This is the inside of my Pinstripe Meringue.
I’m finding it very hard to contemplate making a skirt without lining it, especially something that will be winter weight & very much dry clean only. I’ve lined a few skirts so far, & through wear & sometimes even in tear I have learnt along the way. Undoubtedly it is recommended to use a shiny slippery lining fabric for any skirts that you will be wearing with tights. My cherry red Beignet (wool) is made with a cotton lining & it drags on tights – & on long walks into town actually ends up spun around & hiked up round my pants- not ideal & actually is more comfy with a slippy slip. And then I’ve made the mistake of not allowing any extra ease in the lining resulting in the inside seams pulling/ fraying a bit when the fabric is a bit delicate. And that’s such a shame.
So, I have Edinburgh & the Crafter’s Ceilidh to thank for a. putting me in touch with Alanna from Lazy Stitching who recently posted about lining her skirt with some extra ease & slightly gathering the lining to the waistband. That was such a well timed post, thank you Alanna! Edinburgh also provided me with the opportunity to purchase a couple of lining fabrics, with a wonderful emerald green shiny lustrous poly lining & the magenta version you see above.
But making the Meringue with a lining was not straightforward & required a few attempts & a little bit of brain work. And think I did. Should I cut the hem facing, or should the lining duplicate (with extra ease) the skirt pieces? I opted for the latter approach, although I think this was the possibly the route less travelled. But, cut skirt pieces I did in lining adding an extra couple of inches to the width. I did not cut a hem facing.
More thinking was then undertaken – the sawdust was smouldering I tell you – to work out the order for sewing, trying to understand the feasibility of being able to get at the hem + lining to attach both through scallops as well as being able to attach the invisible zipper & machine sew the lining to the zipper (using the Colette Patterns approach). I’d worked out that it would be possible, if a little skirt contorting, to insert the zipper before the hem. Sewing the invisible zipper worked out fine – I could attach the lining via the machine stitched route (as shown in the Handbook & on the Colete Patterns website). This was done before attaching the lining to the skirt at the hem.
But it was the length of the hem that was the problem. Alert!! Lining this skirt is tricksty this way! If it wasn’t for my Valentine, Barbarella I don’t know how I would have managed. Getting Barbs to model it I could see that the length of the lining was pulling up the hem in a minor (but unacceptable) pseudo puffball effect along the scallops.
I would not have seen this very well when wearing it – possibly only noticing it as I was taking photos to post on the blog (how frustrating would that have been?!) The picture above shows the first attempt at a finished skirt before I recast the waistband. It was actually complete & wearable (if you go for puffballs that is!) What is happening is that the lining & the skirt were hanging at slightly different lengths & the lining, being a bit too short was pulling the skirt to “bag” at the scallops. Usually with a lined skirt the skirt & lining are only attached at the waist (& zip) & from there hang interdependently of each other at the hem. With this skirt, the lining & the skirt are attached at both waist & hem & if their relative lengths are at odds with each other this happens.
Gosh was it an effort getting this right. I tried hanging it upside down by its scallops to get the length equal. That resulted in some of the hem being OK, but not all, so it ended up being worked as a three phase hem. What worked best for me was to use Barbs & to work my way up from the hem to the part of the waistband that needed shifting. Working on a 3D form was more successful than the coat hanger approach above! But – hoorah! Barbs was most helpful, & as I said, she saved my Sewniverse.
Now, it made me think how should I have done this? What if I didn’t have a dress form? In the comments to the last post lovely Lauren from LLadybird (whose awesome piped Meringue I remember gushing over) let the secret slip out. Avoid all the pain of this by 1. using the hem facing as usual & 2. lining the skirt as normal with an inside lining attached at the waistband but loose at the hem. You can of course make the facing out of lining fabric to gain that splash of oo la la should you wish. Should have checked that out before I started. Simples.