Please forgive my cranky zombie face -- I am taking this picture with a camera that I don't understand balanced on my ironing board, and it was past my bedtime.


Bishop has you ignore the waistband pattern piece and cut one based on your exact waist measurement so everything hangs nicely from your waist — instant fit. It works AND improves posture since you are wearing a waistband with zero ease. No second helpings of dinner for me. On the downside, I had more skirt to ease in than I could do successfully and ended up with an unsightly mini tuck in the back. Shhhhh, don’t tell anyone. Nonsewers won’t notice.

Here is that infamous lapped zipper


Lapped zipper


Which looks deceptively successful here. You see, the instructions said to pink the seam before inserting zipper. “Interesting!” I thought, “I wouldn’t think there would be room to spare for pinking, and that it would mess up the insertion of the zipper into the seam. Oh well, here’s how!” and I did my modern day replacement of the pinking, which was serging. Then when it came time to insert the zipper, I had serged off too much of the seam allowance and the zipper tape didn’t have anything behind it on the right side, and the zipper tape was just flapping in the breeze every few inches behind the unzipped zipper. So do you know what? I CHEATED. I used Steam-a-seam two and beat the crap out of the zipper with my clapper

and that way I basically glued the parts of the zipper that were missed by the sewing machine to the too-short seam allowance. And the zipper works fine! Though I can never wash this skirt.

Next time I will add a quarter inch to the seam allowance so that I might serge it off before inserting the zipper.

The waistband is self-interfaced by folding under a third of the width of the band before attaching it to the skirt. This means that the ‘interfacing’ is soft and comfortable (and always works with your fabric!), so it is a trick I’m glad to know. The zipper isn’t interfaced either, which worries me a tad.

I hemmed the skirt by hand since my machine hemming skills are subpar and I can’t get an invisible hem that way. Note I am 5’10 and didn’t add length, so when Butterick says ‘past knee length, they mean it.

The book is definitely helping my sewing — taking the time to make sure everthing was pressed, laid out, and cut on grain seems to have really paid off. No puckery stitches! And I used my seam gauge on the machine for a perfect 5/8″ seam — something I don’t normally do but think I will start making a habit of. Ditto the staystitching. I have read that it is a myth and doesn’t really keep your fabric from growing, but it is nice to have the stress-free time at the sewing machine, if nothing else.

Okay, okay, I will admit it — one huge glaring error — the skirt is backwards. I realized too late that I had the skirt back-to-front when I did the zipper and waistband. But I’ll be honest, I can barely see the difference between the front and back center panels and I’ll bet your average Joe can’t either.

I’ll post pictures of the waistband technique, the jacked-up zipper cheat, and the hem as soon as I can get some decent pictures. In the meantime, here is a video clip of Die Antwoord, who are playing at Amoeba Records tomorrow. Next level!