Zinnia Skirt Finally Complete!

Zinnia Skirt!

Zinnia Skirt!

Hey look! I successfully completed a clothes sewing project! Yes, I did sew 2 Briars last month as well, but this pattern (the wonderful Colette patterns Zinnia) had a zipper, and pleats, and I used slippery rayon, so it feels like more of an accomplishment. I went on my normal schedule of sewing just one items from the directions each day (except the last day I went nuts and sewed the waistband AND the hem.) So this project took me about 12 days. Obviously not of continuous sewing! I also made some napkins and ran the shop in between.

Zinnia with striped Betsy Johnson rayon

Zinnia with striped Betsy Johnson rayon

I am really happy with how this skirt turned out! I mostly followed the pattern as it was written. Last time I sewed this skirt with quilting cotton and I did a gathered waist instead of pleats because the pattern download didnt print out exactly right. And it was a little too poofy and costume-y  for me in that particular fabric.

However, with the rayon and the pleats, I love it! It drapes so nicely, it is really soft and swishy, and I think flattering! (also be sure to check out my awesome Free People shoes! I splurged a bit  but I LOVE them and they are really comfy.)

Invisible zipper

Invisible zipper

One change I did make on the pattern was to get rid of the button tab closure and make the invisible zipper go all the way to the top of the skirt. I dont know how to do buttons (I know, I know, it’s “easy”), and I knew that instead of forcing me to learn how to do buttons, leaving it in the pattern would just mean that I never finished the skirt. Oh and the zipper gave me plenty of trouble on its own! I had to redo it like 5 times. 5 times! once because it was twisted, the other times because the dang stripes would not match up. But when I got it right it sure was exciting!

Matching side stripes!

Matching side stripes in the wind!

One thing about the matching side stripes! I was very proud of myself for even remembering to think about this when I cut out the pattern pieces. Yay! Go me. So, they were at one point aligned. Somehow, somewhere along the line, one side went weird!

Non-matching side stripes!

Non-matching side stripes!

Somehow by the time I did the pleats and went to sew the other side together they were no longer matching. Very odd! Oh well, it really doesnt bother me, so hopefully it wont bother anyone else!

Anyway, I really like this skirt, the Zinnia by Colette patterns. The pleats were a little tricky with the rayon, but not bad, and they kinda flatten out your lower belly, which is always nice. And there are pockets! Already want to make another one of these, but my list of clothing projects is growing much too long, and I have plenty of other things that I actually need to do and am getting paid for, so I should probably do those first 🙂

Thanks for looking!

My First Briar!

Hello! What an exciting day– I finished my very first article of clothing sewn from a pattern that 1. fits and 2. I like, and 3. is comfy!! When my family was in town for the opening my cousin Holly and I decided that we would both tackle a t-shirt pattern that we were told was beginner friendly…even though it was sewing with knits! We both picked out fabric (the fabric I used has since been purchased by both a 70-year old and a 6-year old, so clearly it has universal appeal… either that or my tastes are skewing older AND younger than I would have guessed).

The Briar  is a pattern that can be made with a wide variety of knit fabrics, and the pattern also has options for cropped and full length, as well as short and long sleeves. I went with the full length, short sleeve version. It also has a high-low hem, which is fun and cute!

Me and my Briar, downtown Nashville

Me and my Briar, downtown Nashville

For my first attempt I decided to do exactly what the pattern said, and not make any changes. I cut out the XS and I think it fit really well! This is an online PDF pattern, so you print the pages and then tape them together. For this pattern it finally occured to me to trim the pages with a rotary blade and ruler, rather than scissors, so that made the time go faster. Then I used tracing paper (bought a roll of 24″ paper at the art store) so that if this size didnt fit me aI could go back and trace another size, rather than reprinting, taping, and cutting. Also, the fabric I used is a very thin, very drapey knit, which was quite hard to work with, cut, and get to lay flat, but not impossible, plus now the next time I make it, with a more stable knit, it’ll be way easier!

High-low hem

High-low hem

For my own personal preference I thought the back hem was just a little too long. Maybe it also has to do with the thin knit, but it just doesnt lay well over jeans pockets, so next time I will probably make the back a few inches shorter, and the front just an inch or so shorter. Maybe not quite cropped, but…. maybe!

Back with middle seam

Back with middle seam

One fun thing was that I messed up the cutting right away! Even though I was going very carefully and slowly, I just assumed the back was two pieces, since in a lot of patterns it is! The Briar, however, is not. I just sewed a small seam up the back and it was fine, in fact I kind of like that it breaks up the pattern and gives a little bit of visual interest. Or at least that’s what I’m telling myself! Anyway, the neckline still went on fine, so this accident didnt cause many problems, thankfully!

Rounded pocket

Rounded pocket

I used neckline piece #4 (there are 2 options, #4 and #5, but for was a bias-trim type of deal, so it seemed easier to me). I also added the little cute rounded pocket to the front which doesnt show up that much, and maybe I should have put it higher up, but I like it still.

Waiting for the fountains

Waiting for the fountains

And there ya have it, my first successful foray into the world of apparel sewing and sewing with knits! It really wasnt so bad, and I suggest just going really slowly and not rushing it. I basically did one step of the directions per day. The shirt is super comfy too, which is great. And I am already planning my next Briar, which will involve strawberries. Stay tuned!

Megan Nielsen’s pattern can be purchased and downloaded here.