Friday, June 20, 2014

Zinnia.

Okay, this is the last of my catch-up posts! I have been sewing a lot lately and taking a lot of photos, but I notice that if I don't blog my creations within a day or two, things get back-logged and I lose some of my blogging motivation. It's not that I don't enjoy the process of blogging. Recently, I've read several bloggers who mention that they do not enjoy taking photos or writing posts although they love the sense of community they get from blogging. I must say, I don't mind taking photos (when the kids are cooperating) and think I like the writing process most of all (when the kids are cooperating and not climbing on my head while I try to write), but if I don't get my thoughts down while they are relatively fresh, my enthusiasm for the task begins to fade.

And writing about sewing can feel kinda ... dare I say it? ... boring, unless you have a fun story to recount or some tidbits about your life to share.

I also love the community, of course. Y'all are the best.

So here is the last of my recent unblogged projects. I finished this Colette Zinnia skirt two weekends ago.

Colette Zinnia Skirt


I am ... uh ... about 80% happy with this skirt. I have a few nagging issues with it. I used an inexpensive rayon challis that was very slippery to cut and to sew, so the topstitching in particular is not as nice as I think it would have been in a more stable fabric. It also wrinkles a lot, which makes the skirt look a little sloppier than I had intended. The soft rayon does swish and flow gently as I walk though, so it feels very pleasant to wear.

Colette Zinnia Skirt


You can see what I mean about the topstitching in this photo. It could be better, but dang, that stuff is the devil to sew! I think it would have gone better if I had glued the pockets down, or maybe used double sided fusible web, first (?).

Also, the buttonholes will fray, no matter how much fray-check I apply. I dunno. I give up!

Sometime, I would like to try this skirt again in a soft chambray or cotton stripe, using an easier-to-work with fabric, for a more precisely executed skirt. The fact that it is cut on the cross-grain does limit my choices in terms of stripes, though. Not sure I want a full, gathered, horizontally striped skirt. Think about it.

I do love the buttons, though. I got them a super long time ago, when I was living in Albuquerque, New Mexico (that is a Zia sun which is on the New Mexico state flag). That would've been ... wow ... maybe 1998? So I have been holding onto them for 16 years. Yikes.

Since then, "Southwestern" has come in and out of style about five times (and I notice that Southwestern is generally either way in or way out, unless you are actually in the Southwest, where it is less polarizing as a trend). It's back in right now, so I used the buttons on this skirt. And they really suit the style of skirt. Button stash busting!

Colette Zinnia Skirt


The Zinnia is labeled as a beginner pattern, and it's pretty straightforward. Since it is a full skirt, the only fitting required is the waistband, really. I cut this out in a size 12, but did lengthen the waistband by about an inch. The only other modifications I made the skirt were to add buttons to the little pockets, space the remaining buttons a bit farther apart, and lengthen the waistband slightly from the size 12.

Looking at these photos, I think I need to adjust the button placement on the skirt and even out the hem. Have I mentioned that this fabric was the devil to work with? You'd get everything just so, then when you turned your back the fabric would totally rebel, and it would be crumply and wonky and ... ARGH!

But despite its flaws, I have worn it several times and gotten compliments! And not "Inder, did you make that ...?" type compliments, either, but "Ooh, I really like your skirt" comments. Seemingly genuine compliments, haha. So I am not sure if I am just being too hard on myself. I will let it rotate through my wardrobe a little bit before I change anything.

All in all, a good selfish sewing learning experience, and a good trial run of a very useful and pretty pattern.

Is there anything I can do to stabilize soft rayon for sewing? Should I be using starch or something? Please, teach me!

8 comments:

  1. Oh Inder, I love that last photo best of all! And the buttons were worth holding onto for all those years. I would have loved to read those posts about blogging-photos-sewing. So interesting. I will say that blogging requires the most motivation for me. I pretty much always want to sew and/or take photos but blogging... I have to be in the mood. I'm really thankful for the record of blogging. I don't always love blogging, but am always really glad after I have blogged, if that makes sense. Whereas I enjoy the process of sewing and photography much more.

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    1. Your posts are always so awesome and full of details about your kids and your life, so it's hard to believe they require extra motivation! You make it look easy, Rachel, all of it! :-)

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  2. That style of skirt really suits you! I am envious. The pockets really look great, too. I think you need more Zinnias! I've never sewn with rayon so no tips I'm afraid. As for blogging, I like the writing too - I sometimes compose posts in my head in advance, although they don't always actually happen. What I don't enjoy is getting other people to take photos of me, I just feel like a total goober. Oh well!

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    1. Ugh, yes. Photos of myself are not my favorite. Yet, I don't think I would do any better with a tripod and a remote. No matter what, the exercise feels a bit artificial. My smile goes from genuine to totally fake and forced after approximately 30 seconds.

      Yes, I enjoy thinking up blog posts too! And I write all day for a living, and do a lot of corresponding with friends, etc., on email, so I think it does come pretty easily for me. I'm a natural-born talker! Just ask my husband. ;-)

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  3. I'm actually impressed with your top stitching! I find rayon challis to be a total pain in the butt to sew with and my last project I trip to make with it (the Gabriola skirt from sewaholic) ended up in the garbage can. After that I vowed to return to cotton. Oh, cotton, you never let me down! :)
    I bet this skirt feels fantastic! Go swish around for me!

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    1. What a serious pain in the ass!! I put the skirt aside to take off the bottom buttons and space them better, because I think there is one that is too close and is messing up the rest.

      It does feel heavenly to wear, I want to make it work!

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  4. It looks like a lovely skirt. The fabric may have been beastly but the drape is worth it. I think such a full skirt in a stiffer, cotton fabric wouldn't be as flattering. My only slippery fabric advice is my usual advice of red wine, patience and then foul language, on an endless repeat until task is finished!

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    1. Yes, that's why I got the rayon challis for this pattern - I wanted that nice drape considering it's a gathered skirt. I think a cotton version might not be as flattering, but it would be a lot easier to make! I can't win!

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