Thursday, 20 June 2013

SONP Week 4: Pieced Striped Satin Skirt

My final project for the Summer of No Pants!   Yay!!!


Pieced Striped Satin Skirt by Cicely Ingleside


I made this one without a pattern again - v. proud of myself because I am still a beginner sewer. However, I learned some lessons and I am going to write them here so I don't forget:

1. I ALWAYS REGRET IT WHEN I CUT CORNERS.
2. MEASURE TWICE, CUT ONCE.

I had intended to write up a tutorial for this skirt, but I did some unusual, fixing-it-up stuff after my mistakes (see lesson #1) so maybe I'll just stick to explaining the steps!

First, a word about my inspiration. When I was shopping in a 'big city' recently (Toronto.  The Gap is the fanciest chain store here in St. John's), I saw the skirt (below left) in J. Crew. I loved the blue and pink stripes so much I was almost (almost) tempted to buy it for $200. Fortunately, they didn't have my size. Phew. So I thought I would try and make it.

After buying the pink and blue fabric, I decided to try, instead of doing a wrap skirt, to mimic the Anthropologie skirt on the (above) right.

Pieced Striped Satin Skirt by Cicely Ingleside


Here're the how-to basics:
Cut a length of elastic for the waist, to fit comfortably around.

Now, you want to cut your stripes and sew them together to make one rectangle that will be the front, and one rectangle that will be the back. Each rectangle should be about the same width as your waist elastic. (So, after putting the back and front together, you will have double the width as your waist elastic.) The length of your rectangles is as you desire - mine were about 18 inches long.

In order to compose your rectangles, you will cut your fabric into strips, and piece them together.  My intent was to do eight strips of 2.5 inches wide each when sewed together.  That means I should have cut each strip to be 3.5 inches wide, to allow for a half inch seam on the top and on the bottom. The length of each strip should be the desired length of your rectangle. 

So, I messed up with my measuring and sewing, and made the strips too small, so instead I decided to make them gradually wider as the skirt got longer. If it doesn't work, make it a design feature, I say!

To sew the strips together, place them right sides together and sew. Then place the next strip right sides together with the last one and sew. Continue. Here's a photo to illustrate:
Pieced Striped Satin Skirt by Cicely Ingleside
There's a blue strip underneath this pink one that I am sewing.

You will probably want to do a lining for this, to cover up the seams. My pink fabric was horrible in terms of fraying - I understood why it had been on sale for $2/yard. Sew on the lining to the fabric. Then sew the back piece to the front piece along one side. With pins, pleat the top of the skirt so that it is the same width as the elastic band. (Here is where I should have measured twice and cut sewed once. Ooops. Made the skirt a little too tight.) Sew a seam through your pleats, then sew on the elastic band.

Pieced Striped Satin Skirt by Cicely Ingleside

And you're done!

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