Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Stash Smash #1: A Skirt

Don't let it end this way.  Tell them I said something.  
~ Pancho Villa

So, I had to choose this weekend - sew or try another photo shoot?  I picked sewing and, oddly enough, my husband did not protest his lost opportunity to drag out our old lighting equipment and help me with a photo shoot!  ;)

I decided to start with a skirt - the grey cotton print fabric with the pattern for the pleated skirt (lower left sketch):  



There are only 2 pattern pieces - the skirt body and the waistband - so I figured it would be a quick and easy project....  

Do you recognize FAMOUS LAST WORDS when you hear them?  ;)

I had used my cards to decide how much fabric to buy - without a specific skirt in mind, I added 1/2 yard to my average so that I could cover about 79% of skirt patterns out there - and it was just enough!  :)



In the photo above, I've cut (okay, ripped to get the grain line) my fabric into 2 pieces and stacked one on top of the other - so that both right sides are up.  Each piece is the exact width of the skirt panel (cut 2).

Basically you start with 2 large rectangles - minus one small cut-out, where the zipper is going to go - and sew both side seams and then hem the bottom:


I had lined up the bottom along the finished selvedge - so I only had to turn it once for my hem.  :)


Then you put in the pleats and attach the waist band.  The cats were lots of "help" when it came time to add the pleats:



Okay, here's where the real "fun" started for me.  The instructions for my view (D) send you to earlier instructions (views A, B & C) for attaching the waist band.  Here is the illustration that accompanied the earlier instructions:



See how the edges of the waist band and the edges of the skirt line up perfectly in the illustration?

Well, my waist band hung over the edges...  :(

I tried all kinds of machinations to stretch the skirt to fit to the waist band (pinning it to death, laying the longer piece against the feed dogs, etc.) - finally I had to hand stitch it to keep it lined up for machine sewing.  


Then I turned back to where the instructions for my view (D) picked up again - check out the waist band in this illustration - it hangs over the skirt!  Just like mine did!


Well, just like mine did before I worked so hard to stretch my skirt to match the waist band...  :(

So, I ripped it out and re-attached it and moved on to the next step - the zipper.  

And here's where I ran into the next "snag" - this zipper is inside one of the pleats (lapped?).  All of the zippers that I have ever installed were centered, so I really needed the instructions for this one...  


Oops.  Apparently the cats had "liberated" certain portions of the instructions at some time in the past, including the section that I desperately needed.  :(


I tried to "wing it" and must have inserted, ripped out and then re-inserted that zipper 4 times before I finally got something that worked...  :(

I'm sure it's not "done right" - but it holds up the skirt...  (Well, with an assist from the stomach...)  

And, in the end, I'm pretty happy with the result - it fits and looks reasonably nice - although there aren't nearly as many pleats as indicated in the drawing on the pattern.  


I think it will work nicely in my new wardrobe and it was wonderful to do some sewing for myself!  :)

10 comments:

  1. It's good to see you sewing something for yourself, too, after so much sewing for others! It looks like it will be a great addition to your new wardrobe.

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    1. Thanks, Becky! It felt really good! :)

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  2. I really like this skirt! I have a pattern similar that I started making, it is a UFO...you make me want to finish it,lol! But, that's another sewing challenge!!!

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    1. Thanks, Alethia! :)
      I wouldn't have minded more pleats and I really need to learn how to do a lapped zipper - but I am still happy with it! I wore it to work yesterday and got some nice compliments. :)

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  3. Very cute! I started on a pattern I got with the gift certificate I won in one of your giveaways - and immediately put the zipper in upside down. Oops.

    Ellen

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    1. How exciting, Ellen! (Starting on the pattern - not putting in the zipper upside-down!) Will we get to see pictures someday? Good luck and have fun finishing it! :)

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    2. I will definitely let you see the final results. My schedule is wacky for a while but my sewing productivity always goes up during baseball season.

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    3. Ha! I take it someone in the household is a big baseball fan? ;)
      My husband really likes baseball too! We used to live near Chicago and I have fond memories of watching the Cubs play in Wrigley Field...

      Looking forward to seeing your pictures! :)

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  4. Good job! Doesn't it feel good to sew something for you? By the way, you're looking very svelte in the photo.

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    1. Thanks so much, Gwen! The zipper wasn't exactly my shining moment, but I managed to "make it work". ;)
      I do need to start a list of techniques to learn and put "lapped zipper" in the top spot. :)

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