Friday, September 1, 2023

Lavender Twill

In the past year or so, most of the patterns that I have been working with are fairly new to me.  I have discovered that while I am always excited to bring home new designs (and have the best intentions about making them up in a timely manner), if I put them aside for a season or two, I will inevitably get distracted by the next new shiny pattern that comes along, and that pattern that I really wanted to try gets buried in a massive to-do pile.  Therefore, I am making a real effort to match up pattern and fabric within a few months of an item coming home with me, and make the darn thing.

And it seems to be working!  I picked up this pattern at the last pattern swap that I attended earlier this year.  I was intrigued by the waistline/pleat/pocket situation.

I recently made myself a pastel pink circle skirt made of cotton twill, and I decided that twill would be an excellent choice for this pattern, as well.

Another denim skirt was certain an option, but in an effort to make more solid colored skirts in a variety of colors, I decided that a purple tone would be a welcome addition in my closet.

I have previously mentioned that I hold a rather unpopular opinion about pockets: if they don't serve the design, I don't want them in my clothing.  Anything heavy is going to stretch them out of shape and create weird lumpy lines, so I don't really see the need for an in-seam pocket.  But a pocket that is part of the design?  I am absolutely on board with that!

I am not entirely sure where I stand on front pleats.  On one hand, I have an image of unattractive oversized khaki pants from the 1990s, but on the other, there are some very cute 1950s skirts I rather enjoy that employ front pleats, and now this 1970s pattern has my attention.  The jury is still out, but provided they are used on the right garment, I suppose I am pro front pleat.

Surprisingly enough, I did not have a lavender colored seam binding in my collection.  I pondered a few colors choices, but in the end, decided that a gray tone would be best.

And if I wasn't a fan of this pattern before, their use of seam binding to stabilize the shaped waistband may have won me over.

This stuff has so many uses!  I have used it to stabilize knits along the shoulder before where the pattern suggested that clear elastic stuff, and here is a vintage pattern suggesting yet another use for seam binding as a similar means of staying a seam.  Because let's be honest, a line of stay stitching just isn't the same as the addition of this magical rayon ribbon.

So those curves were stayed.  But what about the horizontal collapse that inevitably happens with wide waistbands after moving around and sitting and bending as one does throughout the day?

My most common solution is adding pieces of boning to the waistband lining.  The issue here is that the front waistband dips below the waist.  And while I am used to boned bodices and waistbands, the idea of having a piece of plastic jabbing into my lower abdomen as I sit was just too much discomfort to contemplate.

My solution was to only apply short pieces of boning through the center front which would remain above the waist.

I am not sure how well it will keep horizontal creases from forming (I did interface the waistband, but not the waistband lining) but I suppose a few wrinkles here and there are okay.  Because this cotton twill is light in color, it is certain to develop quite a few visible wrinkles, so I am just going to live with it.

The pattern suggests the use of top-stitching, and I added that detail.  When it came to installing the center back zipper, I went with a centered application.  And hand picking a zipper with all of that top-stitching throughout the skirt just seemed silly.

The only way I get through a machine applied zipper application is hand basting.

Those of you who manage without are magicians!

The top-stitching throughout the skirt was done using a triple stitch since I did not have proper top-stitching thread in a color that would work for this fabric, but the idea of calling more attention to a centered zipper was too much for me.

That being said, I did manage to get through it all with a minimal amount of angst.

Even the bulk from the seamlines managed to behave.

I just love when that happens!

And that means the scary part is over.

This fabric is not what I would call heavyweight, but it is on the heavier side of a mid-weight, and hand sewing is slightly less fun when working with a sturdy and tightly woven textile.

I really do need to learn how to use a thimble.

And this is a reminder to myself that this pattern has a very large seam allowance for a flared skirt.

I even shorted this before cutting anything out, and still needed to take up a rather wide hem.  The extra bulk was wrangled with the help of a line of basting stitches just under the seam binding.  I pin along the hem and the pull up those basting stitches every few inches until the wide portion of the hem gets shortened enough for it to lay flat.  I steamed the excess as best I could, thought about cutting off an inch of the excess, and then realized that from the outside, it looked fine and I liked the extra weight created by the wide hemline.

And as you might have guessed from that first image, this skirt is a wonderful match for my new blouse.  I am happy to report that it matches a few other items in my wardrobe, but I will admit that I made it specifically for this lovely cotton floral blouse.  

And the skirt isn't too shabby, either.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for outlining all the details of sewing this skirt. I really enjoyed reading your opinions and learned a lot! Hand basting the zipper! I’ve never done that! I’m going to do that next time. Mi haven’t been making clothes in the past few years because of the price of fabric, but you’ve renewed my passion. Especially laughed about the accumulated patterns! Great idea of matching up and sewing together asap. I’m so impressed and can’t wait to read your next blog. Love your styles