Thursday, June 5, 2014

Cake Patterns Hummingbird Skirt

I finally finished my Cake Patterns Hummingbird Skirt! In April. But now it needs to be altered. So that means it's not finished, right? Ah, whatever.

I made a muslin of the orange view based on my measurements, and it came out a few inches too big around the waist. It was really easy to take in though, so I took it in and decided my muslin was good to go and made the necessary alterations to my traced pattern.

I sewed up the skirt in olive green twill that I bought online from Mood Fabrics over a year ago, and used a quilting cotton from JoAnn Fabrics for the pocket bags. I also made bias tape out of the quilting cotton to finish the seams. I love the way the floral print looks when it's folded into bias tape!

 I'm pretty happy with how the inside of the skirt looks.

 The inside front edges of the pockets aren't perfectly symmetrical.

I am very happy with that invisible zipper, though!


I sewed the buttonhole in the wrong direction! Good grief! Also, I marked it and lined it up and I still sewed it too high on the waistband.

That's two individual lines of stitching done without a twin needle. Not too bad.

My edgestitching could use a little improvement, but overall not too bad.

So what is the problem with this skirt? It fits great right out of the dryer, but then it starts to sag. And sag. And with a cell phone in my pocket I run the risk of it ending up around my ankles. No thanks. The thing is, I really hate when skirts and pants pinch me too tightly at the waist, adding curves where I don't really want them. I tried to make it fit closely, but not tightly. Maybe my fabric has a little bit of stretch and that's where my fit went wrong, or maybe I just made it a little too loose in my effort to not pinch my belly. My plan is to unpick the waistband, take in the side seams a little bit (haven't measured yet), make a new, smaller, and maybe deeper waistband and add interfacing. I will then attempt to make the buttonhole in the *correct* direction. Hopefully I can do this one evening next week. We'll see.

Overall, I'm psyched about this skirt. I love it and think I can fix the fit. Once I do I hope to make it in some other fabrics (like denim). No more searching for the perfect denim mini-skirt! I prefer mine without artificial wear and tear, thanks.


I am participating in OAL (Outfit-Along) 2014. The objective is to sew a dress and knit a coordinating sweater destined to be a complete outfit. The sew-along part is led by Lauren of Lladybird and the knit-along is led by Andi of Untangling Knots.

Even though I am just writing about this now, I did sign up before the June 1st deadline on the Ravelry thread and I even started knitting my swatch on the actual start date (it's amazing). I think this is a good challenge for my busy summer because the FO deadline is July 31st. Two months should be enough time to get this done, and when I can't be near my sewing machine, I can still knit.

When planning my outfit, the sweater choice was a no-brainer. I would absolutely use the Myrna pattern and let Andi lead me through my first sweater. I mean, I need all the help I can get. I decided to stray from the dress pattern that Lauren will be teaching though, because I bought a couple of new dress patterns recently and thought I should get moving on one of those.

I am going to sew Vogue 8993 for my dress. I'm hoping that the princess seams will facilitate my success in correctly fitting my bust, particularly since there are some really good tutorials on the web already for doing that. The dress pattern for the OAL also has princess seams, so maybe Lauren will cover some of the fitting strategies.

I did my fabric and yarn shopping online and didn't order any swatches (who has time to wait for swatches?) so I am VERY lucky that I *think* my selections are going to work out okay.

I chose a medium weight linen in "beets purple" from On the website, the color looks more aubergine to me. In real life, it is definitely true to its name though. My photo is still a little bit darker than the fabric really is. I selected a viscose batiste salmon lining fabric for the bodice lining. The color for this fabric is also true to its name, and I think I'm going to be sad that it will be on the inside of my dress rather than the outside. I ordered two that looked like the closest purple to match (it doesn't at all) and a contrasting one. Luckily, I really like the way the Caribbean blue zip contrasts with the beets and salmon. I ordered a skein of Miss Babs' Yowza (the recommended yarn for the pattern) in the Berlin colorway. I looked at some FOs on ravelry that were made in the Berlin colorway and chose it because it looked like it had lots of colors that would "go" (if not match) with my dress, and it had some light colors in it. Looking at the pile of materials on my bed made me worried that this outfit would be too dark, but halfway through my swatch, I am happy with my choices and think they will look good together.

A bit about yarn...I've been a little bit bummed that my local yarn shop of choice, Really Knit Stuff, closed its doors. I haven't been knitting long and I haven't been shopping there long, but it definitely felt like a great community and its closing felt like a loss. This is the first time I've ordered yarn online, and I ordered the recommended yarn for the pattern. Let me just say that my package of yarn from Miss Babs was beautiful! I love supporting independent businesses and it feels really personal when they write you a note and include little gifts and wrap things up so beautifully. (I'm not saying I need free gifts...I wish TOMS shoes would stop sending me stickers and canvas bags every time I buy a pair of shoes...but this made my first online yarn purchase really pleasant.)

I hope to finish and wash my swatch tonight so that I can have it blocked and measured soon. I hope to trace my sewing pattern and start my muslin by the weekend. My plan is to muslin the bodies as is and try to get the fit as perfect as I can. Then I want to alter the front and back necklines because I think the necklines of that dress don't work exactly with the cardigan. I may muslin the whole dress just for a practice run and just to see how things fit with the weight of the skirt added to the bodice. Fingers crossed!