Out of all the sewing I managed to get through during my week off this is the project I am most pleased with. I made this using Salme patterns Peplum Skirt pattern. I was so excited to find this lovely little independent pattern company earlier in the year. Their patterns are simple and classic encouraging the use of well chosen fabrics and at the same time their simplicity gives you room for a lot of playing around with the shape and style, adding your own details.
I chose this particular pattern because I thought it was given a classy twist with the unique style of peplum. As the peplum sits fairly flat to the body I thought this would be more wearable on a day to day basis than some skirts and dresses I'd seen on the high street with voluminous peplums at the hip which might look fantastic for a night out but not so practical for wrapping up in a raincoat!
As I'm a fairly novice seamstress I decided to just stick with the pattern exactly as provided and to use some fairly inexpensive fabric I'd purchased on a shopping spree to Walthamstow market. I'm not sure what it's made from but I'm guessing a polyester imitation of wool. It has a lovely flecked weave which gives a really nice depth to the fabric up close.
I am so pleased with the neat finish I achieved on this skirt. I made sure I really took my time over each part as I have a tendency to get impatient and rush things and the effort has really paid off. I'm pretty happy with the fit of the skirt. I often find my bought skirts tend to swivel round during the day or tops come untucked but the waist on this so far seems just right. I think it could perhaps be slightly more fitted over the hips so the peplums appear slightly more filled out but that's just a small thing to think about next time that could perhaps be combated by using a stiffer fabric which would hold a shape.
This was my first time putting in a zip and I was very apprehensive about it! However I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out. The top was very neat and I managed to get the stitching even all down the sides. There is a bit of a bump at the bottom which I couldn't get rid of no matter how much fiddling with it I did. I think maybe I should have stitched from bottom to top rather than top to bottom but I wanted the stitching at the bottom to look nice and neat. It doesn't look so bad when on anyway.
I think part of this problem stemmed from the added complication that I was trying to insert the zip into both the main skirt and peplum layers plus keep the bottom edges of these peplum layers level at the centre seam. I did at least manage to achieve this! I was also happy with my mitred corners (which were explained beautifully in the pattern instructions) and the neat finish of the edges of my peplums at the front as you can see below. It's so nice to feel myself improving or finding certain things easier the more I sew even such as sewing in a straight line and keeping an even distance from the fabric edge!
I'm still playing around with my ideal method of finishing seams as I do not have an overlocker/serger. On this skirt I folded each seam edge under and stitched down the fold to hold in place. This did achieve a neat edge but as you can see from the picture below, because of the narrow width of the seams, made them all go a bit wiggly so I might not try this method in future. I'd like to try binding the seam edges with bias tape but that just seams like such a long winded process when I just want to get the skirt together; I'll definitely try it on a special project though.
However you can also see from the picture above some things which I am really happy with! Firstly my darts which I think I managed to get just right when it came to smoothing out the stitching at the point to create a nice smooth shape on the outside. Secondly my 'stitching in the ditch' along the join of the waistband to skirt I was really chuffed about, you can't even see it close up! I think this is where all my hand sewing (like cross stitching) came in really handy.
Overall I'd probably say I'm 80% happy with this skirt, which for my first skirt isn't bad going! I'd love to make this again perhaps in a colour bold print cotton twill for summer?