Saturday, 4 June 2016

Not A Simple Skirt Tutorial

If I had taken more photos I could call this a tutorial ... but I was so wrapped up in f***ing up the french seams that I forgot, so it is instructions but without the detailed visual aids. 
Our recent watching of the Great British Sewing Bee, and renewed enthusiasm for creation, coincided with my lovely mum asking me if I would maybe sew her a summer skirt in cotton jersey with a bit of purple. We didn't like anything down at Leons so I browsed the Abakhan website and they had Liberty cotton jersey in the sale. However it would only allow me to buy whole metres so I decided it would be worth the trip to town to have a closer look. And I'm glad I did because I changed my mind about the one I nearly bought and plumped for this fabulous pink and purple swirly stuff in a Liberty lawn cotton (which was half price!!)
I followed this basic skirt tutorial at Melissa Esplin: I cut four trapeziums that were 15" across the top, 23" across the base and 30" long (I just drew the shape onto the fabric with a washable fabric marker and a very long ruler). I drew a pocket pattern freehand on a sheet of paper and cut four and left a long strip to make a waistband. All I have left of 1.70 metres is a few narrow scraps.
A French Seam is a neat way of hiding all your raw edges so that you have a professional looking finish. However you have to firstly sew the seam with the wrong sides together ... and this is somewhat counter-intuitive and so of course I kept doing it wrong and having to unpick and start again. I followed this tutorial on Sew Mama Sew for putting in a side seam pocket with French seams, which is very clear and helpful.
Et voila! (it doesn't look like much but I felt it was worth the bother):
Instead of just sewing nasty elastic to the top of the skirt I cut a long strip to match to top of the fabric exactly, attached it, folded it in half and top-stitched at the top and bottom of the waistband, leaving a small gap. Insert the elastic using a large safety pin then adjust to fit the waist comfortably, stitch ends firmly and sew up the opening. I did a small roll hem just to tidy the bottom but will adjust the length to suit mum when I go and visit in a few weeks.
I have come to believe, as with yarn choices, it is always worth the money to buy lovely fabric because it is so soft and hangs beautifully. I hope she likes it:

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