Long skirt with butterflies.

Vlinderrok

Vlinderrok

I took another piece of upholstery fabric, wrapped it around my hips and cut it a little wider than that. It was a rectangle 110 cm wide and 90 cm high.
In the back I cut the fabric a bit narrower at the top and sewed a zipper there. The back seam I treated as a vent.

I tried it on for fit and determined how much I had to take in at the top. I made some large darts in the side, where otherwise the side seam would have been located.
This is how long the side seams are. They run well past my hip. They make for a slight A-line.
Vlinderrok

I added two little darts in the front.
Usually I have to add long darts in the back but because the zipper is on an angle inwards I did not need any darts in the back.
Funnily enough the pattern in the fabric matched just at the base of the zipper. Lucky coincidence.
I caught the top edge in a waist band and finished it nicely. (I’ve been wearing it, that’s why it’s creased.)

Vlinderrok

Green skirt in progress: misunderstandings

I marked out where the zipper was going to end. I’ve determined the waist band will be 3 cm wide, just over an inch. This is how it will sit and where I’ll stop sewing at the bottom.
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Following Corinne Leigh’s tutorial at youtube Craftovision channel about sewing an invisible zipper. I did fine. Put it in:

Sewed shut the side seam. Noticed error.

Clearly I had not understood the tutorial well. The white “lips” of the zipper are peaking out from the seam.

Here’s where I did something wrong. Corinne says to start sewing the side seam as close as you can to the point where you stopped sewing the zipper. I must have misunderstood where that’s supposed to be exactly.

I took out a bit and tried how it was supposed to look before I sewed it like this:

Much better!

But now I had been a tad enthousiastic and sewn a bit more higher up than supposed to. The zipper will boink into the stitching and not into the zipper stop at the bottom of the zipper. It’s only a question of 1 mm but still enough to harass that stitching, especially that one lone stitch:

It needed some fortification. I took the left over thread after I snipped it after sewing and thread it through a needle and whipped it through a couple of times. Only through the white zipper fabric, not the green fashion fabric.
It’s a zipper stop of some sorts. Just enough to fortify that lone stitch at the picture above.

Here you see it from the inside:

Next. After fitting I saw that the fit was good. So I pressed open the seams.
No need to finish them, they are already finished.
The first side seam shows I’m still getting used at working with broad (= 1/2″) seam allowance. Here I was squeemish:

At the other seam I had grown bolder:

Next: the darts.
My projected darts would work fine: both front and back would have two darts, each 3″ from the centerline.
Front darts would each have 1/2″ in width and 2″ in length.
Back darts would have 3/4″ width each and 4 1/2″ in length.

I located them, drew them, pinned them, sewed them.
Then this.

The silk had not stayed close to the fabric. Not at the point of the dart.
I tried the skirt on and though the width is ok, the darts end in ugly puckers now that the actual fashion fabric doesn’t receive the start of the dart in a smooth curved angle.
So these have to come out.
And I used a tiny stitch width to make for extra nice looking darts…

Wearing a skirt with pockets.

It worked! I now have a skirt with pockets.
Front:
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Back:
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In real life it’s more straight, I’m standing weird twice to take these pictures (and I may have cut the lower ends of the side seams a bit too flaring…)
Also: I did not press the skirt yet. I wanted to show it in all its natural behaviour.

Indeed, no extra wearing ease is needed when using the widest circumference in the method of Marina von Koening.
The darts work like magic. The fit of this dress is very good!

Look at how long those darts are in the back!
I cut the hem a bit round.
Pockets are neatly tucked away in the side seam.
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Excuse the laundry in the back…

The front (and more laundry). With short darts.
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Again the hem is cut a bit round. Next skirt I’ll cut the waist a bit round too.
In this one I thought I had to raise the back a bit because of the small of my back. You can see the difference between the front and the back panel.
In wearing I see this was not neccessary.

Pockets!
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The darts did all the shaping.
They are very short in the front, just 6 cm (2,3 inch). Because I have a belly.
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The darts is the back are very long! More than 20 cm. (8 inch!)
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Two darts I put in before putting bias band at the top. Then I found out I needed more. I just put in two more darts without altering the bias band. I’m practical. In a next skirt I’ll do all the darts first and then finish the waist band. I’ll even do a facing!

On the left -in above picture- you see the side seam coming in.
The front panel has less width than the back panel. Because I have buttocks.
But at the waist the front panel and the back panel have equal width.

When wearing the side seam is perfectly vertical.
Or perhaps not… but look at that fit!
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I thought the sideseam hung straight when I looked in the mirror. I may not stand straight in this picture. Or the seam might not be straight at all, after all it is weird to have the back panel wider than the front. Will check again.

goes to mirror

takes a picture

doesn’t alter it in any way, showing shamelessly the mess in “the wool room” and the ear muffles I wear most days and my handknit sweater.

And a straight side seam:
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I’m sure this mystery will be solved in the future.

Also: see how low those pockets are. I’m on a learning curve, I am.

I still have to finish the ending of the zipper. Really, I had no idea what I was doing when I put it in without a seam. Still don’t.
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Here are some other things I’ll do different next time:
– curve the waist band a bit
– no need to make the back higher
– a zipper without a seam needs a bit more planning than just slash & sew. Here are some good answers.. Ooh, here’s a good one too! With reenforcement in the back.
– make my own biasband. Found a lovely tutorial for people without a bias band maker tool.

I’ve already cut fabric for the next one. It includes a waist band facing. oooh, fancy
I found some nice tutorials how to put it in and get a nice finish at the top.
Tomorrow I’ll go to town to get a zipper (and bias band). And perhaps some more fabric for a next skirt? I dug through my stash today but there wasn’t really much fun fabric for a skirt. The good fabrics are all for dresses.
Really, I should just throw out all the fabric that will never make me happy… It would clear up at least 3 curver boxes.

Doing this skirt, I learned some new words that will help me in the future:
“exposed zipper”, I do not seem to mind them.
“in seam pocket”, I love those! I like them invisible too, with different fabric on the inside, like a little inside giggle.

One more illustration of my learning curve: the first run at the hem I thought I’d be smart, I’d stretch the fabric because it had to go round. Logic.
The result:
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Not smart at all. I took out the seam and redid it, very gently and not pulling at all. Now the hem is straight. Albeit a bit flared at the side seams.

All in all a good practice skirt and I will wear it. It is in sturdy canvas and I enjoy that fabric very much when working here in the woods. Still have to fix the end of the zipper though.

Summer Dress: altering the neckline

I raised the neckline without tapering it down and now the dress stood agape at my front. So I inserted two darts. They are pretty long but it’s what my fitting told me:
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When I was satisfied with them I inserted them into the lining as well. Now I had to remake the neckline into a coherent line and restitch the lining to the fashion fabric and finish it with understitching.

Stitching lining and fabric together, securing the darts and creating a new fluent neckline:
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Trim the bits and nick the fabric before turning it over:
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turn dress so that I can redo the top stitching: stitch very close to the existing seam securing together the lining and the seam allowance of both lining and fashion fabric:
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result! No picture of it but it looks good. All it needs is a bit of pressing but the new neckline on this half is good.

now the other one: stitch lining and fabric together creating a new fluent line. Looks good from where I was stitching.
but when I flipped it over:
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Unacceptable. For one: it missed one of the nicks that were already in the lining. This would fray with wear, I fear.

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Second: on one side the stitching doesn’t end in the little trench of the existing stitching line. It misses it by a mm:
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This will give a nasty fold. Which will show on the good side as this stitching involves both the lining and the fashion fabric. Unacceptable.
Take it out, please.

Redone:
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Much better!

Perfection even. Look how nice it runs into the existing stitching line:
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Let’s have a look to the other side:
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Merde.
it missed the ‘ear’ of the dart.
Take it out please.

your wish is my command:
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I folded the ‘ear’ the other way and restitched that part:
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Good!

let’s look at the other side:
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Poep.
It messed with the lining, creating a fold. It won’t be visible while wearing but still…

time for some chocolate and a little lay down. This needs to come out and be redone.

Summerdress: final adjustments.

Joehoe, I’m back in the city near pins and sewing machine.

I’ve taken out a bit of the length in the back, at the (raised) waist seam. No more blousing effect there.
I’ve inserted small bustdarts at the armpit because there was loose fabric there. For this I had to loosen the lining including the understitching. This was ok and I felt easier loosening it in other places too.
That’s when I inserted some big darts in the front:
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it now lays flat. I will pick apart the whole stitching at the top of the frontpanel, cut a nicer line, seam lining and fashion fabric together again and topstitch it again.

In the sides there had to be a little bit of additional shaping. It was a fingers’ width I needed on both sides and only at my waist, not at my ribcage. On one side seam I used the sewing machine. On the other side I used the zipper. I handstitched the fabric and used it to add shaping.
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normal people might think I was just cross eyed when keeping the fabric in place but actually it was a bright eyed decision… Whether it’s a good one we’ll see when I wear this dress.

You might remember that I proudly used French seams on the skirt. I have now faced the problem of inserting a zipper is placed in a french seam:
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as I handstitched my way down the zipper I brought the two sides together, just below where the zip ends. I sewed it together, all four pieces (2 fashion fabric, 2 zipper tails)
I used what in knitting is called a mattress stitch.

Below that I sewed with my sewing machine, from the inside. I folded the two sides of the fashion fabric twice and stitched them together. The fraying ends are caught in the seam. It’s a Faux French Seam.
Where it transfers to the actual French seam I had nicked the fabric so it would open up and allow for folding the other way around.

in short: I fudged it untill it was secure.

Now:

  1. make the neck line in the front beautiful
  2. small additional adjustment at the side seam
  3. attach the lining to the dress around the midrif section
  4. hemming

all in all I can already tell you the fit is very good. It’s much better than in the previous post. When it’s all finished I’ll find someone to take pictures from me in my beautiful Summer Dress 🙂

 

PS what is the acceptable way of securing the loose threads from the sewing thread? 3 knots and weaving the end under doesn’t sound very ‘couture’ to me…

anybody knows? I’ve got lots of ends to secure, what with all the alterations.