Monday, June 1, 2009

Utilitarian sewing (I'm not in love)

I like to sew colorful, flowery, interesting or special-occasion wear. I wear a lot of simple, classic designs in neutral colors. So when I saw the skirt no. 101 A in Burda's April issue, also made up (very well) a couple of times on the 'net, and loved the lines, I decided to marry the design to one of my brown linens from the fabric market. So I'd have something to actually wear a lot.

I was apprehensive about the yoke, since others reported having difficulties with the instructions, and I didn't understand them just reading through either. When sewing, it all came together according to the instructions, though. It must be the language, certainly not my superior sewing skills, that made the yoke instructions understandable after all.

Speaking of sewing skills, I am a lot more dissatisfied with this project than I've been in a long time. And I'm not usually hard on myself, and will wear stuff others might deem unwearable. Have my expectations grown? Is it because I've seen other examples of the skirt that looked so good? My bones of contention:

The topstitching. I did not manage to get the yoke topstitched without some irregularities and missed stitches on the thicker parts. Since I used strongly contrasting thread, it's really obvious (to me).

The buttons/buttonholes. They're all lined up perfectly, but when taking a deep breath the top button slips outwards in the buttonhole, while the lower button, being so close to the yoke seam, stays put. Resulting in the yoke looking crooked.

The facings. Burda didn't give instructions on how to finish the facings, and the inside yoke is longer than the facings, so they cannot be finished as one. Not wanting to have a thick finish that will show through the thin linen on the right side, I just zigzagged the facings and tacked them to the seam allowances. Not the best look inside.

Exactness/angles. I'm not the most exact sewer, and it really shows on a solid color garment with angled lines. On the yoke and the pockets, I have noticed that instead of right angles, the top corners are bending upwards a little, like a slight wing shape. Poor pressing? Too much tugging when sewing? Should I have staystitched? Interfaced? It is noticeable, because the yoke parts should lie flat on top of one another, and the pockets should line up with the yoke bottom.

All that said, I've put it on and can see myself wearing it quite a bit. It's cool, comfortable, and fulfils my clothing needs (other than perfect workmanship).

Action shot: I know you all love a bit of local folklore, so here's the skirt on me at our annual Pentecost fun fair. Pentecost monday is a national holiday in Germany, and one of the annual fairs, with lots of carousels, ferris wheel, etc. in our city is held on this weekend. It's from Friday to Tuesday and finishes with fireworks tomorrow night.


  1. I think those of us who sew are all particularly hard on ourselves when it comes to our craft. We expect perfection. Sometimes, things just happen to spoil that image. That being said, you are the only one who will notice some imperfeftion in your skirt. And, you can always make another. Looks like you're having a great time at the fair!

  2. It looks fine don't be so hard on yourself. No one but you will notice. I like to finish facings with the fusible interfacing. I sew the bottom of the facing to the interfacing with the non glued side touching the right side of the facing. Sew a small 1/4" of less seam, turn the interfacing glue side to the wrong side of facing and press in place.

  3. Yes, you are being too hard on yourself! (But I do it too.) It's a very cute skirt and perfect for the warmer weather.

  4. It looks great - well done - maybe if you made another one you could foresee the problems before you get to them if you really want to "perfect" the skirt - but really it looks great - no one but you looks that close at the top stitching.

  5. I think it's one of those things where the flaws are so obvious to you, but I don't see them at all! Very cute skirt.



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