Today, in conjunction with Tasia's guest post on fabric selection, I am hopping in with picking your pattern size and the notions and supplies you'll need for your Ginger. If you're new to the sewing game you'll need to become well acquainted with the back of your sewing pattern. So, let's have a look, shall we:
Let's talk about your pattern size first so that we can get the right amount of fabric for our skirts. Pattern sizes DO NOT correspond to ready to wear sizes. Please take note of that. It's very important that this is understood so that your skirt making (and future pattern making) experience is successful. You need to measure a few areas before picking your size. Grab a tape measure and measure around your natural waist. Next measure around your hips at the widest point. Now pick your size from the sizing chart above. What if your measurements don't match up with the measurements on the sizing chart? Don't worry - mine don't either. If your hip and your waist don't line up with the sizing chart, pick the larger of the two measurements and buy the fabric needed that corresponds to that larger size. If you are in between sizes, pick one size up from your measurements to ensure that you'll get enough fabric. Don't worry, we'll be talking more about adjustments, alterations and fittings later. For now, we are just getting an idea of our size so we can buy enough of what we need to make this skirt.
Let's move onto supplies. All patterns share a commonality in that the back of a sewing pattern contains a guide to give us the tools we'll need to construct the garment shown on the front of the pattern. Sewing notions are supplies you may not have readily on hand, what's more you'll want them to match with your finished garment. So in addition to fabric you'll need interfacing, matching thread and an invisible zipper.
What's interfacing, you may ask? Interfacing is a stabilizer. It makes certain pieces of a garment a bit stiffer in comparison to the rest. The interfacing you choose should be lighter in weight and stiffer in comparison to the fabric you pick for your final version. Interfacing is a must! Here the pattern calls for a lightweight fusible. This is a good interfacing to start out with and this that Tasia used on her Crescent skirt is my favorite. I also use other fabrics as sew -in interfacing; for example: muslin, hair canvas and silk organza. The type I use depends on what my final fabric will be.
Matching thread and a matching invisible zipper are necessaries as well. Can't find the exact shade of thread or zipper? Go one shade darker instead of lighter so as not to make these items eyesores in the finished garment.
Some tools are mentioned on the back of this particular pattern as well. Sewing shears (or a cutting mat and rotary cutter), pins, pattern weights (cans of food are great for this - just be sure to wipe them down first), hand sewing needle, marking pen or chalk, and an invisible zipper foot (I also use a regular zipper foot for invisible zipper inserts and will show you how to do that too - please note that you will need one that looks like mine pictured above and not like this).
One more thing. For this sewalong you will need a cut of muslin the same length as your final fabric. We're going to do a fitting for our skirts first before we make the cut into the final fabric. This is a good sewing habit to get into. Creating a muslin or a toile of the skirt first allows you to iron out any kinks there might be for your particular body before jumping into making a skirt that you may not end up wearing or loving.
And there you have it sewalongers! Let me know if you have questions. I'm here to help! Oh and don't forget to upload your fabric picks into the flickr pool!