achievement unlocked: six-gore boiled wool skirt

ta da! i finished sewing up one of the patterns i drafted the other day!


this is a pretty basic six-gore skirt, but i altered the front panels on either side to have side-slant pockets. this was pretty thrilling for me because constructing side-slant pockets is new to me. i basted viewfinder print fabric to the tops of the pocket panels to make this a little more exciting than a basic black wool skirt. i also made piping from the viewfinder print for the front seams.

i made a waistband out of wool interfaced with canvas. i wanted the skirt to close on the side with an invisible zipper & to button on the waistband. i’ve never ever done a buttonhole before & was not feeling optimistic about starting on two layers of boiled wool with two layers of canvas sandwiched in between.

so. after ramona went to bed last night, i got out my buttonhole foot & sewing machine manual. it took a few read-throughs to understand how to use the foot. i made a test buttonhole with scrap wool & canvas & it was a disaster. both my fabric & thread were black so i couldn’t even really see what was happening when the buttonhole would get stuck.

i tried again with pastel pink thread so i could see what was going on & decided i needed to experiment with a longer stitch length. i doubled the stitch length from 1.5 to 3 & after that, it was smooth sailing, with just a little coaxing from me. i went ahead & put the buttonhole on my waistband last night before i went to bed.


i said in my last post that maybe this will open a whole new world of buttonholes to me. i think maybe it did! it was so weirdly thrilling to just…make a buttonhole! & it actually functions!

i also made bias tape out of viewfinder fabric to enclose the waistband seam & turn under the hem.


the inside waistband!


the hem!

if i am being really critical, i think maybe the skirt is just a little too long. i think it looks too long when i’m barefoot, but it looks okay with shoes. it’s the perfect length when i’m sitting. i don’t know! i can’t decide.

it’s also too big in the waist, which is weird, because the whole time i was sewing it, i was convinced that it was going to be too small. when it was all constructed except for the side seam with the zipper & the waistband, i tried it on & was like, “oh, it’s just a hair too small.” but i also thought that would somehow magically be fixed by the waistband (???) & somehow (???) i guess it was. i’m going to move the button over to cinch the waistband a little tighter. i think the skirt itself is a perfect fit.

also, if i am going to critique my own sewing skills: WTF invisible zippers?! i used an invisible zipper foot & actually had a devil of a time because i sewed a few stitches over the coils, meaning i sewed really, really close to the zipper, but when it’s all zipped up, there’s still tape peeking out. this wool is kind of squashy, so i couldn’t get a really crisp press with it, but i still feel like somehow i am screwing up somehow. oh well. better luck next time.

i’m excited by all the skill-builders that went into this skirt! my first buttonhole, my first pocket drafting 100% from scratch, my first decent attempt at a hong kong finish. this is why i love sewing. there’s always something new to learn.

i will also note that this skirt looks better in motion than it does just standing still. the wool has a nice swingy drape & a lot of movement. it’s also kind of perfect for a 60-degree day like today. it keeps my legs warm enough without tights, but i’m not too warm. i think this skirt will get a lot of play during the transitional seasons.

Published by Ciara

Ciara Xyerra wrote zines for the better part of two decades. She has a brilliant & adorable preschooler named Ramona & sews as much as she possibly can. She lives in Lawrence, Kansas with her boyfriend. She enjoys catching up on "The New Yorker", meatball subs, keeping it cranky, intersectional post-third wave feminism, dinosaurs, & monsters. If you have nothing nice to say, she recommends that you come sit here by her, so you can say not-nice things together.

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