Tuesday, 3 August 2010

'If She Sews She Knows' skirt diary

Early February -
I found this amazing fabric at a great little store on Columbia Rd, in East London - Beyond Fabrics http://www.beyond-fabrics.com/ . I hadn't planned to buy any fabric, but I had to have it, so bought 1.5m, maybe enough for a little 60's gathered skirt.

'If she sews she knows' detail

The fabric is by Michael Miller fabrics http://www.michaelmillerfabrics.com/ , who I was unaware of, but have since found out is an American firm who make loads of cute, retro prints. 

Sometime in April...
As is usual, I let life take over, and didn't find time to plan what to make until April. I had a look through all of my patterns for something a bit early 60's, a bit Mad Men, and settled on these:

The skirt circled on the right is exactly what I wanted, and I might add some pockets, like the ones in the pattern on the left.

4th May -
Next, because the fabric is 100% cotton, I washed it on 30 degrees, to eliminate any shrinkage. No point doing all that work getting it to look just right, just to find its too small after the first wash!

The fabric's too see through to use on its own, so I'll have to line it. I always like to put colourful, contrast linings in, so I think I'll go for pink. So, off to my favourite fabric shop in the whole world -

Dalston Mill Fabrics, Ridley Rd Market, Dalston, London, E8
Right around the corner from my house, Dalston Mill Fabrics, a Tardis of fabric. Venture in, and you'll find 2 floors of every fabric you'll ever want, as well as haberdashery. And it's pretty cheap! http://www.dalstonmillfabrics.co.uk/ I get 1.5m of hot pink polyester lining.

11th May -
Cut out the fabric
Cut out skirt front

22nd to 31st May -
I start pinning together and sewing all of the pieces. To make the inside as neat as possible, I decide to use French seams throughout. Each seam gets sewn twice, once with wrong sides together at 1 cm, then trimmed down to 0.3 cm -

First stage of French seam

Then, turn the fabric so the right sides are facing, and sew the seam again at 0.5 cm  -

Early June -
I always like to sew my zips in by hand, mostly because I can never get them to look right when I sew them in with a machine

Pinning zip in place

Then, I finish the zip off by sewing the lining over it -

Lining being sewn over zip

20th June -
Following the instructions with the pattern, I gathered the waist up, and pinned it to the waistband. I manage to try it on  (without scratching myself up too much). Looks good so far!

Late June -
I have to leave the skirt for a while, because I realise I've got to make a dress (see 'Dress for wedding), so after a short break, service will resume soon!

13th August-
I'm back in the mood for sewing! I finally sew the skirt on to the waistband, thgen stitch the waistband down on the inside. I try the skirt on again and pin the length in place - decide to go for just below the knee. I often like to sew hems by hand, but as this is a tightly woven cotton, I think it will be quite difficult, so I sew it in place by machine.

14th August -
I've got jars of old buttons, and find a cute little pink heart, which will be ideal for closing the waistband. After working out the placement of the buttonhole, I sew the button on:
Close up of button

18th August - The final step!
Pin the lining in place, 2.5 cm shorter than the skirt, and sew in place by machine. Give the skirt a quick iron and its all done!

The finished skirt!

Tell me what you think!

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