Notions for Your Ginger

Today, in conjunction with Tasia’s guest post on fabric selection, I am hopping in with picking your pattern size and the notions and supplies you’ll need for your Ginger. If you’re new to the sewing game you’ll need to become well acquainted with the back of your sewing pattern. So, let’s have a look, shall we:

Let’s talk about your pattern size first so that we can get the right amount of fabric for our skirts. Pattern sizes DO NOT correspond to ready to wear sizes. Please take note of that. It’s very important that this is understood so that your skirt making (and future pattern making) experience is successful. You need to measure a few areas before picking your size. Grab a tape measure and measure around your natural waist. Next measure around your hips at the widest point. Now pick your size from the sizing chart above. What if your measurements don’t match up with the measurements on the sizing chart? Don’t worry – mine don’t either. If your hip and your waist don’t line up with the sizing chart, pick the larger of the two measurements and buy the fabric needed that corresponds to that larger size. If you are in between sizes, pick one size up from your measurements to ensure that you’ll get enough fabric. Don’t worry, we’ll be talking more about adjustments, alterations and fittings later. For now, we are just getting an idea of our size so we can buy enough of what we need to make this skirt.

Let’s move onto supplies. All patterns share a commonality in that the back of a sewing pattern contains a guide to give us the tools we’ll need to construct the garment shown on the front of the pattern. Sewing notions are supplies you may not have readily on hand, what’s more you’ll want them to match with your finished garment. So in addition to fabric you’ll need interfacing, matching thread and an invisible zipper.

image source

What’s interfacing, you may ask? Interfacing is a stabilizer. It makes certain pieces of a garment a bit stiffer in comparison to the rest. The interfacing you choose should be lighter in weight and stiffer in comparison to the fabric you pick for your final version. Interfacing is a must! Here the pattern calls for a lightweight fusible. This is a good interfacing to start out with and this that Tasia used on her Crescent skirt is my favorite. I also use other fabrics as sew -in interfacing; for example: muslin, hair canvas and silk organza. The type I use depends on what my final fabric will be.

Matching thread and a matching invisible zipper are necessaries as well. Can’t find the exact shade of thread or zipper? Go one shade darker instead of lighter so as not to make these items eyesores in the finished garment.

Some tools are mentioned on the back of this particular pattern as well. Sewing shears (or a cutting mat and rotary cutter), pins, pattern weights (cans of food are great for this – just be sure to wipe them down first), hand sewing needle, marking pen or chalk, and an invisible zipper foot (I also use a regular zipper foot for invisible zipper inserts and will show you how to do that too – please note that you will need one that looks like mine pictured above and not like this).

One more thing. For this sewalong you will need a cut of muslin the same length as your final fabric. We’re going to do a fitting for our skirts first before we make the cut into the final fabric. This is a good sewing habit to get into. Creating a muslin or a toile of the skirt first allows you to iron out any kinks there might be for your particular body before jumping into making a skirt that you may not end up wearing or loving.

And there you have it sewalongers! Let me know if you have questions. I’m here to help! Oh and don’t forget to upload your fabric picks into the flickr pool!




12 thoughts on “Notions for Your Ginger

  1. I’ve been sewing for a couple of years but my attempts at clothing have been less than perfect and sometimes downright disastrous. Having this skirt making process explained step by step (including making a muslin, which Iā€™m always to impatient to do) is just great, so big thanks for offering this sewalong. Iā€™m off to buy my fabric this afternoon ā€“ yippee!

  2. Can I ask a silly question about the interfacing?

    Is it correct that the back of the pattern wants you to buy 1 yard of 20″ wide interfacing? (I only want to check as in the UK, most on-line suppliers sell in metres so I’ll have to do a little conversion).

    Is this interfacing just for the waistband? If it is, it seems like a lot of interfacing! If it’s for all of the skirt, it doesn’t seem enough!! Just want to check my understanding!!

    Thank you.

    1. Yes, it does say 1 yard on the back of the pattern. I know it seems like alot (because it is just for the waistband), but if the interfacing you choose is only 20″ wide, it will really not be that much. If the interfacing comes wider, then you can probably get away with less. It’s stuff you’ll use all the time too, so getting too much is OK since you can use it again somewhere else.

  3. Also, what is the difference between an invisible zipper and a regular zipper?

    I only ask because I whizzed over to Tasia’s blog to have a look and for her Crescent skirt, she says to get a regular zipper (and emphasises that it be a regular zipper and not an invisible one) and it doesn’t look much different to the one you have in your picture here šŸ™‚

    Thanks again šŸ™‚

    1. Alright, when you view a regular (all purpose) zipper from the front side, you can see its teeth. When you view an invisible zipper from the front side you can’t see the zipper teeth. And this is before the zipper is inserted in the garment. Also, the packaging should tell you that its either a zipper or an invisible zipper. Here, in the US, they also have different zipper pulls on the all purpose zippers versus the invisible zippers. Have a look at this site page and you can see the difference:

      Hopefully this helps. Let me know if I need to clarify further.

  4. Hi Sunni,
    Thank you so much for the clarification about the interfacing and the invisible zipper. Makes perfect sense now, thank you šŸ™‚

    I did say earlier that I’m pretty much a beginner, so expect lots of basic questions, but I just can’t miss taking the opportunity of finding out as much as I can from an expert whilst I have the chance šŸ™‚

  5. I cannot call myself a complete beginner anymore but I recently bought this pattern and in need of an easier, relaxed project, so can I sew along too? Always good to sew with great guidance, which I have no doubts you will provide.

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