New Look Skirt & Blouse
Posted on Tuesday the 23rd July 2019 by Just Sew Helen
I chose a Linen Look Textured Fabric in navy. Being 100% polyester, it has a slightly artificial feel but has a realistic linen effect and has the added benefit of not creasing. It washed & dried well prior to sewing and no ironing was required, drying it flat on an airer. It is an easy fabric to handle & ideal for a quick make & you could get a skirt out of 1 metre of fabric but the facings require extra length. Facings could be in a contrasting fabric if necessary.
The skirt is a basic pattern with two front & back darts and a central back Zip and vent. I added 1cm width to the front & back pieces at the level of hips/buttocks plus 10cm to the length to be just below the knee.
The waist facings require interfacing and once again I used Hemline Iron On Interfacing.
In certain lights, it was difficult to identify the right and wrong sides of the fabric, therefore, I worked right sides together throughout once I had determined the correct side. The edges did fray a bit and I neatened the seams with a narrow hem rather than a zigzag stitch on this occasion.
I made many pencil skirts in the 80’s using my mom’s vintage pattern and this pattern was very similar and straight forward and took me back to my teenage years, sadly this one is a couple of sizes bigger!
For the blouse, I chose a pretty, floral Viscose Challis in shades of blue. The background has a pinky-grey tinge and I actually used a pale silver-grey thread for stitching. The flowers were a mix of pale blue and royal blue with lime green leaves.
I love the feel & drape of viscose, but it can be tricky to handle, and this was no exception. It washed well & although it was dried flat it needed a press before use. It did fray when washed but it was easily trimmed.
Care has to be taken when laying out the fabric for pattern pieces and cutting to ensure it is as square as possible. It moves out of line very easily when being smoothed out.
I initially used scissors to cut out the pattern pieces but found the fabric moved & it slipped about a centimetre on one long edge. My cutting mat isn’t big enough for large pattern pieces, but it worked well with the rotary cutter on the long straight edges of the facings & I suggest not using scissors with this fabric, if possible. Alternatively, cutting out the pattern pieces on carpet would work as it wouldn’t move so readily.
If using viscose, I recommend following all of the instructions regarding stay stitching & basting to reduce the risk of misaligned seams. I often omit these stages dependent on the type of fabric.
I found the sizing/fit difficult on this blouse pattern &, although I measured many times, I found the hips too tight. To correct it I made a very small seam of about 0.5 cm from the waist down, instead of the 1.5 cm seam allowance. I also lifted the front by shortening the length of the yoke which lifted the whole blouse making a wider fit across the low waist/upper hips. I am coming to the conclusion that I should start doing a full bust adjustment on most tops as the shoulders and above bust areas are too big using the bust measurement for sizing.
The front panel is a nice touch to prevent bust gape across the button fastening. I love to use self-cover buttons & the button loops complement the fabric covered buttons – I found the loops to be easier than stitching button holes, even with a button hole foot, and will use this method on garments again.
I used 11mm Self-Cover Buttons which can be a bit fiddly and as the fabric frays, I cut the circles very slightly bigger, just be aware of any extra bulk that can stop the washer securing properly. Freezer Paper is really handy to use as the template on this fiddly fabric – cut the size required, iron onto the wrong side of the fabric shiny side down and cut out the circle. The templates can be easily removed and reused a number of times. I trimmed the threads & pushed the excess fabric down around the stem with the lid of a stitch cutter before fixing the toothed washer.
I’m really pleased with the finished outfit even though the fit of the blouse isn’t quite right on this occasion and I plan to create a toile to perfect the fit as I love the style of the blouse. The skirt is very versatile and can be dressed up or down and will wash and wear well & is also light for packing & travelling.
Thank you for reading and to Minerva for the lovely project.