Summer Sorbetto and a finished skirt

Finish projects, will blog. It’s not an idiom yet, but maybe I can get it to catch on. I have two more finished makes to share. Hopefully this is the beginning of a summer-long trend! First, I have a skirt which was languishing unfinished for over a month on my sewing table.

The main fabric is something I bought off eBay – always a gamble when it comes to fabric shopping. I was looking for something with an art deco feel, although many people have since told me that it looks like an African print, and I agree. I’m not sure about the content. It was advertised as rayon, which it might be, but there could be other synthetics mixed in as well. It’s very lightweight and likes to fray so I finished the side seams with bias tape.

The waistband is just some linen I bought from Joann’s. I copied the waistband from another skirt pattern, but for the skirt pieces themselves I just cut two rectangles of different lengths. I tried making this a dirndl skirt first, but I quickly remembered how much I hate dirndl skirts on me. The bunchy-ness above the butt is not flattering. So I undid it all and created inverted pleats instead, remembering this lovely skirt made by Tilly:

The pleats fixed the bunchy butt problem, but then I had issues with the length. I didn’t do much in the way of measuring when I cut my rectangles, and I ended up having to shorten the hem quite a bit before I found a length that felt flattering.

Short enough to show the knees, long enough to swing from trees. Or something like that. I’m pretty happy with the outcome of this skirt, and especially with my success doing a lapped zipper for the first time.

I’ll just call it a testament to my skill that you can barely see it in this picture. I followed a very helpful tutorial over at What Would Nancy Drew Wear but hand picked (prick stitched?) the last steps to keep it neat, ala Sunni’s tutorial here. I also applied interfacing in strips to the seam allowances where the zipper was inserted, which really helped for dealing with this slippery and delicate fabric. If I had been wise, I think I would have cut the interfacing to be twice as wide as the seam allowance so that my hand-stitching had reinforcement has well (it falls outside the seam allowance). Next time.

Coming off a high from finishing up this skirt and my 1970s blouse, I decided to tear through another project with a stash-busting Sorbetto…

contemplating my next project?

This fabric is another rayon print, challis this time. I picked it up last summer at the Re-Store when they were selling a giant pile of fabric by the grocery bag. I didn’t have a whole lot of it, so I think Sorbetto was a good choice. Well, kinda. I’m not too impressed with the pattern, although it’s a free pattern so I suppose I can’t complain too much. But I had to make several adjustments. I made the neckline scoop lower (a solid two inches), and if I ever make it again I think I’ll also make the straps a little longer. For some reason the shoulder seam on the straps seems too far forward. I also had to scoop out a little at the bottom of the armholes, which were too tight. Finally, I added on a few inches to the length, but next time I might add even more. It wants to come untucked as is.

Instead of using bias tape, I added piping to the edges and pressed the seam allowances to the inside. It probably could still use some kind of finishing on the inside, so I will either catch-stitch it down or top-stitch on the outside, catching the seam allowance underneath. Not too fancy, just an easy top to wear during the summer and to my shifts at the coffee shop.

I’m happy to be adding some separates to my self-made wardrobe. I think I may actually get a lot of wear out of these this summer!

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