Friday, April 25, 2014

Gabriola Skirt!

Y'all, I made Sewaholic's newest pattern, the maxi Gabriola skirt. 

After making my linen Hawthorn last year, I really wanted to make another linen dress, and I found this pink and white striped linen at Gorgeous Fabrics.  But it occurred to me, thankfully, that this fabric made into a shirtdress could make me look like a candy striper.  So I held onto it, waiting for the right pattern.

I love me a maxi skirt: I own five store bought maxi skirts and three me-made ones.  I was excited about this skirt because the interesting piecing of the hip area:

I didn't bother matching the stripes here, obviously.  I decided the loose weaved linen would be too much of a nightmare to do any matching, although now I wished I had tried - I think it would have looked awesome if I could have pulled it off.

I nearly pulled off the matching on the back, albeit unintentionally:

The skirt went together easily; quilters would have no problem getting the skirt yoke pieced together - it was kind of fun!  I did a lot of topstitching on this skirt - linen loves topstitching, and it helps control wrinkles.  I topstitched on both sides of each seam, and I topstitched all the edges of the waist band.  I went with a hook and eye closure on the waistband, and just put in a topstitched hem.  

The skirt is delightfully swishy, a lot of fun to wear.  

The only fly in the ointment?  It's too big.  The pattern, thankfully, gives finished garment measurements on the back of the envelope (I love that feature in the Big 4 patterns, and I'm happy that this independent pattern maker included it on hers).  But the measurements are incorrect.  Based on my body measurements, I wanted to make a skirt with a finished waist measurement of 30 inches.  According to the pattern, that meant I should make a size 8.  Which I did.  But the finished waist measurement was 31 1/2 inches.  Which is the size 10, not the 8.

This explains why so many people have mentioned that the waist on this pattern is really big - everyone has been making the wrong size.  To my credit, I did a flat pattern measure of the waistband, but I assumed the mistake was mine - maybe I wasn't measuring correctly.  

Nope, to make a skirt with a waist measurement of 30 inches, I should have made a 6, not an 8.

I'm a little disappointed because I really love this fabric, but I hope to make this again, just one size smaller and then it should be perfect!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

A Quick Update


The reason you haven't heard from me following Gertie's awesome sewing retreat is two-fold:  1)  I've been sewing up a storm since I got home, and 2) I replaced my laptop computer (it was 7 years old) which required a stay at the Geek Squad, and a complete relearning of everything I have ever known about how to use a computer since I now have Windows 8.  Of course, the key is to just spend time with the computer, trying it out and seeing what works, but who has the time?  And when I do have the time, I'd rather be sewing.

So then, of course, I couldn't write the brilliant post I felt the weekend deserved, because all this time had passed, coupled with my perfectionist's tendencies.  It's time for me to get over that and just tell you the whole experience was marvelous and if you ever get the chance to go, just go.  Gertie and her husband, Jeff, are delightful, down-to-earth people who truly want to help and make sure you have a good time.  And everyone who attended couldn't have been nicer.  Jenny, Lauren, Kristen, Joanna, and myself were the bloggers in attendance.  We had lawyers, a microbiologist, costumers - such a wide range of amazing, intelligent women.  We had three Brits (counting Gertie's trusty assistant, Fleur), two Canadians, a Dutch-American, and a Cuban-American.  All were looking for help on fitting and we had come to the right place.  I watched Gertie do a full bust adjustment in about 45 seconds.  I watched 
Jenny do a full bust adjustment in about 30.

Of course, I took my green peddle pushers with me for fitting and it took Gertie about a minute and half to take 1/2 inch out of the front rise and add about 1/2 inch to the back rise.  Then for the rest of the weekend, I made pants.  I made another pair of green pants with the altered pattern:

And then I got started a polka-dotted version from some cotton stretch sateen I found at Joann's before I left:

(Look at that bootie fit!)

To say I can't be more pleased is a massive understatement.  

One funny story:  I really admired Jenny's Simplicity 2343 skirt she wore at the retreat and I was determined to make it when I got home but found the pattern was out of print.  One of the attractive features was that it had pockets like my Gertie pants.  But then I thought, wait a minute!  I have a pants pattern that fits me like a dream through my waist and hips - why can't I draft a skirt pattern?  Which, of course, I have never done before.  But I did it, dear readers:

And I used the left over polka-dotted fabric!  I anticipated having to sew the side seams multiple times to get just the right fit, but nope, it fit perfectly on the first try!  One of the great things about the retreat was that it really did de-mystify the whole "altering patterns is hard and time consuming" mindset.  Seeing it done in person, and so easily, made me realize that this isn't brain surgery - all I need to get good at it are more classes and retreats like this one.  It won't be my last!

P.S.  1) Gertie is stunning in person.  Really.  And Lauren is astonishingly pretty!  We kept urging her to try out for the Great American sewing bee, but she lives in Austin, Texas, not the Tri-State area of NY/NJ/CT they are looking for.  We think she should move.
2) I hope to get the whole camera photos/new computer issue resolved soon so I don't have to keep relying on crappy cell phone pics.
3) It took me HOURS to write this post.  I'm sure this new computer will become second nature to me in due time.  Like 7 years.