I made something! If you read this to the end I’ll tell you about how basic A-line skirt became a challenge.
It’s been a while since my last make. Partly because I’ve been away for a couple of weeks, partly because work was crazy before that, mainly because I suddenly felt meh about sewing. Funny when that happens, don’t you agree? I didn’t see it coming at all, sewing away as a busy bee during March, April and May, but then all of a sudden – full stop. I think it was a reaction to everything that is happening at the moment. There is plenty to worry about in the news these days. The current state of the world makes me feel insecure about sharing makes online, too. Why do it when so much else is going on? Does it still make sense? I have no answer, but here I am again, giving this another try. It helped sewing on my new Pfaff machine. She’s a dream to work with, and let’s just say that I’m very pleased so far. You can read my review here.
Last year Closet Core Patterns released their Rome collection which I bought immediately. The three patterns have several interesting views each, and they have a timeless beauty and appeal, just like Rome herself. I love the idea of a group of patterns that belong together. The mix and match potential is endless, and I planned to start sewing some of them right away, but I’m too easily distracted and was soon occupied elsewhere. Maybe it was because the Rome collection is best suited for summer, and by the time I was back and ready to pick up sewing after the holidays I was more inspired to sew for cooler weather.
However, the sudden need for a skirt with some length that was wide enough, but not twee, at a certain length and without unflattering (on me) gathers on the hips made me remember the Fiore skirt pattern languishing in my collection. I choose version A with no pockets or buttons, just a zipper in the back. I went with the below knee length the pattern suggests. However – I wanted to make this into a bit of a challenge for me, so I decided to not use the overlocker at all and drop the instructions (sorry, Heather Lou, I’m aware they are immaculate!) and make it with old fashioned techniques for a pretty inside.
The Closet Core patterns are known to come up a little roomy so I was aware of that when choosing what size to make. It is a great help that they have the finished measurements included in the instructions. My measurements fell between size 10 and 12 in the size chart, so I went with 12 to have plenty of seam allowance. It turned out that a 10 would have been the best choice, but it worked just fine in 12, too.
There’s planning ahead people, and there’s making it up as you go people. I’m definitely in the last camp, and it works sometimes, but not always. I started by omitting the front seam of the pattern during cutting, which ended up fine. As long as the seam is on grain, I don’t see why I need it. Then I sewed up the side seams using french seams. Next I bound the seam allowances in the back for a Hong Kong binding. However, I should have done that AFTER I inserted the invisible zipper for a neater finish. In the end it turned out fine because I needed to increase the seam allowance to 2 cm for a better fit. It turned out that I could have gone down a size from the start.
Then I attempted at a roll hem, but my fabric is too heavy for that and didn’t cooperate at all, so I had to use a bias binding there as well. This was the best decision and what I should have done to begin with. The hem hangs nicely with a little extra weight. I love the look of trouser waistbands with bias binding on the inside, so I made that, too. It’s a lovely clean finish. The next mistake I made was forgetting that I had used an invisible zipper, so I had no lap. When I attempted to make a lap for the button it looked a little strange, but I’m okay with it anyway. Finally, I made a button hole and added a button. My new machine was unfortunately unhappy with the uneven waistband and struggled with the button hole, but it made it in the end. Maybe loosening the foot pressure would have helped? Next time I’ll look at the sewing instructions and insert the zipper all the way up into the waistband with no button. Much neater.
The finished skirt has a very classic feel to it and is flattering. The A-line is pronounced, but no too much for a grown up like me. By choosing a polka dot pattern I enforced the retro vibe, but in another fabric I think this is a modern and updated shape. I’m thinking about making another version in linen, or maybe a wool for autumn in a midi length. The fabric is a viscose stretch with a little weight to it and it worked great for this pattern. the only problem is that the fabric easily gets pulled threads that distorts the print, leaving white lines. You do not want to have a small hole in this fabric, it will be very visible.
For a simple A-line skirt this was a fun make and very rewarding. I will revisit this pattern in the future, and I think the rest of the Rome collection deserves a new chance, too.