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Made by a Fabricista: Cozy Wool Stripes


The more I sew with wool, the more I love it.  It presses so well, it's easy to sew, and when the weather turns cooler, it has you covered!  I've been slowly adding more and more wool into my wardrobe from base layer tees, more scarves than I care to admit to, and even some wool workout gear.  This year's goal was to make some wool garments for my lower half.

See, I've been terrified of doing just that for years because of my husband's uncanny ability to shrink all my wool.  It's so wonderful to have a hubby who helps with the laundry, but being a set it and forget it person, and me being a little careless myself with where I put my laundry, there have been more wool sacrificed to the washer than have lasted.  The last skirt I lost hurt--a navy one with swishy vintage lines that I had worked so hard to fit *perfectly* to me.  Until it got eaten in the wash.  I ugly cried over that one.  But this time, I'm determined!  As God is my witness, I'll never shrink a skirt again!

That giant intro aside, for this month's project, I turned to a favorite skirt pattern: Burda World of Fashion (pre Burdastyle!) 2-2007-113.  This is my 3rd time making this skirt.  I've previously made it in linen and also cotton double gauze.  I love the bias panels set into the skirt body.   The bias gives a lot of flow to the skirt and also some visual movement in the stripes of this cream and tan viscose/wool crepe.

I wear a lot of creams in cooler months, so I had plenty to pair it with including this fun asymmetric sweater I found at a consignment shop.  I need to fit the sweater a little for me, and I'd love to add a zipper to it's big cowl, but I love the idea of the opposing stripes together.


This skirt comes together really quick with the exception of the hem.  Those 4 bias panels make a level skirt a little dicey.  This was my first time using the combination of my dress form and a vintage hem marker.  


I let the skirt hang for a day after making it to let the bias settle.  The yellow poly lining is cut on the bias too per the pattern, so I gave it a chance to hang as well.  

My dress form is a little less hippy than I am, so I had to anchor the skirt with pins so it was level before I started marking.  I will always use this method going forward though.  With the hem marker it took me about 10 minutes to add pins to the right length for my skirt.  Sure enough, the bias panels had dipped down further and were about 1/2" longer than the straight grain portions of the skirt.  I then hand basted along the pin lines and used my thread as a pressing guide.  I basted my basted just to double check before cutting anything.  To my amazement, I had a respectably level skirt!

I've made skirts with bias bits before and gone through all sorts of acrobatics/monkey business to get a nice level hem.  I see now why people love those old hem markers!  They're such a good tool!

I also paired it with one of my favorite tees.  It's a supima cotton tee I refashioned from a RTW tee.  There's a hummingbird applique that I added with some geometric stitching.  I often use this as a layering tee, so it's nice to have a wardrobe buddy for it to wear on its own! 

When I had finished cutting everything I had one long strip running parallel to the selvage.  As I noted, I really dig wool scarves.  Colorado is cold and when it's not particularly cold in spring/fall/winter, it is often windy.  A scarf is such a lifesaver of a garment for keeping me from turning into a little popsicle!

Bonus--because my very weird remnant of fabric was running along the selvage, I was able to cut a scarf that would make excellent fringe on the edges.  Fringe on cross grain edges is never quite as nice looking.  The wool fringed really easily, and I topped off each edge with some free form yoyos.

They're a little different than circle yoyos.  I cut these from strips of the leftover fabric at whatever angle was available to me.  I gathered the top edge, then overlapped the edges to form a circle.  Because there's just one layer of fabric, they're a little less bulky than a traditional yoyo where the circle turns into basically a little drawstring bag in on itself when you gather the center.  

So that's how I'll be keeping warmer in the cool months.  Now I'll just have to keep my skirt away from laundry doom!

How do you keep your wool garments from getting tossed in the wash?

Until next time!
~Elizabeth from Elizabeth Made This
Sew something creative

Comments

  1. I love your skirt once again Elizabeth. Sewing on the bias is a passion of mine - almost all my patterns have a bias grain line drawn on :) One of my favourite books is Bias Cut Blueprints by Julianne Bramson and Susan Lenahan - WONDERFUL book!! Julianne has a video up on youtube on how to make a bias tube which is fabulous. I've used this method for making a skirt and silk half slip which I wear ALL THE TIME. My hubby does the laundry as well and we have a "hand washing" basket for bras and delicates like sweaters :) that has saved many garments from the Thrift Shop I'm sure :)

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    1. Thank you Kathleen! I will definitely check out that book--that sounds like a wonderful resource! Thank you for you excellent recommendation!

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  2. Such a fun combination of stripes- I love the look! And that scarf is fantastic! I love how you made use of all of your fabric scraps. I've never used a hem marker, but think I will get one the next time one shows up- you make it sound so easy to use! You and I are similar in crying over our lost wools. I remember crying for hours because my favorite wool sweater was shrunken in high school. LOL! Seems so silly! Now, I just try to hang up my wool items after wearing, so that they don't get accidentally tossed in the wash. If I get a spot- it gets a spot treatment rather than getting the whole thing wet.

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    1. Thanks Ann! You would love a hem marker--it makes such quick and easy work out of the task. Shrunken wool will get your heart every time! My worst was a sweater I made from a really, *really* nice wool sweater knit I bought on vacation. I mistakenly bought the wrong amount I needed, so I called the shop and they miraculously had more, which I happily paid for. One wash later, I had the makings of fingerless gloves, scarves, and a hat. That one hurt!!

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  3. Love your skirt, Elizabeth! The stripes add another dimension to it as does the asymmetrical top! Great styling!

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    1. Thank you Carrie! I love how stripes can be so plain or something with a whole lot of movement depending on how you mix them up!

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