Reversible Double Layer Wrap Half Circle Skirt Tutorial

Say that ten times fast!

I wanted to put together a short tutorial on how I made the wrap skirt (you know, before I forget and then decide to make another and have to do all the maths again–aaaaaaaaaahhhhh!!!!).  So mostly, this is for my own (future) peace of mind, but feel free to try it out yourself if you’re so inclined!  Keep in mind, as this will be a wrap skirt, and thus infinitely adjustable, perfect accuracy is not a huge deal.

(Not my image, but this is an example of this type of skirt).

Step 1 – Determine your “wrapped waist measurement”.

The first thing you need to do is figure out how big to cut your skirt pieces, right?  So find your waist measurement (wherever you want the waist to hit, not necessarily your true waist), then figure out how far across your body you want the skirt to overlap.  I’d suggest 10″ for size S, 12″ for size M, 14″ for size L, and 16″ for an XL.  But this is just a guideline based on a guesstimate.  This is a pretty good amount of wrappage (i.e. from hip to hip at least), so if you’re short on fabric, or don’t want that much overlap, adjust accordingly.

Alternately, you can also determine how much overlap you’re comfortable with by measuring the front of your body where you’d like the overlap to land…I’d go with this method, personally.

Now take your overlap and double it, then add to your waist measurement.  So for a person with a 30″ waist who’s adding 14″ of overlap, that means your wrapped waist measurement is now 58″.

STEP 2 – Determine your “waist radius” based on the wrapped measurement.

Prepare for a modern marvel, seriously.  OK, kids, go to Google.  Type in “circle calculator” and BAM!  A handy dandy widget pops up and–get this–someone will now do the math for you!  Make sure it’s set to solve for the radius, plug in your circumference (that’s your wrapped waist measurement), and BOOM!  The calculator will give you a radius measurement…now since this is a half circle skirt, you’ll need to double that number to get your waist radius for pattern-making purposes.  So for our example, the calculator gives us a radius of 9.23 inches, which I doubled to  18.5 (as it’s a wrap skirt, I rounded up a smidge for simplicity).

STEP 3 – Determine the skirt length.

I went with a standard 24″ length on the longest layer, and 20″ on the shorter layer.  You can also measure from your waist to where you’d like the skirt to hit, subtract 2″ (for the waistband width), then add 1″ (for seam allowance & hemming). On the skirt I made, the longest length to cut was 25″ (24 -2 + 1), but since I ended up doing a very narrow hem, it could probably have been a little shorter…just remember you can always make it shorter, so measure conservatively.

Also determine how long you want the shorter layer to be.  I went with 20″ finished (so 21″ to cut), so it was only about 4″ difference between layers.

STEP 4 – Draw your pattern on paper.

Here’s where having a couple rolls of crap wrapping paper really comes in handy!  You need to make yourself a big ol’ compass before you start drawing (that way you can make a proper circle, easy peasy).  Take a length of string/twine/ribbon–anything that doesn’t stretch–and clip a safety pin to one end.  Measure the string to be the length you need for your waist radius and tie a knot to mark the stopping point.  Now take your wrapping paper and lay it out–if it’s not quite wide enough for the whole pattern, tape a couple pieces together.

Starting at the top corner (make sure both edges are squared off), hold the knot down at the corner.  Insert a pencil tip into the little ring on the safety pin and draw a quarter circle from one edge to the next.  (Red line below.)  The distance from the corner to the line (at any point) should be your waist radius.  Double check before moving on.

Now, measure along the string from the first knot (away from the safety pin) till you reach the length of your short layer.  Re-knot your string and repeat–draw another quarter circle.  (Green line below.)  The distance from the corner to the line (at any point) should be your waist radius + the short layer length (including seam allowances).  Double check before moving on.

And finally, measure from the second knot along the string till you’ve added in the additional length for the longer layer (in this case, 4 inches).  Re-knot your string and draw a final quarter circle.  (Blue line below.)  The distance from the corner to the line (at any point) should be your waist radius + long layer length (including seam allowances).  Double check before moving on.

Cut the pattern out along the red and blue lines and viola!  Pattern complete!

STEP 5 – cut out your fabric.

Now, I used a really floaty, chiffon-style fabric and it was a pain to work with.  If you’re using similar fabric, buy some spray on stabilizer and apply liberally before cutting…make your life easier!

STEP 5.1 – Cut out your long layer.

To cut out your fabric, start with whichever fabric will be your longest layer.  Fold it into a square just a little bit bigger than your pattern.  Set one edge of your pattern along the fold (doesn’t really matter which unless your fabric has a directional pattern), and trace or pin, then cut.  You should end up with a half circle of fabric.

STEP 5.2 – Cut out your short layer.

For the shorter layer, trim the pattern piece back to the green line, then repeat the step above.  You should now have a half circle of fabric about 4 inches shorter than the first one you cut.  (To re-use this pattern, keep track of both pieces and just lay them out together for future long layers.)

STEP 5.3 – Cut out your waistband and ties.

When all is said and done, you will have a single continuous piece for your waistband and ties, so this needs to be about twice the length of your wrapped waist measurement (so it can wrap all the way around and still have enough length to tie off).  For our example skirt, that’s 116″, or a little over 3 yards.  If your yardage isn’t long enough, you can sew strips together to achieve the length you need.  For the waistband/ties, cut from each fabric a rectangle 5″ wide by however long you need it (I went with 108″, which was a little shorter than twice the waist, but that was all I had fabric for, and it worked just fine).

STEP 6 – Assemble the skirt.

Now you get to put it all together!

STEP 6.1 – Hem the skirt pieces.

There’s a loooooooooot of hemming on this puppy (circle skirt, you know?), so let’s get that out of the way, shall we?  Especially since every edge but the top waist will be exposed.  I tried a few options and didn’t particularly like the machine finished (either serging or using my shiny new rolled hem foot).  So I hand sewed that little beast.  All.The. Way. Around.  (Yes, both layers).  It took me about 6 hours (thankfully, Netflix exists).  There’s a great tutorial on hand sewed rolled hems here.  She’ll even walk you through getting around the corners.  However you do it, hem the sides and bottom edges of both skirt pieces.

STEP 6.2 – Create the waist band/ties.

Take your reeeeeaaaaaaallllly long strips of waist band (one from each fabric).  Working with one at a time, fold in half, wrong sides together, and press.

Now lay the two strips on top of each other, raw edges on opposite sides. (I did this so there would be a selvage edge reinforcing the inside of the waistband along both the top and bottom edges once it was assembled.  If you don’t care about that or don’t have selvage edges, lay them however you’d like.)  Find the center of the waistband on one side and mark it with a pin (green mark below).  Now measure half the distance of your wrapped waist measurement on either side of the pin and mark those ends (red marks).  Do not sew between the pins, this is the part where you’ll attach the waistband to the skirt.

Starting a few inches past one marker pin and sew your waistband pieces together all the way around to just before the other side of the pins (basically in a giant, partly-open-sided rectangle, see blue line above).  I used a half-inch seam allowance, which means my waistband turned out 1-1/2″ wide in the end.  If you want a wider or narrower band, adjust the width you cut above in step 5.3.  If your fabric is likely to fray, go back and overcast the edges to finish them.

Turn your waistband piece right side out (clip corners to reduce bulk) and press.  When you get to the bit you didn’t sew shut, turn raw edges up 1/2″ toward the inside of the waistband (as though it were sewn together anyway) to create a clean fold–this’ll help when you’re attaching the skirt.

STEP 6.3 – Attach skirt to waistband/ties.

If your fabric is likely to fray, overcast the top edges of your skirt to finish them.  Lay your skirt pieces out so the top edges line up.  Make sure you like the arrangement of the layers (is the “right” side where you’d expect it to be?).  If your fabric is really slippery, baste the layers together along the top edge.

Slip the top edges of the skirt pieces up into the waistband (where you left the gap).  Make sure there is about 1/2″ of skirt up inside the waistband, and make sure the waistband edges are folded to the inside by 1/2″ (or whatever seam allowance you used in step 6.2) where they meet the skirt (this is the “fake” seam you pressed after the rest of the waistband was sewn together).  Basically, you should see no raw edges.

Pin skirt/waistband securely, then topstitch all along the top skirt edge (about 1/8″ to 1/4″ from the folded edge of the waistband piece (orange line below).  Backtack at each edge of the skirt for extra security.  When you reach the far edge of the skirt piece, continue topstitching all the way around the waistband/ties.

STEP 7 – Final touches.

If you used a fabric stabilizer, be sure you wash it out before wearing!  Clip any loose threads, and go wear your fabulous new skirt!

* And, like the lazy blogger you know I am, I didn’t think to take a photo of the skirt before I mailed it off to my sis-in-law.  So while you have zero proof this actually works, I promise it does!

**Oh, and a note about fabric.  Circle skirts are fabric hogs.  For this skirt, I started with about 3 yards of each fabric, and I didn’t have a lot left over.  I used fabric that was 54″ wide and folded it in half cut edge to cut edge (not selvage to selvage as is usual) because then I got 54″ by 1.5 yards to work with, and the skirt pattern fit fine.  I took the strips for the waistband from a selvage edge after I’d cut out the main skirt pieces.  If you’re using narrower fabric, ymmv.

Hemming and Hawing

Alright.  I admit it.  Just overcasting the edge of chiffon looks kind of terrible once it’s been through the wash.  The skirt I’m (re)making for my sister-in-law went through the wash to get rid of the stiffener, and I wasn’t really thrilled with the hem when it came out.  I mean, it’s passable.  It’s not going to fray.  And I love the magenta thread.  But…it looks pretty sloppy.  I had some trouble keeping the stitches even on the bias-ey curves, and the corners, and it shows.

Especially on the curves.

And since my rolled hem foot was a failure before I went with overcasting, my options at this point were pretty limited.  So I sucked it up and decided to do a rolled hem (yes, on both layers) by hand.  Sooooooooooo much hemming, I know.  But you know what?  It looks amazeballs by comparison.

There’s still a few peeks of magenta overcasting in some places (this is my first time doing a hand-sewn rolled hem), but I’m getting steadily better.  I found a great tutorial on YouTube, and I’ll have ample practice; I made it about 1/3 of the way around the first layer last night (in the span of two episodes of The Killing. On a side note, how did people sew before Netflix & YouTube?)

BFFs

Have you ever plopped down in front of your laptop in utter defeat, listlessly googling for the answer to all your problems?  Or at least the current problem of sewing this uber fiddly fabric into something with flat, non-lettuce-y seams?  No, that’s just me?

OK, well, I’m going to let you in on my little secret anyhow.  My sister-in-law has this skirt.  And it’s a really cool, double layer half circle chiffon wrap skirt (say that 10 times really fast?) in super floaty, fun fabric.  And she’s worn it to pieces.  So I took a look at it, saw it was a simple half circle skirt with a waistband that extends into really long ties, and foolishly said “I can totally remake that–just pick out fabric!”  (I’d like to tell you I’ve learned my lesson, but I’d probably be lying).  So she picked out two gorgeous fabrics and I drafted a pattern (if you can call it drafting) based on the first skirt and cut out the pieces. Easy peasy, right?

Ha! Hahahahahaha.

Then I attempted to actually sew the fabric together.  (Well, I started with the hem since approximately 110% of the skirt is hem).  And I got lettuce edges.  Holy bananas.  Even if I basted and then came back with smaller stitches–seems like smaller stitches were particularly lettuce-inducing.  And every tip I find for sewing chiffon says to use small stitches.  Or hand sewing.  Now, I’m no mathlete, but even I know that would be a LOT of hand sewing.  And I’m pretty lazy, it turns out.  So no dice.

So there I was, slumped disconsolately in front of the lappy, googling my heart out.  And that’s when I found this.  And I could tell we were soon going to be BFFs.

Spray on, wash out stabilizer.  Now, technically, I believe you’re supposed to spray it on before you cut, but, um…I looked at my skirt pieces in all their already-cut-outedness and realized that was not happening in this case.  I plowed ahead anyhow.  I laid each piece out as flat and well-aligned as possible (really, trying not to warp the bias-y bits), and lambasted it with my trusty new arsenal, then hung the pieces over my clothesline to dry and stiffen.

Kids–this stuff works.  It’s amazing!  Instead of overcasting my way into scallopy lettuce edges and letting my sewing machine eat fabric like there’s no tomorrow, I got lovely, overcast edges.  Lovely.

I will admit, it did not play nicely with my rolled hem foot (which was what I was hoping to use)–the stiff fabric just didn’t roll evenly, so I gave up on that.  The overcast method is obviously what was used on the original skirt, so after fiddling with stitch width and length and using ungodly amounts of magenta thread, I figured it out.  Mostly.  There’s a few places I may try to re-overcast (is that a thing?) before I declare it done.

But I’m really happy with the way it turned out (especially after washing the stiffening stuff out–it really does wash right out!).  And I think I’ll put a little tutorial together so that the next time my sis-in-law commissions a skirt, I don’t have to do all that pesky math again.  Because I’m pretty sure circle skirts are actually Dante’s 10th circle of hell, reserved specifically for people of average math skills.

Wheeee! Field Trip and Fall Sewing Plans!!

I’ve really enjoyed my summer sewing, but as I look at the roundup of projects, it occurs to me that none of them are particularly well-suited to colder temperatures (well, maybe the maxi dress, but I’m still not sure if that will remain “maxi” or if I’ll chop it up to knee length!).  Anyhow, between the cut (lots of sleevelessness going on here!) and the fabric (unlined quilt-weight cotton, which is not known for its cuddly warmth), I think most of what I’ve sewn in the last few months will be too light in just a few short weeks.

With that on my mind, I started to think about fall and winter sewing.  I decided that I’d like to try making some of the wardrobe essentials that  I never quite manage to buy (mostly because I’m really really picky when it comes to fit and style, but I have complete control over both those things if I make it myself!).  So I sat down with my pattern box and started scheming!  I knew I didn’t want to buy a ton of new patterns, so I limited myself to no more than two new patterns (both on the far left below).  I knew I wanted some top layers that could do double-duty as top layer and jackets.  I also have been wanting to try my hand at making pants.  And I wanted to tackle sewing a nice wool skirt.  Nothing too ambitious!  Well, a little ambitious, maybe!

After hemming and hawing (ha!  hemming!  ha!), I finally settled on six projects I’d like to tackle before next spring.  I feel simultaneously excited and over ambitious, but time will tell, I guess!

Clockwise from the top left:

  1. Colette’s Lady Grey coat, a nifty looking 3/4 sleeve (wha?) wrap coat with pretty pretty princess seams (I keep hearing how flattering princess seams are…we shall see!).
  2.  A lined blazer from Simplicity 4044.  I love the retro look of this blazer (though I will not be doing it up in anything resembling plaid!).  I have a hard time finding ready-made blazers that I love, so I’m hoping that fitting my own will produce something I’ll actually wear!
  3. Yes, another Crescent skirt (but in a fall/winter appropriate fabric).  I’m not 100% sure on this, but I think it would be fun in something like tweed.
  4. And another old favorite here, but this time I’m going to do the version with sleeves and the elastic waist (why can’t I ever make this pattern as drawn?  I don’t know!)
  5. I’m a tad undecided here…it could be either skirt, though I’m leaning toward the pencil skirt since I don’t have a single one in my wardrobe.  On the other hand, a nice A-line in wool could be all sorts of fun, too!
  6. Sewaholic Thurlow trousers.  I’ve been tempted to try making fitted pants for a while now, and these look super cute (and my experience with Sewaholic patterns has been nothing but good!).

Once I figured out generally what I wanted to tackle, I (of course!) had to buy some fabric!  One of my “complaints” with my summer sewing is that the fabric I’ve used is very, well, summery!  Which is/was great for the season, but makes it hard to wear when the temperatures cool and I’m craving warmer garments and darker hues!  (I do think my last Crescent skirt will do nicely in early fall, though…so not everything is “too summery”!).

There’s a magical mythical discount fabric warehouse on the far western edge of the outer ‘burbs called SR Harris, where they sell every fabric you ever imagined and then some (seriously, it’s an industrial warehouse jammed floor to ceiling with high-quality discount fabric).  The thing I really love is that they carry really nice apparel fabrics (think 100% wool that is soft and smooth, cashmere, coating fabrics, leather, gooooood denim, etc.).  Things that are more difficult and certainly more costly to source from my local fabric shop (which, to be honest, caters more to “craft” sewing than “apparel” sewing).

I had a list based on my pattern picks above, and I told John if he helped me stick to my list, he could buy as much windblock fleece and cordura as he liked (he makes bike-related stuff, so this is right up his alley!).  It worked really well!

Here’s what I ended up choosing for fabrics:

Clockwise from the top left:

  1. A really soft pink/purple woven 100% wool, and bright purple lining!  The wool is a loose weave, though, which I think might be a challenge to sew.
  2.  Blue & white striped rayon…it’s got a lot of stiffness to it, which I think will work well for a blazer (and I’m thinking of doing bias-cut pockets for some visual interest!).
  3. A super super soft 50% wool/50% bamboo that’s almost houndstooth, but not quite.  It’s sooooooo soooooooffffffttttttt.
  4. This portrait fabric is sooo halloween-ey, and I think with a nice plain black knit for the top of the dress, will be just the thing to wear to my halloween party!
  5. And both the pants and the pencil skirt will be denim.  I’m 100% certain on the pants, at least.  The skirt may end up being a light blue wool that I bought almost a year ago, or a fabulous yellow wool (also in the stash for nearly a year).

So, like I said, I’m excited, but I’m also a little afraid of being over ambitious.  But I’ve got my plan and most of my materials, so the only question left is: Where to start?!

Parlez-vous français?

(For the record, I do not speak French, but I’m not letting that stop me!)

I’ve tackled another Crescent Skirt…I loved the fit of the last one I made, and wanted something in a bit of a darker color scheme (fall is coming sometime, right?)  And I wanted to tackle zips again…glutton for punishment, I know.  Also, I needed a project to take along to the Sewtropolis Sew-cial (ha ha ha groan, I know…can’t blame me for that pun!) and the pattern was easy to hand!

I got about two hours of sewing in at the Sew-cial, which with my snail-speed sewing means I got my interfacing firmly affixed to all the waistband pieces, and got the pockets sewn on.  I decided to do French seams for the pocket  bottoms and totally fell in love.  In my quest to leave no seam raw-edged and unfinished, French seams are the perfect seam.  All the raw edges are neatly ensconced in the seam, and it lays super flat.  Love it!

The only thing about French seams is that the sewing just feels wrong, because for starters, you sew with the wrong sides of the fabric together.  Gah!  For someone who may or may not have sewn more than one seam in-side out, sewing with wrong-sides together is kind of nerve-wracking!

Gah!  Looks so wrong, but it’s all good!

All the raw edges are neatly hidden inside, never to be seen again once this new seam is sewn down!  (Also, yes, I have discovered the awesomeness that is masking tape for keeping seam allowances accurate!  It rocks!)

So neat!  So tidy!  How can you not love this?!

OK, so moving beyond the pockets…there’s a few differences between this version of the skirt and the last one.  One major difference is paying much much more attention to gathering evenly.  One thing I noticed about the last skirt I made was that the gathers sort of petered out toward the end of the gathering section because my basting stitches slipped a bit.  I figured out a handy way to fix this: wrap the tails of the basting threads on one end around a pin, like so:

This kept the gathers from slipping off toward the edge, and as I sewed along, I pulled the pin out just like any other pin (but straightened out the wad of thread so it didn’t create any strange bumps in the seams).  Took a few extra steps, but worked like a charm!  This skirt has very even gathering all around!

I also decided to top-stitch the waistband in the same mustardy gold color as the center of the flowers.  It turned out really nicely, I think!

It’s pretty subtle (which is what I was going for), AND I managed to sew in a straight line along the curved seams (yay!!)

I’m not quite done with the skirt just yet (decided to quit while I was ahead last night…I think zipper installation is best done when I’m bright-eyed and bushy-tailed!).  I have the waistband facing left to do, the zipper, and the hemming.  I don’t think French seams and zippers are super-compatible (at least, I can’t envision how they play nicely together), so I need to figure out what I want to do for finishing the center back seam along the zipper (bias binding, maybe? or perhaps a foray into Hong Kong seams?!).  This skirt is really coming together nicely, though…I can’t wait to wear it.

And, can I just say, I love this fabric?  Purple and white and a hint of mustard are perfect together!  And from afar, it might even pass for snowflakes!  (Have I mentioned I’m ready for fall?!)

Full Crescent Skirt

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!

10th grade geometry…

I find myself wishing, on a fairly regular basis when I’m on a sewing kick, that when I took geometry in high school, someone would have said “you know, kids, someday these skills you are honing will come in very handy, so pay attention you young slackers!”  Oh, wait, I’m pretty sure they did say that.  Oops.  Well, now I find I wish my geometry skills were a bit more polished than they are, especially since I seem to be doing a lot of grading up these days!  Not that this is terribly germane to the rest of the post, it’s just something that rambles around in my head when I’m sewing…

I made the mistake fabulous decision to visit my local fabric shop on payday and came home with a 2-1/2 yards each of this really spiffy fabric from the shiny new Tula Pink inventory!!

I cannot pick a favorite, and I barely have plans for all of it (dangerous business, this buying fabric without concrete plans for use…that’s the stuff stashes are made of, I fear!).  But I do have plans for the stormy blue swoopy swallow fabric!!  It is soon to be the Sewaholic Crescent Skirt, in fact!

I decided to add about 8 inches to the skirt.  I found an excellent tutorial that Patty has whipped up over at the Snug Bug and basically followed it to a tee (and I agree, you probably don’t need to grade up the skirt, just gather less…but I did it anyway because, you know, if I can complicate life somehow, why not?!).  The folks over at Sewaholic also have a super helpful series of sew-along posts for this pattern!  I have learned so much just reading through those (like french seams for pockets…I’ve looked at the diagrams for french seams in my ancient reader’s digest sewing book and always come away very daunted and a bit confused, so I’ve never done french seams…but the sew-along post makes them super clear and they really don’t look that hard!)  Unfortunately, I had already sewn my seams when I found the bits about french seams, but I foresee them in my future…a lot…because I really hate the look of raw edges inside a garment…even if they’re supposedly “finished” with a zigzag.  And I’m too lazy/cheap to finish them all with bias tape binding.  But next time, Gadget…french seams!!

Progress on the skirt has been a bit slow since I started it at the end of the weekend and have worked on it in bits and pieces on weeknight evenings (always following the “no sewing after 10pm” rule!).  So here are some progress pics!  I’ve got the skirt sewn together except for the back seam, and the waistband is attached to the skirt.  Next up is the zipper and the waistband facing!  I’m a little nervous about the zipper (I have yet to install one I really love, but if this one turns out as promised, it’ll be great.  And if not, I suppose I can handsew it in place instead).