Sunday, November 9, 2014

The start of a mini SWAP with my Carolyn Skirt

After the wadder from last weekend's sewing, I went in a different direction for the pinstripe skirt after finding this inspiration photo on Pinterest. I'm calling mine the Carolyn Skirt because (1) pinstripes are very corporate and Carolyn is all about sewing a corporate wardrobe and (2) she's also all about finding inspirational fashion pieces and interpreting them for herself.


My skirt didn't need much interpretation since I already had this Butterick 4877 pattern stashed and my skirt is pretty much a straight copy. But I did have to do a bit of pattern hacking, first for the size and then for design details. The pattern is from my bigger days and the size range I bought is too big for me now. I graded it down two sizes, using the pattern's actual grading upward as my guide downward. That sounds a lot more complicated than it actually was. Essentially all I did was to chop off  1-1/2" from each side seam and shorten the waist facings to match.


I had previously made this skirt 2-3 times in the larger size range in a couple of the different views and loved the fit of them all so I had high hopes for a new smaller version. I wish it wasn't OOP because it's an awesome draft for women with curves. If you're curvy, I definitely recommend picking it up should you come across it. 

So, anyway ... my Carolyn Skirt. I started with View A (the white skirt), shortened the flounce by 5 inches, and then traced it and spit it so I could make the chevrons at the seams per the inspiration photo. I had to cut the flounce pieces (there's 6 of them total after the splitting) single layer so I could be sure my seams would create actual chevrons and not almost-chevrons.


I think I did very well with the stripe matching and the skirt copying. I added topstitching which the inspiration didn't have, but I wanted to really set off the seams. My skirt sits at my knee instead of above it, which is more flattering on me. And I'm as happy with the fit of my smaller version as I was with the original makes.


I debated a machined blind hem but decided for the faster method of just topstitching a narrow hem, figuring it blends with the other topstitching and, really, NO ONE is going to be looking at my hem. I'm not aiming for couture here. ;-)


I did think to take a pic of the serged/overlocked edge for anyone that's new to sewing a curved hem where the outside edge is larger than the turn-up. The trick is to turn up the differential on the serger so it very slightly gathers the edge and then to softly turn the hem under without straightening out the gathers. You can see in the photo below that the edge is already cupping inward. Work with that cupping so you can pin a hem that turns smoothly without actual gathers/ripples. Then press (up and down motion) it in place and sew it right side up so the feed dogs help in easing the longer edge too.


Next up is another Jenna cardi (in progress below), which will go with this skirt and another skirt already cut and waiting.


I'm hoping to finish the cardi in the morning, and that will probably be it for sewing this weekend as I have a bunch of errands to run and then dinner with a friend. Plus I'm hoping to do a little housecleaning too. But that's last on the list because ... well, it's housework. No pics on me until next week at the earliest since it's supposed to be still raining tomorrow. And one of my errands is to hopefully get a hair cut.

21 comments:

  1. That's a really nice outfit, Debbie.

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  2. I really like this pattern with the pinstripe fabric!
    Also, I never knew of this hint for hemming a skirt like this. Bookmarking this tip for future use!

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  3. Cute! I love a little flirty skirt that's still appropriate for well...everything :)

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  4. Great looking outfit, Debbie, love the pinstripes and that floral together.

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  5. Love the brighter cardigan with the corporate skirt...

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  6. Hey I'm glad that I inspired you cause the skirt is rocking! But I really like the print match - the print cardi and the pinstripe skirt - soooooo cute and sooooooooo on trend!

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  7. This skirt is lovely. I love a good pinstripe. I really like your cardi with it as a combo. Very smart. x

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  8. I love the skirt in the shorter length!

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  9. Fabulous. And what a wonderful tip about sewing a curved hem. I didn't know to do that and will certainly be doing so from now on. Love that skirt.

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  10. Beautiful outfit! I've made a skirt like that for my lawyer daughter a couple of times, and it's a really attractive look. I'm sure you'll get plenty of wear from yours.

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  11. Love the skirt, love the Carolyn reference, you made lemonade out of what must have been a lemon... hard to believe since we didn't get the before pictures. I almost bought the pattern, but I have dozens of others and haven't made any of those either... but you are an inspiration. And I am so happy you are back on a more frequent basis!

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  12. Wonderful skirt! Love the chevrons on the flounce--they're such a neat detail!

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  13. Your skirt is just great! Definitely corporate but feminine at the same time.

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  14. I really like the skirt. You and Diana are making cardigans, Carolyn makes them, and even though I have a very nice Silhouette pattern, I've not made the cardigan because I feel they make me look dumpy. How do you do it?

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  15. I really like your skirt. I have a NL pattern that is the same style except that is has an elastic waist.
    You have encouraged me to make it again!
    Also, congratulations on your permanent
    job position!!

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  16. Ooh, thanks for explaining about how to do the curved hem, and especially the photo showing how much you want the edge to be curling up from the differential feed. Your pictures are worth a thousand words (and several wadded up disasters!).

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  17. I really love that skirt. I have cardigans on my sewing list, but never seem to get to them despite the pile of sweater knits waiting to be sewn in to them.

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Thank you for each and every comment. I appreciate them all, but I have to be honest and let you know that I'm usually bad about answering questions. I hope you understand that there just isn't enough time in the day to do everything I want to do.

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