Thursday, March 25, 2010
Khaki A-Line Skirt
A neutral a-line skirt is something I really need in my wardrobe so I decided to give repro Simplicity 4044 a try. This skirt pattern intimidates me a little bit because of the interesting waistband detail. But then again, that's exactly what makes it such a neat design. I could make the SAME OLD skirt again, but this way I'll get to try a new technique.
I have found that when I make one of these repro patterns, it almost always comes out gigantically huge in the end and I have to re-do the whole thing. This time I measured all of the pattern peices while flat and after a bunch of (dubious) math, I decided to make a size 12 instead of my usual 14. The tissue fit for the size 12 seemed to be just about right.
The khaki kona cotton I got from fabric.com is a lovely weight, just slightly stiff, although it may relax a bit after its washed. Unfortunately, It's a little lighter than I expected, color-wise, and it wrinkles like mad so it will have to be lined. Lining is really not my best thing. I kind of suck at it and I usually mess it up somehow.
This time I looked online and found a great tutorial for lining a-line skirts. I think I may have this in a book somewhere too, but for some reason, once a book page has been scanned into pixels, it makes much more sense to me. I blame you, blogosphere.
Essentially, you make the lining the same as the skirt except you don't put in the darts. Once you've completed the main skirt body and are pinning in the lining, you just put in little gathers in the lining along the waistline. That way it ends up the same width as the skirt, but you don't have to match the darts. The lining instructions worked a treat and I will be using this technique from now on. (I'm sure that makes no sense, but follow the link and you'll see what I mean.)
After the lining was in, I attached the waistline facing and was really surprised at how easy it was to get the front detail right. The center point was a bit fiddly as I'd stitched it a little off center, but I took out a few stitches and top stitched the V and it seems all right now. The facing wants to flip out a little in the back so I may topstitch the entire edge in order to make it more secure.
Hemming is always a problem for me because I absolutely hate doing it. Frenquently I just run things through the rolled hem foot, but they never seem quite finished to me. This time I used Gertie's teensy hem technique and I like it so much! The topstitching is neat and even and looks quite professional. Its as nice as a picked hem without all the pain and suffering of easing in the rounded edges or bending over a skirt bottom for ages making those tiny little picks.
It fits well and the length is good but I'm wondering if I did something wrong. It hangs rather strangely and the sides stick out like wings. I'm not sure what happened. I double checked the cutting guidelines and I definitely cut it out properly...but looks weird to me.
Still, it looks no worse than some RTW skirts I have bought in the past. Although I suppose that defeats the purpose of sewing ones own clothes...