Friday, 27 May 2011

The "Rosie/I am a complete idiot" Ginger skirt

Well as you may remember, I was feeling pretty cocky when I planned the Ginger skirt. I am not a complete beginner, I have made plenty of stuff from patterns, and this is just an A-line skirt, and one with excellent instructions to boot. Clearly this was going to be easy...

Well they say pride comes become before a fall, and this skirt has definitely proved that true. And it wasn't because it was hard. But because I repeatedly proved myself an idiot. This skirt proved that a) I cant measure, b) I cant install invisible zips well, c) I cant read, and d) I cant hem. But apart from that....! I do really like it though, now that I have managed to get past my own stupidity!

Firstly, I measured myself, got the usual measurements, cut out my pieces etc, and when I tried on the basted version, entirely failed to notice that the thing was too big in the waist. 2 inches too big. This skirt fits on the upper waist, or is meant to. Had I made in and inch bigger it probably would have worked lower down, but I had managed to make it just the wrong size. Of course as I didn't notice this at the time, I went on to sew all the facings, lace, piping etc on before I noticed. At which point I had to take a chunk out of each side, as if it were a ready to wear I had refashioned. Urgh.

Secondly, after reading various online zip tutorials, I finally got my head round invisible zips. It still took me 4 attempts and still isn't very good. But its wearable, and the sides match, and hence its an improvement on every previous invisible I have attempted!

Thirdly, after battling repeatedly with the zip, I had to put the waistband facing on. The pattern has excellent instructions for this. Which are super clear. Except that I didn't read them properly. so I ended up sewing down the wrong bit and having my zip sewed inside the seam. Consequently, after unpicking and stuff, the top of zip is not as shiny and neat as it could be!

Also, I did the hem in a hurry and it is not fantastic.

Apart from these "minor" niggles. I like it a lot, it's a lovely skirt and a lovely pattern. I also used it as my first attempt at embellishment (just in time for the Sew Weekly challenge!) and added piping (which I didn't put in in the easiest way (as I gathered after reading Sunni's guide) but which worked fairly well for a first attempt!) and some lace (it's actually some kid of crocheted thing, but its very pretty).

So all in all, I would highly recommend this pattern, and will probably make another, just this time I will actually read the instructions!

It is a little see through though, so I get a chance to wear my handmade slip!


  1. Love this skirt! This version is making me want to get the pattern! Oh and I've done a similar thing with the colette pattern for the parfait (I actually sewed the midriff piece in upside down...but I just left one really noticed :)

    p.s. I am so up for a gin and off this week with some international visitors but maybe sometime in June? Would be fun to meet up!

  2. Wow! Very nice!! Sewing machines freak me out, so I'm very impressed with your sewing skills!!

  3. its great. You can tapered on the hem and make a tulip skirt from it ! xx

  4. Thanks guys! I wore it out at the weekend and enjoyed it a lot!

  5. Looks great ! I love the fabric and the lacy trim. I think you did an excellent job. I am still working on my muslin, and debating whether to omit the waistband completely (for ease !). Looking forward to seeing you at the ginger t party kx

  6. Hi,
    As a fellow 'Ginger Sewalonger', I think your skirt looks lovely :)

    I think you shouldn't be so hard on yourself!

    I'm pretty much a complete beginner but I must admit that making the toile was useful in that the second time round, the instructions made more sense.

    I'm hoping I can completely finish before Thursday and I've just gone for the basic skirt with no extras!!

  7. this is hysterical. i love that you didn't read the instructions for what is reported to be one of the best instruction-writers in the indie pattern business!!!

    it looks gorgeous and in a month or so i bet you'll look at it and wonder where the "flaws" are...

  8. I sort of read the instructions, just not in great detail, and when they said the next bit was counterintuitive, I assumed that even though I couldn't see how it would work it would. which it didn't. as I had done it wrong. It totally made sense when I read them again properly!