"Resign yourself, Catherine! Shops must be visited! Money must be spent! Do you think you could bear it?" - Northanger Abbey

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

My first pencil skirt - Part 1

You may say 'first'? Yep. Well first I've sewn. Always felt daunted by them being so fitted. The only RTW pencil skirt I like is my stretchy grey wool one with matching braces I got in a sale many years ago when I was a dress size or two bigger.

Now lets go back to the start....I treated myself to 'Gertie's new book for better sewing'.
Source:  http://www.blogforbettersewing.com

I haven't had much luck with sewing books in the past. Its always buy a machine, thread a machine and follow pattern. Which as a hand sewer frustrated me. I wanted the proper sewing techniques...and not just that I wanted to know how to make patterns fit and draft my own. So far I've been muddling along using trial and error but I wanted to know the correct way...even if I then ignored it and did it my own way at least I'd be making a conscious decision. I also wanted to be told if you do this you get this result, not 'buy a special foot for your sewing machine'.

In Gertie's book I found exactly what I had been searching for actual sewing techniques....and as a bonus timeless stylish patterns that I would wear. Looking achievable too. Not too many specialist materials to find and with suggestions on alterations. I'm already looking at the patterns and seeing how I can alter them to create the garments I want.
(There's a particular outfit from a film I think I could get close too by combining one of the skirts and blouses...if I can figure out how to get the sleeves I want).

From sky's the limit

Back to the pencil skirt. After reading the book it just seemed so simple...so I rummaged through my sewing cupboard and came up with a metre of 45" wide quilting cotton*.

Managed to cut out the pieces, sew the darts and tack the seams in one evening.

Tried the skirt on pinned it close. All was well till I tried to sit down.
Ping! The pin went flying across the room.
Erm...a little more ease needed (as you can tell I have this issue with pencil skirts). Add another inch when I cut out my 'mystery fabric'. I bought it ages ago and neglected to write down what it was...its navy blue with a bit of 'give' in it without being deliberately stretchy. I'll be lining it with polycotton so shouldn't irritate me.
So I hope to get back to the pencil skirt next week.

*yes I am aware I'm mixing metric and imperial measurements.

I saw a tartan maxi skirt on tv...suddenly got the urge - with the cold weather - to make a tartan pencil skirt.

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