The polka dot skirt, inside and out

I finished the polka dot skirt and got a little fancy as I was working on the lining.

As I mentioned previously, I converted the pattern to a contour waistband and wasn’t quite sure how to attach the lining. The zipper being attached after the waistband definitely complicated matters. In the end, I decided to attach the waistband facing to the lining, then sew the fashion fabric layer and lining layer together using a technique shown in a tutorial on the Coletterie blog.

I still wanted to anchor the two layers together at the waistband and skirt seam, so I sewed them together by hand from inside, between the layers. I’m quite happy with how that worked out.

Finished polka dot skirt

The finished skirt

The lining got a little fancy when I decided to sew the hem with some decorative stitching. I think the inside came out about as nice as the outside.

The polka dot skirt inside

The inside

Hem detail

Detail of the hem

There are, however, some things I will definitely do differently when I use this pattern again.

First, I would remember to grade the seam allowances in the waistband. What was I thinking? I got so wrapped up in knowing I was close to finishing that I forgot that step entirely. I remembered as I was understitching the top waistband seam, but by then it was just too late to regroup. Thus, the corners near the zipper are not things of beauty.

Second, I would make the lining a little longer. The hem allowance is 1 1/4 inches, and the lining is 1 inch shorter. It would have benefited from being only 3/4 of an inch shorter. I think a bit of my overcasting on the hem edge is showing below the lining in a few spots.

Most importantly, however, I’d do a much better job with the zipper insertion, which is sadly lame. Please do not fault the technique, merely my execution! The evidence speaks for itself:

Zipper outside

The not-so-invisible zipper

The zipper inside

And the most horrifying part, the zipper from the inside!

As it turns out, I didn’t leave enough room for the hook and eye, which I’ve never been particularly good at sewing on. I may take it back off, but it’s easier to pull up an invisible zipper when you use a hook and eye.

All in all, a nice skirt. I may even wear it tomorrow. I am very happy with my conversion of Simplicity 3688 from a straight to a contour waistband. I don’t think it’s period-appropriate for a reissued 1940s pattern, but it sure is more appropriate for my apple-ish figure.

I hope to finish the matching top before the crisp fall weather shows up, but we’ve had such a cool summer here in Northern California, I may not have much time.

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4 thoughts on “The polka dot skirt, inside and out

  1. Funnygrrl September 14, 2011 at 5:21 am Reply

    Beautiful choice of fabric.
    I’m still working on getting zippers right. I think yours looks fine…but I know we aren’t satisfied with “fine”. 🙂


    • Jeanne Marie September 14, 2011 at 7:26 am Reply

      Thanks, Funnygrrl! I really like this pattern and plan to make it in wool for fall. I WILL perfect that zipper!

      Sent from my iPhone


  2. Corinne September 14, 2011 at 6:02 am Reply

    What a great skirt. I think your adaption of the waistband was a such a good idea. While many like to copy/interpret vintage patterns, if it doesn’t fit or suit your figure why bother? I see some finished products that I know took much work and lots of detail, however, they do not suit the bodies we have now. In general, vintage patterns are geared for a more lean figure and had less fitting ease. You have identified this and adapted it accordingly. Wonderful. Of course, I love a polka-dot, no matter what, but your lining embellishment sealed the deal. Of course, we all have little glitches in our projects, but really, only we know about them. Unless, you post it and hundreds of people just read your post 🙂 🙂 :0 ps, the invisible zipper application has been discussed much on the blogs. Many are returning to traditional zippers. I have mixed feelings. Haven’t used the invisible for a while, time for another trial I guess.


    • Jeanne Marie September 14, 2011 at 7:35 am Reply

      Thanks, Corinne! I hear you on the invisible zippers. I’ve seen some discussion of them as well. I know they just aren’t as durable as the regular kind. I was trying to think of how I can adapt this pattern for a lapped application, which I like the looks of. But I do want to perfect invisible zippers before I decide whether to abandon them completely. I refuse to let them get the better of me!


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