Seam Ripping Blues, or Ode to the Elasticized Waistband

Barcelona A-line Skirt with Many Modificationsbarcelona linen skirt

It is easy to write about the mistakes you make while sewing because seam ripping gives you plenty of time to review what just happened. 

My second time around with the Barcelona Skirts pattern by Amy Butler was supposed to be a breeze until I decided to make it shorter and cut the linen fabric on the bias.  

The bias cut skirt is another animal! 

Invisible zipper

+ bias cut

+ possibly faulty zipper foot

+ possibly cheapo machine

+ craftswoman blaming her tools

= An elasticized waistband after 4 zipper attempts

Ah, the elastic waistband!  Now I see why infants and the elderly wear them exclusively!  I wish I was an old woman now so that I could wear them all the time too.  I put elastic in the back only. Yes, it is a little like a mullet.  The front fits perfectly and lies down flat and the back waistline conforms to the small of my back without gaping.  

“Business in front and party in the back!”

(I will insert a picture of the waistband tomorrow.)

Barcelona Layered Skirt:  No Modifications–No Complaints!

barcelona skirt 1

I am very pleased with Skirt #1.  This zipper took only 2 attempts.  The khaki and pink floral print works well with the fraying.  It gives it a beach bum look.  However, I wish the hem was frayed to match, but I’m not sure how to do a “controlled” fraying and keep it stable for washing.

Lessons learned:

1.  Do not backstitch while experimenting.  Try it on and then backstitch if it works.  It’s really hard to rip out backstitching.

2.  Try on the garment at every possible chance in the process of sewing when making alterations.  Don’t just hope for the best, which works well in the rest of my life most of the time, but not always when sewing.

3.  Turn off the steam on the iron when pressing a 1/4″ hem.  Ouch!

4.   If you say to yourself, stop now or you will regret it, please listen to yourself.  I spent another 3-4 hours until I was satisfied.  But I learned a lot.  Learning takes so much time! 

Detail of intentional fraying on Barcelona Layered Skirt

barcelona skirt detail

Stay tuned for a layered baby sundress in same fabric.  And a sundress for Nunny the Bunny, too!


2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by emilie on May 16, 2009 at 3:08 pm

    The skirts both look great. And there is no rule against elastic waistbands- as long as they are attached to something cool like this skirt! It’s a far cry from the first skirt I think all of us made in 4-H.


  2. Posted by amberjsquirrel on May 20, 2009 at 12:45 am

    Thanks! I cringe when I think of my 4-H projects. At least you were in a cool club with dogs!


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