Monday, April 30, 2012

Sunni-Side Up

In true Kristin-style, the minute my jacket was finished (save buttons, which still have not arrived), I started thinking about the skirt. You see, even though I've made this particular skirt (V8640) 3 times already (3 times more than I've made any other skirt), I have some things to consider when constructing it this time, namely:
  • I intend to line it this time. Thankfully, I have JUST enough of the silk left to line the skirt.
  • The pattern doesn't come with lining pieces or instructions.
  • To complicate matters, the skirt is vented.
  • Furthermore, I've made this once with a thick fabric and, while I love the drape, the waistband (made of thick self-fabric), that version is way too bulky. I learned, in that project, that I would need to face a thick-fabric skirt in some other way going forward.
  • I want to learn how to use petersham as a waistband facing. I love how it looks, I love how it "contains",  and I love how it's a slender interior waist solution. (Note: This recently purchased book contains a good tutorial on how to use petersham as a facing...)
Let's take a moment to consider the pattern:

The skirt comes with that adorable, unstructured jacket I have also made with success. This set is an easy, excellently drafted, well-explained project I would recommend to an intermediate beginner. The line drawing does no justice to either piece, particularly the skirt which manages to hug all curves with adequate give and to highlight the waist with its facing unit. I cannot tell you how much I love it. Well, I suppose I can, what with words and all. I love it.

One of the things about it I particularly appreciate is that the waistline is marked, as is the centre back, as are the fold lines of the back vent. It tells you what goes where.

To ensure I know what I want, fit-wise, from the suit version, today I wore my latest V8640 (length of which I love) and determined what length of skirt I will need for the suit. To facilitate a 5/8" hem, I'm looking at 24.75", in case you're interested. That's a few inches shorter than the actual pattern.

Now, I was starting to worry a bit. How would I figure out how to draft the lining (I had an idea, but not a well-formed one)? How would I make the petersham waistband? How would I deal with the freakin' vent AND a lining?

And I have to tell you that my every theoretical dilemma has been resolved by Ms. Sunni Fashionable Stitch - a sewist and sewing entrepreneur who knows her shit. And who helps the world by posting really useful tutorials.

For your learning pleasure:
I was so excited to try to draft the lining pattern, that I came home tonight and did it stat. I'm living proof that it is a straight-forward, if slightly time-consuming process.

Happily, I had the foresight to buy some petersham from Sunni a couple of months ago - and one of the colours I bought is perfect for this garment. It also happens to be 2 inches wide, thankfully. That's about the minimal width you want for a waistband that really provides structure.

This is a good time for me to suggest that you go to her shop and buy stuff. You will not regret it.

Oh, I'm intrigued by this...


  1. Oooh! You're really plowing ahead with this! I was going to suggest the Dressmakers Handbook. I was reading that part just last night.

    1. Haha! Great minds think alike! And I'm so glad you've resolved your fit challenge. I'm sure your jacket is going to be superb.

  2. Sunni is the best! I fully attribute my sticking to sewing to her Ginger skirt sewalong-- the whole process was so clearly-explained and fun!

    1. She really is such a valuable teacher in our community!

  3. I just adore the amount of information that is out there on blogs, it's just a matter of remembering who said what (or google to the rescue!).

    1. I know! I spend hrs wracking my brain sometimes to remember where I read just the perfect thing that will solve all my problems :-)

  4. That skirt pattern and jacket is gorgeous. Have you blogged about the jacket you made before? I used Sunni's vent tutorials - did you do the curvey thing on the lining pieces that she recommends? There's also a You Tube video for sewing the vent lining.

    1. I was unclear, K. I made the Lady Grey coat before (that's the other thing I tailored). And yes, I wrote about it in archives...

      I did the curvy thing! It's so bizarre.