Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Two Skirts Finished!

orange skirt pieces
I always feel clever when a plan comes together. Here are all the pieces of the orange wool skirt, laid out and ready to sew. It's a nice simple skirt pattern so there are four gores in each of the skirt and lining, three yoke pieces and three yoke facing pieces, plus of course, interfacing.
orange skirt yoke
You have to sew the yoke to the skirt before you can put in the zipper. In spite of the slight differences in fabric weights and stretch, the dark brown sewed to the orange "wool" just fine.
Because I didn't want to go to the store, I just used the 23cm black zipper I had, instead of getting an 18cm dark brown skirt zipper. I am sure it will work out fine. Then I attached the lining to the bottom of the yoke by pinning it to the now ironed-open seam allowances where the yoke is attached to the skirt. I have to topstitch the seam allowances on the right side and I figured I could secure the lining with that topstitching. First I pinned the lining on the inside, to make sure it was properly lined up with the seam allowances. Then I put pins in around on the right side, so I could take them out as I sewed. I have decided it is bad for my machine to keep sewing over the pins as I have done all these years and although it slows me down a bit, I now remove pins as I go.
attaching lining
Here is the lining pinned both from the inside and the outside. Once all the pins were shifted to the outside, I sewed two lines of topstitching around on the yoke and skirt and the lining was attached. After that, I sewed the yoke facing (in black broadcloth) to the skirt and stitched it down by sewing in the "ditch" - the actual seam on the right side, between the yoke and the skirt.
I sewed the hem by hand. Often, especially on cotton and casual skirts, I sew a narrow machine hem but on these wool skirts, I decided to go by hand.
excess lining hem
Once the skirt was finished and pressed, I cut off the excess lining fabric that showed past the finished wool hem. I had cut the lining gore pieces to the same size as the wool pieces so the hem of the lining would show if I just hemmed it up like the skirt. I had to make the lining shorter than the skirt and I decided to cut off fabric and make a narrower hem, rather than folding up the lining and making a wide hem.
skirt lining
I ironed up a fold of the lining and then a second fold and then I just sewed around it on the machine because it doesn't show.
lining around zipper
Because the lining was only attached around the yoke, I decided to sew it to the zipper tape on the inside so it wouldn't get caught in the zipper when putting it on or off.
two skirts
Finally, here are both skirts! You can see the purple one is shorter than the orange one and I am glad I used the dark fabric for the yoke, both for the extra length but also for the look. Now it's back to the winter coat!


Anonymous said...

Hi Julia,
Wishing you a wonderful New Year and many happy sewing hours this year.
Nice skirts.
Heather (shesewsilkknots)

ML said...

Lovely! They really turned out great, didn't they? And the black zipper worked just fine. Nice job, Julia.

Erica B. said...

I see that you're off to a great start sewing for this year!

Sandy said...

The skirts are fabulous. I know I've said it before, but you do great work.

zoom! said...

I absolutely love the purple skirt! You have that enviable combination of skill and style.

Happy New Year Julia!

Tany said...

They are both wonderful! I love the hemming lace detail!

Susan said...

Hi Julie - I just discovered your blog and I wanted to comment on how I enjoyed your detailed and clear description of how you put your skirts together! The photographs are very easy to follow.

I also took some time to read your opinion blog on various other subjects and found that even when I had a somewhat different viewpoint - you expressed your opinion in such a convincing and well written way that I was very impressed! Its a pleasure to read a well-written blog!

I would like to send you a free pattern from my pattern store, If you're interested, please email me at

Anonymous said...

Beautiful skirts! As someone who is just getting started sewing clothes, your step by step description diffused a lot of fear (I think some patterns are designed to scare off novices!) The contrasting yoke on the orange skirt is lovely.

JuliaR said...

Wow look at all these comments! My husband said, "you're going to get a swelled head with all those compliments".
I would also like to wish you-all a happy new year sewing. I do seem to have started 2007 off with a bang, now that my machine is humming again.

Heather, you'll have to put your link up again because I have too many bookmarks and I seem to have lost how to find you.

Thanks ML. I happened to be at the fabric store yesterday (someone else was driving!) and they DO have dark brown zippers but I am not concerned about the black one I used.

Erica B welcome to my blog! I AM off to a good start, as I hope all of you are too.

Thanks Sandy. Sometimes I get impatient and screw up and sometimes I do the wrong thing like with the lining on the purple skirt. But most of the time, I can make even "mistakes" work in the end. :)

Zoom you are too kind. But I did wear the purple skirt to school on Thursday and it looked very cute. I think I will wear the orange one on Tuesday. But as you know, I can be somewhat challenged sometimes, when it comes to pairing the fabric with the pattern. :)

Tany, welcome to my blog! It's always nice to get new readers (or at least, new commenters). I do like the way that stretch lace works to cover the raw edge of a hem, if I'm sewing it up by hand.

Susan, wow, what an offer! I have been to your site and love the shawl jacket pattern but I want to look at them ALL before I make my choice. You are also too kind!

And finally, welcome also to my blog Christina. I like to think that teaching is one of the things I can do really well. I think what I do is explain something the way I'd like it to be explained to me and then it is clear. Feel free to ask questions if you have a particular concern.

Anonymous said...

Born to teach and write. Wow.

JuliaR said...

Thanks (I think), Anon. Sometimes it's hard to tell from just words on a screen if one is actually intending to be ironic. In either event, sorry if I appeared to be tooting my own horn too much. :)