Thursday, June 13, 2013

Sewing Project: DIY Chevron Maxi Skirt

A few months ago, I received this dreamy yellow striped knit in a bargain box from Girl Charlee. I had nearly 5 yards, so I knew that if I had any ambitious projects to try, this fabric was what I should use! I'm not going to post a full tutorial for how to make this skirt, since Amy at Nap Time Crafters recently did one as part of Skirt Week. The hardest part is 1) knowing how much fabric you'll need and 2) mirroring your pieces properly. Once you get that part figured out, it's simple!

Originally, I desperately wanted to recreate this dress I posted about on Monday:

It's the same concept, stripes at an angle all around the skirt. In my case, the concept wasn't the problem, the yardage was the issue. You lose so much usable fabric when you cut on an angle like that! I don't remember my exact calculations, but whatever they were, 5 yards wasn't going to be enough. Boo. Instead, I made two panels front and back and did a simplified version. I started with the skirt pattern pieces from New Look 6097. Remember that lovely wrap dress?

I liked the skirt a lot, it has pockets and was simple to construct. I lengthened it to the floor and added a waistband, but otherwise it's the same skirt. The pockets show on the outside, so I cut those with the stripes going horizontally. Completely by accident, it kind of looks like I was trying to match up the stripes!

For one more layer of detail, I cut the waistband with the stripes going vertically. The waistband is essentially an oversized elastic casing.

I mentioned this in my post about the Chevron Hem Skirt, but my serger is worth the price if all it did was match stripes. If you're careful when you cut, then you don't even have to pin! Just put the two layers of fabric into the serger with the first few stripes matched up, and the whole thing stays that way. I *heart* my serger (if you're in the market, keep an eye on that link, the price on Amazon has been dropping lately!). And if you have a serger but are afraid of it, then sign up for this class on Craftsy (I did!) and be afraid no more.

For the hem, I decided to try something new and attempted to blind hem it with my machine. My machine has a stitch for blind hemming on knits...but apparently that doesn't mean it's foolproof. I had the worst time trying to get my folds to neatly slide through the foot, which meant it wasn't catching the fold properly. It would have been much easier with a woven fabric, so I'll try it again some other time. After a few frustrating tries with it, I took off the blind hem foot, kept my fabric folded as if I would blind hem, and used a zig-zag stitch. A blind hem stitch is essentially the same as a zig-zag, just exaggerated.

Inside view

Outside view

It's different. It gives it some visual interest and some weight to the hem. Will I do it again on a knit? Probably not. But it's the trying that counts! How will you know what techniques you like unless you try? 

Now that this skirt is done, I'm having trouble finding colors to wear that go with it. I'm thinking it might get turned into a dress...stay tuned!

Today for Thrifty Thursday, get the Reversible Bucket Hat pattern for only $2.50! And you won't believe the cuteness of the new Anchors Aweigh Sailor Dress and Sailor Romper. Buy both and use code "ahoy" for $3 off. Check them out at Peek-A-Boo Pattern Shop!

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