Tuesday 12 December 2017

Back to the Wrap Around - Part 3

The third and final installment in my seventies wrap around trilogy, it's Butterick 4137 again. The skirt version this time:

I was waiting for an available photographer and some nice weather but in the end, I'm afraid it's weird sunlight reflecting off the floor and me with the remote control. Just tryin' to get all the 2017 makes on the blog before the year runs out. Where has it gone?!!

This is the pattern again:

There's a crappy, eighties vintage, red car with roof racks that is often parked in my front street and I really wanted to have a crack at a bit more pattern envelope modelling... But I knew I'd never get that hairstyle right so I decided it was all a bit too hard.

Sewing the skirt was easy though. This time it's a wee bit tight as the fabric shrunk like a mother when I ironed it. That wasn't a problem as I figured it would probably stretch or "give" back when it was washed. That is, all but for the waistband which I merrily shrink ironed onto some interfacing. The skirt then had to be eased ever so slightly onto the smaller than intended waistband. I was left with a quite a bit less of an overlap at the front waistband, so this one has only got one snap to fasten it.

The fabric is from the local Vietnamese shop and so I have no idea of type, but it feels exactly the same as the "technical double fabric" that came from Tessuti that I used for my first wrap around skirt. With some fabric definition help on Instagram, I think that's been determined to be a fancy way of saying Polyester crepe without using the word polyester.

The shop lady seemed almost apologetic when she warned me that this fabric was $12/m. Given that I couldn't pick any difference by feel between it and the Tessuti fabric (at maybe three times that price) I wasn't worried that I'd chosen possibly the most expensive fabric in her shop.

Apart from it's serious fear of the iron, the other way in which this fabric gave me some difficulty was the hemming. For my linen pants from this pattern I used bias binding to cover the hem and it pressed up perfectly and blind stitched in place very nicely.

The curved, bias, polyester-iness of this hem was never going to behave so well. The pattern calls for a nice, deep, single fold 2" hem. I started with a gathering stitch to ease in the fullness then tried for a bias covered 2" hem. It was a disaster. (disaster hem photo below, avert your eyes if you don't like that kind of thing)

Thinking the problem was the added bulk of my bias binding, I unpicked that and tried again with the 2" hem, handstitched in place, just having an overlocked raw edge. Still puckery and ugly.

I thought about a narrow 5/8" hem like my first wrap around skirt in similar fabric, but I really liked the weight of the bigger hem. In the end I've gone with a double fold 1" hem and I think it's behaving Ok now.

Now I just need to behave and not eat too much over the Christmas holidays for fear of popping that single button open!

Pattern: Vintage Butterick 4137
Size: Single size 28" waist. No modifications
Fabric: Mystery polyester stuff.


  1. Fabulous, as always! And you look gorgeous too! You can eat at Christmas. You’ve been working hard to achieve that beautiful body. I hope everything is alright and you wanted that change. Because I love your blog, and get inspired by it. I have two kids like you, and they are about the same age,(older boy, younger girl). Your kids have grown (too) so much, since I started following your posts . I don’t nearly sew as much for my boy as for my girl, except when I see that yours is still willing to wear Mami made things :)

    1. Oh thank you, what a lovely comment! Never fear, I'm not wasting away from illness, just made some long overdue changes to the way I eat in order to overcome the advancing bulge that comes with age. I'm sure I'll overeat at Christmas and then kick off again in the new year!
      Do you have any gift making traditions at this time of year? I need to get on with cutting a stencil for a T-shirt for my nephew. It's become an annual ritual now...


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