I'm so excited y'all! Sorry, I've been watching far too much Dr Phil since I've been on maternity leave and way too many Dr Phil-isms have pervaded my everyday language.....
I'm not so excited about the latest project, sure it's a rather nice skirt but it's just an a-line skirt afterall, but I am more excited about the fact that I've made something from the November issue IN the actual month of November! In the same year too! It's only taken the best part of the year, but it means I've fulfilled my challenge to sew something from each issue of Burda in the month I receive it, from fabric already in the stash. I'm so proud of myself 'cos usually I'm severely lacking in willpower to keep up with little challenges I set myself.
Ok, enough chest beating on my part. The latest Burda project was so easy it was almost cheating on my challenge, but after all those lovely but thoroughly impractical dresses I thought it was about time I sewed something that I need right now to fit in with my current lifestyle. An a-line skirt with pockets and a touch of topstitching is just what I need to hang out at the playground this summer, so I chose #124 which looks like this:
The magazine recommends wool for this pattern which I think would be lovely for a winter garment, although I'm not too sure about that bright orange with the teal blue stockings. Since it's summer around here I decided something more lightweight was needed, and I had a piece of brilliant emerald green cotton drill sitting in the stash for sometime that was perfect for this project. It was an opshop purchase ages ago, so there wasn't alot of length, but there was just enough for this skirt with only tiny scraps leftover that went in the bin and not the scrap bag so I'm happy about that too!
There's not much to say about the construction of an a-line skirt really, it was a really quick sew and the only time consuming bit was making those welt pockets on the front. For some reason I can do double welt pockets easily, but single welt pockets perplex me a little. I practised on some scrap fabric first, and the final version turned out really well. As usual the Burda instructions were very difficult to understand, so I turned to David Coffin's "Making Trousers for Men & Women" but these are either written in a highly technical manner or I'm just too tired at the moment but it took a while for it to click for me. Of course, after I had finished this skirt I discovered this tutorial for a single welt pocket over at seamstress: poppykettle which is far more comprehensive and easy to understand than the books and other tutorials I have read. What was that rant I had about tutorials a few posts back? Ok, maybe I was very wrong.....
And now that I have another look at the pattern picture that I just posted up there I notice it was meant to be double welt pockets anyway! Oh well, the skirt still looks pretty good in a single welt pocket, but I do think they are too widely spaced on me because the welts sort of jut out because they are sitting on my hip bone. If I make this again I would probably bring them a little bit closer to the front so they sit flatter.
So when I first made this I intended to wear it with a black and white stripe tshirt that I already had, but it was stretched out and looked terrible. But instead of dashing off to the shops to find a replacement tee, I instead went to Spotlight and bought some black and white stripe ponti on the last day of their 30% off fabric sale, and made a boat neck tee from Vogue 2659, which is an OOP pattern from 2002:
Again, such a simple t-shirt doesn't require much description of it's construction method, but I did make one change to the order of construction - instead of sewing the facing onto the finished garment in a ring, I sewed the facings on to the back and front pieces while they were still separate, and then sewed the front to the back with the shoulder seam and facing seam in one long seam. I saw this on someone else's blog (sorry have forgotten who otherwise would have given credit) and it's a really good tip - I think the facing sits flatter this way. Ordinarily I would have just ironed on some seam stabiliser and turned the seam allowance under and stitch, but I didn't want any visible top stitching around the neckline on this one, which is why I went with the facings instead.
Normally I use Burda 2/2009 #108 for my go to pattern for a boat neck top which I've made several times with success, but I couldn't find it in the mess that is my sewing room so decided to go with this Vogue pattern instead of retracing (anything to avoid tracing!). I think the Vogue looks ok, it could probably be taken in a bit at the sides and I think the neckline sits a little too high on me, but for about $10 worth of fabric and about an hour and half of sewing I've got myself a much better quality top than I could've bought for that price and in that time frame.
And it turns out that a bright green skirt is more versatile than you'd think. Aside from my black and white top and the rather predictable pairing with white, black or grey, I found colour inspiration in a K-mart catalogue of all places to wear a bright floral with it.
I'm pretty sure I could find some suitable fabrics in my fabric stash to make some cute tops to wear with the skirt (no offence Kmart but I shan't be buying your polyester made in China clothes), if not I can always buy something this Saturday at the Sydney sewists meet up. It's my birthday tomorrow so I'm giving myself permission to buy a birthday present (or three!)
And for those who sadly can't make it this weekend, never fear I'm sure we'll have another one soon!