Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Here is another solid-colored pencil skirt for Spring, BurdaStyle Alexis. This is one of the skirt fabrics I got from Kashi when I went to NYC in March. I was *so* happy to find them as they were exactly what I was looking for--cotton twill with lycra, but unfortunately they wrinkled horribly after washing and hanging dry (I never put anything with lycra in the dryer). So I don't know how well they will actually wear. We've been having a weird cold snap and I haven't had the chance to try this skirt out yet.
I really like the idea of the Alexis skirt as drafted, with those asymmetric pleats in the center front panel. It is also designed with a kanagaroo pocket on the center front panel, but based on most of the photos I've seen of finished versions, the pocket seemed to make the front pop open. The last thing I want to do is add more volume to my belly! On PatternReview, elily00 left off the pocket and it appeared that this mitigated the problem with the pleats popping open. So I made it with the pleats, sewing the center front/side front seam instead of inserting a pocket. Well, yuck. The photo is really not conveying how bad the popped open pleats look, but they were awful. It looked like a had a growth on my thigh, and the pleats expanded and expanded like an accordion as I walked.
Since there was no chance I would ever wear the skirt as made, I decided to take out the pleats. I went back and looked at the center front panel pattern piece, and the volume for the pleats were formed by drawing a diagonal line out from the hem to the top, completely symmetrical (this may be part of the problem). I unstitched the center front panel from the side front along the pleat side and just cut out that diagonal wedge and put it back together. The center front of the CF panel is marked, so in the future I'll just put that on the fold.
It was a straight skirt in that iteration; I pegged the side seams two inches (one inch each from front and back) to give it a pencil line. It is now a very basic skirt, but actually wearable. So I'll take basic! It has nice lines with the front princess seams and the wide contoured waistband. To emphasize those lines, I topstitched the lower waistband seam and the front princess seams in a slightly darker thread color. The effect is extremely subtle, but I think adds a nice little touch.
This was the last piece of my Spring Mini Wardrobe, and I actually had the skirt done the day before the end of the contest, but my lining had not yet arrived. I ordered this stretch polyester from Fashion Fabrics Club. In the same order, I had six yards of "stretch" lining that actually had no stretch; I sent it back to FFC over two weeks ago (after corresponding with them to let them know I was dissatisfied and sending it back), with tracking and I know they got it within a few days, and have heard NOTHING from them, despite sending several emails. Has anyone ever had to get a refund from them? Any ideas?
Anyway, I like this lining. It's a fun print, very slippery, and very stretchy. I had cut off some hem length during the process of sewing this skirt, but then realized I cut off too much. Oops. I wasn't able to do a double-turned hem, so I made a hem band out of the lining fabric (along the crossgrain to have stretch) and used that to make a machine blind hem. I actually started out by doing a hand hem, but even when I took up only a thread or two of the fashion fabric my hand hem showed on the outside.
After the trials and tribulations of putting this together, I am very happy with the final result. The fabric has a bit of a pique texture, and I LOVE the color. As I said, I'm not sure how well it will hold up to wearing as it got SO wrinkled after washing, but if it is wearable I have a feeling it will be a favorite skirt for this season!
All photos are here and the pattern review is here.