A New Skirt (Almost)

Subway Knitter doesn't knit on the beach, and she doesn't sew on the subway (Could you imagine?) She sews at home, on weekends (Among other things. I don't want anyone to get the idea that I sit home--alone--doing nothing but clipping seam allowances and turning hems all weekend every weekend. No, no, no!)

Last Saturday, I pulled out my machine to work on this skirt. I bought the fabric during one of my March jaunts to New York.

Making the skirt proved not too challenging. Overall I had some trouble with this raw silk. The fabric frays like...like, well I don't know what it frays like, but it frays a lot and quickly. I made an executive decision to change the direction of the pattern pieces on the fabric (I wanted the lines in the raw silk to run vertically, nor horizontally) and that might have contributed to the fraying. I had some trouble closing seam below the zipper because the seam allowance frayed to the point where there almost wasn't enough fabric to make the seam. I fixed this by sewing a second seam from the hem to the zipper that was about 1/8th of an inch further in. Fortunately that worked just fine.


I'm rather proud of the way that this zipper looks, or rather doesn't. Another successfully invisible zipper! This one wasn't any less challenging than the first, but I think that the result is slightly better (just slightly). If anyone's curious, I used these instructions.

I also added a lining.


Miraculously I remembered to position the pattern pieces so that the stripes matched before I cut them. Usually a detail like that would have been an afterthought for me. The result is a series of mostly matched stripes (the seam on the right is a little off).

I had some trouble with the waistband. Despite cutting the fabric to the size indicated by the pattern piece (and I checked, twice) the waistband wouldn't fit around the skirt. Luckily I had some extra fabric and interfacing and I was able to cut out a second, longer, waistband. The second time I added too much extra length and ended up cutting off some from each end. No biggie. All's well that ends well in sewing.


Not bad for one afternoon. I figure that I spent about $35 to $40 on this project (including the fabric, pattern and notions). That's definitely cheaper than anything that I could have bought. (Anyway, I challenge you to find a simple, A-line silk skirt at any price these days.) Only the finishing remains. I do like the look of the lining peeking out from under the hem, but if I want a little splash of something down there I'll attach some lace, or perhaps a ruffle in some purple fabric. The stripes might match, but the repeats certainly don't, and I know that I would focus on that detail every time I wear this skirt.


What a wonderful job! I think it is a great project; especially for warm weather wearing--pheww say that 5x fast. Congrats

So very pretty! Wish I could sew! I guess I maybe could (though not necessarily well) if I tried, but one thing at a time. I can barely knit or walk without tripping for that matter!

Really cute skirt, Colleen. And that color is a great neutral. You should get a lot of wear out of that $40 silk beauty!

looks great! i love the choice of colors and fabrics.

What a pretty skirt, great job :)

Looks Great! Seriously you can NOT find a simple A line skirt anywhere these days. I cling tightly to my favorite and constantly consider trying to duplicate it.

Cutting it against the grain probably did add to the ravelling a bit, but it's always an issue with shantung and dupioni.

Anyone that can sew is automatically super smart in my book, way to go!!

A really GOOD pair of pinking shears might help to "defray" the fray on future projects. The skirt is lovely! I know what you mean about finding a simple, but elegant skirt anymore.

Oh, yeah! Check into French or flat felled seams - not do-able on the zipper seam (fabulous job, btw) but a good fix for those ravelly fabrics that look so good but are heck to work with. I had some good luck with the "Seams Great" seam binding on a zipper seam also - time consuming, but it stopped some duppioni silk from causing me to run shrieking into the street...ah, me, the joys of craft!

Wow! That was so quick! I love the lining :)
Much faster than the matching top, right? Knitting can be so slow :(

When using a fabric that frays easily, use "fraycheck" on all edges right after cutting each piece. That should solve your problem. :)

I love the lining so much, I came to peek again. I like the way it peeks out. I'd commission you to make one. It's awesome.


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