Sewaholic Gabriola – or Cutting Rayon is the Worst

I have been MIA from the blog for the last few weeks for a couple of reasons, 1) I have been busy with work, and 2) I haven’t had any completed sewing projects to show off. Well, at least I can gladly say that I now have 2 completed sewing projects to debut.

My completed Gabriola!

My completed Gabriola!

The first project is the Sewaholic Gabriola skirt. As soon as I saw this pattern on the Sewaholic blog I knew I wanted to make it. I love maxi skirts and I loved how the bias paneling on the skirt really made it look different. I wasn’t sure what fabric to use for the Gabriola, but I knew I wanted something swishy and floaty, and finally settled on some emerald rayon challis from Fabric.com. I washed, dried, and ironed my fabric and cut out a straight size 2 from the pattern (I actually traced my pattern pieces onto tracing paper instead of cutting into my pattern, which took forever with the long lines of the maxi skirt). I folded and laid out fabric on my cutting table and carefully laid out all my pattern pieces, which I have to say was difficult because the rayon really wanted to slip and move off grain every time I tried to smooth the fabric, but I pinned and cut and I thought I did a pretty good job of it, that is until I tried to match up my pattern pieces. That is when I realized that my fabric must have slipped off grain/moved when I was cutting out my pattern pieces, because none of the pieces didn’t seem to fit together correctly when I went to pin the panels together! Ugh! Trying to match up the panels on this skirt was so frustrating; my fabric looked the same on the front and the back (I did mark the back with chalk, but the chalk was rubbing off as I handled the fabric pieces), there was really only one notch to match the pieces so I wasn’t exactly sure how the pieces were supposed to line up at the other sides, and I was dubious that my pieces were the correct shape to begin with after my cutting fiasco, also the pieces are cut on the bias so I think they maybe stretched a bit…so yeah, frustrating.

I managed to get all the panel pieces sewed, and finished the edges by pinking them, we’ll see if that holds up. I had an easier time sewing the skirt pieces and finished those edges with my serger. I put in the zipper (I still don’t think I am doing a regular zipper correctly because it looked pretty messy) and attached my waistband. I was pretty excited that it looked like a skirt, but when I tried it on and showed it to the bf he informed me he could see my underpants. Crap! So, I figured I had to add a lining if I didn’t want to scrap the skirt. I knew I didn’t want to completely remake the skirt for the lining with all the paneling, no way. I ended up  taping the pattern pieces together to make one front and one back piece in the same shape as the skirt, but short (I figured I only needed the lining to cover the butt). I cut out my lining from ambience bemberg lining, took the waistband and zipper out of my skirt and then attached the lining the skirt. I re-sewed the zipper and put on the waistband (making it slightly smaller this time).

My next frustration came with trying to even out the hem. I hung up my skirt from a hanger and sat there with my ruler, chalk, and scissors and stared at my skirt, I had no clue how I was supposed to even out the hem. Was I supposed to let it all fall in the middle or hold out the sides? No idea. I ended up evening it out to where it all naturally fell off the hanger. I then folded up the hem and tried it on, hmmm, too long….okay re-mark, re-fold, re-iron…better. I did the hem by hand, which took quit a while, but I finally finished! This skirt took me over 2 weeks of pure frustration to complete. I kept telling myself that after all the issues I had with this skirt that as long as it was wearable I would be happy. Well, it is wearable, but of course I keep thinking about all the things that are wrong with it. But you know what? After wearing it out I was actually pretty pleased with it. It is floaty and swishy and feels nice against my legs when I walk, so who cares if the zipper is wonky?

I love the paneling

I love the paneling

Yay! It's done

Yay! It’s done

So overall the pattern wasn’t bad to make and the skirt design is super cute, I think all of my issues stemmed from fabric choice and inexperience.

I definitely plan to make this again, but maybe in a more stable fabric next time, like voile?

I also completed the Coco dress by Tilly and the Buttons, but I hope to blog about that later this week.

Here's Coco!

Here’s Coco!

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3 thoughts on “Sewaholic Gabriola – or Cutting Rayon is the Worst

  1. I’ve just completed my first circle skirt and had a similar issue with my fabric choice. I couldn’t see my chalk markings on my busy fabric at all, so when I attempted to cut it it’s ended up pretty uneven. I suspect we notice more than anyone else does and it’s all part of the learning process…

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