Friday, June 10, 2016

FO: Grassy Hollyburn

Dude I made something! lol. Like I said in my sweater planning post a week or so ago, I am participating in the Outfit Along again this year :) This year's sewing pattern is the Hollyburn Skirt by Sewaholic Patterns (Tasia - I miss you already!) which coincidentally has been at the top of my "to sew" pile for months now. I held off buying this pattern for years since it's such a basic silhouette and I already have a zillion patterns, but after years of bloggers singing this skirt's praises, I finally succumbed when Craftsy put their Hollyburn Skirt Kit on deep discount a few months ago (I got it with a different fabric than that link shows). While I'm still deliberating what stash fabric will go with my sparkly coral cardigan, I wanted to try out the pattern to check for fit issues and whatnot before using my kit fabric anyway - technically this would qualify as a muslin, but in all honesty I went into this project expecting a wearable item with no problems (first sign of a problem right there). Things didn't quite turn out that way, but I was able to make it wearable. First, let's look at my new skirt:
Knowing this pattern calls for drapey fabrics, I came across this thrifted grass green colored linen-look fabric in my stash and knew it was meant to be. I've waxed poetic about linen-look material before when I made my first Peggy Skirt (which was made under similar conditions with wanting a wearable muslin and grabbing some thrifted fabric). Guys, this fabric seems to have it all - nice drape, good weight for a bottom, the flowy feel and breath-ability of linen, wrinkle resistant. All great things in my book. 
So on the pattern - I think my favorite feature is the pockets - they are just a great shape and size. They're at a good angle too so they are still flattering on hippy bodies. Frankly, I think the skirt looks better across the front when my hands are in the pockets - not sure if that's a good or a bad thing, lol. 
The thing I don't really love about the front (which I suspected when the design was first released) is the center front seam. I just try to avoid them at all costs. Something about a line down your middle really messes with my head. It would be one thing if the seam would lay flat, but since the panels are cut on a bias and the fabric has so much drape there is always a congregation of fabric right there and it kind of bugs me.
See - hands in pockets flattens out that seam and makes it less obvious. I can absolutely see why this seam needs to be there, but in a perfect world I would try to get rid of it (which I think would just mean I'd be making a half or quarter circle skirt).

So what went wrong with my muslin? I got the whole thing put together and I was adding the zipper (one of the final steps) only to try it on and discover it was in no way big enough for me. Like, even the seam allowance held out all the way would hardly meet. There was nothing I could do at that point because the waistband was only so long. I made a quick decision to still use everything and make this fit - make an "exposed zipper".
By using the entire seam allowance plus the width of the zipper tape, the skirt just barely fit. And I do mean barely, lol. This is certainly not a skirt for a large meal - or any meal at all really. To make this work, I folded the zipper opening so the raw edges were just barely tucked under, then I used Wondertape to place the edges along the outermost edge of the zipper tape. I top stitched with a zipper foot as close to the edge as possible. Once it was done, I noticed I missed the zipper tape along the waistband area, so I had to go back and hand sew that on both sides to make sure. Then I went back just for security and top stitched as close as possible again. It's not incredibly attractive, but who's going to look that close at my lower back?
I got pretty creative with my iron to angle the bottom toward the center back seam, but it's not too bad. I'm calling this a "design feature", lol. I will say I'm pretty pleased with how level I got the top of the zipper tape at the waist edge - hand sewing was the only option there. Generally I don't love how I finish that area off simply because I don't know how, but this one is nice and even.
My jerry-rigging got the skirt to wearable status :) I totally adore the color of this skirt, plus it looks amazing with my multi colored Swedish Hasbeens AND my yellow ones. Plus it will go with my crazy Parrot Miss L Fires too. Score!
Realistically, this is how I will wear the skirt. The above shots took some sucking in of the tummy to look ok, lol. It looks alright with an untucked shirt, but it would be better if I could get it to drop a bit in the waist - which will occur when the waistband isn't so snug. If it drops a bit, you can see the pockets too which really are what makes this skirt interesting. As far as other details go, I did hand stitch the waistband closed (shocker for me, seriously), and I tried a machine blind hem but this fabric is so bouncy that it looked horrible. I just went with a top stitched hem and I think it looks fine especially given my creativity at the zipper.
So, even though this project didn't turn out exactly as I hoped, I still have a fun, wearable item to wear on occasion :) I love the fun color and that it's a solid because it makes this a blank canvas for fun accessories and sweaters (I'm wearing an enamel cuckoo clock necklace, lol). Plus it's nice and swishy! Here's to learning lessons to be fixed on the next version! And please think good thoughts for me deciding on a fabric for the outfit along, lol.

Fabric: 3 yards of grass green linen-look fabric - $1.00
Pattern: Hollyburn Skirt by Sewaholic Patterns
Notions: 9" zipper - $0.10, thread - old stash (free)
Hours: 6
Total Cost: $1.10 - Woo hoo!

*Craftsy links are affiliate links, but I purchased this pattern with my own money and all opinions are 100% my own.

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