Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Vogue 7937 - In which I learn to add a lining

As I started researching and buying patterns that looked interesting to me, I could not for the life of me figure out why formal, work-appropriate skirts that were specified to be made in a wool or other fine fabric did not include a lining. Hello! When was the last time you saw a tailored wool or silk skirt in the store that wasn't lined. Right, I can't remember either. I quickly realized that I'd have to add my own darn lining, but since I was still learning the basics, I thought that a couple of one-on-one lessons might make the process go a bit smoother.

I chose this Vogue skirt pattern mostly because I loved the double back-vent. After reading some reviews on the pattern, it also seemed like it wasn't as fitted as it appears on the pattern, which I thought would be a good thing.


My fabric of choice was a camel and cream herringbone wool from Michael Levine. For the lining, I used a very lightweight cotton/silk blend in off-white. I have an overabundance of dark colored skirts and pants in my closet and am actively trying to add a few in lighter shades to break it up a bit. I also thought this piece could work for multiple seasons due to its light color.

I measured myself, cut the size that I thought was correct and brought the cut pieces to my lesson. I actually started this skirt at the beginning of fall, before I really knew how to determine sizing. Make a long story short, my instructor was very concerned that I cut a size too small in the skirt. After sewing the front panel together, I had similar concerns. Gah! Inbetween lessons one and two, I traipsed back out to the store, bought more fabric and recut the skirt in the next size up.

I'm so glad I opted for one-on-one instruction for this. I learned a ton of good tips for sewing skirts, including a lapped zipper, how to correctly sew a back vent, and how to line a skirt that doesn't come with lining instructions. I also built a good working relationship with this instructor - helpful as I'm taking more classes from her this year.

Once the outer fabric was sewn together, I tried it on and wouldn't you know, it was too big. [Really though, sizing has proved to be a huge issue for me.] I had to take it in a good 3/4" and still after the facing and everything was added, it's sitting lower than I prefer for my skirts and the hips feel too loose. By the time everything was complete except for the hem, I had just lost all steam for this project. I set it aside for the rest of the year, but finally, this weekend, I sat down and just finished it already.


After all of that work, I like it alright, but I don't love it. :( I'm having trouble putting my finger on it, but something about it just doesn't sit quite right with me. I think part of it is that it still feels too big for me. Because of this, I'm really limited in what I can wear with it and still look sleek. I tried on a ton of sweaters, but it really works best with a very slim-fitting turtleneck and a pair of high-heeled tall boots to offset the length, which quickly becomes dowdy with flats of any kind.

Sigh. I'm half tempted to go ahead and sew up the next size down that I've already cut, adjust the seam allowances (if necessary) and see if the smaller version isn't a better fit. My guess is that it will be better, but I'm a bit reluctant to put all that time into an exact copy of this skirt and then have it turn out poorly. We'll see.

All in all, I still think it's a good pattern and I'm bummed that I'm not more excited about the finished product. I haven't completely written off making another one, but I think there are some other skirt patterns I'd like to try first.

18 comments:

weezermonkey said...

Looks perfect for work. You're too hard on yourself!

tam pham said...

ditto weemo. you're getting so good with this sewing thing!

Aline said...

What's funny is that you say you were trying to avoid fitted but perhaps you would have liked it more a bit more fitted?

LOOKS FAB TO ME! You are too hard on yourself :)

Territory Mom said...

You did an excellent job on this skirt. Wow!!!

kenpen said...

Love the fabric. I think the color will make it a great piece that can be work with lots of different tops.

Winnie said...

It looks good to me! You can sew this skirt again with your other fabric, and then give away this one as a blog contest. Viola!

Karin said...

The fabric is pretty and you did such a beautiful job sewing it. The inside looks perfect. Maybe it just needs to be a little tighter?

You are lucky to have a good sewing teacher near you. Around where I live it is all "how to sew a pillow" "how to sew and apron." Or, in London, it is vocational degree courses for young adults wanting to work in the fashion industry. I try checking books out from the library, but I often don't even understand what they are talking about! Oh dear.

Anyway, great job on the skirt and I'll be interested to see how a smaller size works.

KID, MD said...

Go you, for lining a skirt!! Very nice sewing. Even if you don't love it, you still learned a great skill while making it. Think of it as a practice garment that you might occasionally wear. ;-) I do think it looks great with the turtleneck and boots.

Pyjammy Pam said...

It looks really nice on you, at least with that top and those boots. You have really inspired me to look for sewing lessons...

Jen said...

Looks good to me -- I like the fabric a lot!

wan said...

ha - and see, i was gonna hit you up to see what you'd done with the first skirt you cut out ;)

every time you post, i'm more and more inspired. i ordered a sewing machine and found a local teacher for private lessons!!!

[spinning giddily]

Serendipite said...

Practice makes perfect! I love it, but I bet the next one will turn out even better! And then you can give the larger size to someone with a larger butt. Me. LOL

California Girl said...

Skirt looks great... and the outfit you put together totally works!

mjb said...

I need to learn to add linings too. One option is that you could make the second one with some kind of subtle embellishment, like braiding in between the yoke and skirt, or decorative top-stitching. That way they won't be identical but you'll also have a chance to learn something else new.

Lindsay T said...

Wow, look at all you're learning! Maybe a muslin might be worth trying? So you can work out your fit issues beforehand? My sewing satisfaction improved significantly once I started making muslins.

Carolyn (cmarie12) said...

Amber you are on your way to a TNT skirt pattern. Go ahead and make it again...make the changes to the skirt that you think will work and then see. If you like that skirt better, you will have a go to skirt pattern when you need one...because seriously can you have too many skirts for work? :)

BTW, I really like it on you and agree with everyone else who said it that you are being to hard on yourself! Enjoy the moment ~ you LINED a skirt and you can wear it!!!

Cat said...

That skirt looks amazing! Working with women and fit everyday, I understand your wanting it to be perfect ... I just did not realize you had teacher! Wow, you really are doing a great job. And with a teacher I can't wait to see how soon you will be creating pieces that do not require a pattern. Truly an inspiration. Your blog gives me so much enjoyjment, thank you :)

dapotato said...

i think it looks good, too.