Friday, March 19, 2010

Skirt - 3rd time's the charm

I apologize for allowing so much time to pass since my last post. In the week before spring break I have been overwhelmed with tests and papers. But now spring break has begun and I can spend time on important stuff such as making a few shirts for myself and writing blog entries.
My apparel construction class has begun work on pants; our skirts were finished a week ago. It took me three attempts to make a skirt, but I am quite pleased with the finished product. There were problems with the seam finishes on my first skirt. I could have torn out the stitching, but I had enough fabric and time to start over. Skirt number two was going well, but at some point between one class and the next the fabric got stretched. Where the skirt used to hug the mannequin’s curves nicely it now has an unsightly bulge. I tried to steam it out, but I could not shrink the fabric enough. I was not happy about this, but I wanted a good grade so I started my third skirt.
I chose a different fabric for the third skirt in hopes of avoiding another unfortunate stretching incident. The first two skirts were a cotton/rayon blend. The skirt was made for a mannequin, not a person, so I did not care if it is dry-clean only. I chose the fabric for its print, weight, and price. I used 100% cotton denim for my third skirt. I wanted a fabric I could trust.

I learned the pattern’s idiosyncrasies on skirts one and two, so skirt number three was easy. The only bit I found at all troublesome was the hem. I was required to hand stitch the hem, and I had no hand stitching experience. I now know how to hem a skirt without the aid of modern technology. I do not like hand stitching, and I do not intend to use it too often, but it is always good to learn new skills.

I got an A for the skirt. My instructor pointed out that the side seams do not line up perfectly with the line of my model’s legs, but it was close. She acknowledged that it is easier to get a close fit on real people, so I did not lose any points for that. I was a little upset that she did not have any comments about my seam finishes. There was no requirement for a specific type of seam finish as long as there were no exposed unfinished edges. The rest of the class used sergers to finish their seams. I do not like the look of serged seam finishes, so I made flat felled seams. It is my favorite seam and the most appropriate one for denim.

I considered making a skirt for myself instead of for the mannequin. It would have been fun to wear a skirt in class for the final fitting, but I decided it would be better to make one for a woman’s body. I do not have curves in the right places. There is not much demand for men’s skirts, so I thought it would be wise to learn to learn women’s skirts first.

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