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

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Pencil skirts and tartan

Yes, I am finally going to start the tartan pencil skirt. There were various colours to choose from but I went for blue. My hat is blue, my coat is blue...so why not my skirt.

I'm using the pattern for high waisted pencil skirt from 'gerties new book for better sewing'.
Not sure I can rock the socks and shoes look myself but a smart winter skirt is just what my wardrobe has been missing. And I might aswell start at the beginning with the first pattern.

I chose the (60" wide) tartan and then some poly silk haboutai for the interlining. It sounds such an easy process so I want to give that type of lining a try. I've even bought some self covering buttons in case I need them. I've got a zip in stock.

I cut the skirt out to find I had enough fabric to make 2 skirts if I wanted. lol! Well -I thought- handy if I make a mistake.
I cut generously so I could adjust the fit while wearing it to allow more ease. I added about 1cm to each seam...and it was quite comfy to sit down in.

Started sewing it up. If I was using a machine it would have been very quick but as I hand sew everything it took longer. Especially as I wanted to do it properly so used the hong kong seam finish from the book. Cut bias strips from the silky blue fabric to encase the fraying material. As I decided instead of lining the skirt I would wear a slip.

I also decided to stay stitch the waistband. I've had problems with waistbands stretching before. Plus the tartan frays like mad but is nice to sew by hand.

The waistband took a bit of figuring out as I was using different material for inside and outside didn't want to get it backwards. lol! I will admit seam ripped and re sewed once as I got it the wrong way round. lol!

I of course hand sewed the zip. Was supposed to be 'invisible' but as always it doesn't stay in place and gapes and shows the teeth of the zip however close I sew.

I used a hook and eye I took of an old jacket instead of a button as I suspected trying to do a buttonhole in the tartan material would be a nightmare with fraying.

all that was left was to hem it.



  1. Very nice! I'm still a little scared of plaids, but your skirt looks so lovely!

    1. Thanks. I think plaids are fine as long as you don't get too obsessed with matching patterns.

  2. Hurray! I just found you...I, too, sew everything by hand. I like it because I can finesse the fit so much beter. Sometimes I may use the machine to do darts, or long seams, but not too often. I just made a cut little tweed jacket lined with vintage fabric inherited from Grandma. So....cool!

    1. Cool. Glad to find another hand sewer. Its all about having control and being able to correct 'errors' without sitting there for hours seam ripping.