GBSB A-Line Skirt Construction

Me in my purple skirt

As I discussed in the previous post I have recently made the A-Line tweed skirt from the Great British Sewing Bee Fashion with Fabric book.

GBSB Fashion with Fabric book
Great British Sewing Bee Fashion with Fabric Book

Construction of the skirt was pretty straightforward – I sewed the side seams, pinned the back seam, and then pinned and sewed the darts. I then cut out and constructed the lining (black viscose that was on sale at sewoverit). At this point I was ready to tackle the invisible zip. Now then, when I bought my machine, it came with a zip foot, and up until this project, I had assumed it was an invisible zip foot. I have used it in the past to put in invisible zips, and to be honest, not been all that chuffed with the result.

Wholly visible invisible zip
Very Visible “Invisible Zip”!

This time, I wanted to make sure it was right, so yet again, I read, I watched and I eventually realised that my zip foot isn’t an invisible zip foot, so all went on hold until I had purchased a new foot (another new experience!)

Zip Feet - Visible and Invisible
Zip Feet – Visible on the Left, Invisible on the Right

Using the invisible zip foot everything went smoothly, although I did end up using my double welting foot (another new toy) to ride over the closed zip at the base of the zip.

invisible Zip Foot and Double Welting Foot
Invisible Zip Foot (Left) and Double Welting Foot (Right)

Other than this slight variation, I followed the instructions in the GBSB book to the letter, and very clear they were too.

Instructions for GBSB A-Line Tweed Skirt
Instructions for GBSB A-Line Tweed Skirt
Back view of Skirt Showing Invisible Zip
Full Back View Showing the Invisible Zip

With the lining attached to the skirt, all that remained was the waistband and the hem. The instructions call for leatherette binding. Well, I am sure that’s easy to obtain if you live in the right area of the country, but I am in easy reach of just one decent material shop and it didn’t stock any. I am also not confident with materials, and could easily see me buying something that would be perfect for making a stiff handbag, but not a skirt. As such, I decided to buy a metre of black suedette from Minerva and make my own binding. I like the soft feel of suedette, and figured I had a pretty good idea of what I was buying. I have made binding before, and it’s relatively straight forward. This time, as I didn’t want to topstitch, I decided that I would make one side slightly longer than the other, so that I could use my new stitch in the ditch foot. This worked really well, although I did still manage to miss a few bits that I went back and did by hand.

Side View showing black suedette waistband
Side View Showing Suedette Waistband

I then made a somewhat silly mistake, and decided that despite the instructions, I would tuck in the raw edges of the bias binding so that I had a tidy edge, without several layers of material. Bad idea – as you can see, the edge ended up looking as though it had been savaged. That said, I always wear my tops untucked, so only I (and now you!) know how scruffy this is!

Messy Bound Edges
Messy Binding at Edges

As for the hemming, my machine does have a blind hem stitch, which I frequently use with my blind hem foot, but on this project I was getting somewhat obsessive by this stage, so I decided to hem by hand, ensuring that my black stitches only went through on the black part of the material, so it really is an invisible hem.

Properly Invisible Hem
Properly Invisible Hem

I hemmed the lining with a simple row of stitches, but to be honest, I did so too far from the fold, so now I have a flap of material on the lining. It can’t be seen when I wear the skirt, so I’m not altering it, but it’s definitely a lesson learned!

Flappy Hem on Lining
Flappy Hem on Lining

So, what’s my verdict on the skirt? Well I must say, I’m really pleased with it. I completed this skirt a few months ago now, and I think I have worn it at least once a week since then. This is quite an achievement for someone who doesn’t often wear skirts, and just about never shows off legs. In fact it could be said that for me this skirt was a real style-changer!