Monday, November 23, 2015

How to Sew a Lined Skirt with a Vent

I need more basics in my wardrobe and like wearing pencil skirts so I decided to make one. 
I went stash diving and came up with some wool houndstooth and one vented skirt pattern by McCalls... M3830. It's a favorite TNT on The only problem is that isn't lined. 

Excuse my mini rant: This is the only pattern I was able to find currently available for purchase that has a CB overlapping vent, and it doesn't have a lining. I'd venture to guess that's how they can justify calling it "Quick & Easy", which it certainly is. I'm a just bit peeved that there is no intermediate version for sewists who've made a few garments before and just want to make a basic skirt to rival what can be bought for $90 at LL Bean. Sigh. 

Fine. I can add the freakin lining myself. I like pattern-making after all and have drafted vented, lined pencil skirt in my sportswear pattern-making class at FIT. 

So I located my drafting notes, but unfortunately the sewing order of operations are missing. Drat! Then, after several evenings perusal of my entire sewing reference library I discovered that I have no references for this basic design detail. Vogue Sewing, McCalls, several vintage Singer books and the Singer Reference Series, my beloved Reader's Digest, every book I have by Claire Shaeffer and Nancy Zeiman.... none of them covered how to sew a lined skirt with a center back vent. Imagine my surprise and dismay. 

Well, what could I do other than figure it out my damn self? Nothing, so that is just want I did. 
Of course I took pictures on my cell phone while doing so... someone had to! 

First, a quick note on cutting the lining. I didn't draft a separate lining piece... I was too lazy for that and didn't really think it was necessary. What I did was cut using the body pattern pieces, with the following adjustments made while cutting: 
* I cut the side seams an extra 1/8" wide so that I would gain 1/2" total all around for ease. 
* I raised the center back seam 1/4" at the waist blending into the back waist darts. This adds a little vertical ease in the center back seam for ones bum and ensure that the lining doesn't end up too short which would cause the vent to hike up. 
* I cut the hem 1" shorter than the self. 
* I cut the wearer's Left back lining piece with a cut away for the vent underlap (on the line I'm pointing to in the photo above)

Order of Operations for a Lined Skirt with a Vent

Note: If your fabric has no discernible face as mine did, it helps to do each part of the self and lining prep in tandem to ensure that the pieces are being placed in the correct orientation. Or draw yourself a diagram, as I did.

Prepare the Self/Fashion:

  • Stitch waist darts (press to CF/CB) and stay-stitch waist seam. 
  • Fuse the Vent and the Zipper setting

  • Stay-stitch vent inner corners. Clip to dot.
  • Pre finish the side and CB seams in your chosen method (overlock, zig-zag, etc)
  • Insert Zipper into CB seam above dot. 
  • Stitch CB seam from bottom of zipper to dot above vent.  Press open. (1)
  • Stitch backs to front at side seams. Press open.

Prepare the Lining: Note: seam allowances will be between the lining and the self. 

  • Baste waist pleats (pleat uptake to sides) and stay-stitch waist seam.
  • Stay-stitch wearer’s right Lining Vent corners. Clip to dot.
  • Pre finish the CB seam in your chosen method. (overlock, zig-zag, etc)

  • Stitch backs to front at sides. Finish using your chosen method.
  • Hem Lining shorter than Self final length.
  • Stitch CB seam from dot (bottom of zipper) to dot above vent. Press open. (1)
I actually finished my CB seam allowances after stitching the CB seam, but I wouldn't do it that way again.

Attach Self to Lining at Vent:
Note: Some of these seams will require starting precisely at seam lines rather than the fabric edge. 

  • Pin the long side of Vent on wearer’s right side Self to Lining from the top angled seam line to bottom of hem allowance. Stitch. Press seam toward Self.**This side is the underlap** 

  • Pin the long side of Vent on wearer’s left side Self to Lining from the top angled seam line to bottom of hem allowance. Stitch. Press seam toward Lining. **This side is the bend back** 

  • Tuck all the angled seam allowances up. Match the stay stitch lines. 

  • Stitch angled top seam of Vent on self and lining, all layers together, starting at the inner seam-line dot. (4) **This will require reaching between the Lining and Self layers** Press seam up.

  • Topstitch across angle at top of vent through the wearer’s left side self and vent bend back only to secure.

Continue with remaining skirt construction: Self hem and Waistband. 

And there you have it!

Friday, August 14, 2015

Bow-Tie Block - A Baby Quilt

Not just another baby quilt. This one is for a BOY,  and I'm not related to him. 
He belongs to a couple from church and when they told me they were expecting 
of course I jumped at another chance to make a baby-sized quilt.

This quilt is also special because I didn't use quilting cottons. 
The fabrics for this quilt are entirely 100% cotton shirts that I thrifted and washed and sliced up. 
There are lots of progress pics on my instagram so I'm just posting the finished photos on the blog.


I also designed this quilt myself. Winging it means I designed it right?
I got the idea after seeing this Quilty; This Is My Quilt episode on Youtube a long time ago and have been waiting for an opportunity to co-opt the idea of using recycled cotton shirts. Baby quilts are the perfect size to experiment with new ideas. Instead of copying the inspiration quilt's design, I used a basic bow-tie block and arranged them in an "X's and O's" design. I had enough fabric left over to piece a patchwork backing (and plenty more fabric for another scrappier quilt!)


I hand quilted this one using the big stitch quilting technique and DMC perl cotton thread.


I love it! 

Monday, August 10, 2015

Flying Geese - Cotton and Steel - A Friendship Quilt

This quilt was made for a friend this past winter/spring. 
She was furnishing a new apartment and I know a good excuse when I see one.  

Sofa sized.
The fabric is from a kit I bought on craftsy, although the pattern can be acquired for free on the Cotton and Steel website. 

The original layout
I changed the design a lot because with the limited palette I thought the design was a bit boring.
I'm starting to see that I like the limitations of a kit but like to change up the design.


I am very proud of my points. 


The obligatory wrap myself in awesomeness 

Quilted as usual by the lovely Linda Lovett. 

Friday, August 7, 2015

Wee Wander Disappearing Nine Patch - A Baby Quilt

Another one of my cousins had a baby! Last fall. Oops. Bad blogger.
In my defense, I sent this quilt to them right about exactly the time the lovely Lena made her entrance into the world. I just haven't had the blogging mojo to brag about it.
Anyhoo. This is the quilt.

Hubs makes an adorable model. 

The Back

I had to give up on the idea of there being a "right side up", although this is technically sideways.

Focus! The label says "stitched with love" and was given to me by my friend who eventually got her own quilt

These are the details:

Pattern: Disappearing Nine Patch; some variation I made up after a bit of googling. I'm sure I got the idea from one of the Missouri Star Quilt Company YouTube videos.

Fabric: Wee Wanderer Twilight Palette by Sarah Jane for Michael Miller. It was a fat quarter bundle and I got some extra yardage from City Quilter. I also used some scraps from Ali's quilt on the back. 

Quilting: I love this pantograph! It's called Spiral Braid and was quilted by the lovely and wonderful Linda Lovett who has more photos on her blog of the quilting process. Linda is fantastic to work with; I highly recommend her. 
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