Saturday, May 11, 2013

Handmade Skirt

When I was a kid, I made a few pieces of doll clothing from patterns as well as making at least one dress with the assistance of my mother. After that, most of the sewing I did were modifications of garments I already owned, or making home-goods like pillows, tablecloths, napkins, quilts, and stuffed animals. I hemmed pants or altered the neckline of shirts. I have never sewn an item of clothing all by myself, that is until this week. I thought I should start with something simple, so I found this pattern from for a very simple 8 paneled skirt. I figured that as long as all I had to do was cut the panels, sew them together, hem the skirt, and insert the elastic waist, that would give me a good idea of if I was cut out to make more complicated garments.
 I got some lovely red cotton crepe and started work. Once I had cut the eight panels I realized that the fabric was very sheer. Being me, I decided to modify the patten, and not in a small way. I decided to make a short underskirt to make the skirt a bit more modest.

I ended up cutting the pattern and cutting eight more panels. I joined the panels at the edges and hemmed the bottoms of both the under and over skirt. I then inserted the underskirt into the over-skirt with the seams facing one another. This had the somewhat unintended consequence of making the inside of the skirt tidier.

 I then followed the pattern instructions, folding over the top of the skirt and creating a sheath for the elastic by stitching almost all the way around the top. Next time I will try to create this sheath while also folding under the raw edge of the fabric. As it is, the inside of the waistband has an unfinished edge that I finished with zigzag shears so it won't unravel. The instructions called to pull the elastic through using a large safety pin. I couldn't find one (until, typically, 20 minutes after I needed it) so I used a paper clip. I just had to carefully push the end through between the strands of elastic. At this point, the pattern instructed to "join the elastic", since it was no more specific, I consulted the internet and found some advise saying to zigzag stitch the two ends to a piece of ribbon, so that doubling it doesn't create extra bulk. I did this, pulled the ends up into the skirt and sewed closed the opening, being careful not to catch the elastic in this seam.

 All that was left was to trim the rough edges and any stray threads I missed earlier.

 It think it came out very well. What do you think?

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