The Full Black Gathered Skirt

February 7, 2011 at 7:00 am 4 comments

When I went to New York at the end of December I purchased a black and white gingham to specifically make the gathered skirt Gertie made on her own blog. (I know…such a copy cat, but can you blame me?) At first my plan was just to dive into it…I mean, how complicated could it be, right? There isn’t even a pattern! However when I got to thinking, there were a couple of reasons why I probably needed to have a trial run:

1) Invisible zipper. Before this I’d never installed one. I didn’t want my first attempt to be on my expensive fabric! (Especially one I can’t run out to the store and get more of.)

2) What if I decided I didn’t like it? There was a chance that I could decide that this style was completely unflattering on me, and I didn’t want to have to sacrifice the gorgeous fabric to figure that out in the end.

I didn’t want to make the skirt out of actual muslin, so I figured I’d make it out of something I’d wear afterward.  So, black it was. I purchased a black Cotton Sateen at JoAnn’s (for about $6 regular price…and I used a 50% or 40% off coupon). I then followed Gertie’s instructions ALMOST completely. She calls for two panels of 40″ for the skirt front and back. That would be just short of 2.25 yards. I used 2.5 yards and just sewed one seam and put it in the back. What can I say…I’m lazy. (I couldn’t think of any reason why I couldn’t keep the zip in the back instead of the side. Did I miss some reasoning there?) I also made mine a bit shorter; I wanted it to hit right at or above the knee.

It was pretty smooth sailing, with a lot of hand stitching…which I surprisingly enjoyed (as soon as I accepted that it wouldn’t be a one-afternoon project). The zipper did give me a bit of trouble though; I couldn’t quite iron the teeth down like the instructions say, mostly because I was scared of melting the teeth. Then I started getting scared about the bulk the waistband would create and if the zip would even go past it once I got it on. Well, I’m not sure if it was improper insertion, or if invisible zips just don’t work with that much bulk, but the zipper did NOT want to go up past the waistband. I gave up on that, left it as it was, and decided to add a button tab to keep the top ends from separating. It’s not the most sophisticated addition, and sadly it was poorly executed, but it does the job! And it’s a good thing I added it too….without it the skirt wouldn’t close! Looks like I need to lose another inch before I can wear it without looking like crap from the back.

For the hem I also decided to use a bit of lace hem tape to avoid extra bulk and add a bit of color that only I’ll see (hopefully…it’s a 4″ hem, so I hope no one’s peeking in that high).

So overall….I LOVE this skirt! It feels so girly and fabulous! I thought I wouldn’t like the gathering of the fabric at the waist on my figure, but I actually think it’s quite flattering. The slight shine of the sateen also adds a little something! My only gripes….well, the fact that I should’ve added an extra inch to the waistband, and the fact that the zipper and button tab look like crap. I’ll probably wait until I lose a little more weight before I wear this in public. Even so….I love it!

Full Gathered Skirt_black

As for the gingham version…..well, sadly I don’t remember how big I made the waistband, so I’m afraid it’s defeated the purpose of making this a “muslin”. I’m also still terrified of trying the invisible zip on the fabric. I’ll do a little more research and practice before I attempt it on my nice stuff. And perhaps it would help if I do it by hand instead of on the machine? [sigh] I have so much to learn….

Entry filed under: Finished Projects. Tags: .

Spring Palette Challenge: First Garment Completed! Show-and-Tell Tuesday

4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Mary Danielson  |  February 9, 2011 at 2:10 pm

    Oh, I absolutely love this skirt, Sabrina! I’ve also been so tempted to buy gingham taffeta, ever since seeing Gertie’s post. Yours is now making me want to run to JoAnn’s for some sateen! (I am so not kidding. I’m seriously about to call my local store and see if they have any Navy sateen in stock – may as well stay within my palette!)

    Even though it came from zipper woes, I love your addition of the button tab. And considering I’m also an invisible zipper newbie, it seems like a very practical addition. Great save!

    Reply
  • 2. lsaspacey  |  February 18, 2011 at 11:30 am

    Why do you have to do an invisible zip, why not try a lapped zipper? Those are easy and you still won’t see the zipper teeth. Here’s some instructions for one: http://www.sewing.org/files/guidelines/12_250_lapped_zippers.pdf

    Reply
  • 3. sabrinaClementine  |  February 18, 2011 at 12:45 pm

    I guess I don’t HAVE to do an invisible zip….but that’s what the tutorial used. I’d have to change the way the waistband is sewn on to do a lapped or centered zip (I think, right?)….which is what I’m thinking of doing for the gingham skirt. Thanks for the instructions!! I’ll definitely be taking a look at that…

    Reply
  • 4. julie  |  March 2, 2011 at 10:29 am

    I used Gertie’s tutorial and I just put in a centered zipper with a regular zipper. I guess you might be able to see the zipper teeth a bit but I don’t think it’s really that noticeable given that I usually wear a cardigan that covers the waistband (and don’t see myself from the back so…) In any event, I’m happy with the way mine turned out!

    Reply

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