Thursday, April 7, 2011

Learning to Sew: A-Line Skirt. Not Bad.

Pattern: A-line skirt from Stitch by Stitch.  $5
Fabric: stash from a few years ago. Decor fabric I think I bought with the intention of making curtains. $0
Notions: Black ribbon, also stash bought for something else. Invisible zipper $2.50
Total cost: $7.50
Time to make: about 7 hours
Wear again? Yes, with heels only

As soon as I completed this skirt, I didn't like it. It made my legs look stumpy, the fabric reminded me of the pillows that I had originally intended it for, so I felt like a couch. The A-line wasn't flattering. "Why does everyone say the A-line is universally flattering?" I asked myself, scowling into the mirror. "This is not flattering. This makes me look short and stumpy. It makes my hips wider. It is too much fabric."

Then I put on heels. OhRight. That's why people wear these things. Noted.

The pattern itself was pretty straightforward. I learned about yolks, lining, interfacing, invisible zippers, and invisible hems. Some more successfully than others. The lining is from the office curtains, a fun chartreuse peeking out from the pockets and waist. The pockets themselves are...okay. I added the black ribbon because I was afraid you wouldn't be able to pick the pockets out of the print otherwise. The pockets ended up a little crooked, which I tried to correct visually by sewing them on with the ribbon straight, thinking that would fool the eye into thinking the pocket itself was straight. Not so.  

Stitch by Stitch entreats me to use the "power phrase," Does it bother me enough? As in,   Does this imperfection bother me enough? Enough to tear it out and do it over? Enough to take the time to restitch this seam or removed and reinstall this zipper?  "You're so right, Stitch by Stitch! Ripping out the pockets would be a pain and no one will notice them!"  Last night, post-skirt-completion, I stumbled on a list of "how to make your handmades not look homemade."  One of the tips was, "when in doubt, rip it out."  Right. Perhaps because I didn't love the fabric, I didn't want to put too much effort into the skirt? Next time I will rip it, rip it good.

The blind hem also did not work out so well. The book had me sew gathering stitches on the bottom and then gather for a "slight pucker" to make the hem fit, since it's A-line-ness prevented the fold from fitting under itself. This somehow did not work out so well and now the whole bottom of the skirt has a "slight pucker."  Perhaps someday I will fix this, but right now I think I'm going to rock my momentum and move on to bigger and brighter things.

Next up...a dress!


  1. Just last week, as I was mentioning your blog to someone at work, they said, "Do you remember that AMAZING dress she made and wore to her high school graduation party?" Back then you sewed by following directions blindly, now you are learning about all facets of the craft; pretty cool.

  2. Hi. I'm a beginning sewer using the same book you used for this skirt (which looks pretty cool, by the way, pillow fabric and all!). I'm curious--did you have any problems with the CD that came with your book? The files on mine are all wonky, and not just because it's my first time using patterns. All the patterns are overlayed on top of one another so all that comes out is a 17-page mess. Clearly you didn't have that problem if you managed to make the skirt. Sorry if this is an odd question, but do you use a PC or a Mac? I'm beginning to think that it's a Mac-only problem even though usually Macs don't mess PDFs up at all. Sorry for being a creeper! Also, love your owl tote.

  3. Chicagoan, I have a PC, and No, I didn't have any trouble with the CD. Would you like for me to email you the PDFs? I would feel comfortable doing that since you have already bought the book. Let me know your email address if you think that would help at all.