Hello again! How about that weather we’ve been having, huh?
Anyway, here is a skirt. It’s not a very exciting one on the surface of it but nontheless I am pretty pleased about it.
It’s cold and I can always use more black skirts so I thought I’d toss the stash and see what came out. I wanted a circle skirt to further my mission of more clothes that take up a lot of room (bigger skirts! No, BIGGER!!!). I have a fair amount of wool suitings, many of them from Shula’s destash by way of Suse one craft camp, but most of them are comparatively small cuts so I wasn’t sure if I could get a skirt out of them. In the tossing of the stash I uncovered this one. It’s some wool I got from Rathdowne Remnants back in 2012, which is about as old as my stash – I think I might have some stuff from 2010 at the earliest. In the link, it’s the one in the photo with the faded selvedge. It’s quite heavy and is heathered with green and purple, although I found it hard to capture that in photos.
I got, I think, 2m of it intending to make one of those Ottobre skirts I was churning out at that period and just never got around to it. My memory of it was that it was a 1m cut but it must have been 2m I think. It was very wide and I managed to get this circle skirt out of it. I did have to piece the waistband, and I wish I’d thought it through and pieced it twice, on the side seams, rather than having one line on the front – you can see it in the first photo above. I’m debating putting belt carries on this and perhaps I could put one there – would it make it more or less obvious? Hmm.
I was too lazy to draw up a circle skirt pattern so I used the Pavlova one. I lengthened it at the waist by a couple of inches, and remembering that I had had issues with positive ease I also brought the waist up about a half a centimetre, to make the waist measurement smaller. I probably could have done with a bit more, honestly. It fits fine thanks to the waistband but I feel like it hangs a bit extra drapey at the zip, and there are a couple of small puckers where I eased the waistband to the skirt.
I used the waistband off of the gertie skirt although I lengthened it a couple of inches to make sure I had a proper overlap – and then ended up going back and adding another couple of inches as you can see above. I mean really all I did was cut a straight waistband a could of inches longer than my waist measurement and about 1 1/4″ tall. I was just lazy so I used an existing pattern piece, but it’s just a long rectangle so it barely counts. I also cut the waistband as two, one side wool and one side tafetta. I used midweight interfacing and probably didn’t clip the seams as much as I should have as they’re a bit bulky. I also wish that I’d used cotton or something more grippy for the waistband lining. The taffeta causes it to slide around a bunch – you can see it moving even in these photos.
Combined with the fact that I have trouble working out how tight to put in the hook, and the fact that the skirt is quite heavy, it is a bit unstable and shifts. I am planning to go and tighten the hook – I’ve already moved it once – or perhaps add another one so I can have ‘before’ and ‘after’ lunch hooks😛. I have also considered putting elastic in the sides but I don’t want to go back and retrofit that in. Perhaps belt carries and a belt would do the trick – but would thread carries be enough to hold it? I am pretty sure I threw out all the scraps (there weren’t many!) so I couldn’t go back and add self fabric carries even if I wanted to. Which I don’t.
The gertie skirt has quite a straight waistline and the pav’s waistline is curved like a regular circle skirt but it was fine, I just had to sew it slowly to make sure I was easing it in properly. I also used the pockets from the gertie skirt, and I lined it with taffeta, using the same circle pattern. I later had to go back and take in the side seams of the lining because it was too full and caught between my legs. This is a lesson I continuously fail to learn. One day!
The zip is just a regular invisible zip, and went in wonderfully. This wool was so lovely to sew with, stitches just sank in to it and it behaved beautifully. I serged the seams. I am trying to be neater and better about my finished but part of that is that I’ve decided that serging is just as legit as anything else. I always feel this weird guilt that I’m not binding or flat felling things. It helped reading this piece about period sewing – those dang Victorians, insisting on finished edges and giving the rest of us complexes about it! Anyhow, I’m letting go of that, serging is a perfect seam finish for me most of the time, since it means that the finished item is much more adjustable after the fact and I’d much rather it had neat serging and my time went in to other extra touches, or effort spent keeping the sewing neat.
I did, however, hand sew the hem! It took me about two hours and I really enjoyed about 1.5 hours of that… the last bit was a bit of a push. I realised, as I was drifting to sleep that night, that I’d not hung the skirt up so I wonder if the hem will fall. It shows no signs of it so far after a couple of weeks of hanging in the wardrobe and being worn twice a week – but then my denim skirt was fine for a good month and now it’s in the time out pile because the hems fell and it has a weird mullet hem, so now it’s languishing in the mending pile.
Apart from the hem this was a very quick make, and it’s a very useful addition to my wardrobe. I really love the way it hangs, it’s got a heavy, drapey swing to it. Perhaps I should acquire and wear more wool, it really is a fantasy fabric.