Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Woops, I made a skirt.

It's no secret that I make lots of skirts. They're easy to fit, quick and satisfying to make (well usually... not in the past couple weeks).

My most recent skirt:

Pretty nice right? I love how the pattern changes direction. Except... I was trying to make a dress, one of those cool wrap dresses you can tie many different ways. I had it all done, put it on, and...

...gaping. Ugh. No matter how I tied it, it was unflattering and some part gaped terribly. Well fine, Skirt it is. It's not something I would wear because of the length, so I passed it on to my mother. Oh man, it fits her perfectly! Someday I'll get a photo of her in it, but until then, here's some more of just the skirt:

I used bias strips of the same fabric to bind the waistband and create the ties...

...and a rolled hem foot with zig zag stitching for the hem. It's not perfect, but because of how the skirt moves the imperfections aren't very noticeable.

Here it is laid out on the floor. It's half a circle with a 44 inch "waist" and a buttonhole in the center of the waistband. To wear, you wrap it around, pull one tie through the buttonhole, and tie it to the other.

This fabric is rayon, my favorite, so I'm a little disappointed that I don't have a sweet new dress, but I guess sometimes you have to let a project be.

PS. accidentally making a skirt reminded me of this comic:
Good stuff.

The PVC skirt from hell

Lately I hit a patch of poor sewing. Nothing was coming out quite as I wanted, but I'm trying to not let it deter me.

This skirt proved to be most difficult, with every problem more frustrating than the last.

Problem 1. sticky PVC and no tissue paper to layer it with while sewing (I was at my boyfriend's house). It took me a few minutes to figure out but the solution was pretty simple - cheap toilet paper! It keeps the PVC from sticking just as tissue paper would. Though it's a bit harder to peel away, you can rub the seams with a wet paper towel or regular towel and it dissolves away.

2. Ruffling PVC is not fun. Like problem 1, it sticks together when you try to slide it on the gathering threads... plus you can't pin haphazardly since the pins leave permanent holes.

3. Putting elastic into a PVC waistband is finger torture. I thought this would be fine, just toss an elastic waistband on there and I don't have to worry about zippers or buttons or anything like that (which sounds terrible to do in PVC). Nope. Wrong. I spent an hour or two trying to put in different types of elastic. I thought my fingers would break. Eventually I settled on a drawstring, which makes the waist look bulky, but I admit defeat on this one.

It sits a bit better with something over the waist. It's not terrible otherwise, just not quite what I wanted.

The one good thing? The pockets. This skirt has two velcro side pockets that are pretty close to invisible. At least those didn't cause any trouble.

Hellloooo Sailor!

I think this fabric is pretty cool - it has applique anchors and life preservers (except it's really too thin for applique so it bunches up a bit). I've always wanted a sailor themed skirt, so why not make one out of this.

Well, it didn't go all that great (okay, I know, I complain a lot). The proportions are off, though it's hard to tell in the photos. I'm probably the only one who will know.

The waistband is red because I had red fabric on hand, and there's no lining. I need to wear a slip because it's pretty sheer.

I made a second version of the skirt, with a white waistband, cotton lining, and somewhat different proportions. I'll be selling this one at some point.