A Three Piece Outfit for the Holidays: Part 2, the Skirt

If I had known how lengthy a process it is to make a couture Guipure lace skirt, I would have chosen to make it before the blouse. Here I thought I was getting the more complicated part finished first. Well, I could not have been more mistaken! However, it certainly feels good to have both finished, although I may be in “skirt recovery” for a while!

The Guipure lace I used was some that I had purchased a couple of years ago. I liked the fact that the color from my fashion fabric – that coppery brown silk – would be a good contrast to the white lace. However, I did not consider if it was really the best choice for a Guipure skirt, due to the fact that part of the allure of these skirts is camouflaging the seams and darts. The light weight nature of this Guipure – and its very regular pattern – made it somewhat difficult to use for this purpose.

One of the first things I did was determine what selvedge edge of the lace I wanted to use for the hem. Once I had settled that, I had to decide how much of the fashion fabric to leave showing on the hem edge.

This selvedge edge is marked by some of the small daisy-like flowers in a horizontal line with the larger motifs.

And here the larger motifs are more prominent.I preferred this one, but I moved it up a bit to show more of the fashion fabric, in order to “ground” the lower edge.

From then on, I followed the Craftsy Class presented by Threads Magazine, with Susan Khalje teaching. Here are some pictures taken along the way:

Pinned in place, ready to stitch part of the lace covering the back seam.

In trying to camouflage the zipper, I chose to have a fairly substantial flap of lace on the left, to be snapped in place on the right. It would have been better to have smaller overlays across the zipper, which are much easier to handle.

The back of the skirt with all the lace attached and snapped in place.

All in all, the back of the skirt looks okay, I think.

And the shaping over the darts is almost imperceptible on this view of the skirt front.

I have one tip to add: when I was ready to insert the silk lining, there were many fuzzies and threads clinging onto the cotton underlining. I really did not want them encased in my skirt forever, so I quickly removed them all with a lint roller. Then the lining went in just as intended, followed by the Petersham ribbon inner waist band.

Here is the lining with its built-in drop pleat for ease of wearing.

View of the interior Petersham ribbon waist “facing.”

All in all, I am fairly pleased with how this skirt turned out. I learned so much from taking this course and making this skirt, and it probably isn’t surprising that I have a list of things to do differently the next time.

1) choose a heavier weight – or more substantial – Guipure, with a more intricate pattern. This should make it easier to hide the snaps and manipiulate the motifs in the lace to conceal all which must be concealed!

2) use a lighter weight cotton for my underlining. I felt the one I used was just a little heavier than needed. (It was some I found in my stack of quilting cottons.)

The underlining cotton. A little lighter in weight would be preferable.

3) leave 1/2” distance from the top of the zipper to the line for the Petersham ribbon. I left about 3/8” and I think the zipper is a little squashed at the waistline.

4) when I tried on the skirt midway through to doublecheck on the fit, I thought the waist was a little snug, so I added 3/8”. But once the skirt was finished, I found I really did not need the extra fullness. So next time, I’ll keep my original measurement! Hopefully I won’t need suspenders to keep the skirt from falling down.

5) next time I will definitely use a more exciting lining. I think this one is dull.

Now I have one more small thing to make for this outfit (with full pictures to come.)  But I have small on the brain right now as I need to do some sewing for my little granddaughters, making for a fierce competiton in my sewing room. I believe multi-tasking will be on the agenda.



Filed under couture construction, Lace, Linings, sewing in silk, Uncategorized, underlinings

12 responses to “A Three Piece Outfit for the Holidays: Part 2, the Skirt

  1. Karen Mizzi

    I really enjoy reading your articles. The skirt turned out beautifully, but I also love reading about the things you would do differently next time. Do you think you’ll give it another go just so you can create the ‘perfect’ skirt?

    • I suspect I will make another one of these skirts, although at present I don’t have another one planned. I think this may be like making a “Classic French Jacket” – after making one, you are addicted!

  2. Mery

    You may see imperfections, but we don’t see anything except pretty. Wishing you a week full of blessings and beauty. Oh, you tease us…a treat for the grandchildren…bet they’ll be tickled with it.

    • Thanks, Mery! I always see imperfections on most of what I make. Happily, I can usually live with most of them… but, of course, I am always striving for that perfect make!
      I’m certainly hoping that the granddaughters (and their mom, my daughter) will like what I am cooking up for them!

  3. I had a very difficult time figuring out where you put your snaps, and I was looking for them, so no one but you will notice where they might possibly be! (I am the same way though, I see every little thing on my projects!) Looking forward to piece number 3 of this outfit. It will be quite glamorous I think!

  4. Marianne

    Your skirt turned out beautifully! It’s good to know the construction was even more time consuming than you expected. But well worth every minute you spent on it!

    • Yes, I really could not believe how long this skirt took to make. Of course, I was constantly reviewing the video as I worked, so perhaps next time it will go more quickly. At least I’ll know what I’ve gotten myself into next time, although there always seem to be surprises in sewing!

  5. So lovely! A real designer quality work with your manipulation of the lace. Truly beautiful!

  6. Lisa

    I’m very fascinated by the lace skirt. But also a little perplexed. It looks absolutely seamless and perfect from the back, but am I correct in understanding that there are 9 snaps that hold the lace in place after zipping the skirt?

    If you had to do it over again would you use a side zip and match to the best of your ability?


    • Yes, Lisa, you are correct. The lace around the zipper hangs loose until the zipper is closed, and then the lace is snapped into place. Needless to say, you have to put the skirt on backwards in order to do all those snaps (unless you have a very helpful someone around who is willing to do all that snapping for you), and then turn the skirt around. I am no expert in these skirts, but I think that a side zipper would not work, as the curve would be more severe than at the center back. There would be more tension on a side opening as well, which would not be ideal for snapping.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.