I purchased Gertie’s New Book for Better Sewing awhile ago and have been wanting to try out some of the patterns. First of all, love her sizing chart. I took my measurements, measured to be a size 10, and I cut out and put together a size 10 with minimal adjustments needed.
I decided to go ahead and make The Pencil Skirt because I’ve always wanted a classic pencil skirt. And of course I had to make it all kinds of complicated by not only underlining and lining the fabric but also adding boning to the waistband. It took me much longer than I anticipated, 3 afternoon/evenings, but it looks and fits amazingly, :). I used a rayon challis from Gertie’s fabric line from Jo-Ann’s because it was just too gorgeous to resist. Because it was so light weight I lined it with polyester lining from Jo-Ann’s and then lined the skirt using Bemberg rayon. Honestly I find it difficult to line my clothing with anything else it feels so amazing.
The overall construction is fairly easy as there are only 4 pattern pieces involved: front skirt, back skirt pieces, waistband front, waistband back. I underlined my front skirt and back skirt pieces and interfaced my front and back waistband pieces. For the waistband facings I used hair canvas to which I attached plastic boning. First I marked my stitching lines and then measured the boning so it would be within the stitching lines and each 2″ apart per Gertie’s instructions in her book and also per her blog post here. I straightened out the boning per a post by Sewaholic. I put the boning in boiling water for a few minutes, re-bent it, put it under some heavy books for a few minutes, and voila, not as curved. While the water was boiling I sewed the empty featherlite boning casings to the hair canvas securing the sides and bottoms leaving the tops open. As soon as the boning was ready to go I filed the edges to take off sharp points, slipped them back into their casings, and stitched over the top openings. You can see below where I interfaced the waistband partly to add structure to the waistband and also so that the boning didn’t show through. Then I attached the hair canvas to the facing pieces. I did not add boning to the back waistband pieces as they didn’t need the boning.
Here is a photo of the boning:
Then the fun part, putting the skirt pieces together! I just followed the instructions for the most part except I hemmed the lining and exterior skirt portions before sewing down the waistband. For the lapped zipper I machine stitched the right side and hand picked the left side, then slip stitched the lining in place on the inside. I also slip stitched the lining fabric at the vent in the back to the exterior vent fabric so prevent the lining from peaking out.
It turned out perfect! Absolutely LOVE that fabric!!! It can be purchased at Jo-Ann’s and is one of Gertie’s fabric line. It appears to be on clearance right now. May need more…. ;). I think the fit turned out lovely and love the high waistband. May need more shirts to wear it with…
I had the perfect vintage button in my stash for this skirt.
Pretty lining, ;). Used blue for the floral and black for the grey one.
Then I had to make another skirt of course! This one was made using a grey polyester suiting fabric and also lined with Bemberg. I just love the feel of Bemberg rayon lining. I didn’t need to underline this fabric and had 2 days to put it together for an interview. Still need to make that wool suit…someday! This one went together much quicker as I had already made one and turned out almost as great. Not happy with the puckering at the darts, mostly due to the type of fabric used. Jo-Ann’s didn’t have any wool blends in the color I was looking for. Still looks pretty great though.
Love the high waist, its a good length, and so flattering. Very slimming, :).
So yeah…really can’t just make one, ;). Hope to make some more from her book. Love the dress variations.