Sunday, February 24, 2013

S Curve

A family member  decided to help me with the laundry recently.  I wish he had warned me so I could have rescued garments in the laundry pile that needed special treatment.  As a result a silk chiffon blouse was agitated to death in the washing machine by a load of jeans and towels. It emerged a shrunken, faded semblance of its former self. I made a replacement blouse and chose the fabric for its colors.  It is a polyester and yes, I am a poly snob.  I wish this print was available in silk.  I was half tempted to scan the fabric and send the scan to a “print your own fabric” service like  Spoonflower to  have it printed on silk.
 
 


 The blouse pattern is a semi fitted tunic with front and back gathered into band collar. The front buttoned band forms a pleat. The full length sleeves have elasticized wrists. I always choose raglan sleeves for  fast sewing projects andam then reminded that they are not a flattering style for my small shoulders.  Ah well.


Once the blouse was done and I had worn it with my magenta wool pants, I wondered what else I could wear it with.  Black pants certainly and possible a black skirt, if I had one.  A black skirt is a versatile wardrobe basic, but they always remind always me of the black skirts I had to wear for girls’ chorus and waitressing jobs in my youth.  Leather and fabric is big this year, so I decided to do a black skirt using the black leather and fabric in my stash. The pattern is Burda skirt pattern 103 from  5 2006.

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  It is a basic straight skirt with contour waist band and center front seam with kick pleat.   The interesting bit is the “side seams” are S-curves. Because of the odd pattern pieces and darts, I made a muslin of the skirt out of a mid weight cotton to test the fit.  The fit was good except my high hip caused the center front seam to hang off vertical. This was easily fixed by adding 5/8 inch to the top of the skirt on the high hip side.



 
To accent the seaming I used leather for one section of the skirt and black wool gabardine for the other.


Some construction details: I marked the darts on the back of the leather with chalk
darts marked on leather with chalk

 and I  used an iron-on woven stay tape to stabilize all seams on the leather pieces.


Fusible woven stay tape on seams of leather


  Yes, you can iron leather.  Test on a sample to determine the best heat setting, and if steam is any benefit.  The thread used for construction and top stitching was  Coats and Clark poly thread. The needle, a size 12/70 Top Stitching.  Darts, hems and non top stitched seams in the leather were glued flat with a glue that dries flexible and is designed for porous surfaces.  I used leather adhesive, but SOBO or rubber cement can also be used.
The original skirt had zippers the entire length of each curved side seam. A 20 inch one from back hem to just below the pocket on the front,  and a short zipper from waist to the bottom of in-seam pocket. Talk about air conditioning, No way on the whole seam zipper, but  I did  mentally dither over adding the in seam  pockets with zipper openings because of the unfamiliar  insertion process and hand sewing required. And the uncertain success of top stitching through 2 layers of leather and the zipper tape.  In the end I knew I would be unsatisfied with the skirt if I did not put in the pockets, so one weekend I just did it.   I sewed the seams together, basted the zipper to the seam allowances, top stitched 1/4 inch from seam on both the leather and fabric through the zipper tape.

Zipper basted to seam allowance


Top stitching with Teflon foot 


  Sewed the pocket facing to the zipper tape on the lower side, and the pocket lining to the upper zipper tape by hand , and then sewed around the outside edges of the pocket by machine.


pocket facing slip stitched to zipper tape
   I also created a lining pattern by eliminating the curved side seam. There is an invisible zipper inserted in the center black seam in the leather.  I thought this might be tough to do but it actually was done quite easily since the stay tape kept the leather from stretching.

zippered pocket

Curved Hip dart


Skirt back


 
 

22 comments:

Carolyn (cmarie12) said...

The skirt is absolutely stunning! I love the leather/gabardine combo and it works so well with the tunic!

Rachel said...

I love that blouse and that skirt is awesome. You are so stylish. If I have to go out of town I make sure to get my laundry done first. That way when my husband decides to wash while I am gone, he will be confined to only towels and jeans :)

Amanda S. said...

Wow! I love that skirt! You are always so hip!

Gail said...

That skirt is sensational. I love leather fabric combinations but wonder about laundering them. Dry cleaning leather garments in Australia is very expensive. Any thoughts?

Vicki said...

Nice outfit. The skirt is interesting - looks good in the leather and wool. Shame about the silk blouse!

Sewingelle said...

What a fabulous outfit. That skirt is really something. Thanks for all the details on how you put it together too. So helpful.

Robyn said...

Wow - that is one sexy skirt, the seams are wonderful.

merry-one said...

I totally love the skirt and blouse. What a great way to wear a black skirt!

lsaspacey said...

WOW, WOW, WOW! That skirt is stunning and a great show of your talent. Can just imagine people's faces when they find out you made THAT!

velosewer said...

What a swish outfit. I love how you've placed the leather. Stunning work as usual.

Linda said...

I love your skirt! I mean I love, love, love it. Great job. Great pattern.

Bunny said...

That skirt design does amazing things for the bootay and it looks wonderful on you. I have the makings for some combo clothes but hesitate due to the cleaning issues. Do you know how that will be handled? This looks like a skirt that could give you years of wear.

Tia Dia said...

Wow. That skirt pocket is amazing! I feel your laundry pain. My DH learned his lesson the hard way when we were first married by washing peach towels with his dark blue denim work jumpsuit. Needless to say, he's very very careful about sorting laundry, putting them through the right cycle and hanging up the precious things. LOL

melissa said...

I utterly ADORE this skirt! I'd wear it exactly as-is in a heartbeat. In fact, I have most of a grey skin leftover from an earlier skirt, and this is a good use of an awkwardly big scrap like that. And I happen to have this old Burda issue, too! :D So thanks very much!!

The Slapdash Sewist said...

Utterly fabulous, both pieces! The zippered pocket in that curved seam is quite a triumph.

Lucia said...

Just adding to the chorus at this point, but what an incredibly cool skirt you've got there! I LOVE that curved hip dart, and your mix of materials. I wish that pattern was available for download...

DawnSSL said...

Very nice! I love that skirt.

AllisonC said...

I absolutely love the curved seams on this skirt and using the two fabrics really shows them off, fantastic skirt!

SEWN said...

I love your style. I want to have all the clothes you've made in my closet! :)

Beth (SunnyGal Studio) said...

I missed this post and just now saw it, FANTASTIC! what a great skirt.

Lynneb said...

Oh good grief...those family members. One of my male family members that I am married to ruined a favorite blouse of mine, too. But, the new tunic, the skirt? More than makes up for the mishap. They are truly beautiful pieces, Audrey. Nice play on the leather...it really creates a lovely shape to the skirt.

Jean said...

Very cool outfit! The leather and fabric combination on the skirt is just amazing.