12 December 2012

Twirling your blue skirts

Hello out there!

So way back in August I mentioned my plans to sew up a skirt. Since I never actually wear skirts and since I generally prefer pants (yes, I know. these are fantastic reasons for making a skirt) I figured that my future skirt would be a no-frills kind of deal. You know, neutral or cool colours, clean and crisp lines, and a sensible twill fabric.

Something like this, maybe, except more pared-down:

Instead I ended up cutting skirt pieces out of peach satin of all things--peach satin with a vaguely floral jacquard pattern, what's more. I'm not sure what happened.

Thankfully, unlike my last attempt at florals, I like what I've worked on so far. And really, by my standards, I've been going all out on this project.

I used silk thread so as to lessen puckering:

Left: polyester thread. Right: silk thread.

Yes, it really works:

And since it's basically an eight-paneled skirt (though really there are more than eight panels, you'll see), I used french seams on all the vertical seams between panels:

Here's what the skirt looked like from the inside, spread flat with the panels sewn together along their lengths:

The "split" panels aren't fully lined. The "top to bottom" panels are.

Half the panels were split horizontally, so there was a narrower "waist and hip" section attached to a wider "leg" section. This way I got a close-fitting upper section that neatly angled out to a flaring bottom section (you can probably tell that these "split" panels have a wider bottom hem than their "top to bottom" counterparts).

I also added a plain broadcloth on the inside, which makes this skirt a tiny bit more practical for winter weather, and also gives it a little more body.

Actually, I'm further along on this skirt than these pictures show, having sewn up the last vertical seam and inserted the zipper. But since I'm in my last year of undergrad I haven't had much time to sew (or blog!) this fall, so I still haven't gotten around to doing the waistband or the 70-something-inches-long hem.

I really don't want to sew up that hem.


By the way, the post title is from John Crowe Ransom's "Blue Girls". Working in Tenessee in the early 1900s, Ransom wrote poems that were restrained and carefully structured, if a little quirky on occasion. His poems were probably old-fashioned even when he was writing, but I think some of them are definitely worth reading. (I'll admit that "Blue Girls" is not one my favourites.) Poems like "Bells for John Whiteside's Daughter" and "Dead Boy" give a sense of someone looking straight at grief with a hard-earned steadiness and practicality. You can find them here and here.

Also I do realize my skirt isn't blue, but I had a green sketch, peach photos--why not have 'blue' in the title. We've got all your colours covered on this blog.


  1. Sewing the hem is the best part (worst part) of sewing a skirt!

    1. Yeah, I can imagine ...want to do this one for me? :)?