chebe: (Purple - DanceLikeNooneisWatching)
Fourth skirt from the 'Sew What! Skirts' book, Short and Sassy (page 73), a simple square (a.k.a. handkerchief) skirt with elasticated waist. ... Well, almost. I added a yoke. I've added yokes before, but this time I was following the 'very simple low-waist skirt block' (page 134) from Winifred Aldrich's 'Metric Pattern Cutting for Women's Wear'. This particular block is good for easy-fits and fabrics with stretch/elastic waists. The only alteration made to the general instructions from 'Sew What! Skirts' (SWS) was that the circle was measured as my hips, and the waistband left out (as the yoke took care of that).

Construction is very straight forward; sew up the side-seams of the yoke, make the elastic casing, insert elastic. Add yoke to skirt (slight gathering may be needed). Hem.

Okay, ready for the maths? Really pretty simple, promise.

In theory )

Adding yokes or not is simply another variation you can try. There are also other waistband and closure methods that can be used. There are so many possibilities you can make, and all without buying a single pattern!

In practice )

There we are. A little light twirly skirt perfect for dancing in. And I've learned a lot about how square and circle skirts are made so I'll be able to make the next one perfectly first time. I'm also loving the yoke block based on Aldrich's block and am looking forward to trying the other blocks.
chebe: (Sewing Machine)
See, I bought this dress several months ago, €10 on sale, and figured I might wear it for New Years or something. But I didn't. Eventually I decided that it was simply too lacey, and too short for me to really feel comfortable in it. So I did what any sewist would do; I fixed it.

Firstly I found a point where I'd be happy having the dress end, if it were a top; just a bit below the centre-back zip. I pinned the outer lace to the lining, and just cut across. And left the pieces (carefully) to one side.

Next, made a yoke. I have mentioned before about a straight skirt block tutorial from House of Marmalade that I'd followed. I was pleased with the result and used the top part of this block to make a yoke.

I picked a point low on my hips where I wanted the yoke to end, and marked that as the bottom. I followed the skirt block for a bit, until I felt it had narrowed sufficiently. Then I continued the line straight up from there to the waist (instead of curving in to my waist measurement). Also, because the block tutorial was for a high-waisted skirt, I stopped a fair bit down where I would prefer the top of my skirt to sit.

Then I added seam allowances, and allowance for an elasticated waistband (roughly width of elastic multiplied by two, plus seam allowance).
End result )

Copied it out onto some fabric I had simply laying around, which happened to be purple interlock/knit, placing the degree-of-greatest-stretch around the body/hips. Only two pieces; front and back. Sewed them together, then added the elasticated waistband.

Took this yoke, and the band of purple lace-with-lining I'd cut off the dress earlier, and with right sides together I matched up the side-seams, and sewed it all together. (Seams were finished on my overlocker/serger.) The lace/lining was already hemmed, so I was done! One quirky, casual/dressy skirt made-to-measure.
Pictures! )

What about the top? Well, that's another story.
chebe: (WalkSign)
I've made skirts before, I've even drafted skirt blocks, heck the 'Sew What! Skirts' book is basically drafting custom patterns each and every time. But they have the same problem; they're too big. This baffled me for a long time, until I saw the House of Marmalade skirt block tutorial. It turned out to be simple; centimetres! I grew up using the metric system, got a feel for it, about when and how to round up, etc. Turns out that it doesn't translate all that easily to imperial (as all my previous instructions have been). I mean, 1.5 is a lot easier to remember, and add, than 5/8s, right? Guess it boils down to what you're used to.

So, I made the straight-skirt block, and tried it on for fit. (It's not a finished skirt/pattern, just the basis from which to create patterns.) Couldn't be simpler, one piece for front, one for back, side zipper. I followed the instructions closely, wanting to make sure I didn't miss anything. And I've ended up with a skirt that goes to my natural-waist. I do not like this style, I don't find it comfortable, or flattering. But it has just proven to me how well the block fits, and I can just lop off the top 10cm or so whenever I come to make a real skirt.

Speaking of which, the instructions say your hip (generally considered widest part) is 20cm below your natural waist. Well I seem to be shaped a bit differently. My widest part is 28cm below the natural waist. No, I'm not tall, actually on the short side. My natural waist does seem a bit high (even relative to other natural waists which by their nature are fairly high), but it seems I just have a long ... lower torso? Yeah, let's call it that. Anyway, end result being I marked in the 20cm measurement on the block, but also marked the 28cm measurement, and just joined the dots, to get a perfect fit.

And now we're on to fit. Well, firstly I really need to learn how to put in zippers. But allowing for that mishap, the skirt fits well, just not as snug as I'm used to, so there is some excessive bunching/gaping over the tummy. It's only a small thing, considering I usually have to lop 4-inches off the side seams! But it is something to work on.

Oh, and no pictures, because straight skirts are horrible on me. I do have a black cord I reckon would be nice in a slight pencil-skirt, but really I'm only doing this block so I can get a decent yoke onto which to add flared skirts. Because once I do, once I have that holy grail of fitted skirt yokes, then, then I will take over the world! *ahem* Sorry, then I'll reclaim my wardrobe from the pit of jeans it has fallen into. Well, I can dream at least.


2011-Feb-23, Wednesday 09:30 pm
chebe: (Sewing Machine)
I'd hoped to be able to show you my new shiny halter-neck top. But instead I've realised why I've so little practice with hems; before doing the hem (usually the very last thing) I try the garment on, and when it doesn't fit right I give up in frustration and confusion. See, it's never a simple fix like just taking in the side-seams a bit. Rather it seems I'm oddly proportioned.

More detail than you ever wanted )
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