Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Sewing Update: My Simple Khaki Skirt

So, remember last year around this time when I started posting about the sewing projects I started? I'm sure you had given up hope that I would ever actually finish any of them, and rightfully so considering that I started 3 clothing items for myself and have never posted any results. Well, prepare to be amazed!
I finished my khaki skirt! This is a full blown miracle, folks. I can hardly believe it myself, and I am completely ashamed that I first posted about this project on June 18th, 2012. How sad is that?! In my defense, sewing much of anything wasn't a very simple undertaking in our stuffed-to-the-gills condo. In fact, the reason my husband encouraged and promised me a sewing room when we bought a house was to keep all of my craft crap contained instead of finding it all over the house (a.k.a. having to move it all out of the way to do anything else). It was exhausting, I had no space to cut things out so I was crawling on the floor, my kitchen table was completely inaccessible and my husband's bare feet found a few of my stray pins on the floor from time to time. Yeah, not so fun. Fast forward to now - I have my very own room where everything is always close at hand and ready for me to use. It's absolutely a dream realized, and now I have this skirt to show for it :)

The pattern is Simplicity 2215, a Cynthia Rowley design. I would never have paid this pattern any attention except that Mary at Idle Fancy made several of them and I loved hers. Plus, she and I seem to have somewhat similar body types, so I had a general idea that this would be a good pattern for me. I made it up in some basic khaki colored bottom weight cotton twill I snagged from Joann's - I think I paid $15 for the 2 yards I bought, but honestly it's been so long I can't even remember.
The asymmetrical pleats
Originally I cut out the largest size and even added a little to the sides - I am incredibly paranoid of not cutting out enough fabric. In this case, I was ridiculously cautious, since I had to add extra pleats to the top to take up that extra fabric and then some, so I know I didn't need anywhere near as big as I cut. I still need to lay out the pattern and figure out which size I actually ended up making in case I want to make it again.
The oh so hidden pockets
My biggest hang up way back when on this skirt was the zipper. The pattern tells you to sew it in by hand and then use the machine to go over it. At the time, a zipper foot for my cutesy little machine wasn't even an option, so it sat unfinished. Even though I got my new bad ass machine for Christmas, I was still weary from another sad attempt. Then the heavens opened and Sunni Standing's Mastering Zipper Techniques Free Craftsy Class was released. I watched the class and was amazed at how easy Sunni made it look - the key being "with the right tools." So, I used a little of my Etsy earnings money and ordered the SewKeysE Knit Stay Tape from Sunni's store, I got it in 1.25" and 1/2" widths as well as Wash Away Wonder Tape and Clover Fusible Web so I am all set for any type of zipper I want to insert, and the last 2 items are similar products so I can see which I like better. Now that I have used the SewKeysE stay tape for myself, I am definitely a believer. After all the trouble I had with zippers before, I was able to insert this one the first time - no unpicking! It's still not completely perfect, but I blame that on the pattern design. They have you put a side zipper at the same joint as a pocket  that is also supposed to be invisible in the seam. Basically I was so afraid of accidentally stitching my pocket opening into the zipper seam that I deliberately stayed a little further out than I should have and so the "invisible zipper" is not 100% invisible. But I am ok with that! It's at least the same color as the fabric and the pocket opening is right next to it, so the eye is thoroughly distracted.
The back (same as the front - and man do I need a hair cut!)
I loved the pleats on this skirt! The glory of them is that they are completely asymmetrical which really came in hand for me when I needed to add more to make it fit better - I just folded over another please on each end of the front piece and back piece but you could never tell because all the pleats are uneven anyways :)  My only hold up is that because I had to add the pleats and because this is such a heavy weight fabric, it did make for quite a bit of extra poof in this skirt. It's like wearing a khaki colored bell on my bottom, lol. I really do like it though, so I don't care :) ** I forgot to mention a fun technical aspect. I got to use the "stitch in the ditch" foot for my machine when attaching the waistband and man, oh, man did that make it easier! I still slipped out of the ditch a few times, but they were for short stretches and I easily picked it out and tried again. It would have been all over the place without that foot! Love it!
Sorry for my squinty face - the sun was right in my eyes!
I'm so proud I actually finished a sewing project! I know it may seem kind of boring sewing a khaki skirt, but the fact that it is boring I know means I will get a lot of wear out of it - funny how that works. The credit for this goes entirely to my new sewing room, and I can't wait to see what else we can create together :)

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for joining in the conversation!