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Friday, October 26, 2007

Woven Tencel Skirt with zip and Angled Hem from Christine Jonson #1219

Though certainly not a 'model' pose - at this time, this is a quick shot my sis took of the hem of this skirt the day I was dressing for wearing this ensemble (my Burgundy 'Worthy' Creative Sweatshirt jacket) plus this skirt at the Houston Quilt Festival.

FYI: I write what I call my "Londa's 2 Cents Worth" on every pattern after I stitch it up. It is my effort to share from my years of sewing, and to add value to a pattern. I do these on patterns that I sell at my website: They are delivered FREE with purchase of the pattern via an attachment to an email. ALSO, they are sent to my Londa's Fashion Club members 4-6 times a year, as I write them.

This is an addition to my 'Londa's 2 Cents Worth' document that is available online FREE at:

I created this skirt to wear with my 'Worthy' Creative Sweatshirt Jacket. Since that jacket pattern features an asymmetric, angled hemline, I wanted to repeat that on the hemline of this skirt. I used the Christine Jonson #1219 A-Line Skirt pattern - which is just 2 pieces: Front/Back and Side Panels.

It was simple to do:

First - since it was a woven, not a knit - I added a center back seam in the Back Skirt Piece when i cut it out. This actually enabled me to get this skirt from one length of the 64' wide Tencel fabric. This link is for current (10-27-07) availability of this great fabric. In the picture below, you see the fold of the fabric at the top edge - that is the front pattern piece folded in half to get the skirt Front. Next, is the side panel piece. Then, the Back cut on the selvage, since I needed a back seam for a zipper since this is for a woven fabric, not stretch - thus it wouldn't stretch enough to get over my hips unless I cut it much larger at the top - then it would have been too gathered at the waist. You can see I flipped the pattern pieces top to bottom to get it to fit - but this worked fine with my no nap fabric.

In the top of the 2 pictures above, you can see I just cut an angled piece. You can see the size from my cutting mat. It is about 3.5" high at the side.

In the lower picture then, you can see that I used that piece as a template, laid it on the bottom of another skirt piece, and cut along it to get the same angle. Repeat this on each skirt piece, always placing the template on the outside of the skirt.

Next, I fused HTC Bias Fusible Tape in the hem allowance of each piece, serged, and pressed up and topstitched the hem each panel of the skirt.

Then, I stitched the seams of the skirt - leaving the center back opening about 2" longer than needed for the invisible zipper.

Above, you can see that I then added STRAIGHT HTC Fusible Tape to the extended portions of those seams to stabilize them. THEN, those seams got pressed back, and topstitched. The Straight Fusible tape really make a difference in how they hang.

Skip over to the full Londa's 2 Cents Worth to read about how I hem first, THEN establish the top edge of the skirt being sure that the hem is level with the floor.

THEN, as you see in the picture above, I lay the Ban-Rol Control Stabilizer on the wrong side of the skirt, about 1/4" down from the cut edge.

Above picture shows how it looks when then I serge off that excess, taking great care (Banroll side up at the serger) NOT to cut into the Banrol!!!

Then, I inserted the invisible zipper. See how I extended it all the way to the top of the fabric, and then I anchor stitched the ends of the Banroll down to the skirt.

Honestly, when I do this again, I will END the zipper at the top of the skirt as it is turned down, instead of extending it to the top of the fabric!

At the top of an invisible zipper, you need to be sure to roll the fabric to cover the zipper. See the pictures below.

You can see below the inside of the zipper/waistband area. It would itch me to death!!!

The solution is to just make a tab of fabric to cover it on the inside. I still need to put a buttonhole in the tab, and stitch a button to the inside of the waistband...

Here is how it looks then on the inside...

And on the outside...

1.5 hour great knit skirt

Of COURSE, as I have been preparing for the Houston Internation Quilt Festival (teaching and vending) Nov. 1-4, I decided I needed a new long black when I wear black, it makes it EZ to keep changing my Creative Sweatshirt Jackets to show them off in my booth. :)

Sew...wanting a quick and ez pattern, the Christine Jonson No. 1219 "Bell Sleeve Wrap and A-Line Skirt" jumped out at me. This is a 4 gore skirt with a center front, center back, and side panels. I cut it out in 15' (and got a little shell type top out of the excess from 2 lengths). I easily stitched it up in 1 hour. It is pretty nice. Not quite as full as the pattern illustration though, I don't feel. I did have to take it in at the top (yea!) quite a bit - even after selecting my proper size. That's fine - no gripe there. I think if you don't want to fit as you sew, you shouldn't try to sew clothing! I just sew pants and skirts in my undies most the time!!!
I also used a great new elastic I carry - comes 2" wide, and you can cut it down to whatever width you desire. That worked great.
I twin needled the hem and around the bottom of the elastic at the top. Used a 4.0/75 Twin STRETCH needle. Fused in BIAS HTC Fusible Tape first. GREAT results.
Read more about that technique here.
One thing I always do though is to never LAP elastic. Instead, I grab a lightweight scrap of fabric, and butt the ends of the elastic on top of it, and zig zag it lots to hold it all together. Then, cut the excess scrap fabric away. Lots less bulky!
I'll be writing my Londa's 2 Cents on this pattern - and including it in my next newsletter as a sample of one of the main benefits of my Londa's Fashion Club at

Link to this pattern is above, and here

I haven't made the top yet - but I do like the bell shape of the sleeves. It can be sewn of 2 fabrics and made reversible - for the sleeveless version. With all the inside-out stuff in RTW, I see no reason why one couldn't just serge the armscye seam of the sleeved version very neatly, and have it be reversible too.