Saturday, July 6, 2013
Charlotte Skirt Sewing Pattern - How We Did It
We've recently stocked some beautiful new patterns from independent sewing pattern company, By Hand London. We love their style, modern interpretations of very classic styles that we believe are flattering on any shape. We completed the Charlotte Skirt in a short afternoon, a beginner's sewing pattern with lots of room for personal embellishment and alteration. See how we did it after the jump!
We've been saving a beautiful Alexander Henry floral voile for quite some time, desperate for the right opportunity to use it. When we pulled out a gorgeous denim tweed we purchased on our trip to Denver in the Spring at Fancy Tiger Crafts to complete the Charlotte Skirt, we knew the voile would be the perfect pop fabric for under the peplum.
1. Peplum Peekaboo
First, the peplum ruffle calls for a wide, long strip of material to be folded in half lengthwise to attach to the top (or bottom, if you're using the bottom ruffle variation). We wanted a "peekaboo" fabric on the underside of the peplum, so we opted to piece together a floral fabric under our exterior main fabric to spice it up a bit. We pieced the two facing right sides together, stitched on three sides (short, long, short)with a 1/4" seam allowance, and flipped right sides out. The remaining long open side would be used to align with the top raw edge of the skirt for final construction as explained in the pattern.
2. Lapped Zipper
Next, instead of the standard topstitched zipper insertion, we created a lapped zipper, still remaining within the 5/8" overall seam allowance. We attached the zipper to the opening created with a 1/2" seam under-turned and topstitched, then turned under the right side 5/8". This was laid over the zipper, and stitched down along the right side of the zipper, creating the perfect lapped zipper. We love this tutorial for a lapped zipper, in case you need help.
3. Kick Pleat
Finally, we cut a 7" slit up the back once everything was pieced to create a kick pleat. We love this on a pencil skirt, because we love the tapering but know that it can also restrict movement. The kick pleat did just the trick, and gave the skirt a perfectly polished finish. We turned the hem under twice with the iron (1/2" then 1/2" again) to prepare it for hand stitching. We also did a wide bottom rolled hem, stitching that in place by hand, too.
Ready to sew? We're determined to create a majority-handmade wardrobe, and hope this inspires you to get started in that direction, too! The pattern book includes lots of great suggestions for altering this super versatile pattern, including tips on adding a liner, and altering the peplum (that's where we got the idea to do a peekaboo fabric!). Get your Charlotte Skirt pattern in our shop here!