The center front panel is 10 inches. I'm leaving that alone.
The center back panel is small. I'm going to cut that on the selvedge rather than the fold, and added a center back seam. I can add to the waist there AND I can make a zipper closure. I may just want to make this skirt mid calf and wear it to work, or out and about and I don't want to deal with the hook and eye front closure. So I add about 1/3 of what I need in total at the center back. (I add half that distance to the center back seam plus a seam allowance. For instance, if I'm added two inches to the back, I will add 1 inch to the center back plus a 3/8 inch seam allowance. The other nice thing about adding a seam here is that if I need to take it in a little, this will be a good spot to do it.
|Side Patten Piece with Alterations|
I cut a muslin and sewed it together following the pattern instructions. Easy! And I like the look of the top stitching. The muslin ended up being a little too big but I pinned that out of the center back seam.
Next I need to figure out how I want to make the decorative panels in the front. I'm considering embroidery or stitching black soutache to a black satin ribbon in a pattern similar to the one that came with the skirt pattern. I bought some black polyester gabardine for the final version. Yeah, I pretty much hate polyester, but the price was quite compelling. Especially on sale.
Braid Design for Front of Skirt:
I needed a way to get the design marked on the black ribbon. I tried white carbon paper. Rubs off too easily. I considered frixon pen, but I still had no way to transfer the design without free-handing it.
I ended up making photocopies of the design and taping them together in a long strip. (I made two strips, one for each side). Then I sewed the strips to the ribbon following the center curve. I'm sewing the soutache to the ribbon using the pattern on the paper and I will take the paper off when I'm done. VERY carefully. The design on the pattern isn't an exact repeat (so I did my best to make it match on the ribbon). The soutache had to be hand sewn since I'm not good enough to do those tight curves on machine. It took FOREVER.
Once the decorative ribbon was done, I could sew up the skirt.
There are lots of options for waist finishing. I decided to fold over about an inch and a half at the top and support it with twill tape. This needs to be determined before you do anything else since it may change how the darts are sewn (and in my case, where to start the zipper).
Pressing - There is a lot of this needed before sewing starts:
Fold and press seam allowances on center front front, clipping as needed.
Fold and press seam allowance on sides of center back down to beginning of the pleat.
Fold pleats on center back per pattern marking and press into place.
3- With sides and backs right side together, match the pleat seams and sew. Sew across the top of the pleat as much as possible. Clip as needed. (no picture)
4- Pin the top of the center back sides over the side panels. Clip and ease as needed. Top stitch very close to the fold. Top stitch again 1/4 inch in from the first seam. Remember directionality! To get smooth parallel lines run both seams the same direction (start both at the top).
(zipper, tab, top stitched seams shown in photo)
5- Sew hip dart. Remember to account for the fold over waistband when sewing the top of the dart. The top 1.5 inches of the dart should mirror the NEXT 1.5 inches. That way the waistband folds over smoothly. Alternately, start the dart AT the location of the finished waistband. The dart markings on the pattern are intended to start at the finished waist.
6- Pin the center front over the top of the side panels. Pin the ribbon under the center front at the top of the narrow section. Top stitch the center front in place.
7- Top stitch ribbon on place. (I did this last to make sure that the ribbon was flush against the top stitching).
|twill tape basted in place, ready to fold raw edge|
|insde of waist - folded over & stitched|
9- Add decorative buttons per the accompanying picture and hem. (photo shows top stitching in front, a hint of the waist top stitching, plus my fancy plastic buttons!)
And I'm done! I love it. I will actually wear this. The seam-less sides drape really nicely. Very flattering. I also highly recommend the zipper. Without a corset, it would be nearly impossible to get a side front closure to lay nicely. In fact, I will wear this with my Spring Mantle to tea! I wish I could get better pictures. Black on black is a &^%$# to photograph.