Whew! I just managed to finish my new 12-gore skirt in time for the party on Saturday. I did rush out the door with a safety pin closing the waistband, but everything else was finished.
As usual when I’m in a hurry, this project turned into a much bigger one than I had originally intended.
The flocked faille fabric (say that 3 times fast!) left from my Franzi vest didn’t want to be a 12-gore skirt. It said, in the nicest British accent you’ve ever heard, “Please, ma’am, I’d like to be a jacket.” Its polite request, along with the fact that there would have been 1/2 yard left over from cutting the skirt, convinced me to put it back in the stash closet and head to Hancock Fabrics for something else…
on Friday afternoon
when I needed the skirt for Saturday.
Though I was actually looking for a Christmas-y green suedecloth, they didn’t have anything like that. I came home with 3 yards of hunter green cotton velveteen and some cling free lining for which they overcharged me, but that’s another story. The care label on the end of the bolt says “CM 7″ and the clerk said that meant “Dry clean only.”
I almost put it back, as I don’t believe in dry cleaning cotton yardage. Not only that, I sure didn’t have time to get it cleaned before I sewed it, and I don’t sew unwashed fabric. I’m not fond of handling garments from the dry cleaners either.
What to do?
I consulted Sandra Betzina’s More Fabric Savvy on the subject of cotton velveteen and followed her recommendation of washing on the gentle cycle. I even put it through the dryer for maximum shrinkage. Mr H has already washed the finished skirt, too, and it came out fine.
The yardage *did* shrink, however. So much so that I had to shorten my pattern by an inch to cut all 12 gores. A 33-inch skirt is plenty long on me, so that was fine.
Since I wanted a lining, I really made two skirts. To my way of thinking, a lining for a skirt like this is absolutely necessary. I’ve made long cotton skirts without lining, and I’ve hated the way they clung to my hosiery. Slips are an option, but I seldom have one the correct length or fullness, and I knew I’d never be happy with the skirt if I didn’t make a lining.
I *can* learn some lessons.
Apparently I do still have trouble with one particular lesson–trusting my ability to measure myself. I’m always worried about my clothes being tight, so I end up making them too loose. This skirt is a case in point. It has much more than two inches ease at the hip. I didn’t trust my measuring and sewed each seam a little narrower at the hip.
Any little bit of excess multiplied by 12 is a lot of ease. I don’t know if I’ll go back and fix it or not. I certainly didn’t have the time before the party, and I don’t know if I can work up the desire now that the thing’s been pressed and worn.
Sandra’s book helped me on the pressing, too, which was something of a worrisome issue. She said to press on a needle board, self fabric, or a fluffy towel. We have towels that are fluffy, and my pressing on one of them turned out fine. The photograph of the back shows the seamline pressing, but I can’t see it. I’ve looked at them in flourescent, incandescent and daylight and can see no press marks at all.
Of the 11 ladies at the party, 8 of us were wearing a 12-gore skirt. Some of the skirts had only 10 or 11 gores, but they were all nice and everyone was pleased with their results. Many of us lined our skirt, too. One lady, whose skirt ended just under her knee and was flippy at the hemline, called hers a “Sassy Skirt.” We all agreed with her–it was really cute!
Another lady made her flares very short, which yielded points at each seamline. That version was very interesting and not something I would have thought of. That technique could be used to decorative effect. I’m considering a version like that with the seams on the outside of the skirt.
If you want to make a 12-gore skirt of your own, I’ve posted the instructions here. Enjoy!