After organizing, came the hard part - deciding what to actually cut out and sew to get this year going. Out of that big stack of 40 potential projects, I waffled back and forth but finally went with something simple. And nothing is easier than an elastic waist knit skirt!
Well, turns out that my knitwear skills are a little rusty and the project I thought would be two hours turned into about 6. Most of my time was spent tweaking settings on my serger and the coverstitch machine (I've only had it a couple of months ago and I'm still getting the hang of) and practicing over and over on scraps to get the tension and stitches to finally look nice.
The actual pattern was simple to sew and the instructions easy to follow (though I changed the order of construction a bit to use my coverstitch machine on the hem before sewing the second side seam). I sewed 90% of the skirt with my serger, used a coverstitch machine for the hem and waistband casing, and my regular machine to sew the elastic ends together and baste the waistband casing in place.
My main concern was getting the hem to look decent because the fabric wanted to curl up a bit.
I ironed in 1/2" wide strips of Steam-A-Seam to get the hem to lie flat while I coverstitched the hem. It seems to give the hem a little more weight as well which I hope will help it continue to hang nicely even after washing and not be weird. It's also my first time using Steam-A-Seam with knit jersey.
Not thinking fully through all of the construction steps, I ended up coverstitching the waistband casing closed in the round last (and praying it looked nice and the coverstitching wouldn't unravel) rather than coverstitching first and then sewing up the side. I first ironed the waistband down and then basted the waistband almost all the way closed on my regular sewing machine. After inserting the elastic and sewing the elastic ends together, I sewed the double rows of stitching with my coverstitch machine (Janome CoverPro 1000CP) and secured the stitching by overlapping with the beginning stitches for about an inch and then pulling the threads through to the back and under the stitching.
I realized after cutting out my fabric that directional prints will look very interesting on the flounce part of the skirt. So the side of the skirt end up having the print run horizontally. Oh well. I figured if it came out looking terrible, it would still be a good practice for another skirt. In the end though, I think the skirt looks fine and I don't mind the wonky direction the print took in the flounce.
Took longer than intended but now that it's finished I love how comfortable it is, but pretty and feminine. The flounce gives the skirt a little something special I think and I'll definitely use the pattern again this year. And that was my first clothing project of the year!
These are the best shots I could get with my eight year old assistant's help. This indoor one had terrible lighting but it's the only one you can see my feet in, which I wanted so that you can get a feel for the length of the skirt. It falls about 4 inches past my knee and is a very comfortable length. I think for summer, I might make another skirt and shorten it to hit right at the knees though. This next outdoor shot shows the color spot on. I just love the different blues mixed up together in the print!
Shortened the recommended elastic length by about 4 inches. Only folded down the elastic waistband 1.25" rather than 1.5".
Janome CoverPro 1000 CP Coverstitch
Used narrow left (3mm) setting
Left needle tension 3.75, right needle tension 3.75, looper tension 3.0
Differential feed 1.0, stitch length 3.0
Needles: Schmetz system ELx705, 80/12
Bernina B530 Sewing Machine
Needle: Schmetz Jersey Ballpoint 130/705, 80/12
January 10, 2013