March 21, 2012

more complicated than it looks

One of my goals for this month was to complete a refashion for a skirt that I'd already dissected. I actually finished this one last week, but didn't get around to writing it up on here until now.

 I made this skirt several years ago--I'm going to guess somewhere in the vicinity of 2005. Definitely pre-blog era. It was inspired by an Anthropologie skirt (what else?) that looked like this:

(the "North Country" skirt)

I liked the asymmetry, and the leather-over-petticoat look. But of course I couldn't drop over $300 on a skirt--every formal dress I've ever bought or made cost less than that! Embroidery isn't my forte, so rather than do a straight knockoff, I got that embossed-looking suedecloth and made it out of that and a remnant of some home decor fabric. The skirt served me fairly well for several years, but it had some issues:
1) The bias cut combined with the heavier suedecloth fabric meant the waistline kept stretching out, to the point where I'd have to take it in every couple of years.
2) The sheer part on the lining had a tendency to snag on whatever tights I was wearing and cause them to pill, due to a rough selvedge and some bad seam finishing on that lining. Which was especially bad, since the style of the skirt pretty much relegated it to cold weather where I had to wear it with tights of some sort or I'd freeze.
3) Also due to the style, I literally only had about one shirt that this looked good with. Not very good for putting different outfits together.

So since I had to take it apart to fix the waist (again) anyway, I decided to just rework it entirely while I was at it.

So this is the new version of this skirt. And while it might not look it, this was a little more complex than just a chop-and-hem job!

I had this wide-yoke skirt pattern that I've used before (also pre-blog). So I cut a new yoke piece out of the top of each half of the skirt....

...and the lining from a scrap of cotton I found in my bin. (It looks pretty wrinkled, and I probably should have interfaced it. But I didn't, because I cut the yoke a little smaller than I'd originally cut the pattern--it had ended up kind of loose at the waist. To offset the stretching of the still-bias suedecloth, I did cut this on the straight grain, but was afraid that interfacing it as well would make it not fit.)

Like my faux tag? It's the only way I can tell which side is the back!

I cut the lower portion to match on the sides, then sewed that back together along with the side seams.

Check the Technique update: I did re-sew in the invisible zipper on this one. I honestly don't think it's the best one I've ever done, the lower part of the seam is a little wonky. But I guess it was to be expected, because of how the end of the zipper is finished vs. the drape of the fabric. So I'm not checking it off the list yet, but I am working on it.

A second technique I played around with that I hadn't done before was using petersham ribbon to finish the hem off. To simplify things, I decided to play up on the suede look--thus the topstitching at the bottom of the yoke, and I wanted to machine-hem it too. But I also wanted to avoid that annoying ridge that sometimes shows on the outside with a double-folded hem, so this was my attempt to use the ribbon to cut down the bulk. And a rather successful one, if I do say so myself! The ribbon curved nicely to match the hem with a little help from the iron, and not a pucker in sight. I know it's not the ideal thing color-wise, but this was all I had. And in a way, it's a nice tribute to the cream sheer bit that used to be a part of this. (Which I do still have that piece, and I have plans for it!)

I finally had some time to sew tonight, after nearly a week of not being able to get to it. So I have made more jacket progress. But that will have to wait for when I can take pictures in daylight.

One last comment on the word verification issues: I finally figured out a solution! I removed my address from the comment moderation alert form, so I won't get an email every time some spambot wants to post. (Which seems to happen a lot to me for some reason. And here I thought this was a clean, family-friendly blog...) So if it takes longer for your comments to show up, that's why--I can't do things so quickly from my phone without the emails! So far, this solution seems to be working. All of the spam showed up in the right place on the dashboard for easy deletion, and no annoying emails.


  1. What a lovely skirt, in both phases!

  2. Nice refashion! I think the invisible zipper looks good :) What are your plans for the rest of the suede fabric? I love long skirts in fall/winter too, but I agree, they can be hard to style. They need *just* the right top.

  3. The skirt looks good, I really like that wide-yoked style! I think you did a great job on the zipper, especially considering the bias cut!
    Glad you found a good way to deal with the comments!

  4. This skirt is great - well done!!! Just discovered your blog so off to have a peek around at your other creations...

  5. Thank you that it is really beautiful

  6. Cute skirt! Both of them, actually. And the zipper does look really good. It can't be easy to do it in suede. The ribbon hem finish is a great idea. I should do that more often.


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