Don’t let this simple look fool you – it made me want to rip out my hair at one point. I have wanted to join a sewing contest for forever, and with the New Year’s mentality still upon me, I really wanted to make it happen and had my heart set on PatternReview’s Travel Wardrobe Contest. The contest requires you to sew four garments in the month of February and mix and match them along with two other handmade or retail pieces to create five outfits for your travel wardrobe. I am actually planning a trip to Puerto Rico in May so I thought this would be the perfect challenge. I would have pretty new clothes for the trip and a beautiful backdrop to model them in!
I tried to focus on separates that are easy to move around in because of the activities we have planned out and picked out a few basic patterns I thought I could put together within a week to meet that crazy quota. This, Simplicity 1370 View D, was the most straightforward project I could find, especially since the skirt is unlined, so I thought I would start with it. Partly because I tried to rush it, and partly because I don’t know how to handle non-iron fabrics, it turned out kind of a flop.
The side seam is so poofy! This polyester jacquard from Joann’s has care handling instructions of cool iron only. Maybe I didn’t cool iron long enough but it didn’t seem to have any effect. I then tried to cheat and hot iron the seam but that made the fabric smell funky. Yikes! The hem has the same problem, which makes the whole skirt look so crafty it hurts. I am crossing my fingers that flattening these for a day or two with some heavy books will do some damage control, because otherwise, I really like the print and silhouette of this skirt.
I also had some issues with my serger and threads snapping so the back turned out a smidge shorter than I would have liked. On the bright side, I chose to install a partially exposed zip instead of the normal zip instructed by the pattern and love the result. It pops on an otherwise simple A-line skirt. Here are some tutorials I found particularly for sewing an exposed zip:
- Paprika Patterns: How to Install an Exposed Zipper (Includes lining and waistband instructions)
- My Little Nook: How to Sew an Exposed Zipper (Great photograph tutorial)
- Pattern Runway: Sew an Exposed Zipper (Great photograph tutorial on sewing an exposed zip with no topstitching)
And if you like my zipper, I recommend this seller on Etsy for finding zippers of your desired length and color. I bought this zipper as part of a pack of five for five bucks, and it feels pretty sturdy!
While I met my goal of sewing one garment in one week, I’m not sure I’m quite happy with the results and I’m not sure if I will continue rushing to meet the contest’s deadline. I will see how this week goes before deciding whether to go through with it. I haven’t signed up yet officially so no harm no foul.