Friday, June 15, 2007

New Look 6470 / Headband & Skirt

Last week I made this headband and skirt... We hosted a party - and while the menu was the easy part, the question of what to wear was a bit trickier. Something day-time dressy - but not too dressy, summery - but that will match a warm cover-up in case it gets cold (even though it is summer, we tended to hit only the mid-60's all this week during the warmest part of the day), and something that will match shoes that I already have in my closet... and believe me, the choices are limited unless you count sneakers! Hummmm, what to do?
Well, sew up a skirt using the most beautiful duponi silk, that I bought at Marden's last time I was there for a mere $1 yard. I bought 2 yards of each yellow, with not a clue what I would sew, so yes - I have plenty left over. But for $1 a yard - unheard of for duponi - let's see, I can make a matching bag, a bolero jacket.... believe me, I will think of something. But next time I see duponi at such a price I will get 3 yards for more versitility.
As luck would have it, the afternoon was beautiful! But toward the end I was reaching for my cover-up - a beautiful green pashima/silk shawl from Nepal that is feather-light, but oh so warm! All in all, I was happy that I was able to pull this outfit together.
Anyway, the pattern is New Look 6470 (by Simplicity) and it couldn't have been easier. The skirt actually has an elastic waist. I did have to shorten the length by 3" though - and I am tall. I didn't realize it would be so long and then ended up cutting the 3" off the waist - which I just barely got away with because any more and it would have interferred with the shaping of the skirt. Still, it worked - even though I cut the pattern 1 size down from my normal size so it would be a bit more fitted and have less gathers at the waist from the elastic. I am definately going to make this skirt again, but will shorten it on the shortening line next time. I cut it out on Thursday, sewed it Friday morning and wore it on Saturday! Easy, easy! Just one thing about the pattern if you make it - cut the notches OUT so that you can find them - I usually cut notches in, but for this pattern you have to cut many little notches to ease the flounce and inward cut notches would have been impossible to find.

I used a double needle and top stitched the side seams and the seam for the flounce using 2 different spools of sparkly thread that I love so much, but that always, always breaks on me. But guess what? It doesn't break if I use 2 strands together - 1 in each of the double needles AND if I just do one section at a time, turn off the machine and let it cool off and then do the next section. The hem is turned up 1/4" and then another 1/4" and top stitched also. I did not have any silk thread and the closest poly thread I had was cream, but I used it only for the seams so it was ok.
From now on, when I buy fabric, I will make sure to get the matching thread! It all worked out fine, but only because I had a double needle and pretty thread, phew! I was so scared I would break that double needle before I got done, because the closest store to buy such a needle is about 6 1/2 hours away from me, round trip and that would have been out of the question. I must admit - the topstitching is really a nice touch on this skirt - well worth the extra time spent on it (the directions don't mention topstitching, but I often add it when I make clothes). Still no serger, so I pinked the seams - not sure how long that will last with duponi, but I think it should be fine (another good reason for the topstitching - it will help hold it down). Oh - and since I am a MOMMA to a slightly messy Little Boy, I pre-washed and dryed the fabric first. Yes I did! All fabric in my household has to hold up to a regular washing machine/dryer, so in it went before I even made a stitch.
The headband pattern I got out of the summer issue of Sew Simple (by Quiltmaker). I thought it was too wide so cut it a bit thinner - I wish I had made it even thinner - oh well, next time! I used a decorative stitch to top stitch, using the sparkly thread and double needles again. The thread broke 2X doing this - probably got too hot with all the fancy stitching. On the ties I used the straight stitch (double needles/fancy thread) and had no problem. I also inserted an elastic to the underside to help hold it in place. I put my hair into a French Twist and I think it looked great with the headband, so I am happy that I made it.
There is a very nice headband pattern at I want to make a few of these! This pattern also uses a piece of elastic so if you look at the photos on this site you can see what I am talking about.
When top stitching pointy end corners I put a piece of sticky embroidery stablizer under the fabric - this keeps the feed dogs from eating my fabric. You could also use a sticky post-it note with the same effect. For turning long-skinny pieces like this right side out, I use a pair of surgical hemostats - much longer and a better grip than a bodkin! If you don't have either - try a pair of tweezers.

And, even though I have the menu posted over on my cooking blog at, I can't leave you without a photo of 1 of the 7 sandwich platters... the party was a huge success and helped raise some much appreciated funds for our favorite little museum.


Doodlebug Gail said...

What a pretty skirt - you look absolutely ready for a summer party! And did Little Boy help with all the sandwich making? When I saw how you'd piled all the ingredients up I was wondering if he'd helped to put everything in order with you.

Patti said...

How very elegant you look - in a relaxed, romantic kind of way. That little white blouse is perfect with the skirt. Such a multi-talented lady you are!

Mary said...

Very summery looking and the sandwiches look delicious.

Shelina said...

Evelyn, what a cute outfit - the skirt and the headband are both great. I wish I could sew like that. You are so pretty, so it really looks great on you.

Simonetta said...

Wow! This is a pretty skirt, lovely your summer look :))))

Jeanne said...

You look so pretty in that skirt! Thanks for the pattern info, too.

Mama Koch said...

The skirt is really cute and perfect for a summer get together.

cher said...

you have true sewing talent, and of course you look beautiful...sounds like a great party and you were the belle!

Mrs. Goodneedle said...

Lovely, Evelyn; simply lovely! You're the epitome of everything a gracious hostess is... relaxed and elegant... you make it all look so effortless. Great job!

Hanne said...

What a lovely outfit Evelyn - and you look so beautiful in it :-)

Susan said...

Gorgeous skirt, and a very pretty picture of you! I love dupioni - buy a lot of it for CQ, but I never got it at that great price!