Thursday, May 21, 2009

New Black Skirt

I needed a new black skirt for Viva Las Vegas, so I decided to try out this pattern. I bought it to replace an early 50s pattern that I love but is too small. (More on that here.) I used View C.

Damn, this was easy to put together. Two pattern pieces, the skirt and band, no darts. Shabam! Done!

I didn't care for the cutting diagram. The diagram suggested cutting out each piece on an open length of fabric. Instead, I folded the fabric and cut once. It didn't seem to make any difference.

My only problem was that, as usual with a more modern pattern, there was entirely too much ease. Stitching at the seam lines, I ended up with a garment that was waaaay too big. I did my usual "increase the seam allowance" trick, taking it in about .5 an inch at a time. After three rounds or so, the fit was a lot better, but still a big big in the waist. Someday, I'm going to have the patience to figure this stuff out BEFORE I cut.


I attached the waistband incorrectly. I started right sides together and then folded it inward instead of vice-versa. It worked SO much better, though. I did that "stitch in the ditch" thing on the right side and, for once, I was able to catch the opposite side in the stitches all the way across. This was a vast improvement and the way I will be attaching waistbands from now on, no matter what the instructions say.

I hate hemming. Even though the blind hem foot makes it pretty easy, sometimes I don't have the energy to fold and press. (If you've ever read this blog before, you know am exceptionally lazy.) I used the rolled hem foot this time, and I think its okay. It makes the bottom a bit flippedy-floopy, but I don't mind.

I think this skirt came out really well. I may shorten the hemline (and hem it properly) at some point but for right now, I'm really happy with it.

Here it is, styled as it was worn at Viva. I do wish I had a picture of it from Viva. It would be a lot more exciting than my kitchen, but I am not much of a picture taker when I'm on vacation.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

I have a thing for skirts.

I am always enticed by skirt patterns and I'm developing quite a collection. I have this fantasy that if I make enough skirts, I'll stop wearing jeans and a cardigan to work every day in favor of a skirt and ... probably a cardigan. That would be much more chic and much more in keeping with my fantasy image of myself. Which is something like this:

(Photo borrowed from the LIFE photo archive.)

Of course, I'd be loads more likely to dress nicely for work if Fogville was less foggy and windy ALL THE TIME. That's probably not going to change unless global warming kicks into high gear, which would be bad...

But then I could occasionally leave the house without five layers of extra clothes "just in case", which would be good. It's all about the give and take, people

I found these two "instant skirt" patterns at Vintage Jubilee over at Etsy. They are made with just one yard of fabric and seem pretty versatile.

It probably it seems silly that I bought two of the same pattern in different sizes. I'm just never quite sure how the ease thing is going to work. Sometimes a 26" waist fits fine and sometimes it's way too small. Sometimes a 28" waist is great, other times it's too big. I just never know, despite the fact that my body measurements never seem to change.

It looks like there is just one seam so my big plan for these patterns would be a skirt made from a "scary" fabric like plaid. I am terrified of matching plaids. These will also be useful for any fabric that I was reluctant to cut. Like, if I was lucky enough to find a kitchy vintage fabric panel or child's curtain like Miss Tiddlywink over at Shoes and Pie. Sublime!

What would you do with an "instant skirt" pattern?

Thursday, May 7, 2009

New Fabric

New fabric from To think there was once a time when I was anti-stash! Muhuhahahahah!

This satiny silky flower fabric is lovely...and posesses all of the things that terrify me about fabric. It's slippery and delicate and very very scary! I want this to be a big floaty-skirted evening gown but I'd settle for a big floaty-skirted day dress. I think deserve a dress that is not made of quilting cotton! Now if only I could get over my fear of sewing with slickery fabric...and of the pattern below, which I think would be perfect for this.

I think this green dot would make a nice suit. I'd use the sleeveless, narrow skirted version of the pattern below and I'd make a 3/4 sleeve, waist length, reversable jacket lined in white. I'd accessorize it with short white gloves and a perky white cocktail hat. Quick, someone invite me to a wedding so I'll have somewhere to wear it!

I think this yellow flowered cotton would make a great day dress with wide kimono sleeves. I think that either version of the pattern below would be super. I'd use bright yellow baby blanket binding on the sleeve edges and the hemline. Sunny fun!