Daily Archives: March 7, 2012

A buttony sort of skirt

After my jeans, I’m pretty in love with buttons.  I’ve made my peace with my buttonholer and the two of us are getting along so smashingly that buttons are popping up on a lot more things than they used to.

Enter my camel skirt for the Wardrobe Basics Sew Along.  I knew immediately that I wanted to do something in wool (remember I have no wool skirt in my closet after the laundry ate this one), and with CF buttons.  I love Colette Pattern’s Beignet skirt, but it’s high-waisted which is a bad, bad look and a very uncomfortable style on my short waist.  It occurred to me that I could just add a button placket on a skirt with a CF seam.  Up popped Burda 2-2007-105.

vs.Modell Photo

It is a pencil skirt with a CF two way separating zipper.  It also has adorable little slot pockets in the yoke seam.  The instructions for the zipper were a little convoluted, so I was glad that I was doing buttons down the front this round.  I think if I sat down with them that they would work, but they are far from obvious, which sadly is often the case with Burda instructions…but at least they do work.

Also the instructions for the slot pockets were missing any talk about the second half of the pocket cut from your self fabric.  I serged the top of the self side of the pocket and folded it over and topstitched and then serged that piece with the lining, keeping the bottom edges of the pocket even. This meant that when I sewed the pocket into the yoke seam, I had to flip the finished edge of the self side over the seam allowance on the yoke just in the pocket area.  I was surprised that this did not create bulk and did not make the pocket flip out or do weird things.   In future, I think a better solution is to sew the pocket lining to the skirt front, and the self side of the pocket to the skirt yoke and join them after you sew the yoke seam, but I will test that theory.

I picked up a 1 yd flat fold (so rare to find just one yard) of this fabric at Denver Fabrics for $10.  $10/yd is kind of pricey for me, but it was the perfect color, had lovely flow, and was a great weight for a skirt.

I kind of got literal with putting buttons ALL the way down the skirt and put one directly in the hem area.  By the time I realized it, I had already cut the buttonhole.  Oops.  It looks a little dorky, I’m not going to lie.  I will just unbutton that bottom button and pretend it’s not there.  I will mention that I marked all the lines for the buttons with the Frixion pens by Pentel.  Have you tried them?  I heard about them via Amity, but then one of the ladies in my fitting group let me try hers at our last meeting.  The ink erases with rubbing…there’s little erasers on the ends of the pens, but an iron literally zaps out the ink.  To boot, the pens have a very fine line and there’s lots of colors.  Why can’t actual fabric markers be this awesome?

There’s limited button color choices in camel, so I opted for small 5/8″ cover buttons instead.  I didn’t realize that this would be the path of pain and character growth, but I will not soon be using such small cover buttons again unless my fabric is super lightweight.  This is not the thickest wool, but it was not easy to poke the fabric into the teeth without it bunching up.  I used the end of a small paintbrush to help the process, but I still had to trim out some excess to get the backs to snap into place simply because there’s so little room in such a small button for fabric excess to hang out.

As for fitting this skirt, I’m relatively happy with how it turned out.  I’ve never successfully completed a pencil skirt.  They’ve always pulled horribly across the hips or not fit in the waist, etc. etc. etc.  Since I’ve slimmed down, I’ve had a lot fewer fitting issues with my hips, so I cut a straight 34 and forged ahead.  I did have to borrow from my seam allowance in the hip area–sewing 1/4″ seams through my hips and back to my usual 3/8″ below that, but that did the trick.  The fit is not perfect, but it’s the closest I’ve ever come with a pencil skirt.  I’ll keep working with it as I would indeed like to attempt the CF zipper.  I wouldn’t mind doing another skirt with CF buttons, but I’ll probably opt for a non-pencil skirt since pencils are not very practical in my stage of life.

ETA:  My full review is here.