Wool in April

Finally!  My last piece for the Patternreview Mini Wardrobe is this swingy skirt I made out of navy mystery wool I bought as a flat fold from Denver Fabrics.  I don’t have much banter on this project because I think I’m a bit braindead from writing all of my reviews and just trying to finish.  So, onto what I learned…

BWOF 08-2008-121–navy wool skirt with godets

What I learned:

1.  Forget the big 4:  Every big 4 skirt pattern I’ve tried has been a nightmare to fit.  Every single one.  Not until I drafted my own did I not have to struggle horribly to make it work.  This Burda fit me right out of the gate.  I changed the hip curve at the side seams to fit my hips, and I had to change the width of my side seams slightly from my muslin to the final product, but really, this was super easy to fit.  I hate to say NEVER, but I’m tempted to say that I never want to sew a non-Burda skirt pattern again. 

2.  Blind faith:  the skirt itself is a gored skirt with godets that are not seperate panels, but cut-on from the skirt panels themselves.  The godets make for the swingy flowery shaped bottom of this skirt, but they also make for a challenge in hemming.  Here’s my run down of hemming this sucker.  The godets meet at angles and are curved, so there is quite a bit of excess fluff you have to get rid of while hemming. I added 1.5″ for my hem allowance. I did my standard marking of the hem by running a line of basting stitches in a contrasting color along the bottom of the hem to mark the fold. I then pressed up the hem. From there, I ran another line of basting stitches 1/2″ from the raw edge. This line I gathered all around the skirt to help ease out the fullness. This was pretty time-consuming, and I’m sure that if I had chosen to have a shallower hem depth, I would’ve had an easier time with it, but since I was going to blind hem it, I made it deeper (my personal preference is for deep blind hems). I hand basted the hem down about 3/8″ away from the easing line. This allowed me to not have to pin when I went to press the hem before I stitched it and to get out even a little more fluff. Before I stitched it, I steamed the hem like no tomorrow. I don’t own a clapper, so I used a cookbook I had out to force some steam back into the hem to help flatten it, which worked pretty decently. After all of this, I blind hemmed it which turned out beautifully in the wool, which made it worth all of the work. Because this fabric is more drapey, I don’t think a shallower hem wouldn’t have held up the godets well either, so though it was extra work for me, I think I made a good choice by making a deeper hem. 

The best part about this hem was my blind-hem foot, which I finally learned how to use properly.  The way it’s set up, you have to not pay attention to what is happening behind the presser foot.  Instead, you must trust the work you’ve done in pressing and preparing the hem and watch the groove on the front outside of the foot and make sure that it’s travelling along the fold.  The first couple of times that I used this foot, I was obsessed with making my stitches “invisible,” so I kind of forced things along and the groove travelled over the fold several times.  Observe the difference:

From top to bottom, you see my efforts, and you can see that the stitches become increasingly invisible.  Granted, the camera couldn’t capture the wool well because of it’s dark color and general fuzzy texture, but trust me, you can only see a vague impression of stitches.

If you’re interested, here is my full review of this skirt.

6 thoughts on “Wool in April

  1. Love both the top and the skirt! You have made me realize that I have been using my blind hemming foot incorrectly, too–last time i used it the stitches were definitely NOT invisible!

  2. I LOVE it!! It is a really pretty skirt without being overly girly…I want one. But with all you have learned from trial and error, I don’t think I have the patience for it yet…boo!!! You look FABULOUS!!

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