I’ve been pretty prolific with my sewing recently. So prolific that I’ve had a little bit of a backlog of posts to clear. This one’s the last in that series. I should have blogged about it when I finished it, but to be quite honest it’s been sitting in the washing basket and then the ironing pile for a good couple of weeks now.
So, on my week off from work I booked myself into the Tulip Skirt class at Sew Over It in Clapham North. Aside from being a completely work-appropriate style, my main reason for doing the class was to learn how to attach a lining, which I did end up learning, but I had a lot of fun along the way. And cake. I had a lot of cake too.
This two-part class was lovely and relaxed. There were only four of us in the class for the first week, including Caroline, who blogs over at CJ Makes (check it out – Caroline’s an art teacher so she has some really fun, creative tutorials). Our teacher, Julie, was really knowledgeable and patient, but she’s also had a really varied career in sewing, including working in theatre costume departments, so she had a lot of interesting stories and insights. I think we all spent more time chatting than actually sewing, which is probably why none of us actually finished their skirts in the two classes.
Anyway, the skirt! I’ve wanted a red skirt for ages, and now was my chance. I picked out some bright red lightweight cotton and some stripy lining with a hint of red and set about sewing it all up. Constructing the shell of the skirt wasn’t that difficult – a couple of pleats and darts and some reasonably straight side seams.
My main issue came with my first week’s homework – I attached my interfaced waistband to my skirt without any problems the day after the first class and felt smug for having completed it so quickly and easily. Imagine my dismay when Julie told me in the next class that I’d sewn it on the wrong way up! Julie ripped it out for me while I cut myself a new piece so I was able to catch up pretty quickly. Now, apparently the patterns we were given were part of a poorly printed batch so some of the notches and markings were slightly out and some of the other girls in the class had had some trouble lining the waistband up. When I sewed my first waistband on I’d trimmed the seam allowances, so sure was I that I had it right. Turns out my mistake played in my favour cos somehow it all magically fit together without any issues. Woop!
The lining was also pretty easy to sew. I was a bit worried about it to begin with – I’d never sewn with a slippery fabric before, but it wasn’t anything to worry about really. The only problem was that it frayed to buggery, so I was covered in fluff for most of the class until I could finish the seams properly. I am particularly pleased with how I managed to slip stitch the lining to the zip tape. I’d never really done that before, and you can see how I improved through the course of that single zip – it’s a bit visible on one side but not on the other. I’m classing that as a win.
My second problem is with the zip itself. After some consultation with Julie, it went in first time and lined up nicely, but it is too short. With a bit of wriggling I can just get the skirt over my ample hips (I console myself with the thought that they will bear my children), so I think I could have done with an extra inch or so for comfort. Otherwise I’m happy with the fit.
I really enjoyed this class. It was such a relaxed and friendly atmosphere that I found myself not caring that I hadn’t quite finished my skirt by the time the class ended. Caroline and I swapped numbers and blog addresses at the end and we’ve shared pics of the finished article, so not only did I get a fab new skirt out of the experience, but a new friend too! Magic!