Sunday, 24 February 2013

My Second Charlotte Skirt!

Yes, I like this pattern so much I made two in quick succession!

Diary of a Chainstitcher Floral Brocade By Hand London Charlotte Skirt sewing pattern

I liked my first version, but this one I LOVE! I'm absolutely delighted with the way it turned out; I think I've got the fit a bit better, the length just right and I made a bit more of an effort with the finishing on this one. It feels like a really special skirt because of that extra bit of effort and yet still completely wearable for all different occasions!

Diary of a Chainstitcher Floral Brocade By Hand London Charlotte Skirt sewing pattern

I actually had this silk brocade in mind for my first Charlotte skirt for the sewalong but walked away from it when I saw the £16 per metre price tag in Borovicks on Berwick Street (I love that shop by the way!). I thought I would need at least 2 metres for the skirt so I just didn't feel confident enough in my sewing skills to be cutting into that total expense of fabric just yet. However about halfway through making my first Charlotte I realised that I was going to love this pattern and if I didn't add the peplum or ruffle I could get away with just a metre of fabric this width. Suddenly £16 for a new skirt didn't seem so bad! So off I trotted back to Borovicks and voila!

Diary of a Chainstitcher Floral Brocade By Hand London Charlotte Skirt sewing pattern

As the circles in the pattern are laid out fairly regularly in stripes I did consider for quite some time making the effort to match up the pattern at the seams but as it was such a detailed pattern I thought this might be quite difficult to get right, and would require more of my scant metre of fabric. In the end I decided the detail of the pattern made it random enough to get away with not matching, but did try to line up the rows and looking at the side seam in the picture above I think i got away with it!

Diary of a Chainstitcher Floral Brocade By Hand London Charlotte Skirt sewing pattern

The invisible zip again went in like a dream using my lovely new invisible zip foot. If I were to make this again I would like to work on my construction of the tab closure feature at the back of the waist. I think this time I managed to get a crisper square edge to the tab but it still doesn't naturally line up quite right where it overlaps the other end of the waistband. I think this is to do with not being accurate enough with my seam allowances when creating the tab and then attaching the waistband to the skirt. It's just a couple of millimetres and not that obvious when fastened but I know it's not quite right and it bugs me!

Diary of a Chainstitcher Floral Brocade By Hand London Charlotte Skirt sewing pattern

I used a big popper to fasten the tab again and because this fabric has a bit more body than the denim for my first version the end of the tab doesn't lie quite flat. I might change it to two smaller poppers nearer the corners to hold it down more effectively.

Diary of a Chainstitcher Floral Brocade By Hand London Charlotte Skirt sewing pattern

I'm really pleased with the extra work I put in on the insides. I find it so satisfying when I know it's all been done as best it can be! I used a hong kong/bound seam finish with some bought black bias tape (I haven't quite got the patience to make enough bias tape to be finishing seams!) Doesn't it look lovely with the black and white fabric? I've tried various different methods of transferring pattern markings to my fabric recently and think out of everything I prefer the traditional old tailors chalk and tailor's tacks to mark the points of the darts. Accurate, simple and effective. your can still see my pink chalk marks for the dart legs in the pic below!

Diary of a Chainstitcher Floral Brocade By Hand London Charlotte Skirt sewing pattern

I was tempted to just turn and machine stitch the hem but this time I put in the time with the hand stitching. I found some perfect black and white grosgrain ribbon in my stash to edge the hem with and love the finished look. I machine stitched this to the outside of the raw edge of the skirt, pressed it inwards and slip stitched around. It did take an episode of 'The Walking Dead' to do so and another episode for slip stitching the waistband down, but it's quite therapeutic I find! (the hand-stitching, not 'The Walking Dead'...)

Diary of a Chainstitcher Floral Brocade By Hand London Charlotte Skirt sewing pattern

Although my first Charlotte skirt is easy enough to walk about in (considering it's a pencil skirt) I wanted to work on the fit of the lower portion this time so decided to add in the back vent. I was really happy to have the sewalong from the ladies at By Hand London to follow at this point as I'm not sure I would have achieved quite as neat a finish as you see above without their guidance! The mitred corners were quite tricky with the added bulk of the bias tape on the seam and the width of the ribbon on the hem but I'm so pleased with how neat it looks. I will admit I had to give it a couple of tries though; the first time one corner ended up a noticeable amount longer than the other!

Diary of a Chainstitcher Floral Brocade By Hand London Charlotte Skirt sewing pattern

By Hand London announced the other day that the Elisalex dress sewalong will be starting on 11th March. I've got pattern and fabric ready and can't wait! They also gave a little sneaky peak of their next pattern release; I can't wait for that either!

Diary of a Chainstitcher Floral Brocade By Hand London Charlotte Skirt sewing pattern

I'm off to swan about like a lady in my lovely new skirt now! Have a good start to the week everyone!

10 comments:

  1. Your skirt is fab!! I love the fabric, it's definately worth the price. It's very helpful to know how much fabric you used, because this is the version I want to make, and though the fabric requirements on the pattern seemed a bit generous! I haven't bought the pattern yet though because I haven't found the fabric I want yet, but I know what it will be like in my head! The inside looks fantastic, the bound edges and grosgrain ribbon are great. Happy wearing. :)

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    1. Thanks Lynne! I'm liking it more and more each time I look at it!
      As long as your fabric is wide enough to get the main front and back skirt pieces on next to each other you just need fabric long enough to accommodate the length of the waistband so a metre should be fine!

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  2. This looks amazing! I LOVE your fabric choice and your finishing looks fantastic! I do a lot of hand finishing infront of the TV too and I completely agree- very therapeutic! :o)
    Xxx

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    1. Thanks Ami! I love a bit of cross stitch in front of the telly too; although my boyfriend doesn't think I can be paying attention to whats happening when I'm sewing at the same time!

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  3. How perfect! Love this skirt! Great job, girl!

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    1. Thanks Sonja! Think I might need to go out somewhere that has some cocktails on offer this weekend to give it the wearing it deserves!

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  4. Your skirt is stunning, Fiona! Swan away and be proud and beautiful. Have fun with Elisalex as well. I just ordered mine and hope it comes in time to hop onto the sewalong at some point.
    Take care and enjoy this gorgeous skirt!

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  5. Thanks Shelley! Lovely to see a new face commenting on the blog!
    I've completely missed the Elisalex sewalong but a hoping to get cracking on with it today!

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  6. This is so beautifully done! I love the details like the ribbon you used as hem tape. Very elegant!

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    1. Thank you so much! It was the first time I'd used any kind of hem tape finish and I now love it! I want to try some lace next!

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I love hearing from readers of my blog so please feel free to leave a comment letting me know what you thought about this post/make! Any hints or tips to improve my sewing are always much appreciated too!