Tag Archives: contour waistband

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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