What’s better than one Gabriola skirt? Two Gabriola skirts, of course!! When the pattern arrived in the mail, I realized that this might be the perfect opportunity to use a somewhat problematic piece of fabric that I had purchased back in the fall.
See, the tricky thing about ordering fabric online is that you can never be quite sure exactly what it’ll look like until it arrives on your doorstep. So back in October I wanted a fun knit print to use for tops or dresses, so I got what I thought was a subtle geometric floral print from fabric.com. I guess I must’ve read the ruler in the website picture wrong, because when this fabric arrived, the print was a good 3-4″ bigger than I thought it would be. So, not subtle at all. Oops…
The Gabriola skirt, however, it the perfect place to use large prints! It has enough pieces to break up the texture while still leaving the printed pattern intact. Of course, since this fabric was a knit, I had to make some adjustments to the pattern. I placed the back piece on the fold, omitting the seam allowance, and used an elastic waistband instead of a zipper.
I discovered a fun little secret while sewing up this version – it’s WAY easier to sew in a knit! Whereas the first skirt took me almost two weeks, this one took one afternoon! Also, the bias edges that gave me trouble the first time around behaved quite nicely with the knit. Since the fabric is more elastic in general, the bias edges don’t stretch out as much, making them much easier to work with. I should also note that this isn’t a super slinky knit – it’s a cotton/poly jersey with not Lycra, so it has a nice drape but not toooo much stretch.
I used my sewing machine set to a narrow zigzag for the yoke pieces – I didn’t want to risk the seams not matching, and was afraid the serger would be too difficult for that. The large skirt pieces were sewn with the serger, however. For the waistband, I just cut a long strip of fabric twice the width of my elastic plus seam allowances, and then attached it to the skirt by stretching it slightly. I didn’t want the elastic to create gathers, so I wanted to use as little fabric as possible in the waistband. I then used this great tutorial by Melissa over at Fehr Trade to finish the waistband. Easy peasy!
The hardest part of the whole process was actually figuring out the pattern placement. The first time I cut out the yokes, I had a different placement, thinking it would be cute to put the flowers in the center of the yoke. But when I sewed the pieces together I discovered that this wasn’t the best plan…
I had inadvertently put a bullseye on my tummy – ouch!! To say I was upset is a major understatement. After a brief period of swearing and throwing things (just fabric and pattern pieces…it was pretty anticlimactic), I managed to cut new yoke pieces out of the few fabric scraps I had left, and the rest was a breeze. WHEW. All in all, I’m very pleased with the pattern placement – the flowers in the yoke now make a nice little triangle pointing away from the hips instead of highlighting them.
So, to conclude, I highly recommend making this pattern in a knit!! I know I will again. Have you ever tried converting a non-knit pattern into a knit garment? How did that go?
(Not sure what’s up with the weird hand wavey thing)
One last comment – I entered the first Gabriola skirt in the Sew Dramatic, Sew Gabriola competition over at Stitch 56, and the voting polls are now open! Woot!