A Wrong Cut Turned Into A Beautiful Piece of Art
Daniela Gutierrez of On The Cutting Floor had a call for testers of her Flora Skirt pattern. I took a look at the pattern but wasn't too terribly impressed and thought "not my cup of tea". I am teaching a young lady to sew and when she came for class I thought this pattern might work for her. I showed her the picture and asked if she liked the skirt and she said yes. I told her I would make it for her and answered the tester call once again.
Boy was I wrong. This skirt is deceiving and absolutely beautiful. The picture on the cover does not do it justice. If I could fit the skirt I made for my sewing student she never would have gotten - now I have to make me one. I made View B.
How I Did ItAll fabric came from my current stash - hooray! Once I decided to sew this skirt I wanted to use 3 different colors of denim - one for the main front/back, one for the bottom back, and 2 for the bottom front. After looking at my stash I could only find once suitable denim.
I cut the pattern out, made a quick muslin, and had my model try it on. The skirt was extremely long and I knew I would need to take in the waist some, but otherwise it fit perfectly.
I needed to remove 7 1/2 " from the length so I split it between the main piece and the bottom pieces. Altering the pattern pieces for the length was challenging and time consuming. I turned to "Pattern Fitting with Confidence" by Nancy Zieman but it was still difficult because I had to ensure I did not compromise the seam edges and there were no lengthen/shorten lines noted on the pattern. I managed to get it done.
|Altered Pattern Pieces|
I started stitching the pattern pieces together and realized there was an issue because I did not flip the pattern when cutting. I had this same issue with the muslin but since it was a muslin I just flipped the muslin to the "wrong" side and made it work. Muslin of course don't have a right or wrong side so I gave no thought to it.
I needed to re-cut the back side of the skirt but I did not have enough fabric now. I went into panic mode and by God's grace remembered I had some other denim scraps in the bottom of the closet. I checked my scraps and none of them were big enough to re-cut the pieces I needed. I then stumbled onto another bag in the bottom of my closet and I found a piece of denim that I put at the bottom of my closet in a dark bag because I hated it but could not bring myself to throw it away since I had paid for it.
Initially I bought the denim because it spoke to me in the fabric store but when I got it home and realized it would not work for the project intended I decided I hated and threw it in the bottom of my closet never to be seen again.
When I pulled it out I realized it would be perfect for this skirt and for the first time in my sewing history I was ecstatic that I had made a mistake. But for the wrong cut and not enough fabric to re-cut I would not have re-discovered this fabric already in my stash.
|Close Up of Top Stitching|
|Main Skirt Front and Bottom Left and Right|
|Main Skirt Back and Bottom|
As I started to put the pieces together I could see this skirt would be something extraordinary because of the design and the fabric. The front of the skirt had a main top piece (navy blue) and 2 bottom pieces show above already stitched together and topped stitched with Sulky Blendable 30wt Cotton Thread. The pattern called for optional top stitching 3/8" on both sides of the seam. Since I used a serger I only topped stitched 1/4" on one side of the seam. I initially tried 3/8" top stitching but did not like it so I decreased it to 1/4".
|Interfaced Zipper Area|
|Zipper Hand Basted|
|Zipper Machine Stitched|
|Waistband Under Stitching|
Instead of turning the waistband facing under and stitching in place I serger finished the edge. I did not fold it under. From the right side I stitched in the ditch of the waistband to secure the waistband facing. This way works better for me - I never have to worry if I am catching the inside facing as I am stitching in the ditch and it looks professional because the edge are serger finished. Unfortunately I forgot to take a picture and I have already given the recipient the skirt.
|Right Side of Pocket|
|Wrong Side of Pocket|
|Pocket Stitched Onto Front and Back of Skirt|
|Left and Right Strap|
The strap caused me some frustration. The right strap was way out of proportion to the waistband - it was wider and longer than the front of the skirt. I cut it down and afterwards realized I had cut it too short and hand to re-cut it again. After playing with the placement I finally found what looked good to me (see pictures above). I topped stitched with Sulky Blendable Cotton Thread.
For the hem I decided on another deviation shown above. Instead of turning under twice I serged the edge with YLI Crown Pearl Rayon thread. To hide the thread tails I used a yarn needle with a large eye opening and threaded about an inch of the tail on the wrong side under the stitches and cut off the excess.
ConclusionI was totally and pleasantly surprised with the outcome of this skirt. I had to work through some issues but I am so glad I did. I never would have imagined that a wrong cut would turn into a beautiful piece of art - that is what this skirt is to me.
Below I have included finished pictures of the skirt and the model. After reviewing the pictures, I realized that I may have taken in the waistband a little too much. I see some "stress" areas but I am not quite sure if it was caused by something else.
I was so excited to see her excitement with the finished product that I just started taking pictures. I would have liked to check the fit after putting in the zipper but I did not have time. Anyway I LOVE IT, SHE LOVES IT, and that's what matters to me.