The crescent skirt that started slowly the last week of July came together surprisingly quickly in the end! The scariest part of the project (so I thought) was the zipper, so I tackled that first off the bat. It was a bit tricky since I used an invisible zip instead of a regular zip, but the zipper installation post on the sewalong is spot on! I did end up with a bit of a gap when I got the thing installed, though:
Thanks to the miraculous powers of steam and general stubbornness, I was able to scoot the edges over to hide the zipper, iron it into submission, and topstitch it down before it got all uncooperative again! Topstitching FTW. The zipper was a lot easier than I expected, and sewing it first to the facing and then sewing that to the skirt proper worked much easier than I thought it would.
Ah, the facing, though…that turned out to be another can of worms. You see, it turns out, seam allowance is somewhat important. And by somewhat important, I really mean crucial. CRUCIAL. Especially when you need the facing and the waistband to be the same circumference. So, my usual approach to seam allowance is pretty slack. I do try to keep it close to what it should be, but I don’t lose any sleep over minor variations. So I sewed my facing together (upside down the first time…sigh)…the seam ripper really is my friend…
So I re-sewed my facing, and sewed my waistband together, and when I went to put them together, it turned out that the facing was every so very slightly smaller than the waistband. I discovered this while stitching in the ditch around the bottom edge of the waistband…I ended up with about an extra half inch of waistband.
Oopsies. I picked out the stitches and tried again to sew them together again, but this time stretching out the facing to somehow accommodate my excess waistband…but since the pieces were interfaced, they didn’t stretch at all. Hmmmm. I tried making a pleat in the waistband to hide the extra fabric, but that gave me some odd high-hip baggage on just one side…it wasn’t a great look.
So I unpicked the waistband one last time and decided that if I stitched in the ditch down the center front and side seams of the waistband, it would tack the facing down so it didn’t flop about, and I wouldn’t have to worry about the different sizes. It worked better than expected (I was getting pretty exasperated…by this point, I’d spent almost two hours sewing and unpicking and resewing this bit). I tried it on, and the waistband fit really well,the facing seemed secure, and I said “good enough!” and topstitched around the top edge of the waistband.
Finally, time to hem! My usual hemming m.o. is to turn up a quarter inch, stitch down all around, then turn up an inch and stitch down as close to the edge of the fold as possible. That works great on skirts that are essentially rectangular pieces of fabric sewn into a tube…but this skirt has curved pieces, which made it difficult to turn up an even edge all the way around without getting wrinkly weird things going on at the hem. Bah! Maybe there is a sneaky way to do this that I don’t know (I’m sure there is), but I had a secondary problem, too…the skirt was in danger of being a tad bit short! So I ended up doing a very shallow fold, stitching as close to the fold as possible, then trimming the strip of fabric between the stitches and the edge as close as possible to the stitches, then folding the line of stitching over once and stitching that as close as possible. I think that should keep it from fraying, and it solved my length issues, too!
Overall, I really like the way the skirt turned out. It was a bit of a pain to put together, but mostly because I can’t follow directions! I would like to try making it in knit (could maybe do a pull-on version then, thought I’m not sure how to keep the waistband from getting all stretched out…maybe the interfacing would take care of that?). Or maybe a woven waistband and a knit skirt? We’ll see. I also noticed that the gathers in the skirt are not exactly even in the front, so I’ll have to watch out for that next time.
And here’s the final skirt!
And the back…not too bad for my second attempt at a zipper, if I do say so myself!