This month I made the Salida Skirt by True Bias in our Merchant and Mills 12oz Organic Sanded Twill fabric in the colour 'Stanley Tan', and the Somerset top by Maven Patterns in our Bamboo Blend Jersey Knit fabric in the Khaki colour.
Both patterns have clear instructions with clear picture's detailing the process. The Salida Skirt has a front and back yoke with panelled skirt and a front zipper fly. The Somerset top has a fitted bodice with different sleeve variations, and I chose to sew the 3/4 length bishop sleeve with the short cuff.
The main elements of the Salida skirt are the topstitched yoke and panelled skirt seams, with a zipper fly. A zipper fly is a complex construction but clearly explained in detail in this pattern.
Firstly, the skirt centre front seam is sewn to the dot marked on the pattern at the lower end of the zipper placement. the skirt is then placed so the left front is facing up and the right front is falling down out of the way. The zipper is then placed face down lining up the edges of the zipper tape with a fold you have marked at the edge of your zipper facing, pin in place. Using a zipper foot, the left side of zipper is sewn in place. This left fly extension piece is then folded to the inside of the skirt along the fold line.
The right side of the zipper is then basted in place, aligning the zipper teeth to the folded right front edge. Check the alignment of you zip by closing the zip, and adjust if needed.
You then need to mark your line of topstitching for the fly using the topstitching guide and topstitch two rows of stitching as detailed. The fly shield is then sewn and secured in place to the right front opening edge of the zipper. The fly shield needs to extend past the centre front to allow protection from the zipper when worn. The right front is then sewn using a zipper foot to secure in place along your previously basted stitches. Finally, two bar tacks are placed to the lower edges of the fly topstitching to help secure everything in place.
The Somerset top can be sewn on an overlocker or normal sewing machine using a stretch stitch, and the topstitching can be sewn using either a coverstitch machine or a twin needle in your sewing machine. The Maven pattern instructions detailed this fully with expert advice.
The Neck facing is part of the bodice pattern and the instructions clearly explain how to pin the neckline to your sewing board and press so not overstretching the neckline.
The sleeves are gathered at the cuff line using shirring elastic and fitted to the cuff, giving a lovely voluminous bishop sleeve which is evenly gathered.
If you are unsure or need more confidence in your sewing techniques, then why not book onto one of our dressmaking classes and develop new skills for your dressmaking.
Next month's Monthly Make Blog for November 2022 will be something warm and cosy now that the winter is definitely on the way! I will be making the Style Arc Petra Coat in boiled wool. Lovely and toasty warm!
Happy Sewing! from the NFSS team.