A few weeks back, I saw a call for testers for the new girl's Nina skirt/culottes pattern. You'll want to check out everyone's versions over at Compagnie M, so many cute skirts and culottes! This is my first time trying one of her patterns. I love the fact that she offers lots of information and tutorials on her site! Want to learn to do welt pockets on your Nina skirt? Hem without using pins? She's got you covered. I tried the no-pin hem and it worked great! They offer PDF and paper patterns at their site.
I needed something to get me back into my sewing nook, and pattern testing is a great way to motivate me! And since it was a girl's size I figured I had enough fabric on hand to complete it.
I picked a few fabrics out of my stash and then Emma decided which she liked the best. She chose this triangle print (Mojave in Opaque) from Leah Duncan's Tule line for AGF. Art Gallery Fabrics are so soft!
I sewed the A-Line skirt version. I used the size 10 for my 10 1/2 year old daughter. I did add about an inch of length to it, because she's pretty modest. I'm sure I'll appreciate that trait as she enters the teen years!
There are some adorable versions in the pattern tour that use piping as an accent. I wanted to try it and had white cording picked out. But then I found this vintage canary yellow ric-rac in my trims, and the color and shape were too perfect for this skirt!Same concept though - attach the trim before sewing on the waistband. I was so concerned about getting the ric-rac on straight that I spaced off doing the back darts first - oops!
I needed an invisible zipper, and had one on hand. Only it was 22" long. No problem, right? I thought I could shorten a zipper pretty easily. I didn't notice until I started sewing that it was a metal zipper - so I couldn't sew across the teeth like I planned. I had to hand sew a stop at the top, after I almost pulled the zipper pull off - eek!! That was dumb! Definitely my fault and not the pattern's :) Note to self: use the recommended supplies next time!
There are so many ways you could trick this skirt out. It comes with several pocket variations, and the culottes are adorable too! You can do a side zip, or a front fly, or even make one with an elastic waist (you have to cut your fabrics on the bias - more info here on this version!) I chickened out on trying the side pockets. But now that I've made the basic version, I think I'll try the pockets next. You could also use contrasting fabrics for the waistband or pockets, or do some cute reverse applique. It went together really fast. I made it in most of a morning, and I work slowly :) I suggest making a muslin to check fit first, and then you could use it to line the skirt. I didn't do a lining on this one though.
I am definitely still a beginner when it comes to garment sewing. I think that it's ok that it's not perfect - because if I hadn't pointed out my mistakes, I doubt you would have noticed them! And we still ended up with a really cute skirt for Emma. I learned some stuff, so the next skirt I make will be a little better.
And the best part is I feel confident that I could make the grown up version for myself! And then, maybe tackle her Mara blouse pattern... wish me luck!