Friday, January 26, 2007

A new skirt

It's been a heckuva a week, with my Mum in hospital with no clear diagnosis or prognosis. So I kept myself busy and, among other things, finished the skirt.
finished skirt
You can't see any detail because the fabric is so dark but I wore it to teach on Thursday and got Peter to take a photo when I got home. Those are the tall suede boots I wear when it's below 20 below. And the jacket I made (of course) from some lovely thick wool that Mum got me years ago. I don't sacrifice warmth for fashion!
skirt piece with lining
First, back to the beginning. I sewed a piece of lining to each fabric piece - there are only three pieces for the skirt - one front and two back. I made the darts first.
lining being attached
I put pins in about every inch-and-a-quarter, so the fabric wouldn't have a chance to stretch and go into folds as I sewed it to the lining. I used a wide zigzag stitch close to the raw edge to stitch the two pieces together, except at the top where I used a straight, basting stitch because I knew I was going to trim the seam when I was finished attaching the facing.
zip prep
Once I had all the lining attached, then I sewed the two back pieces together and hand basted where the zipper would go. I chose hand basting this time because I thought when it came time to rip out machine basting, I might find myself snipping the wool fabric itself because the fibres are so loose. It also gave me the opportunity to use a contrasting thread so I could see it better. Then I pressed the seam open and pounded it with my clapper to get as sharp a folded edge as possible.
zip finished
Because the fabric is so loose, I also basted this zipper in before sewing it, something I don't often do. I can be a bit of a lazy sewer and don't do much basting but it does pay off if you want to be careful.
zip close up
I had bought a dark brown zipper the last time I was out at the fabric store but I also picked up a black one while I was at it and when it came time to choose the zipper, I went with the black one, as the fabric really is very dark.
vent inside
With the vent at the back, I made chalk marks on the inside (or right side) of the lining, so I would be able to see where to stitch. In the photo, my fingers are pointing at the chalk marks and I can see them but they are pretty faint for the viewer, sorry. I also folded over, pressed and stitched the long edge of each side of the vent to finish the edge.
vent outside
I folded the vent over to one side following the pattern instructions and stitched a line of basting along where I had put pins to mark the stitching line. I also pinned the vent into the proper position and took the pins out as I sewed the vent. For the hem, I machine sewed some of that lace seam binding along the raw edge of the skirt and then folded the hem up and sewed it up by hand.

In wearing the skirt, I can see faint evidence that the wooly fabric wants to behave differently from the lining and there is a little bit of bagging because of the way I stitched the lining directly to the fabric. But I found that I can just twitch that away when I stand up and anyway, the fabric is so dark, that you hardly notice anything happening. For a remnant, I think I'll get a fair bit of wear out of this skirt and it doesn't owe me anything.


BBRUG said...

Oh dear. I'm sorry about your mum.

JuliaR said...

Ah Bbrug, it's the not knowing that gets to me. She had pneumonia and when they were in emerg she couldn't breathe and they had to intubate her and to do that, they had to knock her out. Now, every time they try to lighten the medically induced coma so she can "wake up" (and take the breathing tube out), she has a crisis of low blood pressure or low oxygen and her heart isn't taking the strain well and we don't know if she might have suffered brain damage from the lack of oxygen. We're going to visit again this weekend and it has only been a week so hopefully, we'll know more soon. I think she'll be okay eventually but the recovery may take some time.

BBRUG said...

Oh dear, oh dear. I send you virtual hugs and cake.

Tany said...

Oh dear... I hope your mum gets better soon...

ML said...

Julia, I'm sorry to hear about your Mom. I hope she gets better soon and can leave the hospital.

Beautiful work on your skirt!

JuliaR said...

Thanks Bbrug - cake is always welcome! If I can't get cake however, a nice glass of red wine will do. :)

Tany and ML, maybe it is everyone's best wishes including yours but Mum has finally made a change for the better - see today's entry!

Anonymous said...

Oh dear, I'm so sorry about your mum.

I just found a resource for brilliant sewing tips at Sewing Tips