Friday, August 29, 2008

Stash Challenge Skirt #1

I pulled these fabrics from the closet while looking for what to make Mum's apron from. Nice enough, but not the sort of thing I look at and think "Oooh, I'd like to wear something made out of that!"

But the apron turned out well, and was so quick and easy to make (all straight lines), that I thought I'd play around with using the same basic approach and turn it into a skirt. This involved much scribbling on a notepad with tape measure and calculator in hand, to come up with this:

A) Width: waist + 1" for ease + 24" for pleats = circumference; divided by 2 = front/back width + 1/2" SA each side = widths to cut.

B) Piece front and back. Decide on a main panel length, then divvy up whatever length is left into however many smaller trim panels you have fabrics for to get the length you want.

Add SA to each panel, top and bottom, and add a little something extra on the bottom panel for the hem.

Make sure you cut the same panel widths front/back and stitch together in the same order (you think that's obvious, but the first thing I did was stitch the narrow mustard band to the wrong trim panel, duh! It was easier to just do the other side to match than take out the seam and start over, turned out just fine.)

Top stitch along panel seam lines as desired.

C) Sew up the sides, including a (lapped 7") zipper in one side seam.

I underlined the whole thing with cotton lawn, so it wouldn't be quite so flimsy, but you could skip this whole bit and just turn up a hem. I used one long piece of lining a few inches shorter than the skirt, and sewed into a tube leaving top of side seam open for zip. Sewed lining tube to skirt tube at bottom edges, turned right side out, lined up waist edges, and pressed bottom hem in place. Because skirt was longer than lining, the bottom skirt panel folded up inside for a neat hem.

D) Make the pleats (mine are 1" pleats 1" apart, six on each side starting 1.75" from center front and back).

E) Skip the ties, and just make a waistband: waist + 1" ease + 1" to 1-1/2" overlap if you're gonna use a button (I did) + SA = length to cut.

Desired waistband height x 2 + SA = width to cut. Once again I considered using interfacing and decided not to bother.

I discovered I've lost the buttonhole attachment for my sewing machine, so "freehanded" one: not gorgeous, but good enough. The original plan was to handstitch the lining opening along the zipper, but width worked out perfectly so those are selvedge edges and for now I'm skipping that step. If the lining gets caught in the zipper one day I'll tack it down, but doesn't seem to need it.

Someday when I've got something I really want to avoid doing, I'll write up better (more detailed) instructions for this.

Best part is I thought this would be a horribly unflattering style on me, but it's not bad at all. Or maybe I'm just more at peace with my middle-aged spread than I thought I was.

I'm calling this Stash Challenge Skirt #1 because I've got a lot more fabric in the stash... surely there are more garments hiding in there just waiting for me to discover them.

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