Summery Skirt Misadventure

As I was waiting to finish up the pants of my Steampunk costume, I started to work on a “simple” skirt.  Why start a project in the middle of another project you ask?  Well I promised Elizabeth that I would save the scary zipper part of the pants for when we sewed during poker night.  So I had to sew something else for a little while.

Thankfully I had pre-cut several projects a few weeks ago.  I decided the simplest would be the skirt.  It was Butterick 4686.   I bought some fun summery colored jersey knit fabric on sale at Hancock recently for about $3 a yard.  Perfect.  And I decided I would make View E of the pattern, with the contrast waistband.

I had a few problems:

1)  I bought the wrong pattern size.  Fail.  I corrected this when I cut by non-scientifically adding inches.

2)  When I cut the waistband pieces, I folded funny in an attempt to cut 4 pieces at a time.  Try not to ever be in a hurry when sewing.  I wound up with pieces of the waistband being too short, and I had run out of fabric.  F@$%.

Above is the color the waistband would have been, had I cut it properly.  This piece was ok, but a few of the others were not.  Too much rushing.  Sigh.

So now what?  Forget the waistband, I decided.  Time to wing it.  In general, I am not terribly comfortable with winging things (this holds true for sewing and many other things in life …).  I have found that lately that I seem to be getting more confident in my sewing skills and so I was not too scared about this.

I pinned and stitched the three pieces of the skirt together at the side and back seams (1 front piece and 2 back pieces).

After doing this, I overcasted them.  Since I failed with the waistband AND I added inches to the skirt in a willy-nilly fashion, I had way too much skirt.  So I had to take it in on the sides.  A lot.  But its always easy to take things in.  I have recently had several conversations with a friend (*waves to Amanda*) regarding fit of clothes that you sew for yourself.  Try things on frequently as you are progressing through a project, and always start too big if you are worried about it.

Anyway, when I finally felt like the sides were the correct fit, it was time to consider the waistband.  I had a small amount of 2″ wide elastic in my stash and thought I would just make an elastic band with that.  As I was forming the casing, I discovered that my plan was flawed.  Because of the curved shape of the skirt at the waist, my casing was just not working out at all.  I had already sewed the back half of the casing when I realized this.  Time for modifications.  I decided to fold some pleats into the front of the skirt.  As soon as I started pinning for this decision, I realized that I would not be able to put elastic through the whole waist anymore.  Problematic since I had sewed the back of the casing already.  Here is what the front looked like after I pinned it with the pleats.  I pinned one on each side near the side seams (arrows), and a dual pleat in the center front (circled).

I sewed down the pleats on the front, and decided I would try putting elastic only on the back side of the skirt.  I used my threader and pulled one half through the first side of the casing (I was glad I left the hole in the casing in the center back!), and once I had reached the side seams, I stitched along the side seam to attach in the elastic.  I had to use Fred 2.0 to rip a small hole in the already sewn casing seam so that I could remove the elastic threader.  I patched the hole, and repeated the same process on the other side of the elastic casing.  Then I sewed the casing shut.  Hooray, single side of elastic complete!

Then I flipped the skirt over and sewed the bottom front seam of the waistband.  I also hemmed the bottom.  Here is the finished front.  My only upset is that I wanted the right and left side pleats to both point in toward the center, and I wound up pointing them both to one side.  Ooops.

It fits great, and I am totally wearing it to work next week.  I have a lovely coral cardigan I can match it with.  I didn’t take a picture of it on, but it is about knee length all said and done.  Question is, do I wear open toed shoes with the nice summery print or fun steampunk-y boots?  It will be a game time decision.  I probably need to shop for good brown sandals…


1 comment for “Summery Skirt Misadventure

  1. April 21, 2012 at 9:03 pm

    I really like the improvised pleats. I call this one a WIN.


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