29 December 2015

BWOF Trench Skirt: Complete

 (Thanks for taking the photos Anne!)
BWOF 8-2009-107
Fabric & Notions:
  • 2 yards light-weight black denim (stash)
  • fusible weft interfacing (self-facing and belt)
  • 8 7/8-inch buttons
  • regular, serger, and topstitching thread
  • petersham for waist facing
  • 80/12 universal needle
  • 100/16 topstitching needle

Size/Alterations:  I traced and cut a straight size 42.  I shortened the skirt 1" and did not add a hem allowance.  I also added 2" to the front facing.  I read a comment about the front panel not being wide or structured enough to accommodate both rows of buttons. 

I didn't do my usual full seat adjustment and I don't know why.  Hmm.

The skirt is actually too small.  When I first attempted this pattern earlier in the year, I was a several pounds lighter.  Oops.  The buttons look off-center because the panel doesn't end where it's supposed to.

It's not too visible in this picture, but trust me, the side seams are not where they're supposed to be.  If I lose a few pounds, I'll re-sew the buttons so that the front panel is more centered.

The belt buckle came from the stash.  I think I bought it at the American Sewing Expo a few years ago.  It's black with a white frame and fits the skirt perfectly! 

Instructions:  The instructions aren't that bad. The pocket instructions are a little weird, but makes logical sense if you follow them carefully.  The only thing I didn't like is the placement of the pocket bag.  On the pattern, you're supposed to place the bag so that it meets a marked line on the pleat.

This means that the pocket bag would overlap the top of the pleat area.  When I first sewed the pocket this low, I couldn't get the pleat or pocket to press without showing an unsightly hump.  Yeah no.  Moving the pocket up an inch solved that problem.  

Construction Notes:  Sewing was time consuming but pretty straightforward.  I set up two sewing machines:  one for sewing the seams and the other for topstitching.  

The design called for diagonal topstitching on the front and back above the pleat.  If I were doing tone-on-tone topstitching, then this would have been okay.  But with contrasting thread, it looked weird... 

 ...especially on the back.

It's like my butt is in a frame or something and the skirt is saying, "butt is right here".  I removed the diagonal topstitching and settled for bar tacks instead.  Now the skirt is saying, "butt is in the general area."  I can live with that.

I really like the bar tacks on the front.

The instructions say to topstitch 3/8" from the edge.  Later, you're to edge stitch through all layers to keep the flap in place.  I found it impossible to do this with thick topstitching thread and settled for black regular thread.

I finished the waist with 1.5-inch black petersham, steam-shaped to fit the waist.  Since the front panel is self-faced, I ended the petersham just inside the fold to reduce bulk.

Conclusion:  Winner!  This is a pretty distinctive style, so I probably won't make it again any time soon.  I wore it today and felt very comfortable.


Up next:  I have all kinds of ideas running around my mind right now.  I really need to work on making more tops.  I have plenty of bottoms, but nothing to wear with them.  

I also want to make more dresses.  I make lots of separates, but rarely do I make dresses.  I see such cute stuff made by other folks and I want in!

I'll do my 2015 sewing in review soon.  I need to put the collage together and write the post. Until next time, peace!


11 December 2015

BWOF 4-2009-101 (skirt) & NL 6407 (top): Complete

Yaaay!  Notwithstanding the BWTF instructions, the skirt turned out nicely!  Sewing it wasn't as bad as I initially thought.  Plus it's super comfortable to wear.  Score!
Fabric & Notions
  • 1.125 yards of black and white wool tweed (stash)
  • 1.125 yards of black Bemberg Ambiance lining (stash)
  • strips of fusible interfacing for the zipper area
  • 7" invisible zipper
  • petersham for waist facing
  • two metal buttons
  • 80/12 needle for shell
  • 70/10 microtex needle for lining
  • regular sewing and serger thread
Size and Pattern Alterations:  I traced and cut size 44.  The only alteration I made was the standard 1.25" full seat adjustment.  The skirt back has two pieces:  center and side.  I added 1.25" in length across the entire center back and added the same length to the side back, tapering to zero at the side seam.

Here you can see that the back hangs lower than the front.  When worn, the view from the side shows a level hem.  If you have a badonkadonk, this alteration is a must!  Aside from this, I made no other changes.

Instructions:  For such a simple design, the instructions for attaching the yoke made zero sense.  I played around with the pieces for a bit and used Sharon's wonderful tutorial to attach it successfully.  

The buttons are not functional as I didn't see the need.  The skirt has a side seam zipper, so why make buttonholes?

I don't know how the inside was supposed to be finished.  The pattern has a back facing (cut on the fold) and two front facings.  Again, this makes absolutely no sense.  In the picture above, the back facing and one side facing would extend from the right front princess seam (left facing in the photo) around to the side seam zipper.  Fine.  But what about this other facing piece?  It's too big to fit in the space between the zipper and left front princess seam (right facing in the photo).  

Seriously.  What?

I didn't bother with the facings and just finished the waist with petersham.  It isn't as sturdy as I would like, but it's finished and holds well enough to wear.

 side seam:  back on left; front on right


  close up of side front

 invisible zipper

Sewing/Lining:  Sewing was pretty  straightforward.  I underlined the entire skirt because I wasn't sure how to attach the lining with the front yoke piece.  If I had devoted some time to thinking about it, I'm sure I would have figured it out. =)  I was so over the whole yoke thing that I just wanted to skirt done.  In the end, I like that the underlining gives the fabric some heft since the tweed was a little on the thin side.

Once the lining was basted in place, I serged the raw edges and stitched as normal.  All seams are pressed open.  

Conclusion:  This pattern is a nice take on an a-line skirt..  I don't have any immediate plans to make it again, but I can see one or two more in the rotation; maybe out of linen for summer.


As for the New Look top, there's nothing new to show here. =)  I started this top back in August and finally finished it a few days ago.  The fabric is stretch cotton poplin from the stash.

Man, stretch cotton poplin is right up there with rayon challis in its evilness.  I like the shirt, but it's as stiff as a board, loves to attract lint, and wrinkles like crazy.  I'll wear it, but I don't think it'll be in the regular rotation as much as my other versions.  The only thing that's saving this from being a wadder is the interfacing from Fashion Sewing Supply.  That stuff is stiff too, but you get nice crisp collars and cuffs from using it.  Stretch cotton poplin, you have met your match.
Currently, I'm working on my second try at the Burda trench skirt.  Yes, there is a "trench skirt."  

This early-year wadder was due to fabric choice.  I had a lovely light grey twill that would have been perfect for a jacket.  As a skirt, it's just too heavy.  Here's a sneak peak of the next version:

I have to finish the waist, hem, and buttonholes.  More details soon!

Until next time, peace!




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