Last Bit of Fall Sewing


There are 2 more sewing weeks left before the Fall Essentials Sew-a-long is over, but boy is my schedule packed. This week is going to be all tutorial writing, pattern testing, blogging already finished makes and maybe a little Christmas sewing. The following week is going to be spent baking and then visiting relatives far away from the mini sweat shop. How's a girl supposed to plaid match a shirt dress with all that going on?   Gotta get myself a gaggle of sewing elves to continue garment production in my absence.

Before we get into reviewing my FES report card, I do have one more item to show you. One gray pleated "school girlish" skirt.
This pattern is from Burda Sewing magazine - issue 11/2009, pattern number 116. I liked the cluster of side pleats and thought it might be less bulky looking than an all over pleated skirt.  Burda 116 is a "front is the same as the back" affair with an invisible zipper on the side seam. No lining, no pockets, no darts, pretty much a beginner type of skirt.
If this fabric looks familiar it's because it's the "gray denimy stuff that must have wool" fabric that was originally earmarked for a shirt dress.  I had second thoughts about wearing this next to my skin and decided it would work better in a lined skirt.

Since this design was free through out the hips, I skipped the usual muslin stage and fit it on the fly. Started with the size 44, basted down all the pleats, basted one side seam and then tried it on.  The skirt needed around 1/2" removed for each side seam. Then it was easy to cut down the waist seam allowance a bit and apply the same change to the waistband.  Excellent! Froggie was pretty sure not making that muslin was going to haunt me.

I also made a few personal design choices on this skirt.
1. Burda tells you to draft a rectangular waistband for this. No thank you, I'll pull out my trusty self drafted curved waistband instead.
2. As drafted the finished length of the skirt is 31.5", which would be around mid calf on me.  I was pretty sure this would be really dowdy looking and reduced the skirt length to 24".
3. Added a lining to the skirt by cutting the Front/Back piece in lining and shortening the length by 1.5".
If I could tell past Heather to make one change, than it would be to remove the pleats from the lining to reduce weight. Both the self and lining fabric are light weight, but it adds up to one heavy skirt. Yikes! Every time I take it off the skirt hanger I'm slightly concerned for the health of the invisible zipper. Hang in there buddy. You've got your friend hook and eye to help you out.
Overall this skirt is comfortable and kind of fun to wear when you swirl it about.  However does add more bulk to the waistline area than I'd prefer. I'm not unhappy about making the pattern, but it's not going to be one that gets a remake.

OK. Now that I've squeaked the last garment in there, let's see how well this easily distracted sewcialist stuck to the Fall sewing list.
Fashionable Foundations
1.  Black denim pencil skirt - Completed. Already a little faded due to a poor washing decision. Probably should re-dye it black.

2. Wool circle or pleated skirt - Completed. As if you didn't know. ;)

Chic Chemises

1.  Ysolda's Chickadee out of stashed yarn - Completed.  It's been worn weekly so excellent wardrobe planning there.

2. One or two long sleeve Netties - Completed.  I sewed a solid green, solid black and a leopard print Nettie. You'll just have to take my word about the unblogged ones.

3. Vogue 8747 - Completed. Though I should take in the side seams a bit because it's yet to be worn.

Fabulous Frocks
1. McCall's 6696 - Not Sewn.  When I decided that the gray denimy wool was too itchy for a dress this got put on the back burner.  I've since bought some plaid shirting that would be an excellent shirt dress......if there is enough. I got the bolt in so instead of a full 3 yards there is only 2.5 which might not work with plaid matching.

Tender toesies
1. Hand knit socks Completed. Finished the "on the needles" sock project in plenty of time. Hooray!

Those Cozy Nights
1. Laura Lounge pants Not Sewn. Never bought fabric to make another pair of Laura Lounge pants. With my fabric buying track record that's not the worst thing.

Baby it's cold outside
1. Ottobre coat - Not Sewn. Couldn't get around to starting this before it go really cold, which was this weekend. Right now the plan is to make this a first of the year sort of project.

2. Hand knit berets - Had to frog.  I did knit a red beret using Ysoda's rose red pattern. I'm not into swatching for hats and sometimes that does bite me in the ass. In this case the finished beret is much to too and needs to be be reknit on smaller needles. No black beret was started so I only get half points for effort.

There was also the Fall Essentials addendum list which included:

1. Snow leopard top
2. Cobalt skirt or pants
3. Magenta top or skirt
4. Anything hot pink
5. Black and white striped raglan
I sewed everything on this list with the exception of the cobalt skirt/pants. Can't bring myself into cutting into the 2 yards of cobalt sateen in the stash. Maybe in the new year.

Out of 15 planned projects, 10 were completed. This might be a personal record for this girl who thinks sewing lists are just bossy pieces of paper. :). For that I'm forever grateful to Sarah who did the hosting work for this sew-a-long this year. Thank for giving me the "push" to finally make some of those basic pieces I really needed. 


  1. Look at you go!!! Amazing work!!

  2. wow! great job sticking to a plan! there is so much sewing i thought i'd get done this fall and eh... didn't happen. hope to remedy that soon, but i'd better be realistic or enjoy some late nights...

  3. Great job! You did a lot this fall. I missed the fall sewing (isn't it still summer?), but hope to finish my winter sewing plans similar model as you did your fall plans. ;)

  4. Wow, 2/3 of your list is really good! I was looking at my original plan this morning, and I've project. Eeek. I like the purple lining on your skirt--I'm a huge fan of colored linings with neutral outsides!

  5. Oh I love this skirt! The partially pleated design is so cute!

  6. Wow - you did amazingly! I totally get what you mean about being busy - if you end up finding any sewing elves can you send them my way?

  7. Damn girl! You really got lots done from your sewing plans! I'm impressed! I like the side pleats on this skirt... it's a nice detail! Well done, you!

  8. www.tresbienensemble.comNovember 18, 2014 at 12:42 PM

    I wish I could work at your pace! It's remarkable how quickly you complete projects! I really like the skirt. I have plans for a grey midi skirt in my very near future. This only re-enforces my desire to sew it!

  9. Thanks Sarah. I really enjoyed this sew-a-long. :)

  10. It's so much easier to plan than to actually get to the sewing machine some times. Still staying up late is only fun at the time. The next morning it's rarely worth it. :)

  11. Thanks Friderike. Seems like winter temps are already here. That means you've got plenty of time to sew your winter list. :)

  12. Well that one project was a giant coat so you get triple points. Now that that's sorted any other project is gonna seem quick. :)

  13. Thanks Brigid. Burda does design some nice patterns in between all the squares with head holes in them. ;)

  14. I'll make sure to send you a gaggle of elves once Froggie vets the replies from his job posting.

  15. Thanks Sonja. My efficiency Frog made sure to keep me on my sewing game. Now that he's being distracted by holiday treats I'll probably spend hours staring at the internet instead. :)

  16. Thanks Michelle. It's just my genetic disposition to be always doing something at all times that gets things done. :)
    A gray midi skirt sounds perfect since gray goes with so many other colors.

  17. I am so behind on my blog reading! WOW you have been busy and productive. Love the grey skirt too.


Proudly designed by Mlekoshi pixel perfect web designs