Sometimes taking a step back can often help us regroup and move forward. Our beginner sewist, K. C., decided to take a break from challenging projects and instead focused on honing her basic skills. She made a simple wrap skirt to build confidence and improve her technique. By taking the time to step back and focus on the fundamentals, K. C. has set herself up for greater success in the future!
Finding the Pattern
Originally, I wanted to make a tulip skirt. I found a pattern online and decided to purchase it. However, when I printed the directions for the pattern, it didn’t include a test square to ensure the printing ratio was correct. Instead of taking the risk of printing the pattern too big or too small without the test square, I decided to go to my local JoAnn’s store and found this wrap-around skirt pattern, McCalls 7129.
Why did you select this fabric?
Like my previous project, I knew I wanted to go with red. I distinctly remember shopping one summer with my mom and choosing a red shirt. My mom told me how nice the red looked on my skin, and I’ve loved wearing red since then. I also wanted a nice linen fabric for the summer, so Ms. Roz suggested this Scarlet Linen.
How did you prewash it and how did it come out?
Ms. Roz suggested I pre-wash the fabric in cold water and dry it on a perma press. I was able to pre-wash on the colors setting, but my dryer doesn’t have the perma press option, so I dried on the colors setting as well. After pre-washing, the fabric faded just a bit, but the color was still vibrant.
Pinning and Cutting out the fabric
Because we used a pattern with multiple dress styles, it took a few minutes to determine which parts of the pattern we would truly use from the envelope. However, shortly after figuring out which parts I would truly need, my mom noticed the pattern looked rather large and asked me to double check the size of the pattern. Then I realized I had purchased the wrong size. (face palm) So my mom took a white piece of chalk and traced the pattern pieces to make them smaller. We decided not to cut the pattern pieces to the size I needed because my mom will be using the pattern to make herself a skirt too. Other than this minor setback, pinning and cutting the fabric was very easy.
Experience sewing on the machine:
Each time I use my Juki HZL-70, I am more convinced that I chose the perfect machine for a beginner because of how user friendly it is. I started by practicing on a piece of scrap fabric to kind of get back in the groove of sewing on the machine. As I did with my previous project, I sewed the panels of the skirt together, made the band, sewed the panels to the band, and I placed all the darts. The only tricky part we encountered was figuring out how and where to attach the wrap around ties to the skirt. We decided to sew one on the edge of the right side of the skirt and the second strap to the left side seem. We added two buttons with a loop to help keep the skirt closed and secure.
How do you feel about the skirt?
Overall, I believe this has been my favorite project yet. I love the skirt and would like to make a couple more in different colors.
This project was much more my speed compared to the previous projects that were for someone with more sewing experience. I’d like to make a couple more of these skirts with different fabrics to add to my wardrobe. I believe this skirt is very versatile, and I can see myself wearing it for different occasions and even wearing it to church or work.
Tell me about the good, the bad, and the ugly:
Good: I’m becoming more and more comfortable with using the machine and am able to sew more independently.
Bad: The worst part of this project was finding a new pattern, then realizing the pattern was too big.
Ugly: We forgot to sew the ends of the straps, so up close, the ends are “ugly” compared to the rest of the skirt.
This project made me realize how far I’ve come and how much I’ve learned so far, but I know I still have so much to learn.
Things I Learned:
How to make a button “loop.”
How to trace inside a pattern to make it the size needed
Still needs work:
How to add a zipper
Threading the needle
How to stitch/sew by hand