Saturday, February 2, 2013

My Love - Hate Skirt

Why do I love and hate this skirt?  Many reasons...

My first skirt project.
 I have forgotten how terrible I am at yoked skirts.  When I got to the yoke waist, I remembered a similar skirt I made twenty years ago where the tip puckered.  I just figured out what I did wrong this week when a pattern instructor reminded me that points should never be completely pointed.  I should actually sew a couple of stitches at the tip so it rounds slightly.  This makes for easier sewing (especially production sewing) and less likely to pucker.

The skirt is also too big.  I altered it to fit me, and then I lost some weight, so now I'm too lazy to adjust the size down.  It's a good two inches too big.  (During the weight loss, my waist suddenly appeared again.)

Take a look at these two photos.'s not a new skirt.  It's my skirt inside out.  The inside actually looks way better than the outside.  I Hong Kong seamed it beautifully if I do say so myself.  Sadly, the right side was unworthy of the work on the wrong side of the skirt.

The fabric itself looked better on the bolt.  It's this beautiful cotton wool chambray.  Unfortunately, it's so loosely weaved that it was very unforgiving when I made mistakes.  It was also a lot flimsier than expected.  The fabric is more blouse than skirt material.  It's also a shortish skirt.  I am afraid that a light wind will blow the skirt right up.  (Remember what your mother told you...always wear clean underwear.  You never know when you'll be part of an emergency situation.)

It's just one of those projects that I spent a lot of hours tweaking because the fabric was difficult, the pattern was poorly constructed, and the sewist had general brain fog.  Oh...did I mention that the skirt makes me look like I gained all my weight back?  I'm thinking about donating it unless I find someone to take it off my hands.

First Project

I didn't sew this in my sewing room.  I actually made this dress before my sewing room was complete--sewn right on my kitchen table! After I cut out the fabric, it only took me a few hours to piece together.  Since it was my first project in a long time, I had some problems with the drawstring underneath the bodice.

Remember that old stash I mentioned in my last post?  Well, this antique Hawaiian print was salvaged out of there.  I couldn't bear to donate it.  I found this summer pattern, and thought why not?  Unfortunately, the fabric is polyester, and really warm to wear.  Ironically, it's this Hawaiian print that's probably too warm to wear in Hawaii.  It looks great on, but I've found no occasion here to wear it.  Too warm for the summers, and too summery in style for the Winter.

My New Sewing Room

I have this spare room in the garage that's not a great space to use as an office.  It's cold and the floors are concrete.  But it's sunny, and there is a slow-working heater that eventually gets the room to a decent temperature.  My husband had dibs on the space, but he's only in there to do paperwork about twice a year.  It's now my sewing room.

Sewing is one of those hobbies that require a lot of work and storage space.  Without it, I lose things, and most importantly, I get a little discouraged about sewing in general.  So for the first time in 20-plus years, I've got some space to be my creative self.

It's a sewing-space-in-progress.  I'm still shifting things around, organizing every few weeks to make room for more things, and reorganize existing projects.  I'm trying really hard not to build up a ridiculous amount of fabric and notion stash.  I used to have ten boxes of fabric that I didn't know what to do with.  Never again.  I'm trying to use everything I have, and then some.

A great Craigslist find was my padded cutting table.  I have a  cutting mat on top right now.  This table is really unstable, so its held up one end by another cabinet and a bunch of books, but it was $40, the right height, and doubles as an ironing table.

This is a second-hand Horn sewing table that is actually too big for the sewing room.  It happens to fit my old Bernina 1130 perfectly, and is the same cabinet that I gave to my sister 20 years ago.  I've missed it, and one day I found this on Craigslist.  It was a great buy!

I do most of my sewing on my single stitch absolutely favorite machine of all time.  I never thought I would love any machine more than my Bernina, but here it is!  It's fast and reliable.  I wish it could do zig zag, then my sewing life would be complete.

To the left of my Juki is my ironing station.  The shelves are actually a lot neater since I took this picture.  I'm planning on upgrading to a professional iron.  But I just don't have the time to hang a chain from the ceiling for the water tank.  I'm okay for now.  I'm not doing much heavy ironing anyway.  

My room from another angle.  You can see that it's a decent size, but of course, I wish it were bigger. I converted my old office shelf into a fabric storage unit.  I only use the top shelves to store things.  I have paper and other supplies in the drawers below.  I have more fabric stored in another plastic bin under the cutting table.  That's the bulk of my stash, and I want to keep it that way.