August 24, 2010

Pencil Skirt Sewalong - Finishing Details & My Summer in Italy Skirt





Believe it or not, this skirt has given me fits. I'm finished with my pencil skirt and I'm sure you are probably on your way to being about done as well, but let me just say, this skirt has given me fits. It started with the zipper. It ripped right out in the middle because I ironed it, putting the iron right on those coils. Yup. It's been a little downhill from there. I'm also debating whether or not I really feel like taking up the hem for the lining. When I sit down, you can now see the lace. Ugggh....alright, alright, no more complaints. Let's talk about the finishing details. I'm calling this one my Summer in Italy Skirt and yes, we took the photos in a cemetery. Thank you.



First off, let's have a chat about fabric choice. For a pencil skirt, you have the world at your feet. Given the sophisticated nature of the this silhouette, it's fun to play with by sewing the skirt in a playful fabric. For this version, I chose a colorful cotton sateen. But this skirt can also have edge in a simple solid. I say it should be something sturdy, something beautiful and something that can go with everything in your closet.

Moving on to a few construction details. I think that pencil skirts are fairly durable, but the back most definitely gets the brunt of the wear and tear. For this reason, I gave the back seam my organza stabilizer that I used in the invisible zipper tutorial. I ran the organza down the length of the back seam and the vent. This will help the skirt to avoid warping, tearing and it will stand up better in the long run. For next time, it might not be a bad idea to do this to the lining as well. In nearly all of my skirts, the back lining has finally caved.



Hands down, the back vent is fabulous. At least in my book. So easy too. The lining, maybe not so much easy, but still adds the nice touch of actually having a lining. Still, I'm in love with that back vent. Marry me....please.



When I saw this charming detail over on Gertie's blog, I simply had to imitate. I've found that giving the lining a little lace along the bottom as the hem is marvelous. So feminine. So sweet. So lovely to catch a peek of. I don't use anything real special either. This was a vintage find, but really it bears the resemblance of those stretch laces that you find by the bias tapes in the notions isle. I've used those too. This little detail is definitely not going anywhere anytime soon.



As far as the Jenny Skirt pattern itself is concerned, I made a change to the waistband this time. I cut the waistband on the cross grain instead of the bias. I like this quite a bit better. The more I've worn my navy blue pencil skirt, the more I've realized that the bias waistband really doesn't work well with stabilizer. Bias garments in general, from those I've seen and worn, are meant to hang, sway and move. They are fluid and trying to stabilize them doesn't really work so well. I also found that I didn't need to alter the width of the waistband either to make it fit with the skirt. In fact, it fit just fine. Very strange as I thought the bias waistband was supposed to be stretched to fit the skirt. Hmmmm....

Just a few details for thought. How is your pencil skirt coming along? I really do hope that the tutorials have given you ideas. This has been seriously fun for me. Most definitely will be having another sew-a-long in the future. I would love to hear some feedback on what I could do better in the future too! Let me know and I'll be dreaming up another sew-a-long for Fall. I most definitely hope you participate!

Friends, it's been fun! You have all been such great sports. Let me know if I can still help. Please post photos to the Flickr Group whenever you like. Can't wait to see what you've come up with.
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12 comments

  1. Cute skirt! I love your fabric choice!
    Last night I did my muslin fitting for the skirt, but I am having doubts on whether I want to cut it on the bias or not. Maybe I will change fabrics. I am thinking that I might possibly make a wool circle skirt on the bias. Wouldn't that be cute for Fall/Winter! I am thinking I will change fabrics now! Ha!

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  2. I love your skirt! And with your dislike of those invisible zippers, why not try a lapped zipper on your next one?
    Anyway, I made my muslin. It had a bias yoke, and I think your thoughts on the bias waistband may just apply to my yoke as well. Nevertheless, I've put the making of a pencil skirt on hold while I lose the 10 stress pounds I put on this summer. Nothing a little healthy eating shouldn't take care of.

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  3. O.M.G. WHERE did you get that fabric???!

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  4. Love this skirt! I made a purse out of this exact same fabric and absolutely love it -- get lots of compliments on it.

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  5. Yours is gorgeous! That print is ah-mazing. My skirt is sewn up, no zipper as I wanted to insert an exposed metal zip to add some interest to a black skirt. But encountered the problem that I have searched high and low to find a 30 or 35 cm closed end metal zip without success. So I'll probably put in an invisible zip. But almost finished!!

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  6. Hi Tilly!
    The fabric is from Anna Maria Horner's Drawing Room Collection. I think it came out last year and was made in this wonderful cotton sateen. There were some fabulous pieces in this collection with this one being one of my favorite. Have a look here for it:
    http://quilthome.com/product_info.php/cPath/38_575_576/products_id/4647
    It's a dream to sew on too!

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  7. Oh wow, this version is gorgeous!! You're right, pencil skirts are stunning in just about any fabric. Love the little peeks of lace! I definitely have to try out this pattern too as it's unbelievably flattering.

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  8. Love your skirt its gorgeous....i'm on my second muslin now, i am determined to get the fit right before i cut my material!

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  9. Very cute skirt. I like pencil skirts in unexpected fabrics. I recently made a pink one, and I love it! This one is fabulous and looks great on you!

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  10. Absolutely beautiful! What a great fabric choice, and one I never would have considered. I generally think of pencil skirts in wools or cottons, with sold colors. I don't know why it never occurred to me to consider floral patterns. Love the skirt and how beautifully it came out. Also, I love your sew-a-long. I plan on using it make my Jenny skirt.

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  11. I LOVE that fabric! Never in a million years would I have thought to use something like that. My muslin is made, have decided not to use the waistband at all...I am just too short waisted and don't feel like fiddling with dropping the waist. It fits though! Happy about that.

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