Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Hummingbird Skirt hack in Secret Ladybug by Timeless Treasures

I am in love with this skirt & I am in love with how good I feel when I wear it! So many compliments have come my way since I put it on this morning that it impossible not to be bursting with confidence. Even better is the knowledge that I made this skirt (with lots of help from Ky) so no-one else has one like it in the whole world.

We started off with the front of the Hummingbird Skirt by Cake Patterns. I love the structured lines and the pockets. The red and black Secret Ladybug fabric really works well with the black flat piping and the colour blocked sections for the pockets. The pockets are fantastically huge!

The rest of the skirt was drafted by Ky from a skirt block she did for me years ago. Ky figured out the kick-pleat from instructions in one of her pattern making books.
Double inverted kick pleat
I had to be really careful cutting this out. Nothing would be worse than spots that don't line up across the hip line! Fussy cutting isn't easy but I really enjoy it. To me, it can make or break a project. It really adds to a professional looking finish.

Secret Ladybug is a quilting weight cotton so we needed to add structure to make this skirt work (it was designed for a heavier weight fabric). Ky did a bit of research & found the answer - interlining! We used Northcott Colorworks Tomato for the interlining because it was a similar weight to the Secret Ladybug and it also brightened up the reds on the front. Sounds weird but it's true! We put black underneath to begin with and it dulled down the colours when it was held up to the light.

Interlining meant that I had to cut the skirt out twice and hand sew all the pieces togther but it was worth it. The final fabric is soft but thick. It feels so nice against my skin and it doesn't seem to wrinkle as much as a single layer of cotton fabric would when I wear it.

Hand basting the layers together
Basting complete
I sewed up the front of the skirt and Ky sewed up the back. We used a lapped zipper because, for some weird reason, invisible zips hate me and always break. Ky then worked out the logistics of putting in the back kick pleat. The Hummingbird pattern has a big flounce option but I wanted something small & not so showy because I wanted to really feature the front of the skirt instead. Next time, if I use a plain fabric, it will be all about the flounce! We chose Northcott Colorworks Black for the kick pleat instead of the Secret Ladybug to make it a bit more obvious and to balance out the black pocket panels and flat piping on the front.

The original Hummingbird skirt pattern is more straight than mine. This skirt was made for the Rockabilly Riot show so I wanted it to be a body skimming pencil skirt. We made the skirt the same as a Hummingbird and then Ky graded it from the hip line down to my knees in the classic pencil shape. Add the high waistband and voila!

I can't see my love affair with this skirt ending anytime soon!

- Cloud

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