Monday, March 11, 2013

The Bias-Cut Copper Skirt

For reasons I have not examined, I think I look frumpy in khakis.  So I bought tropical-weight copper wool on sale to make myself a skirt.  I used a pattern someone gave me and did not realize I was driving into new sewing territory, Bias Town.

In Bias Town, you must let the fabric hang up overnight to allow it to stretch itself out fully.  I did know that.  But I did not know that zippers in Bias Town require different treatment, so I blithely sewed the zipper in and it rippled like a snake, like a bad home ec. project, like homemade-not-in-a-good-way. 

The rest of the skirt sewed together beautifully - the hem alone is worth wearing the skirt inside out so you can see my perfect hem lace.

Thanks to my husband for the photos!

Well, that skirt stayed neglected in my closet for a full year and I just did not have any tan-ish bottoms and finally I needed that color so much that I got new directions and tried again. 

I unpicked the zipper.  I used my iron to shrink the stretched out bias.  I applied interfacing down the seam lines.  I sewed in the zipper again.  It looked perfect and I started wearing the skirt triumphantly, but I see now, a month or so later, that it has started to sag into a little ripple again.  Drat and blast. 

In the future, I will skirt (ha!) around Bias Town zippers (ha!) and let the professionals sew them in for me.

In the meantime, I am trying to hold my waning interest in my winter wardrobe by wearing dark tights with my chestnut-colored Dansko sandals and the copper skirt. 

But I'm planning sleeveless dresses in my daydreams.


jod said...

I love that skirt on you! If I ever get my sewing machine out again (it's been ages!) I'll remember this post for future reference :)

Alica said...

I have never embraced sewing...I can do it...I just don't have the patience that it takes to "do it right"! I think your skirt looks great!

Lisa said...

Margo, good for you that you tried to fix it, even if it did take a year or so - often, we need to leave things alone for that long!

Here -

About three-eights (ha!) of the way down, somebody says to hang up the garment after removing the zipper, giving it more opportunity to stretch. I also saw in my Sandra Betzina book (I don't use these sewing books except when somebody else runs into a problem) she says she actually stretches the fabric - she presses it to lengthen it, thereby avoiding too much stretch, before sewing the pieces together.

You bring up something I hadn't thought of, since I've been looking for some nice plaid to make a flowy bias a-line skirt, and the zipper issue had not occurred to me.

Anyway, I don't think you should give up - your skirt is very nice.

Soliloquy of Food said...

I don't see HOW you could look frumpy in khakis!

I must have missed Bias Town (evident by my bedroom curtains' lining hanging JUST a bit longer that they should. Oh, well.

Zippers? Pffff...I use self adhesive velcro buttons. Needless to say, I don't sew much clothing with closures :)

jenny_o said...

I've never, ever gone to Bias Town and now I'm pretty sure that was a good choice for me :)

Beautiful skirt with such a nice drape. I'm liking your sandals too.

Margo said...

Thanks for all the compliments, dear readers!

Kim, closures are the bane of my clothing-sewing, I must say. In high school, I sewed a lot of elastic-waist skirts and pull-over shirts. I shudder to think how it looked, but I was enjoying the creative process.

Sew Blessed Maw [Judy] said...

I love your skirt Margo, and it looks beautiful on you.. Zipper still looks fine [ have that beautiful sweater with it, and it doesn't show the zipper any way,ha]
I love your pretty.. You look very pretty in the out fit..
I too am looking forward to spring and summer dresses. I pray
it comes soon..

BLD in MT said...

I (perhaps foolishly) decided it looked like a nice enough spring day for a knee-length, sleeveless dress (with a light sweater for just in case). I've got spring wardrobe fever, too. We'll see how foolish this may or may not have been on the walk home.

I quite like your skirt. Its a shame if it has issues...they are certainly not noticeable in the photos. But, maybe they were taken before the issues presented themselves.

Hey, live and learn, right?!

Polly said...

You look pretty & happy, in spite of the zipper woes! zippers are the bane of my existence too, I hate dealing with them. Life would be better if I had a zipper foot but I sew them in by hand--I have finally figured out how to do this and have it not look insane.

In any event, I LOVE the skirt and am very fond of the shoes too. They are fun and comfy-looking (in a good way!).

Leila said...

Margo, I love your skirt! An A-line skirt is the best!

Want to know a good tip for skirts + tights? Wear a slip! As a child of the 70s I just always regarded slips as one more thing to oppress me. But you know what, a slip just really adds a little something to the way the skirt drapes. I do prefer a skirt with a nice built-in detached lining, but that doesn't always materialize!

Thanks for your sweet comment on my mudroom color post :)