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Saturday, February 03, 2007

Zip Zip Hurray!

Originally uploaded by Green Kitchen.

Originally uploaded by Green Kitchen.
Sorry for the pun. Onto the post, shall we? Here is my beautiful sister modeling my very first skirt with a zipper, emphasis on the zipper. I bought the book Sew What! Skirts and it helped me get over my fear of the zipper foot. I always thought the button hole foot was the zipper foot. Those button hole feet still intimidate me, but the zipper one — no problem. They recommend gluing the zipper into place before sewing it. It works! I didn't have any sewing glue, so I used a regular glue stick, ironing it to set it quickly. Can you tell I have little patience? Or, maybe I just have little time, or both.

The book also teaches you how to draft your own patterns based on your measurements. This was really fun — it must fit my style of learning. Kristin was talking about this recently. I don't really know which category of learning style I fit in, but patterns are always a little intimidating to me. I'm a reference book kind of gal. That's what this is, all wrapped up in a contemporary and visually appealing format. After reading about what to do I would, then, ask my mom questions. If she tried explaining before I read it, I wasn't ready. So, thanks, mom and to all of you who have written about this book, because it was on your recommendation that I bought it. I already have one skirt finished and FIVE in the works. They're really fast. No wonder everyone sews!

Details about the skirt:
I drafted the "Tourist Trap" skirt, which is basically an A-line with no waistband. It has a side zipper and facing (because of the no-waistband). I didn't put on pockets, like in the pattern, or, do the double-fold hem. For the hem I used bias tape and wrapped it around the front for a decorative element. The fabric is a vintage sheet, much like this lovely stack.

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Blogger Blaize said...

I really like that the buttonhole foot scares you. I remember being pretty intimidated by the contents of the plastic case full of metal things that my mom had with her sewing machine. Did I ever tell you that Mom used a treadle machine to make our clothes until I was probably 5 or so? So, in the 80s, when she got the Husqvarna, it was like going from a horsecart to a rocketship in a dozen years.

Sat Feb 03, 11:42:00 AM PST  
Anonymous Emily said...


Sat Feb 03, 12:46:00 PM PST  
Blogger stephanie s said...

what a fantastically great skirt.... and remember, there really isn't anything you would be able to break in that box of sewing machine parts - unless you really tried... so grab some scraps and start messing around making buttonholes too, you will find that they aren't so hard either....

Sat Feb 03, 12:57:00 PM PST  
Blogger Angelina said...

That is such a cute skirt! I love the fabric and the A-line silhouette.

You can also baste zippers in place, then there's no glue on the skirt anywhere. Though it sounds like that worked super well for you.

Will you be posting more of the skirts as you make them?

Sat Feb 03, 01:06:00 PM PST  
Blogger Kate said...

Fabulous skirt - great pattern and fabric! Thanks for the book review.

Sat Feb 03, 01:08:00 PM PST  
Blogger Sonya said...

Five more skirts - you are a machine! When can I place my order? Zippers scare me, but maybe there is hope, you make it sound easy. I especially love the blue trim!

Sat Feb 03, 01:37:00 PM PST  
Blogger Abby said...

the skirt looks great. i love the blue trim addition. it really makes the skirt. i'm afraid of zippers.

Sat Feb 03, 02:09:00 PM PST  
Blogger Sasha said...

Great skirt, it's very flattering, I love a good A-line, and the fabric is great, it's not vintage is it? That's funny, I am scared of the zipper foot but not buttonholes any longer, I would make everything with buttons if I could. Sewing is fast, but somehow I am willing to be patient with knitting but I will still skip ironing and take shortcuts with sewing.

Sat Feb 03, 02:15:00 PM PST  
Anonymous Eren said...

AAAAck! I have some of that same sheeting! Love it! And it makes a really nice skirt. Darn it, Im going to make a skirt if it kills me.

Sat Feb 03, 02:42:00 PM PST  
Blogger Dorie said...

The skirt is perfect. Thanks so much for the book review. It's been years since I've sewed any clothing for myself and I've been putting it off. I think I'll give this book a look!

Sat Feb 03, 03:02:00 PM PST  
Anonymous Beata said...

Great-looking skirt!(I also have that sheet) I like the bias tape trim -- I have an extreme case of zipperphobia....I simply avoid them at all cost...I'll have to check out the book...

Sat Feb 03, 08:03:00 PM PST  
Anonymous amanda button said...

fantastic!!! it really really looks great and i LOVE the fabric!
i am in the process of reading all the way through the Sew What book, gearing up to try drafting my own is SO great, they really make it seem so do-able and nowhere NEAR as intimidating as a pre-made pattern with all those cryptic directions that i can't seem to wrap my head around no matter how hard i try! i seriously could give the HUGEST hug for recommending this fab book to me!!!! And i can't wait to see what amazing creations YOU come up with too!

Sun Feb 04, 08:06:00 AM PST  
Anonymous Jayne said...

You've done such a great job on this skirt. It took me awhile to get the hang of the zipper foot too but I have always love the buttonhole foot, give it a try its really easy and so fast!! You'll be amazed!

Sun Feb 04, 09:39:00 AM PST  
Blogger futuregirl said...

Awesome skirt! I love the idea of using bias tape as the bottom hem. I recently did my first zipper experiment, too. I was surprised at how easy it was. My machine supposedly has a one-touch button hole function. My machine rocks, so it probably does. Maybe I'll just wait to see how it comes out for you, first, :)

Sun Feb 04, 01:08:00 PM PST  
Blogger BrownPants said...

It's gorgeous! Wonderful fabric :)

Sun Feb 04, 02:35:00 PM PST  
Anonymous carolyn said...

cute skirt... there's this great double sided fabric tape you can ironing needed and it washes away.

Sun Feb 04, 07:38:00 PM PST  
Blogger Sarah said...

The skirt is adorable - great pattern, great fit.

Mon Feb 05, 06:42:00 AM PST  
Blogger Jillian said...

Your skirt looks great. I just learned how to use my buttonhole feature on my sewing machine for a button band on a cardigan and it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be.

Mon Feb 05, 07:20:00 AM PST  
Anonymous Alicia P. said...

Michelle, it's just perfect. I'm so happy for you! Great job.

Mon Feb 05, 11:43:00 AM PST  
Blogger mimulus said...

i gotta get tah book toot weet! and that sheet is awesoem! is it all cotton or a cotton/poly blend? Really great job michelle.

Mon Feb 05, 02:07:00 PM PST  
Blogger little lovelies said...

Try the buttonhole foot-you'll love it! I just started sewing a few months ago and would stare askance at it (I also thought it was the zipper foot!) and then I had a project I wanted to do that required buttons so I just sat down and spent about an hour practicing with it (I did have to read the manual a few times) but now I can do it! Try it!

Mon Feb 05, 07:25:00 PM PST  
Anonymous Kim said...

Adorable! And so clever! Sewing in general intimidates me, much less installing a zipper. Hats off to you, woman!! Thanks for the inspiration!

Mon Feb 05, 07:45:00 PM PST  
Blogger AmberCake said...

Funny... I've done buttonholes on the machine before, but never with a special foot. Since it sounds like we're on the same boat with the forget-the-pattern-I-want-the-reference-book, here's the concept of a buttonhole using a normal foot that's okay for zig-zag:
-Do a really close together but wide zig-zag. So close together the stitches are really kind of on top of each other - like a satin stitch.
-After a few stitches, stop with the needle down in the fabric and adjust your stitch to half the width (or just a hair less than half the width) of the stitch, but with the same density (stitches nearly on top of each other).
-Use this still tight but narrower stitch to go the length of the buttonhole you want.
-With the needle down in the fabric on the outside of the zig-zag (lined up with the outer edge of your starting zig-zag), reset the width back to the original wide zig-zag and do a few stitches.
-End with the needle down on the OTHER side of your wide zig-zag. Lift the foot and rotate your fabric 180 degrees (full reversal so it's faciing you).
-Readjust to your narrower (slightly less than half the width) zig-zag and stitch back to your first wide zig. Zag! Voila!

Why I feel compelled to re-write the ever brillian Reader's Digest guide to sewing in a blog comment, I don't know, but we'll just say: hey, you asked for it!

Tue Feb 06, 07:35:00 AM PST  
Blogger Zabrina said...

Very nice!!!!

Tue Feb 06, 07:57:00 AM PST  
Blogger Debby said...

Great skirt. I have looked at that book and wondered if it would be the way to go with child no.2, might pick it up for her now. Learning styles, boy there is a subject I have covered way more than I ever thought I would have. I have been homeschooling kids now for 14 years and that is one of those things you have to figure out in order for you not to go crazy. Naturally no kid learned the same way.

Tue Feb 06, 12:41:00 PM PST  
Anonymous helle said...

Awhh! This is really pretty and fits so well. I have been looking for a decent A-line skirt pattern for ages. Must get this book...... thanks.

Tue Feb 06, 12:41:00 PM PST  
Blogger Mikaela said...

Pretty, pretty, pretty :)

Wed Feb 07, 07:42:00 PM PST  
Blogger Brenda said...

Very cute skirt! I used to sew a lot, but haven't since I "grew" enough to need to do a lot of pattern adjusting. Maybe that skirt book would be a good way back in.

I'm glad I found your blog through Fricknits.

Thu Feb 08, 02:21:00 PM PST  
Blogger tiffany said...

I just bought this Sew What? Skirts! book a few days ago. I'm also taking my first formal sewing class right now. We are sewing skirts. Zipper day is this coming Monday--dun dun dun...

I hope I have as much success as you...

Let's hope this book brings us plenty of skirts to follow.

Thu Feb 08, 06:59:00 PM PST  
Blogger Toni said...

That is such a cute skirt, and great fabric too! Nice job!

Fri Feb 16, 10:34:00 PM PST  
Anonymous Kelly said...

that skirt is fantastic! I put that book on my amazon wish list a couple of weeks ago and now I'm going to have to go ahead and put it in my shopping cart. Fantastic!

here via dustpan alley...

I'll be back.

Thu Mar 01, 07:33:00 AM PST  
Blogger Colleen said...

I'm so glad I stumbled upon your blog again tonight. I have a favorite a-line skirt that I've owned for years, and it is wearing out its welcome. I've been thinking about sewing my own, but I was nervous about getting it right. But you make it look so simple. Thanks for sharing!

Fri Mar 02, 07:03:00 PM PST  

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