Better luck with another Lace Skirt

My first lace skirt came to a very sorry end. I caught the skirt on a drawer handle. The Dinosaurs are extinct.

Lace skirt ripped
That has torn it!

However I got the lace bug and decided to have another go.

Pattern

The previous copy of a RTW pattern has been binned. Although it was handy, and economical, to have a pattern that only required one piece, it led to other problems. This time I made used my skirt block, suppressing the front darts and making it flared. The back I flared slightly too, but left two darts for my curved derriere. With a CB seam I had more luck with the zip and hang of the skirt at the back.

Fabric

I chose guipure lace again as I want to conquer this type of fabric before I return  to the dino-lace.

I chose a strong colour thinking it ideal for summer at work. I hoped that teal “peacock” green  it might match my Westwood copy jacket. I bought it online from cheapfabrics, and was disappointed with the quality. Some of the embroidery was missing and the edges of the piece were really crushed. Overall it was cut badly on the slant, and was barely a full metre. I had already started cutting out when I found the problem and didn’t have the energy to complain or send it back. I pressed it carefully and managed to get the skirt cut out and I darned the hole.

This is one of the downsides of buying on the internet. At least in the shop I watch the fabric being measured and cut. If there is a problem I normally take it anyway asking for (and always getting) a little extra cloth or a discount. I am pleased to tell you that Nick Sabin, the owner of cheapfabrics, immediately responded to my complaint by offering my a further half metre, free of charge. Which I thought was very reasonable. I didn’t just buy half a metre, I bought two. More of that later.

I put the dark green over lots of different backings – navy, white, pink, bright blue, green, yellow and beige. The option I liked best was the white as it made the skirt look more vibrant. But all of the effects were nice! This is one of the most exciting things about lace – that it enables you to create your own personal fabric. I mounted the lace on white silk organza and finally lined using a shiny, synthetic, brilliant white lining fabric.

Zipper

I took the advice of Demented Fairy and Mrs Mole and used an iron on interfacing before putting in the invisible zip. This helped keep it nice and stable. You will see that my pattern matching is OK rather than perfect but I am learning! Obviously the white looks really obvious at this stage, but it blends in once the skirt is lined. Having the organza made all the difference. I attached the organza to the lace by stitching it all over with a green thread, Just a running or back-stitch, catching the motifs to the fabric. This means the lace is much less likely to catch on knobs and brackets.

IMG_8395
Invisible zipper in lace

The lining is put in at the end, attached just at the waist and (by hand) around the zip.

Hem

The reason I chose this lace was because I had had trouble with the dino-lace hem. I wanted a nice motif at the bottom of the skirt. Here you can see the organza comes well below the motifs. After attaching them to the silk I trimmed the organza away.

Hemming a lace skirt
Lace skirt hem

Lining and waist band

I used a broad piece of gros grain, as before, instead of a waist band. This is a comfortable finish and catches in the lining neatly.

Making a lace skirt
Lace skirt before waist band and lining

Anyway I wore it to work. It felt nice and swishy, but heavyish at the same time. I really liked the colour over white and a few people said how nice it looked. I made the lining knee-length with a view to the edging just coming over it, but I think I made it a little bit long (I may alter it by lifting it from the waist up). I will make the final version end at the knee even if the lining has to be above the knee. I think I will keep going with a few lace items as I found it a challenging but rewarding project.

Lesley of Sewniptuck recommended a Craftsy class on lace, and Gail of My fabrication told me she listens to her downloaded lessons in hotel rooms when travelling. I have never tried one before, so I will purchase it and give you some feedback. My only experience with online classes was a rather poor Burda class. I hope I will change my mind after watching this one.

25 Responses

  1. What a killer skirt!!!! Such simple sewing techniques can produce stunning results! Love it with the white blouse and beefy necklace! The jacket perfectly compliments the color and texture…win-win for you, Kate!

  2. Hey that’s great! Did you do the running stitch by hand?

    • Yes. It was quite fun doing this – I think I was watching a film while I did it – not too exacting. I went from left to right and top to bottom in columns.

  3. It is a stunning lace! Lovely skirt.

  4. My favourite colour and the shape is really good. Another success from the Pincushion Queen.

  5. Every Friday on the Portobello Road by Portobello Green there is a man who sells ‘end of season’ and ‘closedown’ fabric off the roll. His prices are crazy like £1 or £2 a metre for what would be very expensive fabric. I have bought pure silk from him and even once a cashmere mix . The only thing is it is hit and miss as you never know what he is going to have so I go every week!

  6. I was heartbroken to see what happened to the dinosaurs as I thought they were fabulous. I love that skirt, it is a very fitting replacement, and the colour is gorgeous. I really must try lace. You have inspired me 😃

  7. Love it! A smart bit of motif matching in the back seam too.

  8. Lovely. I don’t see much problem with your pattern matching. I’ve bought some cobalt blue lace to use with crepe and feel inspired. Only thing is, I wasn’t going to mount the lace on silk organza as you have so will have to have a think.

  9. Love this skirt. I haven’t seen the Craftsy.com course on lace, but do try the one on sewing with sheer fabrics before attempting your chiffon blouse.

  10. your interest in lace skirts reminded me of several posts on the blog A Challenging Sew. this one in particular walks through how she sewed a guipure lace skirt, and gives a link to another post on waistband options. you might already be aware of it, but just in case 🙂

    http://achallengingsew.typepad.com/my-blog/2014/02/marfy-0757-free-skirt-sew-along-p4-pattern-and-fabric-alternatives.html

  11. ouch, sorry to hear about the fate of the dinosaurs! in any case, the guipure makes for a very striking look – it would be really pretty for evening too, with a simple black silk camisole top and some strappy heels 🙂

  12. A result that’s almost worth the end of the dinosaurs. This skirt is punching well above it’s weight as it looks quite high end and that zip insertion is perfect.

    The A-line silhouette suits you. You wear it well.

  13. I really like the skirt on you. Regarding Craftsy classes, I first bought the couture dress with Susan Khalje a few years back and recommend it highly. Have since gone on to another two which were not quite as enjoyable, but still learnt quite a few things.

  14. Joyce Latham

    I have not bought a class but thinking of taking some local lessons, if nothing else but to meet some people who like to see. That skirt is great… Fabulous!
    Joyce 🇨🇦

  15. Nice work. I hope this one lasts longer than the Dino version. I’ve watched the Craftsy class on lace. Good basic instruction but too much machine work. She doesn’t cover hand appliqued seams which I consider essential to lace work. The Craftsy classes go on sale frequently so it might be worth it.

  16. Love the skirt. I have some lace but too chicken to make it up. Will eventually. I have taken several Craftsy classes, and only one was a disappointment and only because it was a beginner class and I am not a beginner. Many students new to sewing loved the class, however.

  17. Gosh I live an A line in, swish becomes you. I do wonder if we overthink lace? I dragged out my black lace skirt w the exposed zipper the other day and wondered how I’d managed to make something so heavy and couture like. I keep promising myself more lace but dumb that stuff could send a girl broke! Terrific colour too Kate, totally you.

  18. *apologies for typos, on my phone w no specs!

  19. Lovely! I would never guess it is a “cheap fabric”, I think it looks rather nice. It hangs so nicely on you and that color is one of my favorites.

  20. That looks fabulous! I’m happy that you made a successful lace skirt after the poor dinos! I’m really curious about what the inside of your grosgrain ribbon waistband looks like, and also how you finished the lacy side and back seams. :}

  21. I was really rooting for the dinosaurs, shame they didn’t survive. But this new one is so pretty! The A-line shape is flattering, and its simplicity really emphasizes the floral lace pattern.

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