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.
From then on, I followed the Craftsy Class presented by Threads Magazine, with Susan Khalje teaching. Here are some pictures taken along the way:
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.
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.)
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.
12 responses to “A Three Piece Outfit for the Holidays: Part 2, the Skirt”
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!
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!
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!
There are nine snaps, believe it or not! I’m happy to know you could not find them. Hope you have a wonderful week!
You as well, enjoy your family!
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!
So lovely! A real designer quality work with your manipulation of the lace. Truly beautiful!
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.