Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Sewing FOs: Ginger Skirts

Continuing my love affair with Colette Patterns was difficult, because I was apprehensive about inserting a zipper.  I'd purchased the Hazel dress pattern, and been gifted an invisible zipper foot for my machine for my birthday.  I had more of that lovely soft linen that I used for my Sorbetto tee in a pale lavender.  But I was very wary of going through the process of sewing a whole dress (and my first real dress, too) only to get bogged down in a zipper.  Knitters, I know you can relate: there's always that one really adorable sweater that you have languishing because you have to set in the sleeves or pick up the button band.  You know you can figure it out, but it sits there for a long time while you get your act together.  Same thing with this zipper, except I was putting off the whole dress because of my apprehension.

Ginger Skirt Class at Verb
The view out the shop window.
Luckily for me, Kristine offered a sewing class at Verb on the Ginger skirt, which calls for an invisible zipper!  And it was on a Friday, which was actually incredibly convenient for my schedule.  I signed up for a whole day of sewing class.  I actually had enough time to insert my zipper during class, and sure enough I did it wrong the first time. It was frustrating to have to rip it out, and using the invisible zipper foot was a little non-intuitive, so I'm glad I had a teacher to lead me through the process.  It certainly didn't help that my fabric was a mediumweight navy blue wool, which made it difficult to tell the right side from the wrong side. 

I made version #2 of this skirt, which has a very cute curved waistband.  I wasn't 100% sure that it would show up well in a heavier fabric, but it turned out just fine!
Ginger Skirt
All hemmed and pressed!
I had just finished putting in the zipper when our class time ended, and all the while had been contemplating putting in a lining. Verb's sewing instructor Jessie was incredibly helpful, and talked me through what that process would look like. Once I got home I realized I had a lovely white-and-blue striped cotton voile that was perfect. So I cut the two skirt pattern pieces again, sewed the side seams, and basted the lining to the seam allowance of the waistband. Since I hadn't yet attached the waistband facing, it was just the right stage to make a decision about the lining. I had to wing it at several stages, especially when fitting the lining fabric around the zipper, but it looks fine. And the skirt feels soooo comfy with a smooth cotton lining! I had originally wanted to add pockets as well, but decided it was better to not try too many new things at once.
Ginger Skirt
Lining!  So cute!
The hem, as you can sort of see in the above photo, is very deep.  I made the skirt a few inches shorter than it appears on the model photos on the Colette website to suit my taste.  One thing I've learned about skirts is that they have to end above the widest part of my calf muscle.  I actually made this one shorter still, so it ends right around my knees.  Just like my Owls sweater, the navy blue is a classic color that will merge well with the rest of my clothing.  I've already worn the skirt out to nice dinners twice, and it'll definitely be a good workplace piece as well.  I have ideas for future versions as well: changing the a-line for a more straight or pencil shape, different waistbands that are included in the pattern, adding pockets, and I spotted a beautiful deep red nubby woven wool that would make a great addition for winter.


Anonymous said...

putting in a hidden zipper for the first time is tricky. Every time I do it, I triple check to make sure I am doing it right and even then it doesn't always turn out and I have to rip it back. I am always enchanted when it does.
R Ramus

Anonymous said...

I would love to see you model more of your projects! put that husband of yours to good use!

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