Linen skirt sewn with a vintage Singer

I found an irresistible embroidered linen at Jo-Ann’s a month or so ago.

I thought this blue linen with cream embroidery would make a pretty top.

I thought this blue linen with delicate cream embroidery would make a pretty top.

I really need to start looking more closely when I buy fabric, because when I was prepping it for washing, I discovered that I had actually bought this:

When I was prepping this fabric for washing, I discovered that the fabric wasn't quite what I thought!

Whoa! That was a surprise.

It was really too heavily embroidered for a top, so I decided to turn it into a skirt: Butterick 5737.

I made view A on the left, which I've made twice before.

I made view A on the left, which I’ve made twice before.

I was about 1 1/2 inches short of fabric, so I let the hem of one pattern panel hang off the cut edge. Some of the seams end up on the bias, so I’d have to let the skirt hang and trim the hem even anyway.

As I mentioned in my previous post, I decided to use the 1924 Singer 99 electric for all the machine sewing:

  • Sewing the side seams
  • Finishing the side seam allowances with rayon hem tape
  • Attaching the waistband
  • Sewing single-fold bias tape to the hem edge

The rest I did by hand:

  • Inserting the lapped zipper
  • Finishing the waistband
  • Sewing the hem
  • Attaching the hook and eye

I have found that on embroidered fabric, the embroidered design doesn’t go all the way to the selvage edge. In this case, there was a rather wide area that wasn’t embroidered, so I worked it into my cutting strategy.

I decided to cut the skirt panels so the edge of the embroidery would run along, but not into, the center front and back seams. I also decided to cut the waistband from an area with no embroidery at all.

Here’s a good look at the center front seam:


The edges of the embroidery along each selvage were really different, so this doesn’t look quite as good as I’d hoped.

And the waistband:

Waistband with no embroidery.

There aren’t supposed to be tucks at the center front, but I needed to ease in the skirt panels and tried to do it with pins instead of ease-stitching. You can see how well that worked out.

And here are some of the other details:


Hand picked zipper. (The waistband looks a different color here, but it isn’t.)

The hand picked zipper from the inside.

The hand picked zipper from the inside.


Seam and hem finishes.

Here’s the skirt as part of a whole outfit on Gene the Dress Form:

The blouse is Simplicity 6104 (modified), and the scarf I picked up on sale at Pier 1 about two weeks ago.

The blouse is Simplicity 6104, and I picked up the scarf on sale at Pier 1 a few weeks ago.

Next up, I’m supposed to be recovering the patio dining set cushions.

But I’d rather make a red polka dot top. Who wouldn’t?

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One thought on “Linen skirt sewn with a vintage Singer

  1. Grandma jeannie June 26, 2015 at 9:25 am Reply

    Definitely better as a skirt! Turned out beautiful. Very good detail work on finished skirt. Lovely, just lovely!


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