Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Skulls Gathered Skirt with Pockets - Sewing Project

Top - sewed by me from a rayon and spandex knit fabric using an old tank as a pattern
Skulls skirt - sewn by me from a heavy cotton fabric
Shoes - Dr Martens Rochelle
Belt - CUE 

After sewing the simple elastic skirt and the circle skirt and gaining a little bit of sewing experience I really wanted to sew a dress. I saw this black-white-pink skull print cotton fabric at JoAnn's and couldn't get it put of my head so I went back and got it for this project.

While looking for dress tutorials online I found a few on how to sew a dress that consists of a bought tank or t-shirt and a skirt you sew yourself. It seemed like an easy enough project for a beginner like me but unfortunately none of the tutorials were clear enough so I decided to improvise! Do you see where this is going?

The first try failed miserably. I used too much material and the gathered part of the skirt was very thick and unfaltering. The conclusion is that it is very important to match the fabric to the pattern. If you plan on gathering a thick material around the waist, use less material so it's gathered less frequently and doesn't create the bulky look. If you want it really gathered, use a lighter material. The cotton I used was very thick, you might even tell by looking at the photo above.

The second go was much better as I knew how to fix my mistakes and took greater care at planning my next step. So for the final result skirt I used a few techniques including: sewing hidden pockets, gathering material and attaching a material waistband and installing an invisible zipper plus hook and eye. Here are a few links and tips on those techniques.

Gathering Material - gathering material is very common in many projects and the good news is that it's easy to do. I found this tutorial and this one from MADE to be especially good. They both present a few different techniques for you to chose from. I used the "gathering with a straight stitch". When gathering a thick material use a thicker thread for gathering, like the heavy duty thread, as your normal one is more likely to break when pulling.

Hidden Pockets - I think pockets are a useful addition to many garments. The skirt I made has 2 hidden pockets which I made based on a great tutorial by Angela Osborn.

Invisible Zipper - there are many tutorials online on how to install an invisible zipper and the zippers themselves usually come with instructions. Try this tutorial one for example.
Husqvarna Viking clear invisible zipper foot VS. Coats plastic invisible zipper foot
To install an invisible zipper you pretty much have to buy an invisible zipper presser foot to match your sewing machine. My local dealer didn't have any in stock at the time and somehow I managed to sew in an invisible zipper with a buttonhole foot but it's not recommended. I still went back to buy the real thing. They are pricy but much better than Coats $2 plasticy stuff which takes forever to understand how to assemble (I gave up on mine) and then takes half the time to install.

So as you can tell I learnt a lot while making this skirt. I also sewed the top but decided not to attach it to the skirt. So yeah, no dress this time but I'm very pleased with the skirt.


No comments:

Post a Comment