Green skirts

I haven’t been sewing too much in the last weeks. With my stays finished, I have new things I want to start, yet the beginning of a project always takes a bit more energy. Pattern drafting especially is not something I feel like doing after work, while hand-sewing is perfect. That means projects get finished if I’m busy, but they don’t get started.

Anyway, I did visit a fabric market last Friday, and bought fabric for 2 new unplanned skirts. Skirts are my go-to project when I want to make something quick yet rewarding. I don’t have to think about them too much and they’re done within a couple of hours, yet I do get quite some wear out of them. So perfect for when I’m in a bit of a sewing lull.

Plus, they’re both green, which fits perfectly as I finished both yesterday, on St. Patrick’s day!

The first is made of a (non-wool) green/blue plaid fabric. I have 2 skirts in a similar type fabric (different colors), and wear them a lot, so this is a good addition.

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I made a circle out of this one, as it drapes quite nicely.

 

The other fabric is a wool mix (about 60% I believe), and a gorgeous light green. It’s not a flat color either, but has wonderful richness in tone.

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I had a 1,20 by 1,50 piece (remnant), so decided to make a gathered skirt as a circle would be a bit short. Cutting it in half gave me 2 75cm/150cm pieces, and tacked together it became 75×300. I cut the waistband from the side, leaving me with about 4 times my waist measurement (280cm). I pleated it up in stacked box pleats, overlapping them slightly in some places to use up all the width. (I finished these second, when the light was gone, hence the grainier pictures).

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Both skirts have a waistband and zipper. The green wool I hemmed by hand for a nice clean finish.

 

Next weekend I have some more time, so hopefully that’ll get me back to the historical projects I want to start!

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New skirts

Every single time I make modern skirt after finishing a historical project, I’m surprised by how quick it is. It might also help that I’ve done skirts a lot of times, while every historical project is full with new things. But it always feels good to finish a project in just a couple of hours, very fulfilling.

The first skirt is 50’s style. It consists of 8 triangle-shaped panels, gathered at the top to fit a waistband and closes with an invisible zipper in the back. I just barely managed to get this out of 1,5 m of 1,5 m wide fabric, by cutting off-grain. Maybe next time I’ll get a little bit more, but for now it worked!

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The hem is the lazy version, zig-zagged and then just turned once.

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The zipper goes up to the waistband, which is kept close by a little hook and eye. Because sewing a blind zipper into a stiffened waistband is a pain, and this works just as well.

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The panels are tapered, but still too wide at the top to fit my measurement, so they’re gathered onto the waistband.

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The other skirt is made with fabric I ordered from Spoonflower back in December. The fabric is an adaptation of the painting ‘the Swing’, by Fragonard. The fabric just shows the lady on the swing losing her shoe, but the original painting includes a gentleman perfectly positioned to look under her skirts. Which becomes even more meaningful if one knows that ankles were considered more risque than a decollete, and that ladies at the time didn’t wear drawers.

The fabric is a repeat of this part. It’s not quite as sharp as I’d hoped, but still a nice fabric. I got the cheapest cotton, as it was a bit of a try out. Next time I’ll probably get one a little thicker, because it’s very crispy and thin, and wrinkles quickly.

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The skirt is a rectangle, pleated to a waistband:

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I used two strips for the rectangle, and I think I managed to pattern-match the front quite well!

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The closure is again an invisible zipper and a hook and eye to close the waistband. (Forgive the wrinkling, I’d been wearing the skirt right before the picture, and as this is the part I sit on…)

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I finished the hem with a little strip of antique lace I got a while ago. It’s really small and delicate, but I think it suits the skirt.

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Cotton flowers

Aside from my historical projects, I also sew more modern stuff for my regular wardrobe. Mostly I make skirts and dresses, I rarely wear any pants, and I love skirts! They’re also so easy to make, which makes them really gratifying. I recently started several projects with regular printed cotton fabrics. I’ve found I really love it, even though it sometimes creases a bit, it’s lovely fabric to work with. For my skirts, I’ve found that if I line the skirt with lining-fabric it also falls really nice and doesn’t cling to my legs. All photo’s are taken with a petticoat by the way, a-line tulle for the dresses, and my cotton bell-shaped one for the skirts.

This was one of the first cotton projects. I just loved the fabric. It’s very summery, and very cute, and I couldn’t resist. The pattern was Vogue – 8701. It’s a very nice pattern, and went together well. I do have to say that it’s better for ‘special occasion’ dresses than for ‘everyday wear’ dresses. The bodice sits beautifully when standing still, but when moving my arms it shifts a bit and I have to pull it back into place again.

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I found the fabric for these next two skirts at the market. I hadn’t planned on buying anything, but I couldn’t resist and the price was very good. The red skirt is a circle, the other one a pleated rectangle. The white lace I bought at a market for 2 euro, and I still have about 25 meters left… A bargain!

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The next fabric was also spotted at the market. I originally wanted to make a dress from this pattern, but with a wider skirt:

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I didn’t think I had enough fabric to make a full dress, so I decided to make the skirt of plain black with just a flowered border. I ended up making a circle skirt with the bodice from the pattern, and omitting the collar and sleeve collars. I really love the dress, and it seems to fit me better than the model in the photo! I didn’t have to make any alterations to the bodice either, so I might use it again in future projects. I’m really starting to like dresses with sleeves as well, so you can wear them in other seasons then summer ;). I lined the skirt with lining fabric, and the bodice with black cotton because that feels nicer to the skin. The one mistake I made was that I didn’t pre-wash the fabric. The cotton shrunk more than the lining, making the skirt lining a bit baggy. I eventually sewed a seam between the black and flower border in the skirt to make sure it didn’t show.

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In the end, I did have quite a lot of fabric left, enough for another skirt! I really love the fabric, so I was very happy with this. The skirt is again a simple rectangle pleated to a waistband, but this time with a ruffle attached at the bottom. It gives a nice touch.

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This last skirt was made from cotton bought in a quilt-fabric store. I love quilting cottons, they’re such good quality and gorgeous prints, but not the cheapest. I decided to treat myself with this fabric. The lace at the bottom is made in a lace-museum, with the original cotton bobbin-lace making machines.

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