Friday, May 24, 2013

(Sort of) copy of People Tree Skirt - Pt 2, the curse of the buttonholes.

By the end of part one I had cut out my four skirt panels and was just about to embark on an epic weekend of belated birthday cake making, sandwich and things on sticks construction, and a party for 10 (count 'em) five year olds on the Sunday.  I took the Monday off which meant I had time to sew some of the skirt together (and fall asleep in the chair at 4pm).

I dug out the pieces from where I'd hidden them from sticky fingers - pressed them again, there is a lot of pressing - then started the sewing.

I did one side seam of each fabric first, carefully making sure I had the equivalent panels matched up for when it's all sewn together (I have terrible trouble with 'seeing' things laid out, in my head!):

Then did a check to make sure it was matching, it did!, so I decided I'd sew the other two side seams, and that I could sew the whole thing along the bottom edge to make a sort of 'bag' to turn inside out, and leave no hem seams showing.


That REALLY REALLY didn't work. I think I need more sewing-engineering experience - what I got was something ever so slightly 'puff-bally', and I knew it would never hang well. So out came that seam quick sharp. I then sewed together the waistband edge, and did a hem on each of the different fabrics, hopefully deep enough for it not to matter if you get a flash of the 'underskirt' from time to time, I zig-zagged round the raw edges, and then hemmed them:


Hem hem!
They came out the same length, I felt quite pleased about that.

The next job was to make the waistband. I made two strips - one of each fabric - sewed along the long edge, pressed it flat, pressed it over, made a small hem and sewed it to the skirt.

waist band innards
Then I did some button holes, I love doing buttonholes with the magic buttonhole mechanism on the machine:
Add caption
Unfortunately, despite the fun had in doing them, the buttonholes were all entirely wrong:

Wrong, wrong, wrong.
By now I was quite tired. What I should have done if I was a proper seamstress is take off the whole waistband, make a new one and done the buttonholes again. But since I am not (nor shall I ever be) on the Sewing Bee, I decided to fudge it instead. I found some matching ribbon in my tin:

It's a good job I am a slave to haberdashery
And sewed it over the offending buttonholes, using that as a tie instead of making the long tapes I'd originally intended. It's come out alright:

A fudge, but a pretty one!
I wore it at a festival last week, and it's comfortable and fits me. Which is pretty good going for a first attempt. But now the UK is plunged once more beneath the jet stream of doom, summer already apparently over, I'm going back to my knitting for a bit.

(Sort of) copy of People Tree skirt - part 1

Extreme displacement activity lead me to drafting a pattern for and cutting out quite a lot of this skirt when I should have been doing things for the boy's (already 6 weeks late) birthday party.

I had got out an old 'People Tree' skirt I bought years ago, I hadn't fitted in it for a while, but due to all the cycling I thought it was worth another go. I'd forgotten how much I liked it. It's plain but with the little quirky buttoned 'pleat' and tie fastening it's lifted from being just a normal A line skirt. I decided I wanted to copy it.

Then I went in our local fabric shop (part of the Masons of Abingdon empire) with Janey the Quilter, and we both fell for this elephant fabric:

And they all went off with a trumpety-trump...
It's a summery kind of cotton, I thought it might be a bit thin, and need lining. Then someone said if you're going to do that with a light cotton you might as well get two skirts for the price of one - a reversible skirt was now on the cards. I have no experience of making reversible skirts - or any skirts really (see below) - but, onward!

I  couldn't find anything for the 'other side' I liked (I think I had been overwhelmed by the sheer greatness of the yellow elephants). I got home, and realised I'd made a HUGELY unflattering circle skirt in a brown and blue polka dot fabric a couple of years ago. It's hung in the wardrobe since the 'Beautiful Days' spots and stripes night (2011?). Circle skirts have loads of fabric in them of course, so there would be enough for the second skirt:

Spot The Difference
I measured up the original skirt and made a pattern based on it - at this point I really don't know what I'm doing, but it all seems to be going OK. It's just a two piece (or four piece in this case)  pattern, but with a larger front than back, to accomodate the buttoned pleat at the front. Then of course there will be some giant tapes to make, and buttonholes.

Measure once, cut, that's not it...
Couldn't really leave him in the shop could I?
I marked up and cut out all the four skirt pieces (using the virtual help of Tilly, off the Sewing Bee. I am so pleased to not have to pin! Who knew mackerel and tuna could be so useful in sewing).

Then I sat down and had a cup of tea. And thought about how much I didn't want to put 100 tiny sausages onto 100 sticks.