The Pencil Skirt is the first project in Gertie's New Book for Better Sewing, which I talked about here, and it's focus is on vintage dressmaking. I know I said it before, but I do love this book.
I cut out a muslin (using an old sheet) in the size 8, made a few adjustments, before cutting into a vintage red wool that I'd had sitting around for a good four years (see, I knew I would use it one day! Good news is, there is plenty left for that girls winter jacket I'd planned.)
It took me about a week of sewing here and there to finish the skirt. But the basics of it was really very simple. The instructions were easy to follow with lots of pictures along the way (Pictures are a very good thing when I'm sewing!).
I made my first waistband, learned to use the step by step buttonhole on my machine, and inserted a lapped zipper. Many firsts. I'm not sure why those techniques scared me for so long. But they were things I needed to learn, because I was avoiding pattern that had buttonholes in them, which was really a bit silly.
Focusing on vintage construction and finishing meant some handsewing, of which fortunately I have done quite a bit before. I finished off the (blind) hem and underneath the zipper seam with bias, which is called a Hong Kong seam. Much prettier than overlocked seams, don't you think?
|Please excuse the uncomfortable poses!
Unfortunately I did make it a little too tight. I must remember to allow more ease next time. In my enthusiasm sew this up, I used the recommended fabric, wool, to make the skirt. Good for smoothing over lumps as strong, rigid fabric usually is, but not such a great thing for the Summer weather. Also not great is that the skirt really needs heels to make it look in proportion. Something I don't wear often anymore, because it's just not practical when out and about, as I'm usually chasing or carrying a toddler. I'm not really sure when I will have the opportunity to sport the secretarial look.
Meanwhile it hangs optimistically in my wardrobe. Defiantly too tight and inappropriate for my lifestyle. But a pencil skirt that so very nearly fits, is nothing to be sneezed at in my books. It may not be perfect, but it was made slowly and with care. Slower fashion. I like the sound of that.