Tag Archives: skirt lining

The Gertie Pencil Skirt – Take One



Over & above all else, this project reminded me how much I LOOOOOOOOVE wearing pencil skirts: these are ME! I’ll wear an A-line; that’s ok, or definitely a flowy maxi skirt (I love me a maxi!!) but i always feel mildly imbecilic & twee in circle or full skirts, for some reason LOL.



So a skirt should really be the easiest thing to fit, right? But apparently I’m a bonehead & I messed up way too many things for me to not be fully embarrassed… let me recount the steps of my fitting demise:

  • i first traced according to my measurements: an 8 at waist tapering to 4 at hip (12″ differential?? who has that? not me, that’s for sure!! not that i mind being a 4 in ANYTHING, even one body part – i can tell you that never happens in RTW lol), but the first draft was too tight, so i added a smidge in the hip overall (so much for being a 4 – that was a nice five minutes LOL)
  • i then realized later, i had missed tracing the outer dart on the pattern pieces, hence the reason the first draft was oddly tight in the hip but a little big in the waist, which confused me cause normally I’d have the opposite problem
  • i didn’t figure out the above epiphany until after all pieces were cut, so i added a small piece to the waistband at each side to compensate (I didn’t have enough heavy fusible to re-cut the whole thing, and the waist didn’t seem big enough to add the extra darts… but DERP I didn’t think of the fact that it was a HIGH WAISTED skirt, and that I was trying it on without the waistband, BELOW the waist *facepalm*)
  • even after all this, the waistband was still too short at the back closure, so i did a pants hook & bar instead of the more vintage called-for button
  • now the waist is too big but it’s high waisted and I can cover it with a shirt, and the dark navy wool suiting hides a multitude of sins lol

So the end result is that if i make it again, i will add the second set of darts and the original waistband pattern SHOULD work, and it SHOULD fit me at the waist LOL.

So… let’s talk zippers for a sec. When I first started sewing, I was able to put in a reasonably invisible zipper and a reasonably tidy regular zipper no problem. I haven’t changed machines, and nothing else has changed but somehow I’ve lost the ability to install a decent zipper!!! I’m not gonna lie – this has been really making me down on my abilities, as I never seem to be able to complete a project without problems, and the zipper is the worst of them, despite how hard I try.

Honestly, I’m not sure what the deal is but I have decided to SLOW DOWN, focus on doing the basics really really well, and enjoy the process instead of thinking ahead to the finished piece. Perhaps that will help me discover where I might be going wrong. This isn’t easy for me, because I have SO limited time as it is, with my heavy work schedule, but if I’m not making things I love at the end of the day, even that limited time is wasted anyway, so it seems like the right thing to do.

So I did a lapped zipper and revisited my much loved hand picked stitches, learned from Gertie’s Bombshell class. I still have a slight bubble at the base of the zipper but whatever lol – it’s better than most of the zippers I’ve done lately. I did a lot of hand sewing on this skirt and I really have to give a shout out to Sunni’s silk thread – it’s so fine it’s almost invisible, and lovely to work with.

gratuitous bum shot! LOL

gratuitous bum shot! LOL

I decided to add a lining (this was my first time doing this without full-on instructions – they’re not included in the pattern, although basic steps are included separately in the book). I’m glad I did – because I will only be wearing this skirt with tights, the lining makes a big difference in comfort and smoothness.

I also did a hand sewn invisible hem & catch stitched the lining to zipper & vent.

inside of waistband, lining, and zipper

inside of waistband, lining, and zipper

Overall, this project was very time consuming (particularly for being a basic and relatively simple garment), mostly because there were some pretty dumb mistakes made, but in the end I got a nice basic out of it all, and now that I’ve learned my mistakes, I will probably make this skirt again 🙂