Thursday, January 2, 2014

New Year's Day Skirt

Here's hoping you all had a wonderful New Year holiday (and will go on to have a wonderful 2014 in general).  I had a nice relaxing New Year's Day off of work and got some sewing (and some cleaning, yeesh!) done.  I managed to just barely finish a Hollyburn skirt from start to finish.  The only thing I had left to do after the kiddies got up was handstitch the hem (and boy what a hem that is!  It just keeps going and going and....)

I actually just love how awkward this picture is
This is my second Hollyburn skirt (the first remains unblogged, as of yet).  Apparently I've gotten rusty when it comes to garment sewing because this thing just killed.  I started cutting this skirt out right after Halloween.  I cut one back piece with the grain running vertically instead of on the diagonal *facepalm* and was so disgusted with myself I had to shove it out of sight until after Christmas.  Of course, I had other, more Christmassy things to be working on at that point, so that was just as well.  It's easier to face the epic quilt of Christmas when you've just failed at a skirt.  Cuz, duh, if you fail at a skirt then why are you sewing dumbass?  Obviously because I can't take a hint.  But what else is new?

I pulled it back out New Year's Day, determined to either make it or trash it.  I went ahead and cut the other back piece the same way.  It actually turned out to be just fine... I'm not sure that it's detrimental in any way.  I think it actually looks better than my first Hollyburn.  I won't go so far as to attribute that completely to my "design feature" though.

My theory is that consistency is key.  Consistency is what turns a mistake into a design feature. I kept the original grain lines for the fronts since I didn't know how the grain change would make things flow.  An ugly skirt front is much more bothersome than an ugly skirt back.  Speaking of which...

This might actually be my best zipper ever.  Look how pretty
Zipper!  One of my sewing goals in the coming year is to figure out zippers.  I never can seem to install one without tears (and possibly the occasional blood and/or sweat).  As a matter of fact, the only reason this one looks passable is that my thread really is that great of a match.  In truth I had to rip out about an inch on one side because the zipper would.not.shut.  At all.  Ahem, I have a problem of sewing too close to the zipper teeth and then, obviously, the zipper pull can't move :(

I will explain why my kitchen looks like this very soon...
Ahh well, at least it's more or less working now.  It may still stick just a wee bit in one spot, but I'll call it passable.  I bought this fabric second hand quite some time ago.  I  It's very textural and rather thick, but stretch and a little bit sheer.  It's really weird.  On first sight I immediately thought "pants!" but once I brought it home and examined it I realized it's definitely not right for that.  Of course the interfacing in the waistband negates the stretchiness that might otherwise allow an especially large lunch, but that's probably for the best.  (Damn New Year's and it's silly resolutions.  It always makes me want to be better all at once, and that's kind of exhausting).

Awesomely large pockets!
I made view B, the medium length, and the hem is about two inches (or maybe a little more).  It hits a little below the knee, so it's just perfect for work.  I was afraid that the mystery fabric would be difficult to hem, but in fact the width eased in beautifully because of the vertical ridges running through the fabric.  Would that it could always be that easy!

My pretty handstitched hem... and not so pretty zigzagged SAs
 The side seams are French seamed, the pocket raw seams are bound with bias tape, and the front and back seams are zigzagged then pressed flat :P  That's what the pattern recommended so that's what I tried.  They're both such awkward seams to finish because you've got to press them flat (so definitely no flat-felled seams) and they're so visible.  You don't want anything that will interrupt the fluidity and drape of the fabric (at least that seams to make sense to me).  Next time, if the fabric is thick enough, I'll try bias tape.  For reasons I can't quite explain, I just hate zig-zagged seams.  I hate the way they look and I feel lazy using them.

Center front cut with the original grain lines
As it turns out, I love this skirt.  Having the center back on the straight of grain made it waaay easier to put in the zipper without weird ruffliness at the edges.  A plight that, sadly, my first Hollyburn skirt suffers from.  The whole zipper area on that one is kind of a clusterfuck as a matter of fact.  Plus, I never got around to the hook and eye.  Because, obviously, who has time for sewing on hooks and eyes?  Oh wait!  Apparently I do!  (For this skirt anyway.)  

I promise there's a reason for that big pile :(
End result: I love it!  It's my new favorite skirt.  I'm already eyeing all the pieces of fabric in my stash that might be suitable for Hollyburn skirts.  Muuust haaave moooore!  By the way, with all the supplies this skirt couldn't have cost more than $5 to make.  Which is pretty exciting.  I know that this post is about the least exciting garment on the planet (dark grey A line skirt anyone?) and it probably doesn't warrant as many photos as it got... but what can I say?  I'm kind of excited about it.

Don't I look so excited?
Now I just have to figure out my bloggy resolutions (and maybe some top 5s?) and get that post together.  I like to think of January as a grace period....  It's a new year all month long right?


  1. Oh I Love love love love love this skirt!! So flattering and pretty and flowing! And that zipper looks fabulous! I'm having major zipper envy!

  2. Haha, the zipper broke the second time I was going to wear it... It was too close to the teeth still in one spot (as I may have mentioned) and it broke while I was trying to pull it past that spot. Oh well, I guess it'll be good practice to put in a new one (so excited, can't you tell ;)