Finishing an upside down skirt, without the instructions

Yellow upside down tulip skirt 080609 018

This yellow wonder started life in January as a bit of a challenge – my wrist was busted up from an iceskating pratfall and really, I shouldn’t have been doing ANY sewing.  But now my wrist is recovered, the skirt is completed and I’m pleased with the end result of a most wearable muslin. But let me share a little of the intermediate pain of this project.

First there was the challenge of having only two pieces of the pattern – the front and back of the skirt. Add to this my ambition to line this bubble skirt: I love skirts like this for winter wear, with thick tights and a roll-neck, and lining is a MUST if you don’t want it bunching up at mid-thigh level. Finally, the unusual cut and fit of this pattern and the fact that I let four months pass during the fitting process – not helpful considering the above.

I’ll use this pattern again, but next time I will:

  • use lighter fabric. Duck canvas is a little heavy and makes for some bulky seams.
  • try out some commercial methods of inserting an invisible zip. The way I’m doing it at the moment seems long-winded and a bit repetitive. Oh and buying a zip long enough, this time. Ripping out the short, colour-matched one and having to buy a new one halted operations for about three weeks.
  • research construction methods of skirts with the lining is sewn in at the lower hem. Thanks to unpicking another bubble skirt, I was able to work this out. Let’s just say, there was an intermediate step that involved me laughing, in a sobbing way, when my first, second and third attempts created an unwearable pretzel/mobius skirt. If you’ve been there, you’ll know what I mean. If not, watch this space. I may elaborate.

And some simple steps to make life a little easier on myself:

  • write down each step as I go along, so I have my own instructions. (If anyone out there has instructions for this skirt, I’d love to see them!)
  • recut my VERY rough lining pattern using a ruler and helpful marking.
  • buy enough lining for the skirt. I had to cut it cross-grain. I’m wearing the skirt as I type, and the lining doesn’t seem to be doing anything it shouldn’t, but next time round, I’m opting to do things the easy way.

Hubby’s verdict: bright and crisp. I agree.

 PS New project starts life during clear up process: can you tell what is it yet? 

Yellow upside down tulip skirt 080609 017

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6 responses to “Finishing an upside down skirt, without the instructions

  1. I notice you left me a comment. Sorry, I have been working and in and out of town and just now catching up on some of the comments. I see you finished the skirt and it looks fabulous! The first time I made this skirt it was of denim and I had no problem with it at all, but I did not finish it; I guess I grew bored. The second time around (as you have noticed) I use a chiffon like material and lined it with a heavier material ( I forget what). It was much more difficulte with this material choice. It also was a bit to “billowy” for me, if that makes sense? So I ended up tapering about 2 inches of the sides and it turned out just fine then. I will make this pattern again, but I think I will stick to a heavier fabric. Hope this helps! Thanks for stopping by my blog. As soon as I get settled back into my daily life, I will blog more…promise!

    • georgeina

      thanks for coming back to me! sounds like we’re not the only people to have gotten bored with this skirt – mine had something like 4 months between start and finish. and, i also took it in alot at the side seams – exactly the same as you did. and the girl who gave me the pattern from my sewing class did too. just one of those things, i guess! all best wishes, georgeina

  2. I love this skirt! very “grey gardens” of you.

    • georgeina

      hi thanks for dropping by and commenting. it’s SO nice to hear back from everyone! i have to ask you though: what is grey gardens – i’m not familiar with it? very best wishes, georgeina

  3. grey gardens is a documentary about two of jackie o’s cousins who lived in the hamptons in total squalor. BUT the daughter, lil edie, has such great sense of style. i would like to believe she was the first refashionista.lol

    they recently made an hbo film about them starring drew barrymore and jessica lange.

    google : little edie beale

    she had a knack for wearing her skirts upside down.
    sure she wasnt all there ( head wise) but her style has influenced sooo many.
    :)
    m

  4. Sheila

    I know this comment is a little late considering the date of your post. I love how your skirt turned out. I admire your color choice. I always tend to shy away from anything too bright when picking fabrics, and so have a closet full of blue, grey and black clothes :o). Anyway, this weekend while thrifting, I happen to have found this particular pattern….with instructions…Whoot! If you would still like to see them, I would be more than happy to scan them and send them along for you to look at and add to your orphan pattern pieces. Let me know….Sheila.

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About me


I started this blog to help me Get Things Done: sewing and knitting mostly.
But now I have a daughter! So I continue to daydream in enormous detail about what I'd like to make, but squeeze the 'doing' into precious naptimes and evenings.

Can I keep it up? Time will tell!

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