Monday, October 22, 2012

Skirt Sorrows

Skirt sorrow #1
Completed my first knit skirt from "designing" my own pattern to choosing fabric and sewing it up in about 2 days. I wanted to make a simple foldover knit skirt (after being inspired by Narda wearing her foldover skirt recently) but I do not have a pattern for it. The two patterns below were my starting point (read the instructions to get an inkling on how to move forward). I also eyeballed a couple of purchased exercise pants and jersey skirts I have before proceeding with my skirt.

Being that it is my first knit skirt, I am very hesitant to cut into my ponte knits, but none of the larger scraps I have are going to be enough to make a skirt (unless I use different colors for the waistband, and so on). Luckily I found this caramel-ly brown t-shirt knit (but thick enough) in my stash, that I think was from my last thrift haul in Iowa.

Tadaaa.... Basically the pattern is 3 pieces for the skirt part (one front piece, and 2 back pieces) and then one piece for the foldover waistband (left pic is folded waistband, and on the right is when the waistband is unfolded). I followed my pattern for the skirt pieces in which I added this wedge thing on the back side.... but I also added a wedge to the front side pattern (my logic is that if people add the wedge to make room for a fuller seat to their skirt, in my case I would need both ways!)

I've worn it the whole day (next day after finishing). This is the most comfortable skirt I ever worn. Ever. I don't feel like it's gonna cut my circulation!

The sad part is that I have a feeling the fabric stretch recovery is not going to be good. So I might end up sooner rather than later with a big skirt with no more stretch. I hope I am mistaken. But this is a test skirt, giving me an idea on how I can construct a foldover knit skirt. I will definitely be making more. This is more of a stay-at-home skirt... So no pics of me wearing it. Yet.

Skirt sorrow #2
This is a HUGE dud. It left me incapacitated for days. Yep. That much drama.

The fabric is a linen-backed velvet. Red. I purchased it not knowing that there's velvet stuff stuck to it. I could have sworn I only saw that it was advertised as linen. Red linen. And I purchased perhaps 4 yards of it!!! Thinking that I can take this back home to Malaysia and give it as a present to my mom who loves to wear linen pants. But it is not to be so.... It still stink a bit even after wash. However the velvet part is really nice and bright. Too bright for my liking, but it's okay to test this pattern on me i think.

I made a date dress (during the Valentine's season) from this M6518 pattern. I've used the pattern a couple of times as the base to more of my "editing/hackjobs" but for tops (i chopped and taped my patterns a lot. rather than trace them and then make alterations....). Namely, my spring gingham peplum-ed blouse (which was a refashion project).

This time I wanted to make a skirt out of it. I shouldn't bother. I sewn everything except for the zippers. Put it on. It looks horrendous. I look like a box. I felt bad for days. I realize how still very green I am at sewing. Can't even sew skirts yet. Okay, maybe I know how to "sew" it but I mean to fit it, to choose a pattern that will fit my altered shape. I will stick my experimentation on proper skirt pattern from now on. Until I find a flattering skirt shape on me... :(

Skirt sorrow #3

This was the first skirt I ever made from scratch, the original party crasher to Faye's Carnival of Skirts. It's from Simplicity 2766. I finally worn it out yesterday. It has quite a number of issues. Firstly, the length. I wanted a longer length for this but accidentally cut it shorter just before hemming. For this shape of a skirt, it's now at a weird length - just under the knee. 

Secondly, I am so used to wearing my top covering my tummy (because I imagine it will elongate my torso? LOL). Maybe this worked (in my head) when I was younger, but my tummy/waist isn't the smallest part of me anymore. This type of skirt cannot handle this look. Maybe I will find a better top, shorter top? I don't know...


This is a carnival, a party. After a few days of sorrow where no sewing or blogging can be done (but spent running around, moping, touching patterns, pulling fabric stash and making a mess at it) I am determined to make another skirt. Different style now of course as per Faye's requirement. 

I bought this pattern (Today's Fit by Sandra Betzina V1082) many months ago I think during one of those BMV sale. My plan is to make View A (the pattern on the right, more fitted darker skirt). I've never made the skirt obviously but it has a lot of interesting element to it that it is calling to me. Go big or go bust you see...

The fabric (the brown, mint, cream, etc etc floral and earthy design, a thick cotton) I am going to test this pattern on is one of my treasured thrift find. I have 3 yards of it. I've been holding on to it forever. But it's time to sacrifice it for greater good...

The caramel brown, black and white cotton fabric above is my muslin for the upper skirt part as suggested by Sandra Betzina in her instruction.

Seems like I might need to have size G for the front portion, and then a smaller size (F) for the back... Can you have 2 different sizes for front and back? Of course you can right? That's the whole point of sewing for yourself... Makes me hesitant to cut into my fabric. Into any fabric...

And another question: Do you make your own piping? How do you make your own piping for apparel? What filler do you use? I've been using random strings I have in stash to use as piping filler. I'm not sure if this is advisable?

I really don't want another sorrowful skirt story....


  1. Oh no! My first knit skirt was a foldover type like yours and mine was a skirt sorrow. Problems with wavy seams and next to no recovery in the stretch. I finally wore it out once but it has yet to be blogged about. I wanted to love it, but I'll have to make another attempt.

    1. I really love this foldover skirt. We both should tweak our patterns and try again in diff fabric. Maybe better luck next time!

  2. I have made my own piping before using some thick cotton string bought on the hardware section of our local supermarket. I don't know whats its real use it, but its perfect for piping.

    1. I suppose as long as we like the outcome of our piping that's all that matters, yeah? :) I've made quite a bit of piping, mostly for my cushions, but once or twice for my clothes. I don't mind so much what I used for home dec, but was just wondering if other people may have used a specific string for clothes piping... most that i've seen so far used pre-packaged pipings, but like you I too like to make my own.. :)


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