…..aaaand we’re back to the makes! I’m into the second week of my hospital placement now (so exciting!), and I’m pretty damn pleased to tell you all that I just about got all my planned sewing done for it…or at least, the important bits. Without further ado, my super-chic new pencil skirt!
This is the pencil skirt pattern from Gertie’s New Book for Better Sewing, made up in a glorious chocolate-covered wool given to me by my great-aunt. Isn’t it a simply delectable shade?? This is the first time I’ve sewn a skirt that wasn’t just a full circle – and I don’t think it will be the last 😉 Other firsts for this make include bias-bound seams, working with wool and a hand-stitched blind hem. And on the whole, I think it came out pretty well!
The first part of the construction – sewing the skirt pieces – was very straightforward and very quick! It’s easy to see why pencil skirts are often recommended as a good beginner project. I initially had fears that the skirt would be too small (based on holding up the pattern pieces to my body and surveying them with anxiety), but these quickly proved entirely unfounded as the sewn up skirt hung off my waist. I am really am not sure what happened there, but as the unaltered waistband ended up being the correct length after I’d taken in both side seams several centimetres, I’m forced to conclude I traced out the wrong size. Whoops! Still, I’d much rather have traced too big than too small, as this was very quickly and easily corrected. The bias bound seams took a little extra time, but I was very happy wth how they turned out – the perfect solution to seam finishing on a thick fabric when one is serger-less. And I think the contrast binding looks quite cute on the inside!
Speaking of contrasts, I’m also happy with how the lighter zip and button ended up looking – I think they add just the right amount of visual interest on what is an otherwise very under-stated skirt 🙂
The rest of construction was a little more time consuming, as lots of hand sewing was involved. The waistband went on nice and smoothly, but I think next time I’ll take out a wedge at each side seam, as it stands a little more away from my body than I’d like. It’s not very noticeable though, and I really do love the *super* high waisted effect it has. I’m glad I skipped the optional waistband boning step, too – I think the interfacing I used has plenty of heft all by itself! I sewed a little strip of lace from my stash onto the hem before turning it up – it doesn’t really serve any functional purpose, but it is the kind of sweet little detail that would make me squeal if I found it on a vintage skirt, so I definitely couldn’t resist sewing it in to my own 😉 I hemmed using a hand blind stitch, the first time I’ve done so, and it came out a treat. The lighting in the photos makes the hem a little more obvious than it is in real life, I think, but the stitches themselves are virtually undetectable, and of that, I am proud.
The only major design change (if you can even call it that!) I made was to shorten the slit at the back, by about six centimetres. It does seem to run on the high side, and seeing as I was walking in the skirt just fine, I decided to close it a little more just to make sure it was as placement-friendly as possible. I was also pretty damn proud of how even I got the hem depth at the back!
I’m so glad this skirt came out as well as it did! The only thing I’ve really noticed from these photos is that I am in need of some new shirts – my fancy new makes are really showing up my old $15 ones! Good thing that situation is already being taken care of (expect new shirt posts soon). I’m also planning on hacking this skirt pattern a little for an upcoming dress make – get keen, because that is going to be one fancy dress, and I really can’t wait to get to work on it! Excitingly, too, I still have veritable acres of this lovely, lovely wool left – I’m sure it can’t be too long before it pops up again 😛
Until next time,
Miss Maddy xx