BWOF #115, 7/07
Mad for Plaid
You should have known from the last week's worth of posts that this next project would probably be a stripe or plaid. Without further ado, my latest plaid skirt:
I picked BWOF #115, 7/07 for several reasons. I only had a small amount of the plaid fabric, which was part of my prize from the SWAP contest sponsored by Julie of Timmel Fabrics, so I couldn't make a pleated skirt. I already own a pleated skirt in a similar plaid anyway. I also wanted to make a higher-waisted skirt this season, but with my short waist, anything that is too high waisted would look very out of proportion. This skirt has a slightly raised waist, which works nicely with my body shape. The skirt also has an interesting back, with the center panel gathered about knee level (another one of those BWOF line drawing surprises).
If you're thinking of trying a higher waisted skirt, but don't want to go to extremes, try this one - it went together easily and can be completed in a weekend. I really didn't see anything unusually difficult about this one, but let's look at a few details of the skirt and a few things I changed.
First, I have never seen a piece like this in all the big 4 patterns I've sewn. The pocket bag has an extension toward center front and is meant to be joined with the other pocket back in a center front seam. I like it - it's very neat and tidy and supports the pockets all along the front seam. This would be easier to see in the second photo, but I matched the plaids and had to turn back the pocket itself. In the third photo you can see the piping I added to the pocket edges. I had a bit of black velvet piping leftover from another project and liked the idea of a definite edge for the pocket.
Second, let's take a look at the gathering of the center back panel. There is actually a casing applied to the wrong side of the fabric with a bit of elastic inserted. The elastic is then caught in the panel seam to keep it in place.
Third, below you'll see the waist finish. Even though I lined my skirt, I still chose to use the waist facing pieces. The waist area on the high waisted garments is prone to wrinkling if not supported somehow, so the waist facing pieces were very important. I simply treated the lining and fashion fabric as one piece and applied the facing in the usual way and hand tacked it to the skirt at the side seams. Also notice that the zipper in inserted in the left panel seam. You could move it to the side seam if your hip curve isn't too extreme.
I'll post a photo of me wearing the skirt on Monday, when I'll wear it to school.
Q/A: Today's Q/A comes from Pirate: Before you got your serger, how did you finish the seams in your garments? If there was also a lining, did you simply pink the seams on both garment and lining and let it go at that? The seam finish is dependent on the garment and fabric. For unlined garments or lined garments where the seams might be seen, the seams are always finished by either french seaming, binding/Hong Kong finish or something similar. The exception is the knits, since for the most part, they don't ravel or fray (some do - this is something to check before cutting out a garment!) . For completely lined garments in which none of the interior seams would ever be seen, the seam allowances were pinked or left alone. The only exception to that was if the fabric frayed easily, then I'd usually put in some stay stitching and pink the edges, to finish but not add bulk to the seam. I actually still do things this way, except that the serger takes the places of stay stitching and pinking. I don't mind doing all the extra steps that a bound or french seam takes.
Parting Shot: One of my birthday earrings. My husband buys my jewelry from our local gold/silversmith, who has a shop filled with beautiful jewelry that he and his staff makes. Our family has been buying from him for over 25 years, so we all have some very unique and lovely pieces. These earrings appear to be simple, but if you look closely at the construction, they're not as simple as they appear.