Wednesday, August 10, 2011

First basic block piece (skirt) turns into something wearable!

Whew!  I've been busy at work.  I took this class in November and am just NOW getting around to making something (after gaining 20 pounds too!).
I finished it on Sunday . . but haven't posted because I've been taking adult swim lessons (to improve my stroke) and it's exhausted me!  It's every day this week - I thought I only signed up for one class!

Now  . . .  what I made - a well-fitting pencil (or straight) skirt:

That said - Wow! Super easy - with my basic block (sloper).  This took nothing at all to sewing up:) I measured a 1" inch allowance but ended up sewing 5/8" (of all things - I tried 1" but it was a bit large).   I do believe I could probably sew an 1/2 inch SA rather than 5/8.   I did not make a waistband.

I also designed a pleated vent (or kick pleat) in back of the skirt.  I did this with the help of my trusty patternmaking book by Ms. Armstrong. I am considering doing a tutorial but I'm not 100% certain I sewed it correctly in the execution and need to conduct more research.   The picture is not so great - I should have used my macro lens and put the skirt on the dressform - not hanging off the ironing board.  Ah, next time.

 And a machine-sewn centered zipper (rather than my normal hand picked zipper).  I also used wonder tape - which does have its advantages (no pins) but it did get my needle and zipper a bit sticky.

Finally, a really well fitting pencil-type brown skirt for work wear. The fabric is wool, so I pretreated it using the steam as this fabric is dry clean only - I hope it works!

Also, note I'm a big chicken - I refuse to change the thread in my serger - so I'm going with the dark blue.  Seriously, I'm not changing the thread - I had it serviced and it sews perfectly.  Don't mess with success.

I fully lined the skirt to the waist (and used copious amounts of facing) with a mid weight bemberg lining.  I then put in a blind hem by machine - and once in, I attached the lace to the lining with a fell stitch.  I do believe I am getting some pulling in the hem due to the machine stitching (user error).  I may take out the hem and hand stitch it in.  In addition, the skirt was a bit short - I wanted a full 1 to 2 inch hem and was able to hem it only 1/2 inch.  Good to know.

By the way, I bought the wool skirt material from G-Street Fabrics near DC for 6.00 - they have a table for fabric ends perfect for skirts!  A great deal!

Yes, I will do this again  -  the entire process probably took less than 4 hours.  I am finding I am enjoying having a sloper skirt pattern.  Next up, the basic bodice block.

P.S.  Well, it is a bit boring!  But I do need some basics and enjoying this "fallish" sewing. . .


  1. That is so awesome!! It looks great and I know you'll wear it to death.

  2. Hooray for you! It looks great. I've been worried about whether that wondertape gums my needle up. And blind-hemming! Don't get me started. I finally had to google how to fold it again because I screwed up 2 pairs of pants before I got it right. So good for you on a skirt in 4 hours!

  3. Thanks!! I am really thinking of pulling the hem out. I am making another one - I think once my "sewcation" starts!

  4. A pencil skirt is such a fantastic must-have for every wardrobe and yours looks wonderful on you. It is so important that a pencil skirt fits right and yours looks perfect. I am sure that you will wear this a lot.

  5. No, not boring at all! Isn't it nice to make up something that fits so well? I love the kick pleat at the back.

  6. look great to me! can you elaborate more on this "wonder tape" method? i am intrigued....

  7. Thanks Everyone - Sue - instead of "pinning" the zipper in (which is my normal methodology) - wonder tape hold the zipper in place so you can machine sew it. No basting needed and it works "wonders." The down side - immediately after doing it - it is a requirement that you change needles - they tend to get a bit "gunky." It's my first time reading it - a short cut, if you will will. The best method as I understand it is basting the zipper in rather than pins or wonder tape.