In the spirit of the Great British Sewing Bee, Kristin and Beth of sewmamasew.com have organized the Super Online Sewing Match. Generally, I don't really love to compete, but I do love to sew along. The first challenge is an A-line skirt. Great! Looks cute, easy to sew, comfy to wear, and perfect for summer! So I signed up for the Craftsy class by Deborah Moebes, Design and Sew an A-line Skirt, and here's what I came up with.
Fabrication: 11 oz. 100% cotton denim
A few years ago, I went on a jeans-sewing binge, and learned how much I enjoy working with denim, especially a nice hefty weight. I chose this color because it's less trendy than other shades. I wanted my gold topstitching to show up prominently.
Yay for me--the design and draft are all my own! The Craftsy class gives extremely clear, detailed instructions on how to draft your own skirt and then how to modify it to suit your design. Once I finalized my draft and achieved a good fit, I was able to draft a separate yoke--again to showcase my topstitching.
For topstitching on denim or twill, I have always used Coats & Clark heavyduty thread. I've liked my results, but they weren't always perfect. I just blamed it on user error or my plastic sewing machine, never suspecting a thread problem. Recently, though, I heard jeans expert Angela Wolf discussing the way she topstitches jeans with regular polyester thread and the triple stitch. Luckily, my machine does have a triple stitch. I gave it a try, and again, it's not perfect. But I like it much more than my previous method. And I did improve the more I experimented with it. I'm still not sure whether to place the blame on my own imperfect technique or on my far inferior sewing machine.
I'm more than a bit chuffed at myself for drafting a little pocket flap. It's lined with a scrap of cotton lawn and topstitched to match the yoke and hem.
- Fit, of course. My first draft was too tight. My second draft fit just right. The third draft (with the yoke) is now a smidge too big. For some reason, it fit great before I sewed the yoke facing on. But by the time I finished, it was a little too big. What happened? I had no idea until 28 days later when I wore it to work, and it fit perfectly again. Oh, THAT.
Do I care that my skirt is sometimes too big? No, sometimes it fits! As long as I am not risking any wardrobe malfunction, I can live with it--for this version. Next time, it will be better. I'm actually pretty happy with a skirt that matches with almost any summer tank or tee, and I have high hopes of wearing it well into autumn with tights and boots.
- Deborah Moebes' Craftsy course is wonderful. She is a fantastic teacher.
- I used the Colette Sewing Handbook as a guide for installing the invisible zipper at the side seam.
- For a very interesting interview with Angela Wolf about sewing jeans and topstitching, listen to the Thread Cult podcast on Daughter Fish.
- Not every day is a good day for measuring myself.
- How to draft my own A-line skirt!
- I can topstitch with regular thread and my triple stitch.
DJ Mary's Pick:
This month I've been listening to a lot of Richard Bona in the sewing room. Excellent musician.