Friday, August 2, 2013

Easy breezy sew along, Day #2: Cut out your fabric

Today's an easy day. We'll do most of the actual sewing over the weekend. Let's get to it... cutting out fabric for the easy breezy skirt (don't forget, #easybreezyskirt for instagram, twitter, etc.).


First, fold your fabric lengthwise along the grainline so the selvedges are together. If this doesn't mean anything to you, check out my post here for details. Lay it out flat on a table. Take your skirt pattern piece (the quarter circle) and CUT ALONG THE DIAGONAL line. Now you have two pieces, each an eight of a circle! You'll place each on the fold of the fabric so it'll really be double. One will be the front, and one will be the back.

Lay out your pattern pieces more or less like mine, following the notes below.
Easy breezy skirt sew along, day 2 | Bobbins of Basil #easybreezyskirt
Place each half of your skirt pieces along the fold, with the narrow
sides not quite touching. Place the bow piece along the side with
the selvedges. Make sure that if the selvedge has holes or a label
on it, you adjust so that part gets left out. Make sure to leave ~5/8"
of space on either side of the circle pieces.
Things might not go perfectly, though! If your fabric was too narrow, you should have adjusted the skirt pieces using a combination of three adjustments to make them fit. However, if your skirt pieces fit, but you can't fit your bow pieces along the selvedges next to the skirt pieces or if your waistband pieces don't fit between the circle pieces, you might have to adjust things a bit.

If this is the case, simply slide apart the two skirt pieces, leaving a gap between them until you have enough space to fit everything. You shouldn't have to slide them apart more than 15-20" (which is the amount of excess fabric you should have purchased if you foresaw this problem! Remember, I messed up the measurements step, so mine should have been even more spread than it ended up, but here's how my too-narrow layout looked:

Easy breezy skirt sew along, day 2 | Bobbins of Basil #easybreezyskirt
How my layout actually turned out. Notice that the circle
pieces are somewhat separated to allow enough space for
the waistband pieces and bow pieces.
Pin down the pieces. If you have stripes or a pattern like me, you're going to have to match them. All this means is that the top of the back waistband piece is at the same point along the pattern as the top of the front. The bow is a little trickier. You want to match the center of the bow piece (where the fold will be) with the bottom seam of the waistband pieces. Remember that one bow piece points one way, and the other points the other way when you're matching! So if you have a pattern like me, it helps to set the bow piece aside while you cut out the other pieces and then use them to place the bow piece.

Easy breezy skirt sew along, day 2 | Bobbins of Basil #easybreezyskirt
Pin down and cut out. Set the bow piece aside for a minute
if you have stripes or patterned fabric like I do.
Easy breezy skirt sew along, day 2 | Bobbins of Basil #easybreezyskirt
I find it easier to cut each bow piece separately if you're
trying to match stripes or a pattern on the fabric.
Remember, the pointy piece points in opposite directions
for each side of the skirt! Line up the center of the bow
piece (where the fold will go) with a point 5/8" from the
bottom of the waistband pieces (where the seam will go).
Finally, trim 6" off the straight side of one of the two bow pieces. I'm putting the bow on the left side of my skirt, so if you're matching stripes/patterns and that seems relevant to you, keep it in mind.

Revision (optional): Also cut one piece of interfacing from the front and back waistband pieces. Iron it to the waistband lining pieces.

Ok, your fabric is READY! Tomorrow, we'll do the majority of the sewing. We'll sew together the whole skirt except the zipper, inside of the waistband, and hem.

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