Sunday, August 11, 2013

Barcelona Skirt, My Way

This summer I found myself running low on cute summer skirts. You know, the kind you can pair with a nice blouse for the office or  mix with a T-shirt for a day at the park. But whenever I went out shopping I was disappointed with what I found. Everything was either cheaply made (though not cheaply priced!), or didn't fit the way I wanted it to. So I resolved to make my own. Now, if you've visited my blog before, you probably know that I'm not a garment maker (and rest assured that's even more true after this project, heh), but I was determined to soldier through.

I just wanted a simple lined a-line skirt. I came across the Barcelona Skirt by Amy Butler and was sold.  Determined to make this a one-day project, I swung by by LQS and picked out two yards of Queen Anne's Lace by Dear Stella -- the colors and large scale print were just perfect. At which point I became fully committed to the project and maybe even a little excited... only to realize that the pattern called for an invisible zipper. Which sounded terrifying, and required a new presser foot. And, you know, an invisible zipper. Neither of which I had. Sigh.

Fast forward two days later, and Amazon delivered my shiny new invisible zipper foot and one over-priced $7 invisible zipper. I installed my zipper on the exterior fabric without a hitch (PS - invisible zippers are SO cool!), but wanted to avoid hand-stitching the lining on to the zipper as recommended by the pattern. Thankfully, I came across this wonderful tutorial on YouTube which gave me the confidence to give it a whirl my way. So, instead of completing the exterior and interior separately, I skipped the last seam (where the front panel meets the second back panel) on each -- yielding two very long strips of fabric. At that point, I followed the YouTube tutorial to attach the lining to the zipper. Sewing the lining to the zipper went smoothly,  as did completing the two seams I had skipped earlier (thereby creating the exterior and lining parts of the skirt).
Invisible zipper with sewn in lining
Everything was going great until the next step where you join the exterior and lining around the waist line. For the life of me, I could not get things to line up right around the zipper! I had to rip out my stitches a half dozen times to get it to look okay, and there are still a few puckers hiding in there. I'm still not sure what the problem was. And it honestly would have been faster and easier to just hand-baste that &^$# zipper to the lining.

That said, I am really happy with the finished product. It fits perfectly, and has a lovely weight to it. It's sturdy and feels like it should last a long time. And, thanks to the machine sewn zipper, I can throw it in the washer without worrying. Even so, I officially do not enjoy garment sewing. It just doesn't have that same meditative-mojo for me that quilting does. I'm sure I will make another skirt for utility's sake, but for now I'm happy to dive back into some quilting!


  1. Your skirt is beautiful. I started to make this skirt in 2007 and I am not sure what happened to it. I love the fabric you used.

    1. Hi Christine, thank you! It really is a great pattern :)

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