Last week I shared a blouse that I had made for myself as part of a summer wardrobe. This week I’m going to show you a skirt that I’ve made. A basic black skirt.
This skirt is desined to become a favourite I’m sure. Its just one of those things that always works, right?
This is the first fitted skirt that I’ve made for myself in a very long time. Having had 3 babies in less than 4 years, I became very accustomed to wearing skirts made of stretchy fabric with a fold-over, yoga-style waistband (even though they have nothing to do with yoga). I made quite a lot of those kind of skirts over the last several years, and I still wear them. But now that I’ve returned to work, I find that I’m wanting clothes with a little bit more structure to them.
Ottobre suggested linen for this skirt. I used some fabric that I bought about a year ago as part of a large bundle from someone who was moving interstate. I don’t think its pure linen (mainly because it doesn’t crease like linen tends to do), but it is a linen-look, and there was lots of it. There is a little bit less now of course, though I think that there’ll be enough to make something else, maybe the linen pants also featured in that issue?
I used Ottobre Design pattern “Mandarine” from issue 2/2015. The blouse I made last week was also from that same issue and was shown with this skirt in one of the views.
I made two variations to this pattern:
- I omitted the lining. This skirt is going to be for wearing in summer, and since we’ve already had weather in the mid-30s and we’re only half way through spring, I figure its going to be a hot one! So, I felt that the lining would probably be a bit much this time around. The fabric is sturdy enough and absolutely not see-through, so there aren’t any issues there.
- I didn’t have an invisible zipper on hand, but I had a regular zipper in the right colour and size. So I added about 2cm extra seam allowance to the centre back seams so that I could fit it in.
The skirt is slightly A-line, with a circular shaped yoke at the front, and has no waistband. There are two darts at the back, this gives just a little bit of shape to the skirt so that it fits nicely.
I top-stitched all of the seams in this skirt using black thread.
There is a shaped facing that goes all the way around, I top stitched this, mostly for stability, so that it doesn’t “peek” over the top of the waist seamline.
I also top-stitched the side-seams even though the instructions didn’t say to, just because I like to do that, it makes the seam sit flat and neat.
The Front Yoke
This skirt is constructed quite simply. The two skirt fronts are stitched together first, then the yoke is inserted. The pattern pieces fit together quite well and this curve was really easy to put together with a few pins. I overlocked the edges together once I had stitched the yoke into the skirt. As you can see in the picture below, which shows the inside, this seam doesn’t quite sit flat, even though I top-stitched it.
The Dreaded Zipper
I had quite a bit of trouble with this zipper. Generally speaking I don’t like putting in zippers, I find them really hard and fiddly and troublesome. This one was no exception. In the end, it was a “that’ll do” situation.
There are still a couple of puckers. It took me about 3 days to do it.
Yes, really, 3 days!
I did this in the evenings, after all the work for the day was done, and I could finally have some quiet “me” time.
The first time I stitched it, I didn’t stitch close enough to the zipper teeth, and didn’t quite catch the tape all the way down. And, because I did this in the evening, I couldn’t see the thread against the fabric to unpick it. I had to wait until the next day when I had some natural light.
The second time I stitched it (after unpicking my first attempt), for some reason my sewing machine (a Brother My Star-3 which usually never fails me) decided that it was not going to sew normally whilst the zipper foot was fitted to it. So, my stitches were all loopy, and there was no upper tension. Again, it was now too dark to be able to see my thread against the fabric to unpick it, because the sun had set, and I was lit by light bulbs.
The third day, I unpicked my previous wonky stitches and did it again, using the regular presser foot. And it ended up…okay. As good as its going to get anyway!
Once I had completed the zipper, the rest of the skirt went together in about half an hour. Really, it was so quick. I just did the side seams, stitched the facings together at their side seams and then attached the whole piece to the top of the skirt.
I did a small tidy hem, as this skirt is a little shorter than I am used to wearing, and I didn’t want to lose any more length by taking a deeper hem.
I tacked the facing down at all the seams and the darts so that it sits nice and flat and doesn’t move about.
I hand-stitched the edges of the facings out of the way of the zipper.
And attached a hook and eye.
And that’s it. A basic, black skirt, to wear to work!
Thanks for reading.