As you all know I’ve been learning to sew for a few months now. My latest project, which I have just finished, is a pencil skirt based on a Simplicity 2154 1960s retro vintage pattern.
I couldn’t quite believe I made it, however there are a few errors, and when I think of them I know I did! I’m hoping it’s all part of the learning process. I’m sure CoCo Chanel took a little time to get the hang of it.
I found the fabric first, in John Lewis of course (well they are good at what they do!). I loved the colours and thought it would make a great skirt for the winter with a vintage twist. It wasn’t cheap but as it’s wool I thought it was worth it.
I found the pattern next (also from John Lewis- but purchased at a different time), they had an offer on all patterns by Simplicity and so I brought a few (I call this planning ahead, my wife calls it a shopping addiction).
I have some vintage patterns but some are so old parts are missing and the sizing is often different (usually tiny) so I thought getting new ones was a good idea, plus I love the pictures used. I can’t wait for the day I’m good enough to try a Vogue pattern!
I started the skirt in my lessons by cutting out the pattern and fabric. We had a long decision about which was the right side of the fabric and in the end I picked the one I liked – part of me couldn’t really tell the difference!
Then pinned and sewed together.
The skirt needed to be taken in from the pattern as I was using one a little bit big for me. So we decided to take from the back seam as the zip was going on the side. I was glad I had my teacher with me to help as I’m not sure how I would have done this on my own. So far it was going ok.
Then the zip was added in – I’m getting better at these but do have trouble remembering how to do them. I think I need to do 50 in a row so it stays in my head.
Then I was told I needed to line it – this was when it all went wrong. I bought some lining to match the skirt and was told to cut the lining in the same way that I had with the skirt, so I did. I added darts (which looking back I’m not sure was right and left gaps for the kick pleat and the zip area).
I sewed in the lining and was really pleased with myself until I went back to it a few days later and worked out I had done it the wrong way round – ahhh! You try unpicking cotton out of lining fabric NOT FUN.
Image from I want a Station Wagon
Once that was done I sewed it the right way this time but then noticed I should have finished off the lining better before doing this – I had left some gaps. I managed to fix it so it looked ok but I know I could do better next time.
Then it was the waistband! I brought some iron on stuff to make it stiffen (stuff is a good description I know!).
This was really hard to pin and tack as it was so thick! I think I may have made it too high and used too much of the ‘stuff’. This resulted in me breaking my sewing machine needle when I tried to sew it all together.
I wasn’t giving in as it was my Christmas homework plus I really wanted to wear it. So I sat and hand stitched it. My fingers were in pain after.
So the long and short of it was I had made a skirt. It looked wonderful and I was so happy until I put it on…..
Either I had too much Christmas food or my crazy high waistband meant I can’t do it up – it’s not far off but enough I will not be wearing it too work just yet! I could try and unpick the waistband but I just can’t bring myself to do that. Oh well I am learning!
Have you ever done anything like this? Got any tips for me next time?