Posts Tagged easy knit pencil skirt
Time for Teal (2)
In case you thought I had totally given up on dressmaking in favour of patchwork and kitten rearing, I thought I’d post about a ‘wearable’ fabric item for a change.
Ages ago I showed you some fabrics I had bought on a shopping trip to Toulouse and, almost as long ago, I actually started to make something out of one of those fabrics. Since then, it has been on a hanger in my sewing room waiting for the warmer weather to make an appearance and inspire me to finish it.
Nothing exciting really, just a Sorbetto with sleeves but I thought it suited this gauzy fabric and the pleat down the front serves as a little ‘modesty panel’ because, as you can see below, you would need to have your best bra on if standing in front of a sunny window.
As the fabric is so fine, I used French seams. These are apparently called English seams here in France in the same way (sort of) that those horrible ‘hole in the ground’ loos are called ‘Turkish toilets’ by the French but ‘French toilets’ by the Turks. This is according to my friend Sandra who may well be mistaken – although she is French so I tend to take her word for these things.
The fact that I had run out of good weather by the time this top was nearly finished last October was not the only reason for the delay but I decided an ordinary hem wouldn’t look right on the fine fabric and wanted to do a rolled hem. I can never be bothered to change the spools on my overlocker unless it is for a VERY good reason and I also don’t like unscrewing one of the needles in order to do a rolled hem so I kept putting it off. The jersey pencil skirt I made recently, however, required a navy thread and, as a bonus, I broke the left hand needle while I was overlocking the seams so that presented me with the perfect opportunity to do a rolled hem on the blouse and complete an early ‘me-made’ addition to my Summer wardrobe.
I put it on for the photo but it hadn’t quite reached ‘thin blouse temperatures’ as you can tell by the tights so it’ll be going in the wardrobe until it warms up a bit more.
I wish that Romeo bloke would just leave me alone.
The top photo – to get back to patchwork for a minute – is the second block I’m going to be sending off to Kate for her ‘Time for Teal’ quilt she is making to raise funds for ovarian cancer. It’s been ages since I made a Dresden Plate block – I hope that doesn’t show too much – and big thanks to Ali at Thimberlina for sending me some pieces of leftover teal fabric she had after she also made blocks for Kate. I was having trouble finding the right colours in my stash or in the limited local fabric shops.
I’ve just eaten a home-made hot cross bun – courtesy of my daughter – and I’m intending to tuck into some chocolate Easter egg tonight – courtesy of Mr. T .
A Happy Easter to you too.
Trying to get back into ‘dressmaking mode’ after an excess of quilt block making and knitting, I bought a metre of dark blue ponte roma and traced off the pattern for the ‘Easy Knit Pencil Skirt’ from the Gertie Sews Vintage Casual book I bought Mlle Tialys the elder for Christmas.
Firstly I had to perform the dreaded task of changing the thread on the overlocker but the signs were good as I managed it first go.
Then, it all started to go pear shaped. I forgot the sizes are probably American (that or I’m skinnier than I think) so cut the skirt out at least two sizes too big. However I did realise this before it was too late because I actually followed the instructions which tell you to baste the side seams and try it on before overlocking them. You should apparently do this each time you make the skirt as all jersey and knit fabrics differ in stretchiness, which is a very good point. However, once I had cut it down to my size, the edges weren’t quite as neat and I had also managed to slice through my fingertip with the rotary cutter for good measure.
Then I cut the elastic for the waistband a little too generously as I didn’t want to feel it digging in so instead of stretching the elastic slightly to fit the waistband, I found myself stretching the waistband slightly to fit the elastic. Which is probably why one of the needles in my overlocker broke and also why the waistband doesn’t lie quite as perfectly flat as it’s supposed to. I replaced the needle, adjusted the tension and broke another one. I finished off using the 3-thread overlocking stitch as I find that getting into a tizz with my machine puts me in a bad mood for the rest of the day. That and having to do housework.
I don’t play the guitar and neither do I usually stand as if I’ve put my hip out but there were no photographers available and the only decent light and big mirror were in eldest daughter’s room so a selfie it had to be.
On the plus side, I did the neatest twin needle hem I think I’ve ever done. Nice and straight with no tunneling. As my overlocker is on the right hand side of my sewing machine I used the thread from the extreme left spool as my second twin needle thread so there was no wobbling going on, a technique I might employ in the future as it seemed to work so well.
That was, however, after I broke the first twin needle on the sewing machine probably because I started off at a side seam and going through an overlocked seam and hem thickness all at the same time might have been a bit of a stretch – no pun intended but it works so I’ll leave it in.
So £ 6.99 for a metre of ponte roma – 3 broken needles, one of which was a twin – and several items of bloodstained clothing before I realised my finger had been sliced with the rotary cutter meant it wasn’t quite as quick or cheap as I had originally planned. In my experience, it rarely is.
However! With one pattern piece only – which you cut out twice on the fold – and around 0.8m of fabric – this really is a comfy yet quite smart skirt and I will be making it again hopefully without breaking any more needles or attempting to slice the top of my finger off. Where I will wear it is a different matter. Will it go with wellies do you think?