Well, it's done. My second VoNBSS project!
All in all, I'm pretty happy with this skirt, though I'm not sure it's the most flattering thing ever. I think I made it a size too big, so I feel like it really overemphasizes my lower body. Because of the construction (no side seams), there really isn't a way to take it in. Oh well. A belt helps to cinch it in, though not like the model of the 22" waist in VoNBSS!
I shortened the pattern by 6-1/2 inches, to take it from tea length to knee length. I tucked the length out in the middle to keep the shape at the bottom of the skirt.
I made it up in a lightweight lavender wool and rayon blend that was $12 a yard at Mood. It only took a yard, so this is a pretty economical project! Notice I'm wearing it with my "feminine, portrait neckline blouse!" And, of course, I'm wearing it with my vintage-inspired half slip. (See the tutorial here!) I'm well on my way to a fabulous VoNBSS wardrobe.
I really went all out with this one. I once again used tailor's tacks and a faced, lapped zipper. And here are the new skills I attempted (notice I did not say "mastered"):
1. Hand overcasting. There is only one seam on the body of the skirt, so I thought, "Heck, why not give one of them there hand overcast seams a go?" Verdict: Thumbs down. I do not understand this technique. I mean, I don't understand how it is possibly supposed to stop edges from raveling. I love to serge my edges, which obviously wouldn't have been an option in 1952. But why not use a Hong Kong binding? Or a turned-and-stitched edge? Anything other than this silly hand overcasting. But, to be fair, I've read in Clare Schaeffer's Fabric Sewing Guide that this is the couture way to do it. I must be missing something.
2. A handworked buttonhole. I was really excited to try this. I spent yesterday afternoon tracking down the prescribed thread (a heavy weight silk) in the Garment District. Verdict: disaster. Read the full saga here. I ended up making the buttonhole by machine.
3. Seam binding on the hem. VoNBSS indicated that I should sew seam binding flat to the raw edge, and then sew through the seam binding to hem the skirt. Verdict: Nice! I'm pretty proud of my hem on this project, actually. I was very careful to pick up only the tiniest bit of fabric thread when hemming by hand, so it's pretty undetectable from the right side. The seam binding looks nice and clean on the inside too.
Plus, it comes in this retro-fabulous packaging.
Will definitely be using this technique again.
4. Silk thread for handstitching. Verdict: I am SO into silk thread for handstitching! It's amazing. I had no idea! I love the way it pulls so smoothly through the fabric like . . .silk. I'm obsessed, people.
5. Hand basting. I actually did some. Verdict: great for areas where you need a lot of control, like on these pleats:
Two VoNBSS projects down, twelve to go!
Debra Rapoport is now on Etsy
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