More sewing for the thirteen year old! I find that vintage patterns can work well for Clare. The girls patterns have a decent size range – often up to a 16 – and sometimes you can find “Juniors” patterns that were designed especially for changing bodies. However, this skirt is a straightforward Girls size 10.
I have mentioned before that after years and years of wearing skirts and pants down low on her hips, Clare now wants to wear things at her natural waist. This means that she is re-examining her tops as well in order to find things that work better with her bottoms. She rather liked the Groove dress as top that I had already made, so I sewed her another.
This time I cut the top slightly longer – only an inch or so. The striped fabric is from Clear It and has two sides, one with wide stripes and one with narrower. We decided to use the narrower stripe as the “right side” for the sleeves and the neckband.
This time I did sew a proper neckband, cutting a strip to length, folding it in half lengthwise with the wrong sides together, then sewing it to the right side of the neckline with the overlocker. I stitched it down from the right side with a twin needle to secure it. Hems were also twin needled.
I did go to the effort of matching the stripes through the sides of the body, so need to include a photo to show off my success. I didn’t worry too much about stripe matching with the narrow stripes of the sleeves, although they are pretty good too.
But really, the “hero” garment of this blog post has to be the skirt. The pattern is copyright 1975.
I sewed view 1 in size 10, but found that I had to take it in quite a bit through the waist after Clare tried it on. Otherwise it is all sewn as per the pattern. There were lots of great tips and tricks throughout.
That elastic is sewn inside the back waistband pieces, on the half of the waistband that will be against the body when the skirt is complete. It provides support and a bit of additional shaping and security. Yet from the outside it looks like a flat waistband. Very nice.
I decided – in conjunction with Clare – to use an exposed zip. There are a few different ways of doing these, depending on the finish that you want. I decided to simply stitch it to the outside of the skirt, with the ends of the zipper tape folded into a little “V” at the bottom. I sewed both close to the zipper teeth and again near the edge of the zipper tape.
I also love the little curved pockets. You can just see where I have taken in the skirt at the side waist seams in this photo, as there is now a seam in the waistband. Originally it was all one piece. If only Clare had been available to try it on at every step of the sewing process rather than me having to alter after the fact! That is one of the challenges when sewing without your model available (I think she was at school).
I did two parallel rows of topstitching around the pockets and around the skirt hem. I used the triple stitch on my machine for these – I find that it often works better than using topstitching or upholstery thread, and my sewing machine is happier doing it too.
I am ridiculously pleased with this little skirt – with the entire outfit, actually.
Even the scarf is one that I crocheted – it appears to have made a permanent move from my wardrobe into Clare’s.
If you are sewing for a tween, don’t overlook vintage patterns. They might provide you with exactly what you are looking for!