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New Look 0119 progress & spring fabric

New Look 0119 Progress

“Easy!” “2-Hour” -Lies!


Maybe an experienced seamstress can knock this skirt out in 2 hours, but a novice like me requires a lot more time to get it done. I am way more than 2 hours in and this is what I’ve produced so far:


Sorry about the bad evening light.

It looks skirt-like, but certainly not finished.

My progress has been slow. I decided to create a wearable muslin for this project after finding lovely brown suiting fabric for about $4 a yard on sale at Joann’s. The fabric is easy to pull stitches out of and not too slinky and stretchy. Since this is only my second time using a commercial pattern and first time completing several of the sewing tasks required, I’ve been taking my time, consulting online tutorials when I get stuck and reading pertinent sections of the Colette Sewing Handbook for basic how-to’s.

Sewing this skirt has resulted in a lot of “firsts”:

  1. I created darts!
  2. I adjusted a commercial pattern to fit me.
  3. I inserted a zipper. (sort of…)
  4. I bought interfacing! (I haven’t used it yet, but will in the next step of construction.)

These “firsts” are not going smoothly.

Oh darn darts!- I created lots and lots of darts… I had a tough time sewing a straight diagonal line the first ten times and got my money’s worth out of my new seam ripper. 


Finally- fairly straight and symmetrical darts.

The sizing was way off. I measured myself using the instructions in the Colette Sewing Handbook before purchasing the pattern. According to the measurements on the package, I should be a size 14, however, when I made up the skirt in that size it was way too big. I had to scale it down to a size 8. (Of course, this required dart removal and repositioning. Darn darts!) I also had to shorten the length as it fell unflatteringly long on my short frame.

The zipper is so far the most challenging and frustrating part of the skirt. The pattern calls for a traditional zipper with a fabric flap sewn to hide the zip. I decided to go rogue and insert an invisible zipper instead. I purchased a Coats and Clark 7 inch zip and the brand’s invisible zipper foot. Unfortunately, the zipper foot is really flimsy and doesn’t fit my machine. Initially, I thought I was doing something wrong, but after some searching online, it appears that it simply isn’t compatible with my sewing machine. I decided to try to insert the zipper with a regular zipper foot. I was able to do it, but it looks messy.


This simply won’t do.

I hope to purchase an invisible zipper foot while I’m out running errands tomorrow so I can fix my wonky zipper and finish the skirt.  Assuming I can get a foot, I should be able to complete the skirt in the evening. I’d love to wear it to class this week.

Spring Fabric

Before I realized I had a zipper foot problem, I stopped by Joann’s to pick up some fabric for the patterns I purchased over the holiday break. I love their new Hampton Collection and purchased the following:

IMG_0437This fabric is gauzy and sheer. You can’t really see it here- there are little iridescent circles in the white stripes of the fabric that catch the light. It’s just a hit of sparkle. I don’t have a pattern in mind for this one yet, but I’m sure I’ll be able to find something soon.

IMG_0438I love this geometric print. It’s a cotton blend with just enough stiffness to the fabric to make it feel properly preppy. I’m thinking it will make a beautiful short-sleeved blouse.

IMG_0436The last fabric I purchased today is extremely simple and (dare I suggest it- boring). It’s a stretchy black jersey. I have a specific project in mind for this and I can’t wait to get started. I’ve never worked with knits, so this should be interesting…

I also took home a bias tape maker and twin needle (for the knit fabric). Sewing is getting expensive! I look forward to the day when I have all the supplies I need and only have to worry about purchasing fabric.

Since the cost of sewing is quickly adding up, I ‘ve decided that I’m not going to make any clothing purchases this spring. I’ll make whatever  garments I want and keep up with trends by making the items I would normally buy. I love to shop, so this will be a big change for me. I hope my “couture” can live up to my expectations!


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