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Whilst the Cat’s away…

Teehee, Dixie is out of town in Boston and Susan and I have hacked her blog! Ooh, what fun can we have? Let’s stretch the hacking metaphor just a little and hack a couple of her patterns. Mwahaha!

I’ve dug deep into her archives and chosen her button-down skirt. Tres cute but needs a little Miss Lulu tweaking. For one thing, gathers and an elastic waist don’t look so great on me so let’s add a waistband and change those gathers to pleats. And whilst we’re at it, let’s add some pockets. No, not side seam pockets, that would be way to easy. Let’s go for some angled front pockets instead. Oh, and since we’re not doing an elastic waist and I don’t feel like putting in a side zip or a center back seam and zip. Let’s use the space under the button flap to put in a super deep fly zip.

OK, first the pattern modifications. I drew a pocket shape onto the pattern piece with the fairly unscientific method of placing my hand on there and drawing around it.

I drew on a line at an angle to the side seam that looked fairly pleasing. Then I traced off the shapes to make a pocket piece and a pocket lining piece. Next I cut off the allowance for the fold over waistband, remembering to leave a seam allowance for once :). I pulled out a contoured waistband pattern piece from another pattern that fits me well and just added a little to the center front so I could be sure the waistband would go to the edge of the fold over flap. As I’m a fairly tall girl, I knew that the skirt length would not look decent on me so I took the opportunity to do some colour blocking and cut a contrast band for the hem.

So far, so good. Piece cut out and ready to go. The first thing I did was put in the zipper. I put left and right front together, right sides facing, matching the raw edges at the front, and basted a 1/2″ seam. Pressed open and laid out with right side on top and left seam allowance sticking out by itself.

Laid the zipper face down with the teeth over the seam and sewed the zipper tape to the left seam allowance only.

Then tucked the zipper under to expose the right seam allowance. Pinned and sewed the zipper tape to the right seam allowance only. Flipped the whole thing over and topstitched the left front through the zipper tape. Then I folded the right front to form the flap. The bottom two pictures show the flap turned back to show you how deep the zipper seam ended up being and the flap as closed.

Then pinned through all the layers, making sure to catch the right zipper tape and right seam allowance. Topstitched through all those layers then undid the basting at the zipper area. All done! Next, I tackled the pockets.

Pinned the pocket lining to the front piece, right sides facing, stitched and turned. Flipped the piece over and placed the pocket piece over the pocket lining piece, lining up the top and side seam. Pinned the pocket piece to the pocket lining and stitched, making sure to keep free of the skirt front. Then flipped everything over and made sure all the pieces are lined up at top and side seams. Basted through all layers at the top seam and the side seam so everything stayed in place when stitching the front to the back.

OK, that was all the fiddly bits, after that it was smooth sailing, sewing front to back, adding the waistband and putting on the bottom contrast band. I went totally unscientific with the darts as well, just matching the side seams of the skirt and the waistband and pleating any excess fabric until it fit the waistband. The only thing I was careful with was trying to get the pleats symmetrical.

But no plan ever goes completely smoothly. This was supposed to be a smash and grab operation but I was foiled at the last minute! No suitable buttons in the stash! Nooooo!!!

So this is where I’m at…

I’m off to the fabric store to find some buttons. I guess you’ll just have to wait for the final reveal over on my blog. For now, I better get out of here before the guard cat, Peanut, gets me.

(Visit Miss Lulu at her new blog!)

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