I'm a sewing enthusiast in Beacon, New York, with a love of all things retro. This site is all about tutorials, tips, inspiration, and lots of spirited discussion about sewing as it relates to fashion history, pop culture, body image, and gender. My first book, Gertie's New Book for Better Sewing, is now out from STC Craft/Melanie Falick Books! Also look for my line "Patterns by Gertie" from Butterick.
How are your coats progressing, readers? Are you ready to stitch your skirt seams? If so, you'll be following steps 10-15 in the instructions. Don't forget to sew your pockets on with a 1/4" seam allowance rather than the usual 5/8". Your pockets always go on the side with the circles you marked.
After the pockets are stitched on to the side front and side back pieces you'll be sewing the seams of the skirt. This is pretty simple, but I did want to give you one tip before you start. Remember how I mentioned directional staystitching yesterday? There's also such a thing as directional seam stitching. This is the correct direction in which to stitch seams to avoid stretching the bias. On straight grain seams, you don't have to worry about this, but our skirt seams are anything but straight! In fact, this skirt is a full circle, making those skirt seams very slanted.
In the case of a flared skirt, you always want to stitch from the bottom up, as indicated by the purple arrow below.
The reason is that this direction keeps the threads the most stable, rather than stretching them along the bias. Susan Khalje told me this when I took her Couture Sewing School last year, and I thought it was the craziest and awesomest thing I'd ever heard. Since then, I've seen directional stitching referred to in several vintage sewing books, included the much-respected The Bishop Method Clothing Construction. (This blogger shares more details.) Directional stitching! Who knew?
Also remember to clip the back seam allowance just below the pocket. In case you missed that minuscule clip in the instructions, I'm calling it out with a red arrow here.
This clip allows you to press the pockets toward the coat front, and then press the seams open below the pockets.
Okay! This weekend we'll be moving on to steps 16 and 17!
P.S. Thank you for all the input on my collar fabric yesterday! I am almost completely decided on the black contrast trim.