Clothing,Sewing

Ava Skirt – Take Two!

Welcome to take two of the Ava Skirt. You may remember that my first attempt saw me whipping up the Sew Over It Ava Skirt in an Orange Boucle Weave. Unfortunately it didn’t work as I hoped it would, mainly because the pattern I used was a straight size 12, but also because I found the fabric tricky to sew with and had to swiftly remove the in-seam pockets.

I took all that I had learned from attempt one and this time I have graded the pattern from a 10 at the waist to a 14 at the hip. Of the three remaining wool fabrics that I have left, this time I opted for the lovely Moon Rogart in Dark Forest.

Before I got stuck into the sewing part, I had to test whether this wool was washable. Textile Express recommends that this particular one is dry clean only, however we all know that dry cleaning everything is just not practical (especially with things as they are). After I had done some intense googling of phrases such as “Can I machine wash dry clean only fabrics?”, and “Can I wash wool?”, I took a punt, ordered some Woolite detergent on the grocery shop and put the whole lot in the washing machine on a wool wash (and prayed to the fabric gods!)

59 very long minutes later…

I opened the washing machine with my eyes half open, expecting to find disintegrated wool in the drum, only to find that it was looking and smelling lovely. A good dry on the airer and a nice steamy iron and it was ready to sew with!

Cutting out the pattern pieces was a dream, although the amount of lint that it shed was crazier than the Boucle weave. I also cut the front and back pieces out in the lining fabric too; this time I opted for a bottle green lining (another Textile Express special). I decided against pockets simply because I don’t think in-seam pockets will work very well with wool and a lining. I think that if I make this skirt out of a heavy weight cotton in future, then without a doubt the pockets will become a feature again!

Cotton colour choice for this was brown as I couldn’t find a shade that matched the green of this fabric, and in the light it has noticeable brown flecks in it. I did however have a matching cotton for the lining so opted for a matching green for that.

Onto the sewing

The main skirt edges have been zig-zagged at the side seams and back edge seams, as has the lining. I stitched both the wool and the lining in the same way as the first attempt, putting a bottle green 8 inch zip into the back seams of the main fabric, and leaving the lining unstitched at the top to account for the zip. I stitched the front and back skirt pieces together at the side seams in the wool and then again on the lining, followed by stitching the lining to the wool at the waistband with a 1 cm seam allowance.

On the second attempt, I still found that the waist band does not work as I expect it to. The notches still don’t line up with those at the top of the skirt, and I end up still left with a tiny tab at the back. On the plus side, as this wool is not as thick as the Boucle Weave, I found that it made a cleaner looking tab. I plan to make one more skirt with the black wool, so I will omit this next time completely or alter it further. Instead of a hook and bar, with the tab slightly larger on this version, I chose to sew on a press stud for two reasons; to give me some experience in sewing press studs, and because it felt more secure than a hook.

Another slight difference on Ava v2 is that I opted for a wider hem on the lining fabric so that it was more discrete, mainly because it was such a contrasting shade of green! I chose a 2 cm hem on the main skirt as I like that it is knee length.

With the final lot of slip stitching done for the open side of the waistband, and the press stud on, I think it is a gorgeous skirt and one that looks (and fits) better given the grading of the pattern. I think that the darts might be a little uneven but I am definitely happier with this one when I compare it to my first attempt. All that is left to do now is to order some wool care labels so that I can brand this as a S.U.A.S make.

Happy sewing!

Em x

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