Monday, February 21, 2011

Skirts and Bog People

A few years ago I learned how to fit skirts.  The result at the time was that I had several skirts that fit me like, well, like they were made for me.  The unfortunate long-term result is that none of those skirts now fit my post-partum body.  This was getting slightly depressing, so I cut out a skirt today.

The fabric is from IKEA.  It's a bit stiff, but the print is just too much fun.

The pattern is from the book Sew Everything Workshop. It's a wrap skirt.  I think the fabric is too stiff to create an all-in-one waistband and ties.  I might look for some black bias tape to use instead.

And how does this fit into the sewing-without-zippers philosophy?  According to Elizabeth Wayland Barber in Women's Work: The First 20,000 Years wrap skirts are probably the oldest form of clothing there is, with a few examples dating back thousands of years. Think fashion for bog people!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

A Purple Jacket

Last spring I bought some purple wool at Winmill Fabrics and spent months hemming and hawing about what to use for a lining. Then in late summer I bought flaming orange curtains for my bedroom from IKEA.  The best thing about IKEA curtains are they all come "puddle length" and include a package of iron-on hem facing.  After I cut the curtains down to size I realized that I had found the perfect lining for the purple wool. The orange fabric is a fairly heavy cotton which gives some body to the relatively loosely woven wool.

The pattern is pure rectangular construction.  Two long rectangles for the body, two rectangles for the sleeves, and two rectangles cut in half diagonally for the side gores.  I didn't plan on underarm gussets, because the sleeves are so wide.  I may go back and put them in, as there is a bit of pulling where the sleeves meet the body. I still need to hem the purple wool and finish the sleeve hems.  I am planning on stitching the two layers together and making turned back cuffs so that the orange lining shows.  There's also some finishing work to do on the inside. I can't wait to wear this.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

The little dress in progress

I've made progress on the baby dress in the last week.  I gathered the top and sewed the outside half of the yoke pieces on.  I also sewed the inside pieces of the yoke on at the neck line.

I haven't made gathers by hand before.  At first, I was a little stressed about making the gathers perfectly even, and then I remembered that the key difference between formal pleats and informal gathers is that gathers aren't expected to be perfectly even. Once I figured that out, the process went pretty quickly.

I wasn't crazy about using polyester binding on the armholes and didn't want to spend the time making bias binding.  So I sewed a narrow baby hem.  While I've read in plenty of places that a curved opening flares when hemmed, this is really only true when working by machine.  Sewing by hand with a relatively thin fabric, the hemmed armholes came out nice and smooth.

The next steps are the back opening and the bottom ruffle.  I don't have enough of the gold fabric to make the ruffle quite as ruffle-y as the pattern calls for.  So I may substitute another fabric. We'll see.