Hustle My Bustle

As I have written before, my sewing skills are middling at best. I lack the time, and--quite honestly--the motivation, to make them much better.

Still, I'm grateful for them. They come in handy when I want to make an unusual garment for myself, to save some money by making my own curtains or pillows, or to do a quicky repair.

Today, the unusual garment in question is the fabulous Hustle Bustle Skirt by none other than Miss Twiss. I couldn't wait to get started on this project, because I was extremely curious to see how the skirt works.

I set up my machine in a convenient spot, retrieved the cut pieces of fabric, and prepared to work.


Before I could begin, there was a little prep work to do.

Make a bobbin:


Learn how to work the buttonhole feature on my sewing machine:


I have had this machine for a few years, and have yet to have a reason to make a buttonhole. There was a bit of fear connected with this. Would the feature be very fiddly, I wondered. Would I be a bundle of frustration after setting the machine?

The answer to both questions was, of course, no. I read the machine's instructions (twice) double checked all the settings, and then worked step by step to make my very first buttonhole. I made a few more practice buttonholes, and felt I was ready to begin.

I worked through Laura's instructions. I decided to eliminate the ruffle. In fact, I didn't cut the ruffle away from the skirt body when I prepared the pattern pieces. Instead, I incorporated its length into the body of the skirt.

I also added a simple lining of white muslin. I attached this lining to the skirt's waistband, and allowed it to hang freely inside. I think that this will give the skirt fabric more "oomph" without making it look heavy.

[Note to self: the next time that you cut out a skirt lining, cut it just a few inches shorter than the skirt body.]

I sewed the side seams, marked and created the buttonholes, then I folded and pressed the waistband. Sewing is all about pressing those lines into the fabric. Once I had the fold lines pressed down, it was simply a matter of topstitching the waistband:


I added the topstitching. It's not necessary, but I thought that it worked well with the fabric.

Then it came time for the tie. If, like me, you look at those tie-pulling instructions and think "Huh?" Relax. It's simply a way of pulling the tie rightside out as you sew, thus eliminating the challenge of turning it rightside out after it is sewn.


Eventually you will have pulled through enough of the tie so that you can begin pulling on the fabric and not that flimsy thread. One word of caution: be very careful that you don't sew the tie to itself as you pull it through. I had one close call, after which I made sure that the pulled-through tie was as far away as possible from the seam.

One other change I made was to double the length of the tie. I wanted a decent sized bow with which to tie the skirt, and the extra length was necessary. If you planned to use a square knot (or, let's be honest, had a teenier waist than mine) this would not be necessary. As I was sewing, I thought that a grosgrain ribbon would make a fantastic alternative to a matching tie.

Right about then, my patience was shot. It's not that the pattern was frustrating. (Quite the opposite. This is a very straightforward project.) It's that my patience is easily shootable. Thus, hemming and a modeling photo must wait until tomorrow.


it's coming along very nicely! looks like you'll have a new skirt before the holiday is over!

The fabric is so beautiful, it almost makes me want to start sewing again.

Your topstitching looks great! Can't wait to see how it all turns out.

I am so jealous! I can NEVER get my buttonholes to look that good! Of course, my machine is an ancient Singer. And I really like the fabric, btw. I think the skirt will be wonderful!

Looking good! Can't wait to see the final results.

See I'ed just make the tie out of really pretty silk ribbon, cuz those tie instructions are always just a big "huh?"

Hey, love those close-up photos. Your buttonholes look great. (I love my button-holer. lol) Very nice job with all the topstitching.

Oh my! This is gorgeous... Now I want to sew this pattern!

Can't wait to see the finished product--the progress photos look wonderful!

Love the "action" pic of the bobbin winding! I am never smhaaaat enough to wind enough bobbins before I start.

Great fabric for this project, good luck finishing!

The fabric is really interesting and the skirt will look nice and summer-y, I think. You're just adding to why I want a sewing machine! Can't wait to see you finish.

Ah, that's lovely. Sadly, I cannot sew. Can't wait to see the finished skirt!

As a professional dressmaker, I commend your methods, your practice buttonholes set you apart from the novices and your topstitching is perfect. I think knitters know enough about attention to detail and should not be afraid of sewing .

it's lookin' great colleen!! your topstitching is very even and you've accomplished a lot for just one day. i always take more than one day to sew anything. cut one day, sew another, finish on a third. it takes a lot of patience! but it's all worth it in the end.

Great documentary! I love the photos, the fabric is beautiful and i love your commentary. I'm sorry about your patience, I do look forward to seeing your completed skirt.

Wow, what a coincidence!! I read about the Hustle Bustle skirt on another blog, decided I HAD to try and make it, despite having the sewing skills of a 5 year old, and then Miss Twist pointed me towards your blog to see the prgoress you had made, and Ive been so busy these days that I havent read you blog in a (wee) while!And here you are, in the middle of making the skirt..

Where is the model shot? Great fabric!

I'm not surprised that you altered the ruffle. It's gonna be fabulous.

I love buttonholes. I rarely sew, but I find them so entertaining.
Your skirt is going to be so lovely; the fabric is really great.

Oh, the suspense!! Your sewing skills are an order of magnitude greater than mine. :)

Maybe yes-maybe no, maybe sex- I don't know....My nick is ChicaSensual20...I'm naughty and playful.......wanna see me on my page? page!!!


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