Archive for the ‘8 gore pinstriped skirt’ Category


May 3, 2007

The pinstriped skirt is coming along nicely. (Although it’s one of the slowest things I’ve ever made.)

Pinstriped Skirt in Progress

I drafted the waistband today. Drafting was a simple affair; I just laid the skirt on some tracing paper, and drew along the line of the waist. I wanted my waist band to be 2″ thick, so I extended 2″ from my traced line, then added seam allowances. To draft the back of the waistband, I split the pattern at CB, and added a half inch seam allowance to one piece, and an inch and a half to the other to give lappage for my buttonholes.

Sounds simple, right. Except that I didn’t line up the edges properly when I sewed it in.


Oh well. That’s what seam rippers are for, I guess.


Lining. Or Not.

May 1, 2007

I was planning to line the skirt I’m working on. The wool is kind of scratchy, and I even had a fabric picked out for the lining — and recycled to boot!

These gold silk pants have been with me for a long time, but as you can see, they are through.

Gold pants

I must have had these at least ten years. When they were new, I wore them out clubbing. They picked up a couple of stains in their life, but for years I wore them under long skirts and tall boots in the wintertime. Silk makes fantastic long underwear. (Yes. I’m a woman who’s not afraid of unconventional unmentionables.) It seemed in the right spirit that this fabric should go into the lining of a sturdy wool skirt.



April 26, 2007

Since my pinstriped skirt requires a zipper, I thought this might be a good time to do a quick post on zipper installation. There are two basic ways to sew in a zipper: a lapped installation, and a centered installation. A lapped installation is usually found on pants fronts — it means that one edge of the fabric laps over the other, hiding the zipper tape. In a centered installation, which is what I’m doing, the zipper is installed between two equal folds of fabric which meet in the center of the zipper.

This isn’t a typical installation, since I’m not installing the zipper directly to the fabric pieces, but rather to the backing tape that my bound fashion fabric will be attached to.


The Right Tool For The Job

April 10, 2007

So I haven’t been doing too much work lately on my current project — my trip intervened (and I did manage to whip up a skirt with the Malaysian fabric I picked up at the State Department book sale; photos to come).

I brought it back out today, and I have two comments about tools.

The first is that making bias strips out of satin is a complete pain. The fabric is slippery, it doesn’t like to hold a crease, and I managed to singe both it and my fingers. What I need for this is a bias tape maker:

bias tape maker

With this little gizmo, you feed the flat fabric in one end, and it comes out the other end folded around — you just have to press the creases in.

The second comment regards presser feet. For the longest time, I’d had my zigzag presser foot attached to the machine for any kind of regular straight stitch sewing. I mean, no reason you can’t stitch a straight line with the zipper foot, right? Well, but I’d always had trouble with very tiny seams and topstitching. If I was stitching close to the edge, the edge would creep up into the little well of the zigzag foot.

I pulled out the regular straight stitch foot the other day, and it was a revelation. Perfect topstitched seams, less than 1/16 inch from the edge.

Um. Well. D’uh. That’s why they give you a different foot for straight stitching.


March 9, 2007

Pattern pieces are cut, and I’ve made some bias strips. I made a test piece to see how the finish looks with or without whipstitching.

bound-seam-detail2.jpg Whipstitched detail

What say you? Add the whipstitching, or keep the bound edge clean? There’s a comments box down there, people.

Below the fold — how to make bias strips, if you’re interested.


Pinstriped 8-gore skirt: Pattern alternation

March 9, 2007

After having drafted the basic pattern for the pinstriped skirt, it’s time to cut. Unfortunately, there are some problems with this pattern — namely that the fabric from the deconstructed pants doesn’t allow me to directly lie the pattern piece on top.

The biggest problem is from the back welt pockets, which I’d like to retain in the new garment. But the pattern is too narrow, and doesn’t completely cover the edge of the welts.

welt overlap

This isn’t an insurmountable problem. I just need to tweak the pattern a little.

The first thing that I’m going to do is to create a new pattern piece that is double in size. I’m then going to cut that apart off-center, so I’ll have two pattern pieces of unequal size. One will be larger, cut to accommodate the welt pocket. To preserve the fit, there will be a second, smaller piece. To put this another way, I’m going to cut a pattern piece as if I was cutting for a 4-gore skirt, and then I’m going to split it off-center. Like this:

Pattern shift
Easy, right! Now all I have to do is cut two of each off-center piece, and cut four of my original pattern piece.


March 7, 2007

The 8-gore skirt project is a recycling project. Specifically, it is a pair of pants which will rise from the ashes. Here are the poor doomed pants:



Easy skirt pattern

March 7, 2007

The basic pattern I’m using for this skirt is a simple 8-gore knee-length pattern, copied from a skirt I already own.

The original skirt is a knee-length skirt made from 4 equally sized pattern pieces. It’s just folded along the seamlines, and then folded in half so that my new pattern piece will be 1/2 the size of the original pieces.

Copying the pattern

Making this pattern is a snap — just trace, and voila! Because of my design detail, I don’t need to add seam allowances here.


Pinstriped 8-gore skirt — the concept

March 7, 2007

The first work in progress that I’m documenting here is a recycling project — a simple A-line 8 gore skirt made from some recycled pants.

Here’s a simple sketch of the concept.

Sketch of 8-gore A-line skirt

The skirt has a satin ribbon waistband and lace trim at the hem.