Monday, April 20, 2015

Palette cleansers

After the failed experiment that was my 1950s maternity shorts, and the busy prints and fussy bits involved in the previous two projects, I decided it was time for something quick, easy, brainless and rewarding. I dove into the stash and pulled out this odd shade of silvery green linen that I'd been planning to use for a skirt. The drape is gorgeous, and I knew it would be perfect for a comfortable, breezy circle skirt. Now, this is clearly a post-baby project, so I have a few months before I'll be able to get myself into it, but it's exciting to know you have new clothes to wear in upcoming months/seasons as well, and it was nice to sew a real waistband, too.

I used to have a few full-circle skirts in my wardrobe, but over time because of weight fluctuations, aesthetic changes, and overall massive size of wardrobe, I ended up getting rid of all but one. The one I kept was originally a dress that my mom bought at a thrift store in 1973 or '74 and then I wore it until the bodice disintegrated and then made it into a skirt. Judging from the overall shape/style it's probably from around 1950, but the best part about it is the CRAZY print on the fabric. Organ grinders, fisherman, farmers and gypsies. Need I say more? But I digress. I love circle skirts. They're so comfortable and chic, and all that swishy fabric makes you feel kind of glamorous without a whole lot of effort. Since I cleared out my closet I've been wanting more of them, and when I found this yardage in the infamous "communal stash" I knew exactly what it wanted to be. While I wanted to get a jump on another project for the Vintage Sewing Pattern Pledge, this was going to be a much simpler endeavor, and it kinda sorta counts since it's essentially a 1950s skirt despite being self drafted. I cut the back in two separate panels because of yardage limitations, so there is a center back seam where I put the zipper; my first invisible zipper I might add. It was the only zipper in my stash that was the right color, and it meant I got to try out my new invisible zipper foot as well. Not the worst thing in the world I have to say.

Best of all.....POCKETS! I debated for a while about whether I wanted to do in-seam pockets or oversized patch pockets, but after a little feedback from the ladies at We Sew Retro and considering what I actually wanted out of this project as a sewing experience, I opted for the less mentally taxing task of in-seam pockets. The patch pockets were going to require much more planning and thought than my poor little brain wanted to tackle at this juncture, plus you really can't go wrong with simple, clean lines.

I let the skirt hang for about four days before leveling it, hemming it to about 27 inches in length. This is going to be a real test, since I couldn't try it on myself to check the length and make sure I had everything level visually, but I'm hoping I got it pretty close. I hemmed it about half an inch longer in the back to account for body curvature that Tabitha doesn't have, tapering it out to the side seams.
Since the fabric is so lightweight, and because I wanted to prevent further stretching on the bias, I opted for a fairly narrow hem. I was going to use a bias band or hem tape to finish it, but I didn't have enough of anything to go around all 6 or so yards of hem on this puppy, so I just turned it under. It made things a tad more fiddly as far as getting it to lay smoothly, but since it's linen everything pressed pretty nicely once I had it all stitched.

I've actually gotten started (FINALLY) on my next winter coat project, a self education in couture tailoring techniques, but so far I've just got the outer fabric cut. I also still have a couple of dresses planned for the Vintage Pattern Pledge, but am approaching a VERY busy couple of months around here (and not just a new baby, but more on that later), so I'm not sure when I'll be able to get around to those. I'm planning on doing some more detailed process posts while I work my way through this winter coat, not only so you can see a little more of how I work, but also so those of you unfamiliar with the hand tailoring process can learn a little along with me. I'm hoping to be back in a couple of weeks with more on that.

Have a good week!


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