Sewing! Ready to Sew Justine Skirt

Actually, I’ve been sewing like crazy. It’s a great way to release tension and get off to never never land 🙂

Check out this delightful skirt from Ready to Sew and, at the moment, it’s free. Grab it… Features: a layered PDF and half sizes, total 21 sizes. Remarkable!

Sewing notes:

  • I sewed the size 38, and it was perfect, including the width of the waistband.
  • My fabric is Kaufman Essex linen from Hancocks of Paducah. It’s a longtime favorite fabric for pants, jumpsuits, and skirts. It has just enough body with a relaxed drape – I wouldn’t do this skirt in anything really drapey, e.g., rayon challis, or too heavy, e.g., bottomweight twill.
  • Loves – the pockets. The decorative flap is so cute, and they are truly deep.
  • Be sure to catch the flap in the corner triangle. Got to keep it turned and flat…
  • The skirt has a one-button closure, but I was very wary of using a button closing. Have you ever had a button pull and pull, maybe tear the fabric to which it was sewn? I opted for two things: I added an additional piece of woven interfacing under the closure area,
  • and I used a waistband fastener for closure, with a non-functioning button on top!

About that top – it’s a Style Arc Elsie blouse, sleeveless, sewn in Kaufman Royal Cotton Oxford, from Fabric.com. What a delightful blouse fabric.

I love this and plan to wear it over and over as I search for a new house in Orlando. Easy dressing 🙂 Coco

Breaking the Pattern – Utu Skirt

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No, this is not the Utu Skirt from Breaking the Pattern by Named Clothing – it’s my ‘broken’ version 🙂 The pic below is my basic Utu:

original

 

The Utu is one of many many patterns and variations in the new book by Laura and Saara Huhta of Named Clothing. Their site includes photos and line art for all the included projects.

book front

Projects:

  • Nummi bag
  • Sade blouse and tunic
  • Rae pants
  • Utu skirt and pinafore
  • Solina dress, jumpsuit and top
  • Saraste blouse, shirt dress and top
  • Kaste cocktail dress and butterfly sleeve dress
  • Palo jeans
  • Halla coat

It’s a lovely workbook, printed on heavy matte paper and beautifully written and illustrated. And it’s really a sewing 101. I was amazed by the instruction sets, suggestions, and information included in the book.

Sewing the Utu:

book utu

  • I sewed the size 3, and the fit was great.

book size chart

  • It’s described as a midi skirt, but I actually added 3″ to the length. To me, a midi should hover somewhere between the knee and ankle – but not just below the knee. Reference, I’m 5’6.5″.
  • The patterns include 3/8″ (1 cm) seam allowances, a scary thought for woven fabric, so I drafted my pattern with a 5/8″ SA.
  • I love the high shaped waist, which is backed by a very deep facing. Nice drafting.
  • And the silhouette, as a pencil skirt, is perfect.
  • Not so nice – the front cross-over, right and left side, is very narrow. When I sat, the skirt split open to my ……
  • And it was just so plain.

So I broke it!

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Fabric: Sportswear Stretch Corduroy Fabric -Rust from JoAnn

I removed 2.5″ from the front edges, added a 1″ button band and 4 belt loops, and fashioned a 1.5″ wide belt.

breaking it

Great little skirt!

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I like this so much that I’m planning to do another 🙂 And I’m also going to break two more patterns!

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Bye for now – Coco

V8962 Valentines Skirt

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Just a quick little post today, prepping for Valentines Day. One of my favorite special days…

This skirt is done in a heavy weight Ponte from Stylish Fabrics, a perfect weight for a knit skirt. This was also my first purchase from this fabric vendor, and I’m very pleased with the fabric, shipping, and service.

What a great color, and the fabric is heavy enough that my tucked-in top doesn’t announce itself 🙂

This is my second version of the V8962 skirt, and it’s quickly becoming a favorite. It just suits me, and I love all the opportunities to highlight the seven panels with topstitching on the seam allowances.

v8962 line art

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Wow, that back vent is great. In a ponte knit, it finishes beautifully.

vent

I made this version exactly as my first (here). So just a few more pics. I feel really pretty and trendy in this style! And it speaks to my new year’s resolution to add form-fitting designs to my closet.

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Top: Grainline Studio crew-neck Lark Tee

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Happy Valentines Day!

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Ciao! Coco

V8962 Pencil skirt

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This is the first time I’ve sewn a straight skirt! And I love it.

I bought Vogue 8962 four years ago, really for the tunic, but I decided the wrapped front seam didn’t excite me. In the end, I kept the pattern so that I could use the cowl collar on something.

v8962 line art

However, new year and new resolutions. Among other things, I’m determined to try some new designs and make something other than A-line dresses, long cardigans, and loose tunics.

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This skirt was inspired by the leopard spot fleece jacket I’m making. I started thinking about how to style it. Jeans of course, and leggings. And then came that moment – how about a short black skirt. This morning I rummaged the stash, found a yard of black ponte, and, just a few hours later, I had a great skirt.

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Sewing notes:

  • Much to my disgust, the pattern provides no information on finished measurements. Not on the envelope and not on the tissue. Lots of measuring later, I determined that I’m somewhere between size 12 and 14 (I have 37.5″ hips), so I cut the 14, with 3/4″ taken out of the center front panel.
  • My skirt finished at 40″ at the hip (about 12″ below the natural waistline). It doesn’t cup my backside, thank goodness, but it does have nice slim lines.
  • This is a fast sew! I sewed everything on my sewing machine with a straight stitch. It could be done on a serger, but a caution: it has seven panels and keeping the seams flat is really important. A wavy seam would not be pretty 🙂
  • I added 2″ to the length at the hemline (I’m 5’7). The skirt is simply not as long as it looks on the envelope. I didn’t move the vent down, it’s perfect where it is.
  • And speaking of the envelope, it suggests that the skirt tapers in at the knee, but it doesn’t. It would have to be very tight to do that.

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I’m feeling proud of myself, and I definitely want more!

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Ciao! Coco

McCalls 6966 Maxi Skirt – easy dressing…

 

 

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Oh, it was so nice to sew this skirt! I love maxi’s, so this project felt like coming home.

I bought this pattern ages ago, and I’ve never sewn it. Mostly because I was simply drafting my knit maxi skirts as an A-line with a yoga waistband. Like this one from a couple years ago (worn with Kathryn Brenne’s beautiful jacket, V9135):

Vogue 9135 - Kathryn Brenne jacket

But my earlier skirts were showing wear and are now gone. M6966 has lots of options, including the hi-lo look that’s so trendy this summer.

Time to give it a try. It’s pretty cute!

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Sewing notes – this is very easy to sew:

  • I used size Medium, without a single change.
  • My fabric is a very loosely woven cotton French terry from Girl Charlee.
  • The length was perfect for me at 5’7″. In fact, I took off 1″ before taking up a 1″ hem.
  • This skirt is very similar, in shape and sizing, to the the Sewaholic Gabriola skirt, which is for woven fabrics and has a zipper.

I love the waistband construction. It stays up a bit better than a yoga band, and it’s very nicely finished.

(1) The outside waistband and facing are joined at the top edge, right sides together. A line of stitching about an inch below forms a casing for elastic.

(2) The elastic is inserted, and the band is turned with right sides out – the elastic is hidden!

(3) And the band is attached to the top of the skirt. I sewed it on with an elastic stitch and serged the seam allowance together to give a nice finish.

waistband

I took my pics in the dining room this morning, so I could go back and forth to my closet for options to style the skirt. I tried a cropped shirt, a belted tunic, and a jeans jacket (which is why I was wearing the white bra that’s peeking out on my shoulder). Of course, I ended up liking a simple knit tee the best.

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Parting shot – since the mosquitoes rule the yard for the moment, I’m doing a little gardening on the porch. These skinny dudes are papaya sprouts, grown from seeds I harvested from a fresh papaya way back in January. If I can get them up to about 20″, they’ll go in the back garden.

papaya

I’ve had papaya trees before, and the wasps really enjoyed the fruit – they’re fast.

Bye for now – Coco

Getting restless…time for a change

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I’m ready for a change of season. It’s time to look at spring/summer dresses and tops. Light fabrics. Things that blow in the wind. After a winter of dental work (2 crowns), boring house fixes (new water heater), and another PITA issue that just appeared yesterday (busted pipe in the irrigation system) – I’m broke and ready to be rescued!

The last straw in the wintery loft was this skirt. I love this rayon crepe fabric, but I just couldn’t lay it out on a dress or tunic without risking orange headlights. So I made a skirt.

Incredibly, I don’t have a pattern for a gathered skirt, so I made one. It’s based on my hip at it’s widest point, 12″ below my waist, and drawn in a simple A-line from waist to hem.

Drawing the skirt patternThe interesting part of this project was trying a different technique for the elastic waistband. Normally, I either fold over the top of a garment to make a casing, or I attach a separate waistband. However – while trolling PInterest , I came across a link to a ’30-minute skirt’. Well, I knew that was an understatement of effort but I was curious enough to go look. The real time-saver is the waist treatment.

I tried it and like it!

Step 1: I decided to use 1″ knit elastic, mostly because I had a package I picked up in the grocery of all places. And because I didn’t want to risk the ‘good’ stuff that I buy by the yard.

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Step 2: And a great surprise – I measured my waist and found it’s 2.5″ smaller than it was in October (when I got over my diet moaning and and subsequent indulgence in everything delicious, and started a new nutrition plan. I’m down 20 lbs, and I’m feeling 100% better). I cut the elastic to be 1″ less than my waist, after an allowance for the overlap.

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Step 3: The skirt edge and the elastic were quartered and pinned, and I serged the edges together, stretching the elastic as I sewed.

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Last step: I folded the elastic one time to the inside and stitched it in place, sewing down the middle of the serger stitches.

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I bet lots of you attach elastic this way already, particularly on PJs and children’s things. It really did make a very comfortable waist and was fast from start to finish. Yes, old dog, new trick 🙂

It was easy with this ‘thin’ fabric, but I wonder if it would work as well with a hefty fabric. Has anyone tried it with something like corduroy, denim, etc.?

The skirt is headed for a re-make, because it’s just not my style. I may yet have those headlights! I’ve been at odds and ends since I finished it, reading a lot, and sewing infinity scarves from my overflowing stash of jersey remnants. It’s only 9 months ’til Christmas…

infinity

Bye for now – Coco

McCalls 6966 – nice skirt!

Way out…this fabric is neon!
I had no idea this cotton/lycra knit from Fabric mart was so bright when I ordered it…but it was kind of fun to find some way to use it 🙂
I looove knit maxi skirts. What a great excuse to be comfortable (as in pajama comfortable) and trendy at the same time. I’ve been making mine sort of free-hand from a pattern I drafted a couple years ago. Blogged here and  also seen again here
Enter McCalls 6966. It’s fuller than my self-drafted pattern, and it has piecing options. I just had to give it a go.

I really like the extra volume. Swingy…
I sewed the size Medium, which has a generous hip measurement of 46″, for my 41″ hip. I really don’t want cling at that particular spot. 
I made only a couple changes to this delightful skirt: 
  • I added 3″ to the length.
  • And changed the waistband!

Having read the reviews online (thank you, fellow bloggers), I wasn’t crazy about the upper yoke and waistband on the pattern. So – I left off the top ‘yoke’ piece, discarded the waist design, and drafted a yoga waistband instead.
It’s so easy to make a yoga waistband. Just cut a rectangle across the stretch of a knit, 2 inches or so less than your waist, and about 12″ wide. I use a 12″ width, because the resulting 4″ or so folded waistband fits well on my waist. You might like something different.
Seam the short ends together. Then fold in half across the length, and sew to the top edge of the skirt as a band, wrong sides together. If you’ve sewn a band onto a knit tee, you’ve done this. There are lots of online tutorials for doing this… just google ‘yoga waistband’ and find one you like. 
Great for knit skirts and pants and knit pajamas!
More pics (I’m wearing a cotton/spandex Plantain tee with elbow-length sleeves in all of these):

All those leaves in the garden – it’s our Florida version of fall, when all the mahogany tree shed their leaves. To compensate, the orchids in the guava tree are blooming…
Happy to respond to any questions on the skirt/waistband, just send an email. Bye for now – Coco