For spring

Trip posts are coming. But first, a diversion:

I've finally made use of my awesome Christmas gift from my sister Morgan, Sew What! Skirts. I sewed what? A skirt. Ha. I used a floral piqué fabric my grandmother gave me from her stash, a slightly-stretchy fabric that I originally thought would be great for a baby sling (like mine from slinglings.com) but then decided to make into a skirt instead.

Cutting it out was kind of funny, because I didn't use a pattern and instead just traced another skirt of mine onto the fabric while adding a seam allowance. Amy Karol told me I could. This would have worked fine on a non-stretchy fabric, but the piqué kept, well, stretching while I was trying to mark it. I evened it out after marking it, but I still think it wasn't the precise line that it could have been. I'm not much of a pattern person, but okay, I *guess* I can try making a pattern with newsprint or wrapping paper next time.

In the above picture, my skirt looks like it has an enormous bump on one of the hips, but really, that's just where the zipper ends and the skirt fabric gets to relax a little. Still, it's not the best fit, though that may have more to do with the state of my body right now (i.e., the Empty Baby House) than with the skirt itself.

My favorite part is the hemline. I chose some periwinkle bias tape to make hemming easier, knowing that the fabric would just get all wonky and uneven if I tried to fold it over twice but that it could have a nice trim if I used tape. I stretched the edge of the skirt a bit while I was pinning on the tape, so it's almost fluted, a bit flirty, and I love it. Plus, I like the fact that there's a bit of color on this otherwise black-and-white skirt. I did use matching periwinkle thread for all the sewing on the skirt, so I have two parallel lines of periwinkle topstitching around the waist, but that part won't show, since I don't tuck in shirts.

Putting the zipper in wasn't so bad — I had flashbacks to my mom teaching me how to do it on a dress I made when I was younger — but if I never, ever had to hand-sew a hook-and-eye at the top of a zipper again, I would be a very happy woman. I fiddled with that thing for about 15 minutes before I got it to stay put. If anyone has a workaround solution that involves using something else to close the top, or will help me put on a hook-and-eye easier, I'm all ears. I know snaps and buttons would require more work since the fabric has to overlap for those, but maybe there's a different piece of hardware out there that I should take a look at. Also, whenever I find a lighter-weight fabric that will work with an elastic waist, I'll definitely try that out too, since it would involve no zipperage or hook-and-eyeage.

Anyway, that's my project from this week. Kent loves to watch the sewing machine and cheers me on with an enthusiastic "Mama sew!!" while it's humming away. I think he means to say simply that I *am* sewing, not to say it as a command or a cheer, but it still cracks me up. He's not so patient with the in-between parts, like pinning and ironing, so it takes me a while to crank anything out, but this was a fun first skirt. Experimentation to follow.

Also, having a fun new skirt makes me want fun new shoes. This could get dangerous.

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I LOVE the Empty Baby House reference. It is so true! Things just never revert to their previous state. And I love the skirt too! How thrifty and crafty and of course, one of a kind.
oooh! I love the periwinkle accent! I have an easy-peasy pattern from Simplicity that makes a very simple, elastic waist skirt. I love it. I've made several. And, as much as I'm not usually a fan of elastic waists other than on pj/sweat pants, you can't even tell that's what this skirt has. If I sat down and did it all in one stretch, it might take me an hour or so.

Who knows if they still make the pattern, but if you want to check it out, it's Simplicity 5505.
I got the Empty Baby House thing from Amy Karol, too, loving the term the first moment I read it on her blog. I think it gives me a sense of empowerment, like, "Yes, my belly might be saggy and weird, but I carried a HUMAN BEING in there! So ha!"
The first (and only) skirt I made for myself involved stretchy fabric that was also a velveteen type consistency. What was I thinking? The skirt is beautiful, but it was such a pain that I haven't done one since. The fabric kept moving under my fingers.
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