Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Colourblock Skirt + Tutorial

I've been wanting to make a colourblock skirt for ages and had it on my list of things to make from when I went fabric shopping with a list. It still ticks the box for not being a print but I love the mix of colours.

To be honest this skirt was a long time in the making and I learnt a LOT from the process. Mostly that I'm bad at maths. I drafted the measurements for this skirt weeks ago and sewed up the first version a muslin which had all french seams and tidy topstitching. I was really excited to try it on before installing the zipper but found it was waaay too short for my liking. Also I'd managed to add a zip seam allowance to the back as well as the front (??!!). Because apparently that's how I roll. Zips right down the front of my skirts. Yep. Also I learnt during this process that while french seams are awesome and tidy and should be used on all projects, they should not actually be used on colourblocked skirts. They made the seams bulky so the pleats kinda got all weird. Some awesome people on Twitter tried to encourage me to fix it but I needed to put it aside for a while so I could work on it in the back of my mind.

I came back to the idea about a week ago. This time with improved maths. And more fabric.

I used pinking shears to cut all the pieces of fabric this time around and pressed open each of the seams so it's much lighter. I'm pretty pleased with the result and thought I might share my process for you to make your own.

Here are some diagrams I prepared earlier...

I love the result and it was definitely worth putting it to the side so I wouldn't stab the fabric with my unpicker could redraft it and make it a much better end result.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Swimsuit Cover Up

My mum asked me to make her a swim suit cover up for a holiday she's going on soon. Every time she tries one of these on in shops they're always way too short. She had given me a swim suit cover up she bought but wasn't comfortable wearing so that I could use it as a guide to make another. I tried it on to  get an idea on sizing and found that it came down to my knees - I clearly lucked out on the tall genes in my family!

I tried looking in Lincraft for some cotton voile or something similar but I wasn't very inspired. I ended up seeing a couple of fabrics at the fabric store near my work so we narrowed it down to this cotton silk print.

It was easy enough to trace the pattern, add seam allowance and some extra length. I found the cotton silk was lovely to work with in the cutting stage. It was only when I started trying to pin it and sew it that I realised just how much difference having the silk content affects how slippery it is to work with. It was fine really but never expect cotton silk to behave like cotton!

Believe it or not this is the very first V neck I've ever sewn so I spent a bit of time considering how I was going to finish it. I'm quite a fan of facings but the fabric is quite sheer and it also frays very easily. I ended up choosing to finish it with black cotton bias tape which is such a neat finish I can't believe I hadn't considered it before! The neckline doesn't sit entirely flat and I'm not sure whether it's because the bias tape is perhaps a little heavy? I'm hoping it looks OK when it's on.

I added in this little waistband tie just like the original which works well because the fabric is light and drapes better once it's pulled in the waist.

All in all despite being thrown by the silk cotton it was fun to make!