Thursday, April 22, 2010

Finished! The Brown Linen Skirt

Here I am, once again, new-to-me computer on lap, blogging into the great void. As I reported, in my last, long ago post, I finished the Sew U skirt, and now I have pictures.

This is me in the classic iPhone/mirror sideview, wearing the skirt, which is knee-length, as you can see, with a purple H&M sweater I bought a couple years ago. I wore this outfit to my friend Pat's birthday party (with shoes, of course). "I made this!" I told everyone whose eyes strayed anywhere near my skirt. I was and am very proud it, the first publicly-wearable garment of my latest foray into sewing.

I have not managed to master iPhone/mirror self-portraiture, and Shawn is always working when I want photos taken, so the above photo is the only usable one of the skirt on me. Here are two more views of the skirt posing on my front door:

The Front

The Back

My favorite thing about Sew U is that it makes it seem really easy to change things up to suit your own tastes, mostly by giving you lots of ideas of things that could be changed (adding pockets, shortening, adding trim, etc.), then giving the means (pattern pieces) and breezy instructions about how to make the changes. The skirt pattern is a basic a-line skirt with darts at the waist, a back center zipper, and a facing. I added patch pockets, put the facing on the outside (does that make it a yoke?) and put a bow on the back. I was going to do a self-belt, but decided it would be too much.

Some people complain about the briefness of the Sew U instructions, but here's the thing: during my last sewing spree, in grad school, I made a skirt, using only the instructions contained in the pattern envelope, and it turned out beautifully. Now, I have the internet, and I read all about the disasters one can run into, and it makes me scared and nervous about doing anything new. I was even worried about putting in the zipper on this skirt, even though I had done it before. And done it well enough that the skirt is wearable to this day. So my lesson (the lesson I'm always trying to learn): Don't Freak Out.

Sew U did fail me (or allowed me to fail myself) when it came to the bias binding I needed to put on the inner curves of the patch pockets. The book told me how to make the bias binding, and gave me a pattern piece to make the proper size strip for the pocket I was adding (for which there was also a pattern piece), and told me how to attach it. Man, is it hard to attach bias binding! It's so fiddly-small. I found an awesome hint in my 1st edition Vogue Sewing Book, though, which made it a lot easier.

First, you cut out your piece of fabric (on the bias, natch):

Then, you fold it in half and press and fold the halves in to make your nice thin bias strip:

Then, you press your strip into the shape it will be in when you sew it on the garment:
This last step makes it a million times easier to make the strip stay where it needs to when you're sewing it on. Also, very important, SEW SLOW when topstitching bias binding. Trust me.

My topstitching needs work, so no detail views here, but, overall, I'm quite pleased with the way this turned out. Next up, I'm doing a shirt (McCall's 6035). I've got the pattern traced and cut out, and I just pressed my muslin. Here's to a productive afternoon!

1 comment:

Aurora said...
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