ...Bunny