Posted by: darkdreamer | Sunday 23rd February 2014

Practice, Practice, Practice

Last year I borrowed my Mum’s sewing machine to have a go at sewing I quite liked it but of course I had to return the sewing machine so I didn’t get very far sewing, only managing a shirt that fit and a skirt that didn’t. Well not long before Christmas my Mum got a new sewing machine so I got her old one, though I couldn’t pick it up till I went to stay at Christmas. I decided that this year I’m going to make myself some skirts but to do that I needed to work on getting them to actually fit me. First up wanted to see if I could get the Meringue skirt to fit, I traced and cut out a size 2 times smaller then last time and omitted the scallops (I decided that I didn’t like them all that much and I’d never bothered to sew them on my last attempt).

2nd Meringue skirt

It fits ๐Ÿ™‚ though, while i did try and hem it, I didn’t notice that I’d run out of thread not even half way through ๐Ÿ˜ฆ (my sewing line was all over the place as well so I gave up on it. I’ve also decided I don’t like the lack of a waste band so in the future I think I’ll stick to skirts with waste bands. I also had some issues with inserting the zip, something to work on.

Since I want to make some skirts for myself this year and since I wanted a skirt with a waste band I’ve been looking around at different skirt patterns. One I fell in love with when browsing was the Charlotte Skirt by ‘By Hand London’ so I ordered the pattern (I also ordered the Anna dress at the same time which I also fell in love with as well, even if it wasn’t a skirt). It’s described as beginner pattern and By hand London also have done a series of sewalong blog posts which provide a useful guide on how to sew it together, just what I need ๐Ÿ™‚ .

Following the instructions I traced and cut the size based on my waist measurements, which ended up been 2 sizes larger then my clothes usually are, and then take it in at the hips if needs be. Well who am I to argue with the instructions. After sewing the skirt panels together I tried it on, while it fit at the waist I felt like I was wearing a sack ๐Ÿ˜ฆ maybe when I’ve taken it in at the hips it’ll be better. Still felt like I was wearing a sack, abet one that fit me at the hips. It wasn’t all bad though I was able to successfully insert the invisible zip.
1st Charlotte skirt zip

I’m really pleased with this ๐Ÿ™‚ (Please ignore the fact it’s all rumpled, it had spent a week screwed up under my bed by time I took the picture).

Anyway despite my successful zip insertion I was unhappy with the rest of the skirt so I looked through my Colette sewing handbook to try and figure out what I was doing wrong. Turns out there’s not as much difference between my waist and hips as the pattern is drafted for,Waist adjustment so cutting out for my waist left me with a skirt that was way too big for me. To compensate for my lack of much of a waist the Colette handbook gave instructions on how to increase at the waist, I just needed to increase the edge of each piece by 1/4 of the different between the patterns measurements and mine. So that’s what I did.

After retracing my altered pattern I cut out my material and sewed it together as before (after re-salvaging the zip from the first attempt). It worked ๐Ÿ™‚ . It fits ๐Ÿ™‚ . I’m so pleased, can you tell ๐Ÿ˜€ . I went a head an cut out a lining, I know what your thinking why are you lining a practice piece of sewing made out of calico. Well I’ve never made a skirt I can wear before and I’ve never lined anything, I wanted to practice lining before I make my proper skirt.

Charlotte skirt 2nd attempt

The lining is just a cheap anti-static lining, I did originally intend to line the Charlotte skirt I was to wear in it but I quickly decided I didn’t like it at all. I’m still getting use to all the different sorts of fabrics and what’s the best to use when.

Inside Charlotte skirt 2nd attempt

I’m going to put the waist band on and then have a go at my actual Charlotte skirt ๐Ÿ™‚ .



  1. […] been able to finish it off, though it’s taken a little while as I’ve been practicing at sewing a skirt. Since I had enough material to get a second top out of I decided to make a second Sorbetto but to […]

  2. […] also finish my Charlotte skirt, I can’t say I’m completely happy with the fit or the material I used but I’m […]

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