I got myself some Michael Miller cool spools fabric in a sale a while ago, in the knowledge that I wanted to make myself a skirt out of it, but I just needed the time and the right pattern. The pattern had to require less than 2 metres of fabric as that was all I had ordered. I saw this on Jaycotts website in the simplicity sale and knew it was the one. I do love retro and especially the 1970s.
I am only 5 feet 1 inch, so I decided to make view A knowing that this would probably sit on my knee. When cutting out my patterns I tend to cut all the sizes out, then fold and trace the right markings on the fabric later. This was no different, however, as it goes up to size 24 I figured I’d not need to go up to that size, so I cut out up to a size 20. Good job I did! When I measured myself I needed a size 20. In shop sizes I am a small 14, and in sewing patterns I usually measure to a 16. So I would say this pattern measures up a wee bit small, so just be aware of that. I cut out all views on the length also which was fun when folding to cut! haha
This pattern calls for interfacing to be used on both the waist and as reinforcement on the front skirt opening where the buttons go. Don’t do as I did and not read the instructions on the pattern pieces properly and cut the front interfacing piece out of fabric! doh!
Shhhh, I’ll tell you a secret: the only time I iron is when I’m sewing. The benefit of having a hubby in the forces is that he loves ironing so I take full advantage of that 🙂
The next part of this pattern is to fold over the front of the skirt opening over the interfacing, encasing the raw edges. You are then to baste at the top. I decided to sew both across the top and downwards, down the whole length of the interfacing:
As you can see the stitching shows through to the front side, but I like this look as I think it adds definition to the front.
The next stage is to sew all the skirt panel pieces, constructing the main body of the skirt.
Next is the waistband. I started to pin mine and found it was randomly too small for the skirt body – I have no idea why – perhaps it was fairies? haha. That was another piece to cut out of fabric and interfacing.
Once this is done you attach the waistband to the skirt, right sides together:
Next, in order to get the raw edges all enclosed in the waistband easily, you fold it in half back on itself, right sides together. You then sew the ends in line with the front opening.
Trim the waistband at the ends quite close to the stitch line.
Turn the waistband right side out, making sure to poke out the corners. Then you finish the waistband on the inside.
I do love a bit of topstitching, so I decided to finish off the main skirt with some topstitching and of course I hemmed the bottom.
The next job was to sew the button holes. 6 in total. On my old machine it was a 4 step manual button hole. I have a 1 step automatic button hole on this machine. I am definitely torn as to which is better. On the whole the automatic button hole is quicker, easier and much more accurate. The problem is if something goes wrong as its sewing the button hole you can’t really rectify it as its a programmed pattern of stitches. This means you have to unpick the whole button hole you’ve sewed and start again. On some fabrics this can mean you wreck the fabric. With a manual button hole you just select that step of the process. As I said, torn haha. But, as I said, I now have an automatic button hole, and I took some pictures of it in action:
I have always struggled with handsewing, even sewing on buttons. I don’t know if its down to my dyspraxia or a lack of experience, but I struggle and find it takes me long time with very little reward. Even so, sometimes its a necessary evil, so my 6 buttons are attached via hand! yay!
I enjoyed making this pattern, and would say it is an easy pattern, quick to make for those with a bit more experience. For those beginners then it has lots of techniques to learn on, but in an easy way. Oh and the fit is fantastic (even if it is 2 sizes bigger than my usual) I love it and think it will get a wear (I mean show off haha) at knit and natter tomorrow :). Glad I picked this pattern for this fabric 🙂