After about viewing number 7 I realised I was going to have to bring out the big guns. In the process of finding my lucky shirt and my dream home, what I actually seemed to discover was a load of unlucky shirts; some damp bathrooms, some spooky neighbours, some suspect rendering and a spider with legs longer than mine. I needed more than just a lucky shirt, so that’s when the suede skirt came into action.
What didn’t scream summer to me though was the burgundy suede I found at the Identity Store leather sale. Imagining the sweat dripping down the small of my back where my leather waistband would meet my skin made me feel a bit anxious, so it was no surprise I waited a month or so before unrolling the suede on the studio floor and having a look just how mini the mini skirt would have to be.
The pattern I used (Simplicity 1370) was a safe bet really. I had used it to make my skort so I could already anticipate the depth of the waistband and where exactly I was going to have to take the pattern in. I did make a toile as I had no intention of slicing through my Matlock booty without a tester. I found the zip could do with being about 1 inch longer to accommodate my er... booty, but when it came to it the shop didn’t have a burgundy invisible zipper in the length I needed so I opted for the length the pattern suggested, and vowed to cut down on the honeycomb ice cream.
I thought I was going to have to use a different fabric for the waistband lining but with some clever manoeuvring of my pattern pieces I just about managed to get the skirt to fit my fabric. I found a perfect match lining fabric at Hillsborough with a slight iridescence to it. There are no instructions in the pattern for adding a lining, but I did it in the simplest way possible – cutting the same skirt piece, making the darts into pleats or little ‘tucks’ at the raw edge to allow for a bit more wiggle room, attaching to the waistband facing and then it came to the zipper, turning wrongside out then stitching close to the zip teeth with a zip foot attachment.
As the suede was so thick, I did not add any stitch in the ditch around the waistband and the lining just seems to sit sweetly where it needs to. I thought the bulk was going to cause a few problems at the intersecting seams by the zipper.. It didn’t seem so happy the first few runs and I thought for longer than a moment that I was either going to a) break the zipper or b) toss it in the ‘never to be looked at again’ pile. It did seem to ease up though, so fingers crossed no zippy breakages are on the horizon for me.
The main issue sewing with suede is darts. I like to use a layer of pattern paper or tissue paper between the fabric and foot to allow the machine to glide more smoothly over the surface and not drag. It can be really hard to see your stitching line when you have another layer blocking your makings… just as I reach the dart point it ALWAYS seems to drag and stretch just a little! So frustrating! But it has spurred me on to make this skirt again in a woven to get those dart points perfected haha.
Instead of hemming I did a long straight stitch around the bottom as a kind of finish/stay stitch just to neaten things up a bit.
On completion of the skirt I teamed it with this McCalls 7472 Raglan shirt and went to buy a house. Happy dais.
Location: Loxley Valley
Currently listening to: Misery Loves Company, Mystic Braves