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…