Thursday, 3 July 2008

Vogue 8426 skirt, June Capsule

The denim skirt from Vogue 8426 has been on my to do list since I made a brown wool flannel version for my SWAP. I made view c for the SWAP, which has 5 back pleats, and finishes at the upper calf - usually a terrible length for me, but it seems to work in this shape skirt, it is a bit of trumpet shape. I have worn this wool skirt frequently, and always feel good in it. I want the denim version to do the same thing, but for my more casual wardrobe needs. This time I have made view A, which is knee length, and has one back pleat. The fabric I have used is a very heavy cotton denim with no stretch. It is made in Australia (amazing!)and I purchased it at Bundaberg Spotlight, where the staff are extremely helpful and pleasant.

Last time I made this skirt I did a lot of fiddling with the fitting after I had constructed the garment. This time I was more sensible, and made some adjustments before cutting out. First I started with a size 12 waist and 14 hip. I modified the back yoke by folding the pattern piece into a dart as shown. I then trimmed a little from the upper center back of this piece to horizontally straighten the centre back. I did not alter the hip curve at the sides during cutting out, but as I do not stick out at the sides as much as the pattern, I used a wider seam allowance - around 2.5cm for the first 7cm of the front hip curve seam, and 5cm for the back hip curve seam. This made the skirt flatter at the sides, but still curve out at the backside, where I need it! I also changed the construction order, sewing all the front, including the yoke, and each side of the back, excluding the pleat, then basting the side seams. I took in the side seams to fit at the waist and below the hips. Although it is not apparent in the envelope drawing, and hard to see on the line drawing, even this short version of the skirt has a slight trumpet shape. This did not work in the denim, and the stiff sticking out hem was unflattering. I took around 7cm from the lower side seams, to make the hem peg slightly, and am inclined to think I could have taken a little more off. I also could have taken a bit more off the waist, but am hoping that the fabric will soften a little with repeated wear and washing.
I greatly admired the topstitching on Miriam (HawkeMorningStar's version of the skirt. (see her review on pattern review). I felt that this emphasised the multiple curves of the pattern. The denim has a tan weave through it, rather than classic white, and I have used tan upholstery thread for topstitching to both match the warm colours in the rest of my capsule, and to bring out the tan background of the denim. I topstitched mainly vertical seams, as I did not wish to emphasise horizontal dimensions! The topstitching was very difficult because of the fabric and my needle. For construction, I used a size 90 "jeans" needle, and a 3mm stitch length. This was no problem. Unfortunately, the biggest twin needle I could find was a size 80, 4mm width universal.I used a 4.5mm stitch length. The needle had trouble getting through the seams, and also made the thread fray and snap, so I kept having to cut and rethread, then join the rows of topstitching by hand. However this gave me some good ideas. First, I unpicked the topstitching on the hip curves for a few cm before sewing the side seams, then hand stitched so that the topstitching matched perfectly across the seams. I also used this idea to manage the pleat. I topstitched down each side of the invisible zip and the back seam to just above the pleat, and topstitched along the pleat edge on each side until I could not avoid the under lay, then I handstitched the join, and I am very happy with the final look of the topstiching here.
I like this skirt, and think I will like it even more when the denim softens a little. I think it gives a lot of "smart" to my casual wardrobe.
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Shannon said...

Wow! This looks great on you!

Shannon F

Carol said...

I love the way you made this skirt! I found it a bit round at my hips, too, and I had to take it in. Mine is nowhere near as nice as yours!

a little sewing on the side said...

Karen, I loved reading how you solved your top-stitching challenges. Where there is a will, there is a way! I agree this is a smart skirt for your casual wardrobe and I feel inspired to sew one for myself.