I've been planning to make a skirt from this Bee nightlite fabric since it arrived and the last few weeks I have been slowly putting it together. I drafted the pattern based on a skirt that I already have from Whitestuff as it fits perfectly, it is the perfect skirt.
This went pretty smoothly, I decided to put a seam up the back (not really sure why on reflection) and the zip on the side (as would prove to be my downfall).
I also lined the skirt and use the same fabric as the main skirt on the waistband of the lining.
I had to cut out the fabric very carefully, I wanted the bee on the side and to make the most of the squares print which is my favourite part of the design.
It was all going quite smoothly until the zip. Zips are my sewing nemesis, from now on, everything that I sew shall be zipless. They will have magnificent elasticated waists that are easy to make and allow me to scoff enormous meals and still fit into my clothes comfortably.
Firstly, I found something mysteriously went wrong with my tension with the zipper foot on. Meaning that the thread became horribly tangled on the wrong side before eventually snapping. This happened a few times and was awful to unpick.
I re-threaded my machine as cleverly suggested by Florence and it was the re-threading of the bobbin that seemed to fix it, thank goodness.
I searched around for some decent instructions on how to sew a zip in a skirt with a lining and finally used those from the Proper Attire Skirt pattern by Anna Maria Horner as this skirt is quite similar.
I then rather stupidly didn't try the skirt on until I had finished the lining around the zip as I was filled with a false confidence. When I did try it on, it looked awful...
love you not, zip
There were 2 mistakes, the seam allowance where I fixed the zip to the skirt became slightly smaller as I got the end nearest the zip pull meaning that it bulged where there was more fabric. Then I went on to sew the seam below slightly off so that one side was slightly higher than the other meaning another bulge. I remember a third mistake, the first time I put the zip in, I forgot it was a concealed zip and sewed too far away from the coils. More unpicking, sigh.
At this point I very nearly screwed it up and filed it in the back of my wardrobe. But in an effort to be grown up and rational, I unpicked the zip that had taken me so long to sew, and tried again. I didn't repeat the same mistakes again. But then realised that although the zip was in ok, putting it on the side seam so that the bottom of the zip sat right at the point where the skirt curves over my hip meant it would always stick out. The zip is too rigid to curve in the seam and I should have put it down the back where the seam is straight and more forgiving.
So whilst it is not perfect, it is good enough and the zip will mostly be covered by any top that I wear, so really only I will know what is hiding underneath.
love you skirt
The rest of the skirt, I love. The fabric pattern is perfect, I love the way it worked out on the front and back. I'm really pleased I lined it as it gives the skirt some extra weight for the Autumn/Winter. That darned zip is put in neatly if not perfectly or maybe in the right place.
I have learned some valuable sewing lessons.
1. Try on garments as much as you can whilst making them to avoid too much unpicking if something goes wrong.
2. Until I get much better at putting zips in, put them on the back, not the side.
3. I love this skirt pattern and fabric.
4. It is worth going a little bit further to add in details that you like on shop-bought garments (I love the same fabric waistband on the inside.)
Overall I need to think a little harder about the things I make if I am not using a pattern to do the thinking for me. With a lot of the clothes I make, I get a little jaded by the end especially if they have been tricky. They become 'that top where I wasn't happy with the binding' or 'that skirt with the zip'. Which often means I can't face wearing them.
Saying all that, I am wearing 'that skirt with the zip' today and I love it, probably more than any other garment I have ever made. The fabric and pattern make up for the mistakes, and maybe next time I make it, the zip will be perfect, or I'll have an elasticated waist instead...