Since my last post much has happened and I’ve been regretfully neglectful of all of my blogs. Even now I’m finding the time to blog at work when I should be reading the blogs of others (duh, that’s what office jobs are for).
Today I did something exciting; I made a skirt.
I’ve been an amateur seamstress for years, modifying dresses, taking in t-shirts so they fit a lady’s curves, making wallets, purses, and cases for miscellaneous electronics. Clothing, however, has always intimidated me because a) it has to fit and therefore requires a level of accuracy I cannot achieve, b) I might have to use a pattern and I’m morally opposed to that and c) if I fail I will have wasted beautiful fabric and will probably cry.
Today, however, I was inspired to shrug off those inhibitions and give it a whirl. I decided a skirt would be best as it requires the least fabric. I have countless vintage patterns, Built By Wendy’s SewU, tutorials, and memories of my grandmother’s gutsy sewing practices to reference, but that isn’t how I do things. The spirit of sewing for me is derived from the joyous feeling I get when I sit down and sketch out the dimensions of an project using an existing item for reference and logic for the rest.
Roughly my thought process:
This needs shape so a 45 degree angle dart might help.
I’ve never made a dart.
It’s okay, I’ll just sew a triangle.
How will I measure it?
I’ll just eye it.
That works for everything else.
I’ve got a seam ripper!
After looking at a few patterns and growing weary from all the hoops they wanted me to jump through (the women in my family sew like it’s war times all the time. We can cut the bullshit and give you a beautiful dress out of scraps in 45 minutes. Forget basting stitches. Measure twice only if you have the time, ladies, and we do not). So I shrugged off the patterns and decided that I would need to do this from scratch.
I pulled out my measuring tape and took some quick numbers. There’s a 9-inch difference between my waist and my hips! That is outrageous. I locked the cat in the bathroom (listen, she tries to lick hot irons, sticks her paw under my rotary cutter, and unthreads my needles constantly) and measured out a block of fabric 2 inches wider than my hips. I decided to forget all the things I’ve learned about installing zippers and just did it how I saw fit. I thought a red zipper would be pretty so that’s what I used. And black thread because that’s what was in my bobbin. Then I had a really unattractive box with all this extra fabric around the waist. I decided that this was where a skirt would have darts (at which point I had the aforementioned internal dialogue). I tried my hand at eyeing the darts and only had to remove my stitches once. The result was a very chic skirt. I was in and out of my bedroom modeling it in front of my full length mirror and deciding what finishing touches it needed right up until work which means I probably spent around an hour and a half on it.
I’m pleased with the results. And keep in mind, it was superbly easy because I broke all the rules.