Until I made this skirt, I hadn't inserted an invisible zipper in EIGHT years. It's probably been just as long since I wore short skirts regularly, too—I got into a rut in 2005 when I decided all skirts MUST BE KNEE LENGTH.
But that is old news now because I LOVE my new Hummingbird Orange denim skirt AND I inserted the invisible zipper with no issues on the first try with help from a little video tutorial linked in the pattern.
But screw zippers. What I really love about this skirt is the fit. Which is, well, PERFECT.
And now that I have a perfect fitting woven skirt, it just emphasizes how ill-fitting most of my RTW woven skirts are—gaping at the back waist, droopy in the rear.
While the body image warrior in me wants to be cranky and ask why that should be a compliment, I do think it points to the perks of wearing well-fitting, flattering clothing. (And no, I haven't lost weight—in fact I've gained quite a bit thanks to oral steroids I had to take while I was ill. But thank you anyway.)
I also love:
- The smartphone-sized panel pockets, just right for my so-old-it-can't-run-any-apps first generation Apple iPod Touch. Of course I lined my Hummingbird Orange pockets in, well orange:
- My striped piped seams (try saying that five times fast)—they look like a dotted line! Yes I should have made them more even and no, I don't care. I cut 1 1/2" wide strips, pressed them in half, and basted them to one edge of the fabric (raw edges to raw edge) before stitching the seams:
Anyway, on to the juicy details:
The pattern: Cake Patterns Hummingbird Peplum Top and Straight Skirt 0289. (Disclosure: I draw illustrations and flats for Cake, but I don't get paid to sew, blog or otherwise promote Cake!)
Pattern Sizing: Full hip sizes ranging from 35"-57", with waist size cut by actual size. I cut the size 40" with a 30" waist. (My full hips are 38.5" and my waist is 29").
There is a "fit check" step in the instructions where you baste the side seams to check and adjust fit, and I ended up taking in the waist by about 3/4" on each side (or 3" total), the hips about 1" (4" total) and the waistband about 3". This is mainly because I was working with a stretch woven—I think in a plain woven I would have taken out half that. After that, it fit PERFECTLY and I made no adjustments to the darts or anything else.
The skirt is designed for this side-seam adjustment, and can be taken in up to 1" on each piece (4" total) without distorting the pocket design. Here's a photo of me pinning the waist and hips in to fit—can you see the chalk and pins?
Fabric: All from the stash, aren't I a good girl?
- Dark pinstriped black stretch denim I've had since high school—less than a yard.
- Scraps of orange stretch cotton sateen for the pockets from a $1/yard FabricMart sale three years ago.
- Bits of gray and white cotton/lycra blend knit, $6/yard from Spandex House a long time ago (also used for panties and my Tiramisu test top).
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I added flat knit piping to the front and waist seams to create a dotted line effect. If the piping hadn't been so uncooperative and shifty I would have gone all out and done the pockets and side seams too, as in this lovely Milly skirt.
Wear for: Work (with flats or boots) or weekend (though maybe not going down a slide on the playground or riding a bike?) and definitely for a date with the husband.
- My first invisible zipper in EIGHT years. Smooth and perfect!:
- First time attempting flat piping—it totally works, even though it's not perfectly even.
- Second waistband EVER. (I used a hook and eye closure).
- First time sewing with stretch wovens. I used a small zigzag stitch (1 mm wide, 2 mm long) for most seams to prevent popping.
References used (in addition to instructions of course):
- Marcy Tilton's The Easy Guide to Sewing Skirts. LOVE this very thorough book and the whole series.
- Claire Schaefer's High-Fashion Sewing Secrets from the World's Best Designers. For piping instructions.
- Sandra Betzina's More Fabric Savvy. For tips on sewing with stretch wovens.
- Steph's invisible zipper video tutorial and straight waistband photo tutorial.
I can't wait to make my next pencil-style Hummingbird "Pink" with fancy back tailfeather flounce during the sewalong (join us! orange envelopes are in my House!), in a nubbly turquoise linen blend from ancient stash.
So, do you wear short skirts? How short is too short for work (or equivalent social settings?)
P.P.S. Notice the new red flats, after my agonized blog post on my search for bright and comfortable shoes? Little Z calls them my "Dorothy shoes!"