The Love of Wool and Power Drill Sewing

I can’t resist a beautiful wool, it can make a long, cold winter a little more tolerable. It may just be my favorite fabric for sewing, it’s so forgiving. I purchased a soft gray worsted wool a few years back at the downtown branch of Vogue Fabrics  and finally found a pattern, Burda 7252.

Burda skirt patternBurda skirtAfter reading a couple reviews and blog postings on this skirt, I thought I needed a muslin to figure out the engineering as much as getting the fit right. The zipper application is unique, it is inserted into a slit in the pleat underlay, rather than a seam. The underlay becomes the center back of the 3 layer pleat.


The pocket welts are cut on a slight angle and the wool was a rectangular window pane which looked off kilter at an angle. I thought finding a coordinating leather or suede for the welts would resolve the issue, but my bright idea nearly turned into an obsession. We had a day off work due to the extreme cold and I spent it running around trying to find just the right shade of gray leather or suede. I did find a piece of leather at Tandy, but it required buying the whole skin, which was $160.00. A bit much for pocket welts, don’t you think? My search continued once I got back to work, checking in our college’s Color and Materials Library. They had some nice samples, but not quite the right shade. I also went to our Craft Department. They had some lovely pieces, but not the right color.

I was about to give up when I found the perfect piece, right in my own closet, a suede belt I bought on a trip to Italy and have never worn.

DSC_0072It seemed soft enough to sew and cut so easily I decided to use some as a piping along the waist band. Oh, it seemed like such a good idea, until the sewing started, or didn’t. As soft as the suede felt, a needle would not go through it, not on the machine or by hand. I tried every type of heavy duty needle and could not get anything through. Who knew suede was so tough?

The skirt should be a fairly quick sew, but all these roadblocks were making it very slow project.  Inspired by a video with Martha Stewart making a leather bag, using a Dremel to make the holes to sew the bag together by hand. Next step, bring out the drill. I didn’t have a Dremel, but I had my little Ryobi power screwdriver/drill.  The welts didn’t take too many holes, but the piping…it seemed endless. Then I sewed the welts and piping on by hand, which means most of the waist band was done by hand. Getting this skirt done took an extra week…

DSC_0075 I was feeling obsessed..

DSC_0079That darn button…it took so long to get the suede thin enough to do the covered button I skipped the button hole and made it strictly decorative.

DSC_0076It’s done! Finally! I still love wool, but suede may be off my list for a while.


6 thoughts on “The Love of Wool and Power Drill Sewing

  1. You might take a piece of the belt to a Bernina dealer and ask them to let you try stitching on it. I sew all types of leather on my Berninas without any problem. They might let you use one of their floor models next time you want to sew on leather.

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