I've Always Loved Halloween...

...and I'm thrilled to have had the time this year to squeeze out a few festive looks, while also making year-round wearable garments.

I had originally planned and tried in vain to get the Hazel bundle to work in both a stretch twill and a Ponte knit, but the variations in stretch percentages were just too great if I wanted to maintain a quality pattern.

Personally, I like patterns with a lot of options, so I've spent the last few months working it out. I tested using exclusively Robert Kaufmann Ponte de Roma with a content of 67% Rayon, 28% Nylon, 5% Spandex with approximately 50% stretch purchased from Sewing Studio and a 1 inch wide no-roll elastic. I did use a textured spongy, mostly poly Ponte deadstock in the black version purchased from same shop. 

To make a Ponte knit Hazel skirt, there are really only a few points that need to change.
  1. Size down. I found 2 sizes to work best. The Hazel skirt is based on the Victorian walking skirt in a midi length and meant to have room for movement. You could likely apply this to a wiggle skirt in your stash, but we're keeping this simple and without having to add a kick pleat.
  2. Skip the waist facing. With a zig-zag stitch and right-sides facing, sew your waist's length of elastic in-the-round. Flip to the inside, press, and tack down at seams (stitch in ditch) for an invisible finish. There's an excellent class on Craftsy by Pam Howard where she demos this technique in addition to leveling the skirt at the same time. Worth the watch. 
  3. Use a stitch that works for you. There are a lot of fans of the triple stitch for knits. I have not found it to work best for me. I like the lightning/stretch stitch or a serger/overlocker. Note that Ponte fabric bulks up quickly, so top-stitching and/or passing back over thick seams can get tricky.
  4. Use a thinner, jersey fabric for the pocket lining pieces to reduce bulk or weird lumpy butt seams. Do top-stitch there along the pocket openings to reinforce shape even if you don't top-stitch elsewhere.
  5. If you flat-pipe as shown in the red example, don't do as I did and use Ponte for the flat piping. It gets far too thick, and as you can see in the photo, keeping those seems lined up without breaking my serger was impossible. It's both off on that one spot AND I broke 2 needles. Don't do as I do. Use a thinner jersey fabric for the piping.
  6. I triple-stitch zig-zag seamed the hem, however, I bike in all my clothes. If you're not as active in your day-to-day clothes, then a lengthened straight stitch will do, as again, it's not a wiggle skirt but a walking skirt. It's unlikely you'll pop the seam.

That's really all there is to it. Skipping the pockets and flat piping like in the red option, it takes maybe 45-60 minutes to get a new skirt? Super travel friendly (if you're lucky enough to do that again, send me photos so I may live vicariously through you), packable, wearable, versatile and holiday meal friendly. 

Next time, I'll show you how I turned the Hazel skirt into a Mondrian-inspired wearable art piece. Until then, use code HazelHalloween2021 through November 2021 to get 20% off any combination of Hazel patterns.

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