Monday, 24 December 2018

Stretch suede Colette Mabel Miniskirt & the #sewfrosting challenge

This was a project that I thought up last year while I was binge-making these miniskirts.  I had one  stretch suede skin, in this dark wine red, and I tried really hard to get all the skirt pieces to fit onto it.  I cut each piece flat, I jigsawed like mad, but I couldn't magic my pieces to fit onto one skin.  I was stumped, because the colour and texture of the skin meant nothing quite matched.

The idea languished, until I discovered a blue stretch suede skin at The Fabric Store.  I had to brainstorm how they would match up, and came up with the idea of triangles.  I finally got working on it in October but immediately lost hope yet again when I saw that my triangles were too wide - one of them fit on each skin, but I needed two per skin.

It took the #sewfrosting challenge for me to realise something sort of obvious: if you can cut a piece in half once, you can cut it in half again.  I cut each triangle of the back skirt in half, making two triangles of each colour, and remembering to add my seam allowances.  I sewed these together right away so I wouldn't mix up which piece was supposed to line up where.  And I top stitched everything in its own colour.

Two triangles of the back skirt sewn together

Entire skirt!

This project was really hard only because of my terrible sewing machine.  It was frustrating to accept skipped stitches as the status quo and to let go of the idea of perfect topstitching, but I just don't have the equipment to do better (and honestly it's not like this miniskirt is going to be worn out too fast...) I had to switch to a new extra sharp needle after every 15 inches of sewing or it would skip too much.

I also forgot a lesson that I had learnt early during my miniskirt marathon, which is that the entire waistband has to be overlocked.  I stitched it on the machine and then understitched the waistband lining and then had to undo all that.  At least it meant I got to overlock at the end and enjoy one machine that worked well!

Once I got started actually sewing this was a relatively fast project, though I took a lot of breaks due to sewing machine frustration.  

I added the pocket by eyeing where I wanted it and marking the spot with chalk.  I also measured the size of my pocket by what I'd need to fit a wallet and phone.  (truth!) Luckily I had enough fabric for that - I chose to do the blue waistband so I could do a red pocket.

in my imagination this was going to come down to a perfect point.  Hm, pretty close though!

My miniskirt is great!  It is so stretchy!  Interestingly, I get horizontal lines above the hips which remind me of trying to fit the very classic and well loved Vogue 1247 skirt (here's mine) - just like I had to shorten the Persephone pants across the pelvis, maybe I have to shorten everything on "high waisted patterns" (ie ending at the belly button) between the waist and hips.  I've never measured my rise - I think I've just gravitated towards pants that fit without making any adjustments because of being a lower rise - except for the Persephone pants which have been worth the effort. 

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