Sunday, 14 July 2013

SUPER ONLINE SEWING MATCH ROUND ONE CHALLENGE: DESIGN AND SEW AN A-LINE SKIRT...


Super Online Sewing Match, Craftsy, A-Line Skirt



Super Online Sewing Match, Craftsy, A-Line Skirt


Ta Da!  I present to you my entry for The Super Online Sewing Match: Round One Challenge.  This past week I have immersed myself in designing and sewing an A-Line Skirt.  On Monday, each of the ten competitors received access to Deborah Moebes' online course; Design and Sew An A-Line Skirt.   I eagerly headed on over to Craftsy.com for my personalized class.  Honestly, each of the eleven lessons that comprise the class were executed in such a personal and down to earth manner that it really did feel like Deborah was personally walking me through everything from taking accurate measurements, to the art of pattern drafting,  and let's not forget, sewing the skirt itself.  I've had little time to peruse Craftsy.com, but a quick, in a wink glance, revealed 43 sewing classes alone, not to mention that they offer classes in many other creative mediums, and sell patterns, projects and supplies.  

 One quick word about Deborah Moebes before I begin to ramble on about my skirt.  In the A-Line Skirt class, there is a scrolling sidebar with questions from students.  One student had asked about doing a step differently than Deborah had instructed.  She answered, and I quote,  

"If that works better for you, then it totally was!  Most patterns will instruct you to cut the interfacing out using the pattern piece; I grew up not doing that, so I tend to stick with what I know.  As you sew, develop your own habits and do what works best for you!"    

{GAK!}  This is such sweet music to my ears!  It's so refreshing to participate in a class with an instructor that encourages one to develop one's own habits.  Thank you Deborah!


The Skirt

Now let's get back to the star of this show...my skirt.  I have lots of photos to share.  Five expert judges will be scrutinizing my handiwork, and they need to be able to see details clearly.  




Back View


Front View


Inside View - Lining and Facing


Inside Seams - finished with serger


The Fabric, The Inspiration, & The Pattern

I adore polka dots, and I've had my eye on this navy on white polka dot cotton by Quilting Treasures for a while now.  Okay, not just my eye...I've gone so far as to hold the bolt lovingly in my arms every time I visit the fabric store.  Even so...I had to visit two fabric stores, walk up and down every aisle, and sleep  on it, before my Ah Ha moment.  'I could sew myself a navy on white polka dot skirt!', said I.  My happy place, otherwise known as my Pinterest board, has many polka dot skirts and dresses, some vintage feeling, some playful and modern. 



Basic A-Line Skirt Pattern Front and Pattern Back


Skirt with Added Volume Front/Back Pattern Piece, In-Seam Pocket Pattern Piece, Facing Front/Back Pattern Piece


Variations on a Design

I incorporated the following design elements into my skirt:

Adding in-seam pockets

Increasing skirt volume, 'cause I need me a little twirl

4" wide polka dot facing, yes 4 inches...I'm such a rebel

Lining the skirt with cotton broadcloth

The addition of saddle stitch ribbon at waistline



A peek inside one of the In-Seam Pockets


A beautiful In-Seam Pocket

Hand Stitched Hem on Skirt and Machine Sewn Hem on Lining


Saddle Stitch Petersham Ribbon Sewn at Waistline


The Challenges

Beth and Kristin, of Sew, Mama, Sew asked us to share any challenges we had, and how we resolved, or worked through them.  Well...the good news is that I seem to be finally getting a handle on the concept of stopping before the words, 'Oh-oh', and believe you me, it really does significantly reduce the use of one's stitch ripper.  Maybe it's one of the benefits of getting older, but I am beginning to recognize when I'm getting tired, and when it's time to take a break.  Having said that, I did find that despite stay-stitching the waistline, there was a discrepancy between the size of the waistline and the size of the facing.  I ripped out a few stitches, and coaxed the fabric in...that and a little heat from the iron did the trick.  It's hard to believe, but I'm sure this was my first invisible zipper,  {The second, if you count the muslin skirt I constructed} and I'm totally in love with them.  In the video, Deborah says that she uses a regular zipper foot to sew the zipper on, and also to sew the remaining seam with.   I thought, 'Dang, that zipper foot on her fancy machine sure looks like a regular presser foot.'  I followed her verbal direction, and  sewed my zipper on with my zipper foot...and I sewed my seam with the zipper foot, which felt totally weird.  It was after I constructed my skirt that I read in the question/answer section that she had misspoke and intended to say that she sews invisible zippers using her regular presser foot.  Hmmm, what to do?  I chose not to resew the zipper.  I am pleased with the end result, and  I think my zip turned out darn near perfect, despite following directions precisely.  :) 






Waistband Detail with 4" Facing


The Invisible Zipper




The Humour 

Not much time for humour this week my friends.  'Cept maybe the mister repeatedly popping his head into the dining room, ahem, I mean sewing atelier, saying in his best Tim Gunn impression, 'Make it work'.  




Super Online Sewing Match, Craftsy, A-Line Skirt


In The End 

I'm really very pleased with my skirt.  It's very me.  This week,  I learned some new to me sewing techniques, and I refreshed myself on some sewing skills that I have not utilized in a very long time.   Whew!  There are ten very talented contestants sewing their hearts out and I'm thrilled to be one of them.  Now..to rest  catch up on housework, work-work, and family for a few days...and then hopefully on to the next challenge.


Linking up with:

Anne Bray, Spy Girl for Pick Me Up Go Dotty
Judith of Style Crone for Hat Attack #1





65 comments:

  1. You are so talented. I love that skirt.

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    1. Thank you Marla. I was happy that our first challenge was a garment that was easy for me to get excited about sewing.

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  2. Your skirt turned out great!! Love the dots!! Where did you find the tracing paper? I can't seem to be able to find any here in Ontario. I signed up for the class too, figured I'd give it a go, but not without a pattern.

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    1. Thanks so much Sandy! I bought my tracing paper, which is actually a poly/rayon blend at Fabricland, but I have previously bought great tracing paper at quilting stores. Have fun making your own A-Line skirt!

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  3. You did a fantastic job Sue!! Polka-dots are adorable and totally classic!

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    1. Thank you Michelle. It's true, isn't it...polka dots are so fun, but totally classic.

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  4. I am in awe of your stitchery genius! Super cute skirt! There is no way I'd ever have the patience to make that.

    I also love how you've styled it. With the stripes in contrast to the polka dots and even the ties on your shoes. Brilliant! Tim Gunn would be so proud : )

    bisous
    Suzanne

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    1. Aw, thanks Suzanne. If I could make Tim proud, then I know I'm onto something good...

      I'm always in awe of your writing style. You either make me laugh, or give me pause to think with greater depth on a subject. I appreciate that very much.

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  5. I love your look, I love your skirt. A small work of art. The combination of polka dots and stripes is very bold and brave, but it works well. I like the design of the skirt. At first glance, many polka dots, in the hat, skirt, shoes, bag, seem excessive, but one look relaxed, it shows that your style is beautiful, and you are right to prepare.

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    1. Thank you so much Josep. To say my skirt is a small work of art is so sweet. And I love how you always notice the small details I add to my outfits.

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  6. Beautiful job--I will be very surprised if you don't go through to the next round, you really paid attention to details that some people wouldn't. I love it with that shirt too, looks like it was purchased together. I got a chuckle out of the "knowing when you are tired"--I'm terrible about that when I'm sewing, it's like I'm working against the clock or something.

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    1. Thanks Flo. Now that my project is complete, I can stew about whether I did enough to take me to the next round, LOL, but I tried my best to showcase my skills within the parameters of the challenge. Wednesday can't come soon enough. :) I totally hear you about the feeling of working against the clock, and I'm relieved to say that I no longer feel the need to build IT in a day.

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  7. I know nothing about sewing but what i read and see is pretty awesome!
    Yes the skirt is you, fresh, happy and young
    I'm starting french writing this fall it's more my alley

    I admire your skills!

    Hugs

    Ariane xxx

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    1. Merci beaucoup Ariane. You have such a talent with English, I can only imagine the magic you'll create when writing in French. You'll have to share with us.

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  8. Lovely! The skirt looks great, you did a fantastic job. I also love how you styled it - the two patterns work well with one another :)

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    1. Hey Megan! Thank you for the compliments. You are genius at making an outfit look complete without adding too many extraneous elements.

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  9. You did so a good job! I admire your talent and your good choise. The fabric is beautiful and very special yours. The little bow for decoration is the cherry on the cake and gives the skirt the vintage touch.
    Keep it up Sue!
    Sabine xxx

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    1. Thanks so much Sabine. I'm happy that you like my little bow. I didn't mention it in my post, but the bow does untie allowing me to launder everything and iron the ribbon flat again.

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  10. You nailed it! The only thing I love more than polka dots are stripes, so I LOVE this outfit!

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    1. Hey Cheryl, I don't know how I missed replying to your awesome comment earlier...I love both stripes and polka dots, but my favour tips heavily towards polka dots!

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  11. Wow you sew like a professional dear Sue! I love that skirt, you've made it so beautifully, and you're totally rocking it with the spotty top, what a fab combination!

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    1. Thank you Emalina! That's a wonderful compliment. I have been so inspired by your posts that showcase your grandmother's talents.

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  12. Amazing skirt! The inside is so pretty! It's so professional!

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    1. Thank you times three! My inside out version was not worn at the beach. :)

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  13. OMG I am in LURVE with this skirt. You have mixed your patterns perfectly as well, complete balance. Well done, you!

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    1. Thanks bunches for the kind words. I do love to pattern mix.

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  14. You made such a darling skirt! The polka dot pattern is so classic and I love that you added pockets! Awesome that you styled it with stripes for a fun pattern mix!

    Rebecca
    www.winnipegstyle.ca

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    1. Aw, thanks Rebecca. I never put much in my pockets...well, except my hands that is. The stripes just seemed to work.

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  15. Love this outfit and so beautifully sewn Sue. Enjoy seeing how you finished the inside of this garment with such love and detail. The fit and way the skirt hangs is just perfect. You are inspiring me to go look at sewing patterns tonight!

    blue hue wonderland

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    1. Ann, I think you and I would have a very fun time fabric and pattern shopping together. We'd get all kinds of inspiration.

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  16. Oh you are mega talented. I had to sew when I was young to have any new clothes. My parents wouldn't let me buy [expensive] store bought clothes. It was either sew or thrift. So I chose thrift later, but for NEW I had to sew them. Today I just use a sewing machine for Halloween costumes or pillow or something. This skirt you made is adorable. I just got back from Savers .99¢ Day Sale. Yes, now I can calm down. hahahaha

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    1. Haha...Renae you do sound as though you are on a thrifting high. Looking forward to seeing your finds. Sewing halloween costumes and decor items are totally rewarding.

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  17. Sue, my jaw is still in dropped mode, I'm in total awe at the moment. Your sewing skills are remarkable and as Josep said, this skirt is a work of art. Your attention to detail is exquisite, double hem, invisible zipper, added pockets and the best of all the ribbon sewn on the waistband.
    You obviously know I am thrilled to see you pairing it with that stripe tee, perfect combination. And, those adorable shoes with the polka dot ties, awe.
    Best wishes to you.

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    1. Aw, Trina you always have the sweetest words for me. Yes, I can imagine the two of us in our stripes and polka dots out for lunch.

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  18. You did make it work! The detail are fantastic! I love the mix of prints, the hat and shoes details and the orange bracelets made an entire summery and sporty look.

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    1. Thanks Ofelia. I wanted to add at least a little pop of colour, so the bangles did the trick.

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  19. You have such flair! This outfit is great, from your fabulous skirt right down to the bag and bangles. I love the dots and stripes together, and your attention to detail in your sewing is impressive. I have to confess I didn't read the whole thing because all the talk about sewing started sounding like way too much work.

    I hope you win!

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    1. I absolutely understand Val! I appreciate that you've taken the time to leave such a nice comment, and hope your eyes didn't get too glazed over. Thanks for the positive thoughts!

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  20. Your skirt is beautiful, Sue! The whole outfit looks so fresh and pretty (love spots and stripes) and I am most impressed with the excellent finishing of all your sewing - mine NEVER looks that neat! Congratulations on a truly lovely piece. xxxx

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    1. Hi Curtise, Thanks for the compliments. I've always been particular about how my seam finishes are, which was fortunate for this challenge.

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  21. Beautiful! Meticulous workmanship! Thanks so much for showing the inside of a skirt with lining and facing. I've never seen it, and always wanted to do it! Good luck in the contest!

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    1. Thank you so much Mary! I love lining my skirts and dresses. It just makes me feel so much more comfortable wearing them when I don't have to wear a slip. Once you get the hang of it, you'll find them easy to add to your garments.

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  22. Oh I learned from my sweet Mom that accessorizing is the key. She was a thriftaholic that was really good at it. She didn't have mega Savers in her day tho. She would hunt high and low for bargains, but looked like a million bucks all the time (accept when she gardened she would wear the same ugly clothes, that stayed ugly just for gardening, hahahha)

    I have calmed down but I got some more great things and many were just a dollar each.

    Thank you for your cheery personality that brightens my comment section every stinkin' time. (hug)

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  23. This is super cute. Love the colors & the belt.

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    1. Thanks Beth. I love those words...super cute!

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  24. Fits great, very classic - totally my style, too. Good job!

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    1. Thank you. I'm finding it extremely comfortable to wear!

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  25. I love your skirt and your whole outfit. I am so happy to have found your blog. I can't wait to see more of what you have sewn.

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    1. Hi Christine, your comment brings a big smile to my face. It's so nice to read that you appreciate my efforts. Thank you so much!

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  26. I'm another new visitor, and I have to say that I'm so happy that you're moving on to Round 2. Your skirt is lovely and lighthearted looking. Congratulations; I'm looking forward to your next project.

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    1. Hi Sandra, I love your description of my skirt. It is indeed the mood I was going for! Thanks for your kind words of support!! Round 2 here I come.

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  27. Dots, stripes and a hat - and it all looks great together! I pinned it to my pinterest board.

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  28. One day I want to have sewing skills like you, Sue!
    This skirt is so beautiful - the style & it's execution - and I love the way you styled it.
    I tagged you in my latest post - I hope you have a chance to check it out :)
    -Carley
    xx

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  29. Love your pattern mixing here
    Totes jealous of your sewing skills!
    Brett

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  30. What a great skirt! It is so you. Love the cute little tie detail at the waist.

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  31. Fabulous skirt, perfect fit, and wonderful clash of prints.
    I love that you made it yourself.
    Clever!!!
    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

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  32. I love the lively conversational tone of your posts, they are such a joy to read, dear Sue. Thank you for taking us along with you on the journey of this skirt and for sharing the end result. I think it looks incredible and really, really like how you paired stripes and polka dots together. So chic, timeless and perfect for a seashore setting.

    Wishing you a stellar weekend!
    ♥ Jessica

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  33. Very talented indeed, Sue! Your skirt looks perfect, and it has required a big job... and your shoes! They add a very cute touch. You must definitely win the Super Online Sewing Match!!

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  34. A beautiful skirt!!! The polka dots play nicely with stripes, and I was delighted by the polka dot bows on your shoes. Very impressive!

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  35. great skirt you did it perfectly!

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  36. Dots and stripes, a woman after my own heart. Yes, goodness, what an incredible skirt, made by your own hands! It looks perfect in every way - even the inside seams. You inspire me to want to improve my own sewing.

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  37. Super cute skirt! AND Shoes! This post makes me wish I could sew.. but alas I cannot.. Great job!
    xoxo,
    Nikki at www.bedazzlesafterdark.com

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  38. I too am in awe of your sewing talent my dear! Having a sewing background, ( my family even owned a fabric store years back), I can recognize an expert seamstress and you are a true craftsman!

    you are a vision of summer bliss! Thank you for sharing your creativity!

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  39. Hi Sue, I know that I've already commented on this post, but I wanted to thank you for linking up with Hat Attack in this beautiful hat with polka dot trim that you wear with abandon! You have a talent for sewing, but also for wearing hats. The chapeau frames you radiant face and is also perfect for sun protection. A pairing of style and function!

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  40. The blue ribbon makes it perfect! I would snatch that skirt off the rack in a heartbeat!!!

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