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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Alabama Skirt

I finished the Alabama Skirt last night, missing the summer but at least I can wear it through most of the fall.
I'm excited to have it finished, although it was a learning process. When I make the next one (ha!) I will:
1) Redraw the pattern onto something sturdy but pinnable, perhaps muslin.
2) Shorten the pattern more. Even though I chopped a couple of inches off while redrafting the pattern, it is too long, and I can't trim any more off without cutting into the applique.
3) Find a better way to draw the lines of the pattern onto jersey. The marking tools I had, no matter how smooth, still caught on and dragged the fine knit, making it impossible to draw a clean line. I ended up cutting around the pattern freehand, which led to very uneven seam allowances.
4) Remember to stencil the design a bit higher in the front, since the front should be hemmed (i.e., cut) two inches shorter than the back.
5) Experiment with using pearl cotton for the applique. It might not be as strong as the upholstery thread, but I think it also won't tangle or come undone as much. Plus I'll have a better choice of colors.
6) Really, really pay attention to basting the top of the panels so as to not stretch out the waist. I did baste, but I forgot I had done that when, after sewing the four panels together, I pulled the skirt over my hips to check the fit. I heard the basting stitches snap, but not until I sewed the elastic on did I realize the damage -- a whole four extra inches in the waist. And I had gone through such trouble to redraft the waist in the first place, sigh. I unpicked the back of the waistband and put in two tucks at the two back seams. It's not really noticeable because I don't tuck in my tops, but still. Grr.

It's a comfy skirt, though, and moves nicely.

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