Thursday, November 3, 2011

Finished! One-Seam Skirt, or How to Complictate Even the Simplest Project

When I bought this fabric (on the left), it was with thoughts of a one-seam skirt. Afterall, what could be more simple and fun for this wonky knit? And, quite frankly, a horizontally striped skirt is exactly the kind of fashion risk that gets me giddy these days. And did I mention how I love Halloween and Tim Burton?



Anyway, since I really like the fabric, I decided not to wing it. I was a bit worried that a one seam skirt with no shaping might not really work on my body. Anything that needs to fit over my hips is generally going to be huge at the waist, so a simple column won't cut it for me. That's when I came across this article on CraftStylish.  A one-seam skirt with darts! Hooray!

So, armed with a plan, I flitted off to the Craft Lounge. Somewhere along the way I decided that if I was going to the effort of adding darts, I may as well add a zipper, too. I've been meaning to try an exposed zipper on something, and this seemed like a fun opportunity. (My ulterior motive was also to avoid trying to match up this wonky striped fabric at the one seam. Ha!)

At that point, it occurred to me that I really will find a way to complicate just about any sewing project. Sigh. It seems that simple is just not in my repertoire. Anyway, here's how it went...

My cut fabric, still attached to the pattern

Basically you draft a flat pattern that is a rectangle where the width is your hip width and the length is your desired skirt length, plus allowance for finishing the hem and waist.  Then you add darts equal to the difference between your hip and waist. There is a slight negative ease to this pattern, but you could always add seam allowance in if you wanted.

The darts that are cut out are where there would be side seams in a regular skirt pattern. And there are 4 more darts (not sure you can see them) which become front and back darts. The only fitting change I made from pattern to sewn skirt is that I tapered to the hem just a little bit so the skirt would have a slightly more pencil skirt fit than a straight skirt.



As I mentioned, I decided to add an exposed zipper instead of sewing the single seam down the back. This is a RiRi zipper that unzips from both top and bottom. I love the bold color contrast. I also like that I can unzip it from the top to get into the skirt and also from the bottom a few inches if I want a slit for walking. I'm really tickled with this feature. And it was easy - I basted the back seam (wrong sides together), basted on the zipper, trimmed the seam allowance so it wouldn't stick out from behind the zipper and then topstitched near the edge of the zipper tape, removing all the basting stitches.   


It only took about an hour to sew up (including trying on and pressing darts) once I had the the pattern drafted and the fabric cut. And I think it is super cute and fun. I omitted adding elastic at the waist, since I put in the zipper, but I think I'll go back and add it in so the waist is a little more snug after wearing. 


Anyway, what do you think? Have I made horizontal stripes work?

Since I had so much fun tackling - and complicting! - this one seam skirt, I've decided to go back for more. This weekend's project will be the skirt part of V1259 by Donna Karan. It's also a single seam skirt, essentially, although with it's own set of complications.



Update: OMG! Phin just pointed out that the zipper for this project ($15 at Pacific Trimmings) actually cost more than the fabric ($12/yd at Mood)! How crazy is that!?!?!?

15 comments:

Sheila said...

You are so ROCKING that skirt... love the exposed zipper in the contrasting color.

Faye Lewis said...

Clio it's wonderful!, and the fit couldn't be better. Looks you were made for it rather than the other way around. Not sure I could rock it like you are doing, but I sure like it.

AllisonC said...

I love it, the orange exposed zipper is a perfect addition even if it turned a 10 minute project into a 1 hour one (still amazing value for time!).

cyberdaze said...

I love it! The exposed zip really makes it pop. Very funky :-)

Laury said...

You GO!! Great styling with it too.

Karin said...

Fun! I think it does fit well. Amazing for one seam! I'd like to make that DK outfit, too. Looking forward to learning from your experience:-)

Evie said...

Love the fabric. Love the zip. Love the skirt. Totally fabulous.

mezzocouture said...

It's beautiful! I love one seam skirts, and have often used that technique when I didn't quite have enough fabric for multiple seam allowances (!!!) or wanted to preserve the "integrity" of the fabric design. The exposed zipper is the crowning touch.

Clio said...

Thanks, everyone! It's hard not to smile when wearing something so fun! There are definitely more versions of this skirt in my future.

Clio said...

Oh - @Mezzocouture & Allison C - Yes this is fantastic "pattern" when you are short on time or on fabric. It took less than a yard of fabric and less than an hour to sew!

Tanit-Isis said...

OMG I love it! That zip is perfect! I want one!

SEWN said...

That skirt is the DA BOMB! I love it. What a great execution.

Sherry said...

Brilliant! A really fun skirt, and what a top idea using an exposed zipper to avoid mismatching the pattern - turning a disadvantage into an advantage!

House of Pinheiro said...

this contrasting zipper rocks !

Cennetta said...

Clio, like the funky, cute skirt.