Gingham skirt

I am being so creative with my titles lately.

If thinking about what you want to sew = finished items, I’d have about twelve of these in my wardrobe by now. When I sewed my Christmas skirt, I kept thinking how I loved the shape and how versatile it would be in my wardrobe – except not in a novelty Christmas print. Gingham, I thought, would be perfect. Goes with everything, and besides, I have a longstanding Thing for gingham. I just love it. I wanted this skirt so much, and it fits so well with my current wardrobe needs, that I kept reaching for it before forgetting I hadn’t sewn it yet.

Fabric is a 1″ check 100% cotton from Spotters. Fabric Tragic just made a Grainline Archer in the same fabric.  It’s a lovely fabric, but probably a bit light for a skirt. Although realistically, I mostly wear skirts in warmer weather anyway – in winter and autumn I just want to wear dresses, with their no-chance-of-letting-wind-in waists.

Like my Christmas skirt, I used the waistband from my trusty Ottobre skirt. Unlike my Christmas skirt, I decided to pleat rather than gather. This was one reason this took me so long – I kept doing the maths wrong. Although at least gingham makes it easy to pleat precisely! The back has a box pleat in the middle and then is pleated all the way across, making it very floofy, which was my aim. The front has a 5″ bit that’s flat in the middle, and then some pleats at the side. I forget how many – I did adjust this to make it fewer because when I basted it together it was hanging a bit strange.

The front hangs too low – or the back too high I guess. I took some of the curve off the bottom of the back yoke, just as I was sewing it, to adjust for my swayback. It looks to me like I need to do the same thing at the front – and maybe smooth out the top curve just a little, as well. You can see in the above photo that it goes alright for a bit and then droops drastically. Part of this is that it’s a bit big. I had to take it in considerably – probably four inches all up, I think? It was un-adjusted in the photo above. And it’s still a little bit large, so I actually find myself sticking my stomach out to hold it up.

It’s a bit less extreme now, in this adjusted version, but still present. Anyone peering very closely at the photos will be able to see that the yokes are different. I initially cut the yokes on the straight grain, because 1) I thought I was going to be tight for fabric and 2) I didn’t think about it very much. But although I didn’t hate it, it didn’t look great and I knew it would bug me. Plus, it accentuated all the existing flaws in the skirt. So I ended up re-cutting the yoke on the bias. I like it much better, now. This was also when the drastic taking-in happened. I just nipped it in at the side seams, and as a result the pattern matching is a bit off. The pleats are less precise, too, because I wasn’t as careful sewing them the second time.

I cut both the front and back on the fold again, with an invisible side zip which I remembered to put on the right hand side this time. And once again just cut the fabric in half down the middle and that set the length. The hem is overlocked and turned and top stitched, to keep the length. I like the idea of a slightly longer, midi version, but it might be a bit overwhelming on my frame? Not sure.

Managed a twirl!

I really like this skirt, although I do NOT like ironing it. Because I re-sewed the pleats less precisely, they are more difficult than usual to iron. And the fabric does crumple pretty easy – I am not sure if you can tell here, but it is pretty wrinkled after a day of wear. I had to sneak photos in quickly before work one day. Although I find that if I hang it on a skirt hanger to dry after washing, it’s within acceptable wrinkle quota, just not quite as crisp as is ideal.

Me reacting to S coming to see ‘what all the weird beeping in the front yard’ was. You can see how taking it in made the pattern matching at the side a bit weird.

I wore this once in Bali but with all the sweating and constant stairs I lost just a bit of weight off my stomach and it hung too loose. Now I’m back in Aus and better hydrated, it fits again, although it could do with another 1/2″ off the side seams, I think, to fit really well. I’m not sure if I can be bothered or not. Really do not want to unpick and re-sew that zip. Again.

I lined it with some white rayon and I need to top stitch it down a bit more because it likes to peep out at the top – you can see it in some of these photos – and that’s made worse by the skirt hanging low. The lining is just sewed atthe yoke and left hanging inside.

All up, not a perfect make (what’s new!) but very wearable and fits right in with my current wardrobe. I anticipate getting a lot of wear out of this one! I would really like a black version, maybe with one or two big box pleats on front and back rather than all the little ones. I’ve got my eye out for a suitable fabric!

Kitten approved

And lastly, a note about the photos.

Still following along with the Better Pictures Project. I’m trying to improve my photos even if it’s incrementally rather than all at once. I’m not aiming for professional blogger levels, just general improvement, and getting things blogged still trumps finding the time to have an elaborate photo shoot. I was hoping this spot indoors would be a good inclement weather location, but it’s a bit dark and I had to blow out the photos to be able to see the skirt properly. That said, I think it’s probably better (if less interesting?) than the spot I was using in my sewing room. At least here the light is regular enough that I can edit it to be viewable. I’d love to hear what you-all think about how they compare.

Still trying to get outside when possible, although the front yard is looking dry and gross, I guess summer is here, in the middle of spring! Also there were several in this set of me being swooped by the Noisy Miners nesting across the road – unlike magpies they don’t try to make contact but it’s still alarming!

Anyway, the point is…. The project continues. In promising news I figured out how to turn the autoflash flash off on my camera! I was finding that unless I set it to ‘no flash’ autosetting it wanted to use flash constantly, which is not a good look. My camera is a Nikon D3200, and the way to turn it off is in the ‘i/information’ setting, I found the information here. So these were all shot in portrait mode, I’m hoping to find time to experiment with the settings a bit and see what works best.

I’d love to hear if anyone has opinions on locations or other things – I’m genuinely interested to hear what people think! (But be nice)

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5 thoughts on “Gingham skirt

  1. Hey, I think you photography is great! I really like the locations, it’s more interesting then some bloggers that take a photo in the same spot. I think this skirt is really pretty, too.

  2. I like the new indoor photo location. I think the plain background and the more consistent lighting makes the sewing the focus, rather than competing with the visual clutter in the sewing room, but there’s also a bit of interest from the pretty wooden floor, and even the line of the door adds a bit, too. I especially like the shots where the door slider at the top is cut off and the line of the door is visible, not behind you. Having said that, I also love the shot with the cat where the bookshelves etc are peeking in from the side and you’re so perfectly posed. I don’t imagine the cat is generally so cooperative for photo shoots, though!

    Hmm, apparently I have a lot of opinions about photo locations.

    1. I agree with Nancy, but just wanted to add that I love the mix of photos, outside and inside – but more work, I would imagine. I love the new skirts!

    2. See that is why I asked! I often end up having opinions on people’s photos – not ‘I hate that’ or anything, just ‘I prefer this location to the other’. But when I look at my own photos I find it hard to see which one is better for the viewer, because I already know what to look for.

      I like your very specific feedback! Very helpful 🙂

Whadya reckon?

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