AMY’S SKIRT WITH FLOUNCE – (DECEMBER 2013)
For my second Minerva Crafts Blogger Network garment I choose something classic and simple. A red tartan skirt with flounce. I adore red tartan and it’s perfect for the holiday season. The best thing about tartan is it fits into any fashion world: preppy, sophisticated and even punk rock!
I choose McCall’s M5523 – Misses’ Skirts and went with view B which has the pleats in the back.
I know exactly why I wanted to make this – Gwen Stefani. Shocker, huh? If you don’t know already I’m inspired (okay, maybe obsessed) with Gwen’s fashion and her fashion line L.A.M.B.. The only bad part is that it’s very expensive and I can’t really afford much – it’s a good thing I can sew! This skirt is somewhat based upon this gorgeous dress that I’ve been lusting over for years:
Okay, enough about my obsession – onto the skirt and pattern! This pattern is crazy easy and super simple. My measurements at the time of making this were: 28-38 which says I should be a size 14 but I went with a 12 instead. I wanted it to be very form fitting and flattering. I’d say it turned out just right, any tighter and I would rip the bum!
The hardest part about this project was the tartan print. Matching plaids can be a huge pain – but oh so worth it. Overall it’s really not too hard, it’s just time consuming. I made sure to iron my fabric beforehand and lay it out flat on the floor. I matched up the plaids on the top and sides and pinned them into place. I also matched up the rows that I was laying my pattern pieces on. Make sure you have all the pattern pieces matching the plaids in the same places on the sides, this way when you sew it up they’ll match all around:
I got most of mine to match up. I did search Google for tartan skirts for sale online and my matching looked better than half of the ones on there – so I felt pretty good about myself. Don’t drive yourself mad trying to match them up – just have fun with it! I took a few pictures of how I did mine. I would first put the pin through the top of the fabric on a plaid line and next check if it was in the same spot on the back of the fabric and the plaid line:
The other part that may be a little hard was the invisible zipper. But I found the secret to making it 100% easy: buy an invisible zipper foot. I swear, it’s fantastic and SO WORTH IT! I found one online for half of what my local Brother dealer wanted (Amazon: Brother Invisible Foot). It was painless to learn too – I got it on the first try! Also, I’d like to note that the zipper that comes with the kit is 9 inches instead of 7 inches. Make sure you take that into consideration when inserting it. I just deducted 2 inches from the bottom of the metal part and went from there.
The hem was simple. First I used my serger to overlock the edges of the fabric. Next I used my hem gauge ruler and iron, I choose to do a 1 inch hem line, no real reason why – just sounded good. After that I sewed the hem using a blind hem stitch, then ironed everything flat. I did have to re-iron the pleats to make sure they looked crisp.
The picture above also shows that I used pinking shears on all of the edges. This fabric does tend to fray so make sure you either use pinking shears, overlock the edges or use bias tape.
Overall I recommend this pattern very highly and the tartan fabric was fantastic. If you are looking for a great skirt pattern get this one. It only took about 10 hours to sew and half the time was matching plaid and being overly worried about it being perfect. Everything you need is in my kit and I’m sure I’ll be going back to this pattern again and again!
And – as always – I can’t model anything I’ve made without Guinness making an appearance! He still has his pajamas on – yes, I’m that crazy person who puts their dog in clothes