Thursday, September 20, 2012

Meringue (hold the lemon)

This weekend, the Colette trunk show is coming to a local fiber store, A Verb for Keeping Warm (Verb carries yarn, fiber for spinning, knitting, spinning, and weaving supplies, and fabric).  As soon as the date was announced, I knew that I wanted to make a garment from a Colette pattern to wear to the show/party, so I decided to make the first project in The Colette Sewing Handbook, Meringue.

Meringue is a scalloped hemmed, slightly A-line skirt.  There are two skirt pieces--the front and back--plus the facings, and a side invisible zip.  I am adding a waistband to the pattern because I think that will be more flattering for my figure type.  I am also lining the skirt so that I don't need to wear a slip.  The fashion fabric is a navy blue cotton stretch sateen from Joanns and the lining is a fuschia poly lining material.  I've decided that I will hem the lining to where the scallop-hem facings end because I don't want to deal with a scallop-hemmed lining.

I tried to do a tissue fitting Monday night and gave up in frustration, which was what prompted me to write the Tissue Fitting is Dead to Me post.  Next, I cut out the front and back in cheap broadcloth, sewed the darts and seamed the sides together.  Then, I needed to think about the waistband.  Colette has a tutorial for making a waistband for Meringue which involves slashing the pattern near the top, adding seam allowances to both pieces and then sewing the top piece as the waistband.  I like this idea, but I decided that I wanted the skirt to sit higher on my waist and I didn't want to show more leg.  So, I decided to try Gertie's method of making a waistband (tutorial here, but I used the method from her new book which is slightly different).  In her book, Gertie says that the waistband pattern can be used with any skirt type, so I thought it would work for my skirt.  I sewed the waistband and attached it to my skirt and tried on the skirt.

Several issues showed up right away:
  • The skirt had no ease.  I wanted it to be fairly fitted but this was a little over the top.  To add ease to the skirt, I think I'm going to make my seam allowances 3/8 inch instead of 5/8 inch.  That adds 1/2 inch to the body of each side of the skirt resulting in 1 inch of ease over all.  I think this will be plenty because the fabric has some stretch to it.
  • The waistband gaped.  This is likely due to my swayback.  I think this problem may be solved by using a curved waistband.  Therefore, I'm going to draft a waistband by closing the darts and tracing the top of each pattern piece, adding two inches in height, adding 5/8 seam allowance to all sides, and adding one inch in length to the front waistband piece so that I can make a tab.
  • Fabric pooling just above my butt.  This is also a swayback issue, I think, and will hopefully be solved by taking a wedge shaped tuck near my waist in the back.
So, I'm going to try drafting the waistband and trying it on my muslin.  I'll also take the tuck out of my muslin and transfer it to the paper pattern.  If all goes well, I should be able to start cutting my fashion fabric soon.  Cross your fingers for me, because the weekend is fast approaching!

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