Friday, February 10, 2012

Study Hall Skirt by Anna Maria Horner

I've had a blouse pinned and ready to sew for the past two weeks, and a purchased blouse that needs some darts sewn in, but for some reason I decided to leave these two half-finished projects and make the Study Hall Skirt.

My friend loaned me the pattern at least 6 months ago and it's just sat on my sewing desk. I took the pattern out and sat it on the TV in our bedroom for a few weeks. Then I chose my fabrics, put them underneath the pattern, and left them there for another few weeks. Husband finally asked me why all 'that sewing crap' was sitting on the telly and I finally decided to pull my finger out.

There are a lot of pieces to cut out, but it uses surprisingly little fabric. The pattern says to overlock all the edges before sewing, and I'm glad I did that and not my usual method of, "Oh, I can't be bothered, I'll just do it my way". The first sewing step is to attach the invisible zip. I didn't have one, so I had to make a special trip to Spotlight to buy one. I started sewing the next day. Having never used an invisible zip, it took me about 45 minutes, and the end result looked good. Until I zipped it up and the bastard got jammed. Totally jammed. It wouldn't move up and wouldn't move down. So the following weekend saw another trip to Spotlight just to get a bloody invisible zip. It only took about 20 minutes this time and I think it turned out quite well.

The skirt took aaaaages to sew. I originally wanted to finish it on Monday night so I could wear it to work on Tuesday. Then I tried for Wednesday night. I spent another 1.5 hours on it today and it's finished- except I need to hand sew the edge of the waist facing to the zipper tape. I'm putting that off for as long as I can because I HATE hand sewing.

Pattern used: Anna Maria Horner 'Study Hall' skirt

Does it look like the drawing on the pattern/ envelope?

Were the instructions easy to follow?
Yes, very. The pattern explains all the steps in detail. It's good for beginner sewists.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I found the sizing a bit off. I have a 26 inch waist so I cut the XS, which is for a 27" waist. However, before I sewed the side seams, I pinned them and tried it on and it was too small. So I made my seam allowance a bit smaller on the side seams. It's still a bit on the small side so I have to wear it a bit higher than I would like for a skirt with no waistband.

Fabrics and notions
Everything except the zipper was already in my stash. I think the floral fabric is some kind of drill and the green one is definitely a drill.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made
Ooooh, lots! I decided before I started sewing that I was going to run a line of stitching right on the edge of each pleat fold. I love pleated skirts, but I HATE ironing the pleats in, and I find that the creases tend to disappear in the wash and you constantly have to try to put the creases back in the same spot. The result looks pretty good, but I did it on the back before I hemmed it, and realised I should have waited until after I'd pressed up the hem. Did I bother fixing it? Ummm, no, it's on the back, so who cares? Not me!

Stitches on the pleat edges.

The pattern said to secure the waist facing by hand sewing a few stitches on the wrong side at each seam. Was I going to bother threading a hand needle? Heck no. So I came up with the BRILLIANT idea of stitching in the ditch from the right side on each seam.

Wrong side of facing with the securing stitches.

Lastly, I found that the whole garment was a little on the short side, and I certainly didn't want to lose any length by making a double fold hem, so I used bias binding on the hem. I've never done that before, and I have no idea if this is the way you are supposed to do it, but I think it looks good!

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I would sew it again, but probably only once. It took a lot longer than I would like to spend on a skirt, and sewing and pressing the box pleats was tedious. I would recommend it to others though.

Did you use any new skills?
Yep. Invisible zipper sewing and a bias bound hem. Oh, and box pleats.

Pattern: Borrowed $0
Fabric: The floral was from Fabric-a-brac (a kind of car boot sale for fabric) and I paid $1 for about 2m. I used less than a metre. The green drill was given to me.
Notions: Zipper $2.50
Thread: Stash

I love it. Here is a very bad picture that I took myself using the timer on my camera.

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