Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Skirt Inspiration: Beach-Ready Maxi Skirt

Today is the last day of the Skirts Challenge! We hope you enjoyed all the skirt inspiration in May!

We have a guest blogger today! Justine from Sew Country Chick graciously accepted our invitation to guest blog for us during the Skirts Challenge. This is a new-to-me blog that I'm excited I found and look forward to follow her other handmade makes!



Hello! I’m Justine and I blog about sewing at Sew Country Chick!


I live near the beach in southern California and spend lots of time there in the summertime. I wanted a wrap skirt I could put on over my bathing suit that’s also a little dressy, as I’m taking it on a honeymoon trip to Mexico with my husband for our twenty-fourth anniversary this month. Woah! Where did the time go?


I saw a tulip shaped maxi skirt online that would make a cute beach skirt. But I couldn't find a pattern. 


Urban Outfitters Skirt

I already had a pattern in my stash that would be perfect to hack, New Look 6456, a basic wrap skirt. I also had several pieces of silk charmeuse bought over the years. I’ve been sewing more solids lately, so my bold prints have been languishing in my sewing room. After sewing lots of dark colored solid pieces this past winter and spring, now was a perfect time to go a little crazy with prints! I chose to use a poly charmeuse I bought on one of my downtown LA fabric district shopping trips. 


I have several pieces of bold printed fabrics. They seemed like a great idea at the time when I bought them, but I never could figure out what to do with them. This maxi skirt is a bit of a fabric hog, and I had five yards of this print, so why not cut into it? I ended up using about three and a half yards of this 54 inch wide fabric for this skirt. 


My pattern had a straight edge and I would have to curve the hem and center front to create the tulip shape. I traced the skirt front onto two pieces of tracing paper taped together and re-drew the center front.


The pattern has a center front line which I traced, then measured up ten inches on that line, then measured up twenty inches on the side wrap extension edge. I drew the front edge curve by hand. I followed the pattern instructions for making the dress, which are very good. I sewed a narrow hem. First I serged the edge, then I flipped it over 1/4 inch and topstitched. I flipped it over one more time to enclose the serged edge and topstitched again.

The fit is good, and true to the measurements stated. I could have made a size up, as I could use a bit more room on the extensions. I cut a size 12.



I cut the back on the fold instead of cutting two pieces. My fabric was wide, the skirt fit on the fold. I wanted to avoid a seamline in the center back with this print because, well, who likes pattern matching at seams?


I really like the waistband and tie on this pattern. It was quick to make too. 



Well, that’s all I have for today! But I do have a few more projects planned for this pattern. I like the knee length version with pockets, and I may add a ruffle to another version. I hope you may feel inspired to get out some of those crazy prints you may have bought on a whim. They may be perfect for a summer maxi skirt!

Thank you Fabric Mart, for inviting me to guest post!


~Justine from Sew Country Chick

Share your me-made skirts thru May 31st and be entered to win a $50 gift certificate to Fabric Mart! Share on Facebook or Instagram using #sewcoolskirts. 

Monday, May 29, 2017

Skirt Challenge Inspiration: A Skirt's Favorite Top!


When Julie first shared her idea of a summer Skirt Challenge I knew that I really wanted to participate, however a long, honest look into my closet revealed that, truthfully, I didn't need another skirt.  What really stood out to me was the lack of tops that I loved to wear with all my beautiful (mostly handmade) skirts.


This is where the Closet Case Patterns Nettie bodysuit enters the picture!  Knowing that I had plenty of skirts, I was curious to see how a few neutral bodysuits might fill out the gaps in my wardrobe.

I haven't worn a bodysuit since the 90's and I had several back in the day.  My favorite bodysuit was this awesome navy blue long sleeve suit with a white collar, button placket and fabulous over-sized cuffs!  I loved that thing!  I was sooooo excited to play with this bodysuit pattern and rediscover the versatility of the bodysuit.  So get ready for a Nettie/Skirt-apalooza!


First up is a black bodysuit made with this black rayon/spandex.  The fabric has good four way stretch and that is an absolute must for any garment that will be wrapped around your body both lengthwise and width wise.   

I was thrilled to discover that it pairs perfectly with two of the busiest print skirts in my closet. I love a busy print for a skirt but finding the perfect neutral shirt to pair it with has been a challenge in the past.






For my next bodysuit I used a JudyP Apparel knit.  Although this colorway is sold out you can find several others here.  I was very curious about how this fabric would behave, it's denser than the rayon/spandex I used on the black suit.  The resulting bodysuit is more snug than the others, it's just as comfortable, but sits closer to my body and almost has more of a shape wear feel.  I can tell that this fabric was made to be worn over and over, its a really nice quality fabric.


The smoothness of the fabric also helps the skirt sit so smoothly on my caboose too, I mention this because that's usually where my tucked in tops tend to bunch and aggravate me.






A few sewing and pattern details to consider...

The pattern is printed on tissue paper and includes a booklet of instructions.  Even if you are very new to sewing I think there are enough sewing details and thorough tips in the booklet to get you through this project.  And if you need even more details and photos there is a sew-along on the Closet Case blog. 




Maybe, like me, you are wondering just how difficult it is to sew a bodysuit.  If you have ever sewn a knit shirt you can handle this bodysuit.  It is not difficult at all and the only fiddly bit is the crotch closure.  

I must say that on the first try I used premade snap tape and I cannot recommend that method at all. It was pretty uncomfortable and I ended up ripping it out and using the other method which suggests using silk charmeuse and snaps.  

The included directions were a bit unclear on how to construct this snap closure (especially if you are very visual like me) so I referred to the coordinating sew-along on the Closet Case Patterns blog for clarity. 

The fit of the pattern was very good.  I have a little bit of a long torso, if you've ever tried on a one piece swimsuit and the straps seem to dig into your shoulders, I feel your pain because that's the length of torso I have as well.  I had absolutely no uncomfortable pulling with this suit, and only ended up taking the smallest wedge out of the center back of the pattern where I always have pooling fabric.

The neck band fit great and there was no gaping, however I will probably make the leg bands a little tighter next time since I noticed, while wearing them, that they felt a little loose.


My third bodysuit was made using a length I received in a craft bundle not long ago.  I believe it is a rayon/spandex which is very soft and so pretty.  I could not find it on the Fabric Mart site but this black and white rayon/spandex with a cute palm leaf print would work in a similar fashion.  I love a black and white print that acts like a neutral with a little something extra special.






I was so excited to show you just how many of my skirts worked so well with the bodysuits that I kept saying to my sweet photographer husband, "just one more skirt!"  He's an easy going guy, plus I think he had date nights on the mind with a few of these looks so he was happy to oblige all my skirt changing whims!

But in all seriousness I was really impressed with how many of my skirts now have a great top to pair up with.  I ended up rediscovering some neglected skirts and feel a new sense of excitement about wearing them.  If you are like me you probably want some sewing details on all the skirts, so I will post all of those details on my blog so as not to overwhelm this post.

I hope you enjoyed seeing how versatile the Nettie bodysuit is, and are feeling inspired to give a bodysuit a try or make a handmade skirt to enter into the sew-along.  There are some great gift certificates being given away.  All the details are posted here.


Thanks so much for reading and happy sewing!
Elizabeth
I Sew, You Sew 

Share your me-made skirts thru May 31st and be entered to win a $50 gift certificate to Fabric Mart! Share on Facebook or Instagram using #sewcoolskirts. 

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Skirt Challenge Inspiration: Pieces of the Perfect Skirt!


Welcome to Skirt  month over here at Fabric Mart! Some folks think that I never make mistakes or wrong choices in fabrics for my projects. Well this month was one of those moments where it just didn't work out how I planned. I picked out these two corduroy prints for this challenge. They are kinda retro and funky so I figured a little skirt would be really cute in these prints. [Orange/Brown Print and Purple Print]


As you can see the colors were not matchy-matchy and I didn't know if I was going to mix them or just make two separate skirts. I played around with the fabric and different patterns and finally settled on a pattern and I mixed the prints for this skirt. I love the pattern I chose and this was my second time making the Alberta Skirt . Once I put the different prints together they kinda blended instead of standing apart. I used the orange and brown print for the front and the purple print for the back and the front pockets. The contrast between the two prints was not bold enough for my taste. [I can definitely see a retro jumpsuit with either print]

Now I guess you can tell I was not in love with the skirt but I was going to roll with it. We were all set to snap a few pictures of Mori in the skirt, she put everything on and I was still not excited about this combination. The skirt wasn't doing anything for me at all! The skirt was not what I had imagined in my head, don't get me wrong it's a cute casual skirt but not what I was going for. I like the pattern and fabric separately but not as a unit. Needless to say the photo shoot ended before it began.



Now what? I need to provide some type of inspiration for this challenge. I found some pictures of skirts that in some way, shape or form I pieced together fabrics to create the magic. So today I am sharing Pieces of skirts as my contribution to the skirt challenge. [For this challenge the fabrics used in my skirts below were not from Fabric Mart]


I am going to start with lemons! You may have seen this skirt but I found some long lost photos where I started documenting the step by step process, which I never published. This is a self drafted skirt, I love to color block because it's an easy way to create unexpected drama in your wardrobe. I had this bold lemon print and added an even bolder stripe for the extra drama.


1. Cut your strips of fabric to be sewn together 
[my skirt is 72 inches wide and 24 inches long. I cut three strips. Also cut out a waistband for your skirt]
2. Sew your strips together length wise
3. Square up your edges and cut fabric into 3 sections. 
[Cut your length in half 1 piece will be the front and the remaining piece will be cut in half for your back 2 pieces]
4. Cut out 4 pieces for your pockets
5. Mark 2 inches from the top for pocket placement
6. Pin and sew pocket to the front and back skirt pieces
7. Place back and front pieces together at the sides and sew
8. Add your gathering stitching across the top of the skirt
9. Add your zipper to the back of the skirt. 
[I took my zipper all the way to the top. I do not have to add a button.]
Steps not pictured:
10. Pull your gathering stitches at the top of the skirt and attach your waistband and hem the skirt








The next skirt was a labor of love and you have to love sewing to complete a project like this. I used Vogue 9132. This is a cute retro pattern but it does require patience because the lines on the skirt are the star of the show.

I pulled out all my denim and cut up like ten thousand strips of fabric and began sewing them together. I tried all different placements of the pattern pieces until I found a setup that I liked. I came up with a chevron effect just to make it as difficult as possible for myself. But it all worked out and I even covered a pair of boots to complete the look.



 
 



Next up is the Janelle Skirt  by Style Sew Me Patterns. Mori loves everything about this skirt and the main reason is because it has that leg action going on. You can modify the length of the split for a more modest version of the Janelle. I used scrap pieces of leather and sewed them together and cut out my pattern piece. I also added the top-stitching to the other skirt panel for  just a tad more drama. The uneven stitching was intentional, I was not looking for perfect stitching. I just free-handed a design and sewed my little heart out.


 


 
  

Last but certainly not least is this mini from Straight Stitch Patterns The Wedgwood Skirt. I pieced together strips of fabric as I did with the lemon skirt above to create fabric for this test pattern.  I modified the length and added pipping to the pocket flaps. Mori has gams for days in the skirt.


 





On the blog:

I hope this inspires you to create your own magical fabric!
Michelle @ ThatBlackChic

Share your me-made skirts thru May 31st and be entered to win a $50 gift certificate to Fabric Mart! Share on Facebook or Instagram using #sewcoolskirts.