Tuesday, November 15, 2016

A New Plaid Skirt for Fall

About three months ago I drafted a circle skirt from instructions I found on the internet. It was to make a Dirndl inspired skirt to take with me on our trip to Germany. Alas, I did not have enough fabric, so I put the pattern aside. I recently pulled it out and decided it would be great for a fall midi length skirt. After all, this length seems to be the rage right now. I can see wearing it with Mary Janes or boots. 

Here is the website I found the instructions for for the circle skirt. It is so simple as it figures out the measurements for you!


I did add 4" to the hem because the original thought was to go to the knee, but as I want this to be midi length...

I then decided I might like pockets in the side seam. So, I went to a pattern I recently made and borrowed the pocket piece. As you can see, I slightly altered the piece for comfort when I slide my hand into the pocket.

I made sure to match the plaid for the pocket piece (even though no one will really see it) and placed it where it was comfortable for me to put my hand in the pocket on the side seam.

       Pinned pocket piece to both sides 
                  matching the plaid.

I sewed the pocket on with the serger to finish the seam 
all the way down. I used a 1/4" seam.

I pressed the pocket out to the side with the 
seam toward the pocket piece.

Finally I pinned the front to the back at the side seam matching the plaid 
and testing the pocket opening to make sure it was the size I needed.

I ended up only putting a pocket on the right side of the skirt since I planned to put in an invisible zipper on the left side. Follow the instructions for you machine to put in an invisible zipper. I only had a grey one on hand, but since you don't see it, it was fine. The hardest part was matching the plaid.
I used a disappearing pen to make matching marks on the zipper so that part 
of the zipper would line up with the other side.
The finished zipper. Not bad, if I say so myself ;-)

Lastly, I cut a waistband piece 4" wide and a lot longer than my waist measurement. I cut the waistband in two pieces for the front and back because I did not have enough fabric to make one continuous piece. I cut the underlapping edge 1 1/4 " long and the other edge only as long as the seam allowance. I want that side to end up even with the finished zipper edge.

You can see I offset the plaid pattern so when I sewed one end together, 
it would give the appearance that the plaid was continuous.

            Next I pinned, sewed, and trimmed the waistband. You see that I finished the
                      long edge at the top. There is a reason for that!
In order to finish the end pieces on the waistband, I turned the seams up toward the top of the waistband so they would end up on the inside when I turned the band.

I then clipped the corner for a pointed corner when I turned it. 


Once you turn the waistband, have the finished long edge over lap the seam where you sewed the waistband to the skirt.

Then from the front pin the waistband from the front in the ditch. I bet you know what I am going to say next!

That's right! Stitch in the ditch from the front. This #10 Bernina foot is one of my favorite feet.  This is also my favorite way to finish a waistband, less bulk. 

So, I tried on my skirt and realized it turned out too big. I realized the reason for this was that I used a fabric with a slight stretch in the fabric. So, before I hand stitched the waist band edge that was not caught up in the ditch stitching, I added elastic to the back. When I put the skirt on, it lays flat. I simply threaded it into the waistband and stitched the ends across the waistband.

Now it fits perfectly!

This is one of my favorite tricks. I use a bodkin to guide the serger thread through itself so there are no hanging threads on the bottom of the hem.

I did a 5/8" narrow hem by first pressing up 5/8".

Then I turned the edge under and pressed just meeting the fold.

From the front, the top stitching ends up being a little larger than 1/4".

I did not us a rolled hem foot, because I do not like the twisted look that sometimes happens.

Love this beautiful finished edge!

And there you have it! A self drafted plaid circle skirt with one pocket and an invisible zipper. 
Bring on the cold!

Monday, October 5, 2015

New Fall Top Butterick 5924

Love this new casual top from Butterick. It is not a new pattern, but the style is pretty new. It combines an on grain upper with a bias lower part.  I used a lightweight tan plaid shirting. It is soft, but with a little bit of body.

You can see the lightweight fusible interfacing adds just the right amount of stiffness to help the collar stand up without being rigid.

    Tip: I topstitched the collar edge ever so slightly rolling the 
       seam toward the under collar before topstitching. 

Finally, I had to rip out the bust dart a couple of times. The one on the pattern is so short, about 2 inches long, and really big. So, I had to rip out the dart and re-pin it while I was wearing it. I ended up lengthening it about 2 more inches so it landed 1 inch away from the bust apex. After I sewed it, I kept getting awful points at the end of the dart! So I started researching why this was happening. Apparently, because the dart was so wide, and straight, and pointed to the wrong apex, it was causing points at the end. NOT PRETTY!

I found a website that showed how to sew a curved dart. First time I've ever tried this. But you know what? It worked! Just that simple-points gone. Now I have a nice, smooth dart.

I can see wearing this with pearls, rolled up capri jeans and ballet flats for a cute fall look. I'm so happy I was able to fix the darts, otherwise I think I would have trashed it.

Using a Summer Maxi Skirt in Fall

I was going through my closet on Sunday and decided to re-vamp my summer skirt. I think it looks pretty good. I could even see it with black booties in the winter. But. seeing as it is still in the upper 80's here in Texas, I'll keep to the short sleeved sweater and sandals.

It was an easy skirt I found on the internet that has a fold over yoga style waistband. So comfortable and best of all it's long enough!

Friday, October 2, 2015

My First Sweater!

So, my abuelita from South America would come visit us when I was little, She could not speak even a little English, but she taught me how to knit! I was probably 8 years old. So, I've known how to do the knit stitch all these years, but never applied it. Recently, I found a class on Craftsy called My First Sweater. It takes you step-by-step through the process of knitting a sweater. I had to try it!

Here is my first sweater!

I used a Lion's Brand wool in this cool butterscotch color. I had to lengthen the sleeves an inch to accommodate my wide shoulders and longer arms. But the pattern could be altered to widen the sleeve cap, which I would do next time.

You can see the lovely little eyelet detail along the raglan sleeve that adds interest to an otherwise plain sweater.

I think I would like to knit another one day. I have a friend that spins and dyes wool. Maybe I can talk her into parting with a few skeins. And maybe a new neckline, or cardigan style.....

So many options!

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Trekking up to IAO Vista in Maui

 Hiked up to see the 1200' IAO Needle.  The park is just fabulous and solo green. We were lucky that day as there was a clear view of the needle. But, every inch of the park, that we saw, was beautiful!

Here is the famous needle...


Another beautiful shot...

This is what I wore: Burda Magazine 

Cute detail gather at the neck on the lightweight cotton. I think I will lower the neckline next time.

Going back to the Closet

So, I have been going back to my closet lately to find old pieces and giving them a new look.

Here I have a floral straight skirt I made using my pattern software. I paired it with a men's look tailored striped shirt and pearls. I think it gives a rather modern look.

                                         Tip: I created a 1" waistband so I could wear it with 
                                         a top tucked in or over the top. Makes it very comfortable
                                         (especially for singing;-)

It is a cotton twill I found at Hancock's years ago, but I loved the print. Not quite floral and not quite abstract. I put in an invisible zipper for a professional look.

Luckily, we had a beautiful day in Austin where I could wear something with longer sleeves.

I wore this to sing in the choir at church while my daughter played trumpet in the orchestra. She loved it because we sang a hymn based on Gustov Holst's Planets - Jupiter. Great part for trumpets, by the way!

Have a great week!