Wow, so here it is! My very first homemade skirt and second-ever garment: a pencil skirt!
(You’ll remember that I made the Colette Sorbetto top awhile ago. I tried to make a second one and accidentally excised the fabric that is needed for the darts, which would have resulted in some awkward side boob. Project fail)
Like my pillow, this skirt was a project from the Sewing Studio class I purchased on Craftsy awhile ago. (The pattern comes with the accompanying book, Sew Everything Workshop.) Initially, it seemed like a too ambitious project to take on with my less-than-stellar sewing track record. I mean, an invisible zipper and full lining? Those things sound hard.
Then again, when sufficiently jazzed about something, I don’t shy away from intimidating projects, so I gave it a try anyway. Plus, I had that polka dotted fabric lying around after deeming it too heavy to be made into another Sorbetto top.
The first step was making a toile, which is apparently the fancy French word for “rough draft.” I didn’t take any pictures of that process, but it involved a lot of obsessively watching Craftsy videos and replaying 30-second sequences to figure out what was going on. I’m glad I did it though because when it came to make the “fancy” skirt, I had a much better idea of how things fit together.
The toile (Ha, almost wrote “toilet”) took me most of a Sunday. I didn’t have the energy to set up my sewing machine at my desk during the week, so I didn’t get around to the real skirt until the next weekend. And even then, I had to commit to sewing every night after work the following week. Garment sewing is definitely an intense hobby and not one you can just rush through or do while watching TV (like knitting). It’s nice to sit down and commit a chunk of time to intense mental concentration though. I feel satisfied finishing a project and knowing that I did my very best.
The skirt itself came together pretty easily because I had already practiced darts and inserting the invisible zipper on the toile. I didn’t make any adjustments for sizing either; I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it. I had a struggle face when I realized that making a lined skirt involves essentially sewing two separate skirts before sewing them together, but I persevered! Look at that lining–ain’t nobody going to see my granny underwear!
I think I’m most satisfied by the invisible zipper, on which I did a bang-up job if I do say so myself. Next time, I think I’ll insert an invisible zipper with a different color than my fabric and then be exceptionally pleased at that cute little color detail.
There’s a bias tape waistband, which again, I’d probably do in another color since you can’t see it from the outside. There was the option of hand-sewing the waistband with an invisible slipstitch, but OHMYGOD, that is NOT going to happen. I’d rather gouge my eye out with a needle.
Even though I lost several inches in hemming, I still needed a slit extension to avoid walking awkwardly with small steps. The instructions for making a slit extension in the online class deviated from those in the book, so I’ll be interested to see what technique is more common as I continue sewing.
Despite making a toile that seemed to fit a bit tight in the hips, the finished product is fine in the hips and too big in the waist. My waist measured slightly smaller than the pattern sizing, but I figured that adding a lining would make up for the extra wiggle room. I was wrong: the fancy skirt is a little too big in the waist and perfect in the hips. Oh well.
As soon as I finished the skirt, I wore it to work the following day! I was going to be out for my self-imposed “Fancy Friday,” and I was so excited about this skirt that I didn’t want to wait until the next Fancy Friday. That being said, I was terrified that the seams would disintegrate in the office, leaving me bottom-less at work. Fortunately, they held together and saved me what would have been a hideously embarrassing situation for all involved in the engineering corner of the office.
Most people didn’t say anything about my skirt, which I suppose was good. It’s probably better that people just assume I bought a very normal-looking skirt, rather than constantly hearing, Uh…Did you make that? Kat, a fellow engineer and Hackbright grad, however, complimented me and was shocked to hear that I had made the skirt myself. “I’d BUY that skirt,” she said, incredulously while I beamed (BEAMED!!!!) with pride.
Oh, what’s that? You want to see me wearing the skirt I made? That’s so flattering! Well, ask and you shall receive!
Oh, wait. There is basically no way to take flattering photos of myself that make homemade clothing look nearly as cool as I think it is. It was actually quite hot in the apartment when I was taking these photos, so I was sweating all over my sweater, which is probably the wrong top to wear with this anyway.
Suggestions for what to pair with this skirt are greatly appreciated, by the way!
More vain photos!
(Hus-friend said he’d be my photographer for my future sewing projects since he doesn’t anticipate me finishing them more than once every few weeks. Ha…I’ll be lucky if I can keep up that pace!)
Eh voilà, c’est fini! I finished my first piece of clothing that I will wear outside of the apartment. It’s definitely not perfect, but I learned a lot and am so pleased with the final result. Hooray, sewing!
Pattern: “Naughty Secretary Skirt” from Sew Everything Workshop book. [Oh Gawwwd, that name. I cannot.]
Size: Small with no alterations except hemming
Materials: 100% cotton for outside skirt, 7″ invisible zipper, stretch poplin for lining, extra-wide double-fold bias tape for waistband
Alterations: None, but in the future, would take in the waist an inch.