At any rate, now I understand facings - though I don't tend to like them. In this skirt they work well.
I used the rest of my Lady Gray coat navy boucle, with a certain amount of natural crosswise stretch. Seriously peeps, how many modern ladies do you know who have a peplum coat with a matching skirt! Got me thinking about the origin of sets. They're an efficient and prudent use of fabric. I'm sure the home sewists of the 50s understood that.
Furthermore, I realized - as I was working with a truly lovely fabric - that the key to constructing garments that seem expensive is to use either very thin-weight fabric, or very thick-weight fabric. The heft of this skirt is SO retro. And it is very attractive around the hips and ass.
While making this, after having muslined it a year ago, and fitting it painstakingly each step of the way when making this version (the third), I realized something about home sewing that doesn't really thrill me. See, in the final analysis, despite everything, the waist is too big in this fabric. Partly, that's because of how the stretch worked unknowably with the facings. Partly the crosswise stretch really took on a life of its own. My hips are slightly slimmer than my dressform's, and my butt has actual flexibility in its shape, so I can actually lower the high waist to sit more at the low waist and it's alright. On the form, it just looks weird (and I even pinned the back in the top shot to make it seem more fitted).
My great realization? Well, if I'd found this rather nicely constructed, practical but elegant skirt in a store, I'd have tried on one size down. Maybe it would have fit, maybe not, but I'd have had that alternative. Here, I've spent hours to craft something that is really well-made (if I do say so myself), despite its flaws which I won't go into, and it doesn't fit perfectly. My only recourse - which, in real life I don't have because this fabric is long gone - would be to make the exact same skirt again, knowing what I know of the fabric ease now. That's neither practical, cost-effective nor enjoyable, as it happens. (Note: I do realize I could undo the waist facing, get rid of the lining and basically reconstruct this actual skirt, but that is NOT my thing. I can't get up any interest in doing that.)
Some Extra-Instructional Techniques:
- One thing I did, and would recommend this for all skirts of heavy weight, is to open the darts and press the to each side, to diminish waist bulk. Fortunately this fabric doesn't fray, so that was fairly easy. And the lining covers the evidence.
- I also shortened the lining above the back vent, and left it untacked (free), It acts like a slip.
- I haven't actually hemmed this yet, but I will wear it as-is because I serged the bottom and it is totally invisible (or, when pointed out, looks like an interesting design element). I like the length - 1.5 inches below the knee - and I want to work with it for starters. If I decide to hem, it will be as easy as removing a couple of tacks from the bottom of each side of the vent (sewed in to keep the vent from flopping). Note that this length is not universally flattering but, if one is hour-glass shaped, it can elongate the frame. It tends to work with slender calves best. And boots or heels.
- I used my serger extensively on this project. Y'all know I love that machine and do not begrudge for one minute having spent an exorbitant amount of money on it. It created a very neat finish.
- The bemberg was in rough shape by the end of it. I stained it, I had to unpick the centre back seam and there are little holes left behind. There's a long line of damaged weave in the centre of the back. Admittedly, it was there in the beginning and I knew about it. If anyone can recommend a lining that's easier to work with, and nicer, I'd love to know. I don't really enjoy bemberg, despite hearing of all of its virtues.
- In retrospect, I don't much like lining. I'd probably make this without lining the next time, and wear a slip.
This photo is badly over-exposed but it does show the boucle and the line of the skirt and the unhemmed bottom. I said I wouldn't point out flaws but the zipper is not fab. The fabric really bunched on one side, despite all of my efforts to avoid that. It's in the nature of thick fabric.
The lining is gathered at the top, not darted. And is actually done evenly on both sides though this photo doesn't show that...
I'm quite happy with the way the lining was stitched to the zip. I hate the look of this kind of hand stitching but it's not likely to rip off - as have some of my other experiments.
So, what do you think?