About me

My photo
I am a mother, a new grandmother, and a teacher. But whatever happens in my life, I keep sewing. I have worked as a political communicator and now as a teacher in my formal life. I have also written extensively on sewing. I have been a frequent contributor and contributing editor of Threads magazine and the Australian magazine Dressmaking with Stitches. My first book Sew.. the garment-making book of knowledge will be published in May 2018 and is available for pre-order from Amazon


Follow by Email

Follow me on Instagram


Friday, August 27, 2010

I am so happy

It would take another sewer to understand just how totally happy you can be when you step into a new, unknown sewing project and it turns out fine.

I feel that way about this Tracy Reese skirt pattern.

For a start I usually only sew straight skirts, seems to make sense when your fridge could be your dress form; I have so little waist to hip definition, carrying all my definition behind me. But I am in a stepping out and trying new things frame of mind. So I cut into some stashed wool crepe yesterday and thought I would try the skirt.

I also have some wild silk charmeuse bought from Fabricmart a while back in a kind of fabric feeding frenzy I was involved in at the time. In the spirit of doing things interesting with my required skirt sewing, I decided to cut into that for the lining. You can see that pictured below with the facing sewn on to it, ready to install:

Now the thing about this pattern is that it calls for a heavy metal back zipper, teeth exposed of course. I figured, well why not, and went out and bought the right kind of zipper. BTW why do pattern companies always call for speciality zippers to be in odd sizes? This pattern calls for a 9" and YKK sells 8" and 10" as far as I can see.

Anyway the destructions for setting in this zipper were scary. I mean I took one look at this:

And I knew that I as looking at an accident waiting to happen. 

I am working with wool crepe. Am I going to be cutting right to the seam at the exact end-of-zipper spot where the pressure's going to hit when this rear end hits the chair at work?

I think not.

I also was highly suspicious of the advice to do all this clipping before you were anywhere near the sewing on facing/waistband part, and the zipper is supposed to go to the top of the waistband.

I know how that stuff turns out. You are too short or too long and a metal teeth zipper is not going to be any help at all when you have to fake/adjust it.

So this is what I did instead:

1. Sewed up the skirt and applied the waistband/facing.
2. Folded under the top tape edges of the zipper as suggested and placed this at centre back and figured out exactly how long an opening I needed.
3. Stitched up to the zipper opening as per usual for a traditional zipper.
4. Working from the inside placed the edges of the zipper tape even with the edges of the seam allowance and with a zipper foot stitched close to the teeth. Looked at it from the outside and cleaned up the stitching a little.

This gave me the result you see here with the end of the zipper tapering into the seam rather than being set off in a nice square. However my method was super easy to do.

However when I finish this up today the last step is to top stitch and I figure I can stitch a nice square box around the bottom of the zipper and it will look fine.

I try to anticipate and reduce the stress points in my garments and my sewing if I can.

BTW I like this lining a lot when I see it cut up and stitched. Since I can't source anything decent for the top for this pattern I might try to use it for that - providing my Debbie Cook research helps me figure out the FBA adjustment in a style like this.

Being a tall and not small person I have avoided loud floral prints and my social calendar doesn't run to many events where I say to myself "damn if only I had a loud floral charmeuse top" but I am thinking about this.

Final results for the skirt later.


Maricou said...

Great to read your review for the skirt as I am hemming the assorted top. and I am preparing to cut the skirt.
Actualy I am still hesitating wether I go their way with the zipper or doing it in a more convnetional manner.
BTW your lining is awesome and you must go for it for the top if you like it

RuthieK said...

I bought a similar silk print fr a blouse and am waiting to have a well fitting pattern before I cut it out. It would be lovely as a top you should try it.

Carolyn (cmarie12) said...

I say go ahead and make the large floral top. Step out of your comfort zone. Make the two pieces work together in a way that will give you pleasure and proudly, yes I said proudly wear them to the grocery store!

Branka said...

Oh that silk lining is just to die for! Yes, that is why we sew in the first place:)

Karin van D. said...

That lining is gorgeous. Can't wait to see the finished skirt.

And I'd say wednesday in three weeks is the perfect day for a loud floral charmeuse top. Don't you think?v