Friday, March 13, 2015

FO: My First Peggy Skirt

You guys ... I sewed something! It's a miracle, I know. With all my home improvements I've been working on since the new year, I've had very little time to devote to any projects other than a little bit of knitting before bedtime. This past week though, in an effort to practice some "selfish sewing" for Selfish Sewing Week, I finally spent a few nights to myself doing what I wanted to do ... which was sewing this skirt.
This is my first go at the Peggy Skirt pattern from Blue Ginger Doll. The Peggy skirt is a high waisted design that has super cute pockets, subtle front pleats, and 3 waistband options. I had loved the many iterations of this from Mary at Idle Fancy, so when I saw there was a big sale before Christmas I decided to bite the bullet and purchased the pdf pattern. I promptly put the pdf together and traced off my size, then life got crazy and it sat unused in my drawer. I have some burnt orange corduroy fabric with a matching lining that I've had in mind since December, but I wanted to do a true muslin just to sort out the fit before cutting into that. This past week, since I already had the pattern ready to go it was the obvious choice to maximize my sewing time. Also, since this is a "pattern I already have", I'm gonna throw this baby in the pot for the Stashbusting Challenge too. Why not, right?

Since this was meant as a muslin, I just made the straight waistband without the optional tabs to keep it focused on fitting. I dug through my thrifted fabric stash and found this poly "linen look" fabric in a deep navy blue. I had 2 yards of 60" wide, and since I paid maybe $1 for the whole cut I wouldn't be too upset if I hated the result. So, I cut in and set to work. According to the finished measurements, I cut out the size 18 and added about 1" to the waist and hip just to make sure.
As show above, my absolute favorite detail about this pattern is the pockets! They are so fun! They are at a nice angle so they don't really add additional bulk to the hip - in fact, I can still put things in the pocket and you can't see it from the front: magic! The only qualm I had about this pattern is that the pdf is all in black with no different types of lines or anything to show which markings go to which size. This wasn't a big deal at first since I was making the largest size, but when it came to the notches on the waistband, I was completely lost. It's just a sea of little triangles with no indication as to what size they belong to. Other than the center front, I was completely alone as to which  notch to line up with, so I just made due. This ended up not working out so great. I've message Blue Ginger Doll asking about the notches, but I haven't heard anything back yet. (Anyone out there who has the printed pattern that would be willing to share this info would immediately receive hero status with me!)
Once I had the skirt all put together except for the waistband, I put it on, zipped it up, and watched it promptly fall off of me. I really have no idea how it came out so big! I went according to the finished measurements and my waist is 1" thicker than the largest size, so adding an inch seemed the reasonable thing to do. Well, I went back to my sewing table and drew the original pattern cutting lines on in chalk, recut the sides, unpicked and resewed them, then tried it again. It stayed on that time, but I was getting some weird "wings" of fabric at my hips. I pinched out another full inch at the hip, grading up to nothing at the waist. I still have to measure to see what size I officially ended up with, but it was definitely smaller than the 18. So strange. Since the skirt was too big, the waistband was most definitely too big as well. The problem is that this waistband has no easing anywhere, so you really can't fudge the fit. I just matched the center front notches, sewed it on and hoped for the best. I ended up with a huge overlap at the back closure - so much that I was trying to enclose the bottom of the tab ... and it did not look good at all. I ended up just fudging it, so now my waistband is a bit loose at the top edge and it closes with two hooks and eyes instead of a button. Oh well, I just wear it with my shirt un-tucked as seen above.
The only unfortunate part of this loose waistband issue is that it leaves a decided line under my shirt here. Eh, I still like the skirt, so it's not that big a deal. I think I'll try to angle the top next time around though.
Here's a close up of the front and back of the skirt. The only bad part about having to take it in so much is that the edge of the pocket does tend to stick straight out when worn - it's not a big deal and I know if the pockets were moved inward slightly this wouldn't happen, so at least I know for next time. Since I was just making a muslin and I wasn't in the mood to figure out a lapped zipper like the pattern calls for, I just did a regular slotted seam insertion and it looks just fine to me.
And here are some close ups of the details. No joke, I had this zipper that matched my fabric exactly and was the exact 7" length I needed. How awesome is that?! This zipper is from the 60s or 70s and cost me a whopping 10¢ - yeah baby! I finished all my inside seams with pinking shears, and cheated with the waistband - the pattern tells you to fold it under and hand stitch it down to enclose everything ... yeah, that wasn't going to happen, lol. I just folded it under, pinned it down, and stitched in the ditch from the front. It's not perfect inside, but I don't really care since it's a wearable muslin. I LOVE the topstitching at the pockets, though next time I think I'll pull it in closer to the edge. And I used a machine blind hem which I have to say came out PERFECT on this make. Gotta love a textured fabric for making your blind hem truly disappear, amiright?
Now that it's made and I've worn it a few times, I kind of wish I'd gone the extra mile and lined this skirt. The fabric was a beast to work with - it unravelled like nobody's business and I had to use a clapper to get any of the seams to sit flat. I am surprised now though at how much this feels like linen when I wear it. It's very flowy and bouncy, so it drapes nicely and makes this skirt very flattering. Oh, and I should also mention that I chopped several inches off the hem as well - the pattern is made to be a mid-calf length, but that length really wasn't doing me any favors. I chopped it to mid-knee length instead and I love where it hits now.
In the end, I am really pleased with this skirt :) Not only do I know I'll there will be more Peggys in my future, but I now have a new appreciation for "linen look" poly fabrics. I've worn this skirt twice already and only have minor wrinkles at the waistband and that's only because it's such a high waist. Try saying that for real linen! Also, I have to say I love how it looks with my favorite Anthropologie sweater (a birthday splurge last year for their sale section) and my new Swedish Hasbeens - I know, I'm so trendy! lol Does this mean I'm officially a member of the sewing blogger club with these shoes? I bought two pair thanks to the heads up from Heather at Closet Case Files about their major sale a month ago. I'm completely hooked now!

Here's to more Peggy skirts and more cute shoes!

Fabric: 1.75 yards deep navy "linen look" polyester from thrift store, $1.00
Notions: 7" deep navy zipper plus hooks and eyes, 25¢
Pattern: Peggy Skirt from Blue Ginger Doll pdf, $9.45
Hours: About 6, but 2 hours of that was from having to adjust the fit so much


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