Sunday, 4 January 2015

First New Outfit of 2015!

You all knew it wouldnt take me long right?

Since receiving my Swirly Secret Santa (consisting of a group of ladies who participated in Sew Retro Rose's Swirl sew-along) gift shortly before New years eve, I've been imagining a gorgeous gathered dirndl skirt made from the lovely pink rose fabric that came in my parcel of goodies.

All my goodies!!! Wasn't I Lucky?
The problem I found with pink fabrics, is that I have too many choices when it comes to notions. Sewing up the blue skirt for my wonder woman outfit, I just had to go with the only blue zip I had. For this skirt, I had 3 possible options, all of which worked with the fabric. I put a photo on my facebook page, and my friends helped me choose.

Zip choices, we went with option 3
Then I had to choose buttons. I received 2 lots of buttons in my gift, but decided to save them for projects where they would all get used (not just 2 or 3) I also really dislike/am terrible at sewing buttonholes. So I thought the waistband would look really sweet with fabric loops and those delicate small white rose buttons (incidentally, very similar to the white rose buttons from my secret santa, only smaller) 

So many button options!
While I was still deliberating over my notion decisions, I thought I had better make a simple shirt to wear with the skirt. Recently a good friend of mine let me raid her fabric stash to take whatever I wanted. I got lots of goodies! But I won't gloat about them all here. One piece I got was a smallish bit of light pink stretch knit. I really wanted a bit of a sleeve, but wanted a quick sew I wouldnt have to think about much/draft myself. I remembered a shirt pattern I tested a little while ago the Eliza Tank and altered the pattern a little to suit. I lowered the neckline by roughly 2 inches, and pretty much halved the length (as that was all the fabric I had) I then added a band to the bottom of the shirt to make it slightly more fitted and a bit longer. This pattern is really easy, with well written instructions, and goes up to quite large sizes. I used the size 0. And look, small sleeves without the need to set them in, yay! 

Quick selfie of the shirt
I love the way the shirt has turned out, and it barely used any fabric, so I think I will be making a few more summer tops with this pattern.

Overlocking the edges
Once I was completely sure on my zip and button choices, I started on the skirt. For those who haven't made a gathered skirt before, it is so simple, I'll try to explain my steps (although I forgot to take many progress photos) I started with around 60 inches, or 1.5m of fabric. First of all, I cut a 6 inch strip off for the waistband, then cut the remaining 54 inches in half (giving you a 6 inch piece and 2 27 inch pieces) I then cut one of the 27 inch pieces in half down the middle for the back seam where the zip will go. Of course I could have put a side zip in, but I wanted in seam pockets instead. Then I overlocked all the edges, then I sewed a back piece to either side of the wide front piece, optionally, you can put pockets in while doing these seams like I did, but I'm not going to go into explaining how in this post (maybe a future tutorial?) Then I gathered the top of my fabric, by sewing 2 lines of the largest straight stitch I had on my machine, and pulling on the bobbin threads, until the fabric was gathered to my waist measurement plus 2 inches, which I then sewed over with a smaller stitch to keep it all in place. Next, I sewed my zip into the back seam. Then I cut the same measurement (waist +2") from the 6" wide piece and fused it with a piece of iron on interfacing. I also ironed the the 1/2" seam allowances in, as well as ironing the piece in half lengthways. Then I pinned and sewed the waistband to the skirt with the right side of the waistband facing the wrong side of the skirt. Once that was sewed I folded the waist band over the top of the skirt and top stitched it in place (making sure the seam allowance was folded neatly in) also stitch close 1 end of the waistband, but leave 1 open to attach the button loops.
To make the button loops I took a strip of fabric about 1/2" wide, cut from the leftover from trimming the waistband to size, and pressed it in half lengthways, then pressed each side into the middle, then re-pressed the middle line again and sewed it closed along the edge. I then took a scrap of cotton tape and sewed my tube of fabric in loops onto it, using my buttons as a guide for size for the first one, then trying to make them as similar to the first one as I could. Once I had enough for the width of the waistband (I found 4 fit well)  I trimmed the ends of the cotton tape, and the other ends of the loops, then carefully positioned the tape into the waistband opening with the loops sticking out and sewed it securely in place. Then all I had to do was sit in bed and hand sew the buttons in place

Almost done!


This is all the fabric I had leftover. Not bad

My new outfit!

The hat was a christmas present :)

Back detail, I love it!

As much as I prefer circle skirts, this fabric's lines of roses really made me want to make it into a gathered skirt, and I love how it turned out. I will definitely be using buttons with buttonloops on more skirts now! I wore this outfit to church this morning and received lots of compliments for it. As well as my pink hair, lol.

Has anyone else already sewn new outfits/garments yet this year?

Dixie O'Dare

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