Friday, October 21, 2011

Another Weird Skirt & and a Great, Basic Top

While I was visiting Fredericksburg, TX  this past July, I learned about a great fabric store in nearby Kerrville.  Having never been to Kerrville, despite living in San Antonio  for 4 years, I decided to make the side trip.  The store, Creations, is a wonderful source of mostly quilting fabrics, but, also of garment fabric, patterns, books, and inspiration.  Plus, they have a shop-cat that fetches faxes.  He, alone, is worth the trip.

I found some wonderful rayon challis in a print to make of a pattern I had bought at Expo last year, and a coordinating solid for a top.  The wonderfully helpful staff talked me into buying a pattern for the top.  I can't remember the last time I paid full-price for a pattern!!   I drove away cursing myself for paying $15.00 for a pattern that makes a cap-sleeved top in 3 lengths, and nothing more.  It turned out to be totally worth the price.  Designed by the folks at The Batik Butik, the Kintamani Top & Tunic, is simple, elegant, versatile.  Designed to make the most of the very type fabric I had purchased, I shall, nonetheless, make this again of silk charmeuse, handkerchief linen, silk muslin, bamboo jersey, Japanese lawn, etc. & etc.  {yes, I know  -- that's redundant  --  you get my point}. Besides being a great, basic design, the pattern instructions feature some wonderful construction techniques, that will show up in many more of my garments - regardless the pattern's origins.  For instance:  for the neck facings, one is instructed to sew only one of the shoulder seams in the facing, (both shoulder seams have all ready been sewn in the garment), attach the facing from open seam around to open seam, and then sew the seam.  For a perfectly flat, round  neck edge, the traditional 5/8in seam might not turn out to be 5/8 in. Doing it this way insures a facing that lies flat, regardless the drape or 'give' of the fabric.  It sounded weird, but worked perfectly.  One caveat:  is is sized for extreme comfort  --  read:  BIG.  Next time, I shall cut at least one size smaller than the size chart advises.  That said:  it is comfortable!!!

The skirt is weird in both its design and construction.  But, you know, I like weird.
From L.J.Designs, the Chardonnay Skirt attracted me at first sight.  It drapes, it glides, it swishes, and it has a deep front flounce.  Turns out  --  the flounce hides the zipper.  Weirdest zipper insertion ever!!!
The skirt is constructed of one piece of fabric.  That's right:  one. So, when the info on the back of the envelope gives yardage requirements for 54in and 60in wide fabric  --  there's a very good reason.  The single piece cut on the fold means that while the center back is on the straight grain, the front flounce cum zipper is on the bias.  Now:  this gets interesting!!!
Careful marking of darts and zip line is a must!!!  You will want tracing paper for this.
When I got to the point of inserting the zipper, I read the instructions through several times, not quite comprehending.  When am I supposed to cut the fabric for the zipper to open???  Eventually, I decided to just do it, carefully, step-by-step, and hope it worked out.  Of course, it did.  One doesn't ever cut the fabric, because each half of the zipper is sewn to the center front, allowing the fabric to the side of the zipper to cascade into the flounce.

Below the zipper, the fabric is left open in a de facto slit.   Greater modesty can be had by using a zipper longer  than the 18in one called for.  However, on me (I am 5ft, 7in tall), the opening began only a little above the knee, and the skirt is full enough to not ride up when I sit.  again:  worked perfectly.
My new ensemble is comfortable, colorful, and eclectic enough to be interesting without getting myself talked about too much.
I hope.
Well  --  maybe.

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