Friday, February 5, 2010

My New Favorite Skirt

One of the things on my to-do list was to make a skirt this winter from the cashmere/mink fabric I bought at the Philadelphia Quilt Expo last fall. I procrastinated on this project for two reasons: marking darts on black wool (even as wonderful as this piece of fabric) is a PITA, and I was going to line it in silk, which also takes more time. But this fabric's wonderfulness is in how it feels. I wish this blog had touch-a-vision, because I have never worked with a more luxurious piece of fabric in my life. Or a more expensive. I saved the receipt and I can tell you I paid $ 88 for a single yard of this fabric. But I finally got it done and photographed this week:
These photos weren't taken until the end of the day, so of course the skirt is wrinkled a bit. It was glorious wearing it though. I've never felt a softer bit of wool, ever.
While this was a tried and true pattern, I did a few things simply because this fabric deserved it. First, I finished the waist facing edge with a strip of silk, Hong Kong style. Normally, when I am making a summer version of the skirt I just serge the waist facing edge or use the overlock stitch on my sewing machine. But I wanted this to look nicer. Here is the waist facing after I attached the strip of silk but before I sewed it to the waist:
To do this, I cut my strip of silk on the straight grain one inch wide. I attached it to the front of the facing with a quarter inch seam, wrapped it to the back, and then stitched in the ditch on the front of the facing, thus catching the silk wrapped in the back. Here is a shot of the facing on the back:

I briefly thought about cutting my silk strips on the bias, but I'm glad I didn't. This silk was slippery enough without adding bias to it.
Next, I gave the hemline the same seam allowance treatment. Here is the hem:

Next, I actually took the time to make 2 pattern pieces for the lining. The only tissue paper I had was some birthday paper with color dots, but it worked:

The only thing different about the lining pattern pieces from the garment pattern pieces is that I eliminated the 1 1/4 inch hem at the bottom, and I only marked the top legs of the darts. I don't sew the darts in my linings - I just make tucks in the lining where the darts in the garment are located.
By the way, the lining fabric is some fabulous silk VickiW gave me when she was cleaning out her garment fabric stash a couple of years ago. There was a goodly amount of it, and I am still using it for my skirts!
I handstiched the hem to the silk lining and in this photo you can see how it looks:
Here's a shot of the inside front of the skirt which shows you the lining and the facings. I didn't sew the edge of the waist facing to the lining and I probably won't.

Here's the back:

Dealing with linings like this that aren't free hanging are always more fiddly. You want to make sure the silk lining doesn't sag, but you don't want it too tight or it will make the skirt hang wonky. And then you have to unsew the hem, adjust the lining more loosely, and then hem again. I had to do this once in the front, but otherwise it hemmed up just fine. Because of this, I'm leaving the waist facing alone - it looks fine and it fits fine. No reason to mess with it!
Usually when I make this skirt from cotton I can get it done in 3 hours, and that includes cutting out. This version took about 7 to 8 hours. Extra work, but I know I will love wearing it, which is why most of us love to sew - you get the fine quality fabric in the color and style you want!
Parting Shot: Here we go again. The forecast is for 8 to 12 inches of snow this weekend. This is what it looks outside my back window:
Do I really live in the South? Hope you are staying warm!


Vicki W said...

What a great use of that garish silk print! I guess we will have lots of sewing time this weekend too!

gwensews said...

You must feel very elegant wearing that fine skirt. The extra effort you put into it made a beautiful skirt that you will wear for many years. Nice sewing!

Angelcat said...

The skirt is wonderful, well worth all the effort in making it

Mary said...

I'm so impressed with people who can sew clothing. I like quilts because they don't have to fit! I can't believe how expensive that fabric was but what a wonderful skirt - lining and all.