I resurfaced after a lot of summer traveling (less glamorous than it sounds that, think long journeys on trains with kids in tow, packed lunches and heavy rucksacks) to find that the Sew-A-Longs & Sewing Contests group on facebook had been making Messenger Bags in August. I love making bags and felt slightly sad to have missed out on all the fun (only slightly, after all I’d made my own bag in July). Never mind, I thought, I’d join in with the September sew a long.
Turns out that is to make an outfit, skirt, top, trousers and accessory. One a week for a month. Eek. Talk about upping the sewing ante.
So, time to get cracking then. Except I couldn’t start. I just had too many things to do, in theory as well as literally. I wanted to join in with so many online things (shirt refashion, Sew Indie Month, a leggings sew a long I now can’t find, the September outerwear stashbusting theme), and then there were all the half finished projects threatening to engulf my dining room at home. Oh and an upcoming birthday.
Anyway, once again my Sewing Fairy Godmother helped (thanks Crystal), this time in the form of a much needed message to stop worrying and get on with it. As the first item on the outfit sew a long was skirt, I decided if I couldn’t face making one from scratch, I could at least start by digging out all the skirts from the pile and seeing what needed doing to them. First off, 3 skirts got mended (hmm, I suspect the underlying problem was strain, although the symptoms were different), and one that needed altering for “a friend” got put back.
Next up I made an inserting the lining that this skirt should’ve had all along. The fabric was a pig to work with and I wasn’t in the mood, so the finished result is not pretty, but it works and it’s not visible.
After whetting my sewing appetite I decided to tackle a skirt that was part made and in the naughty corner because I traced the wrong line so my pocket facings and skirt fronts didn’t line up. This is another Ottobre Aztec skirt 05/201, made with pockets as intended this time. Turned out this was an easy fix, just recut the skirt fronts to match and bob’s your uncle. It came together quite easily after that.
Although I’m not sure if past me cut the pocket pieces the other way up on purpose or not, which of course, shows a bit as the cord has a nap, but it kind of looks like a deliberate design feature, so I kept it.
Still, in no time I had a skirt.
And I found a pansy I’d made at a workshop and decided to add that on a whim. I oh so badly handstitched it on, hoping that the interfacing behind the velvet petals would work magic. This picture is taken after a wash and it’s clear that I need to redo this. I may just zig zag on the machine.
Buying the zip was a dream as I had to take my half made skirt with me to get a good match and the fabric got oohed and ahhed over by all the staff in the shop 🙂 I bought an invisible zip, but I’m thinking I didn’t do so well inserting that. Still, it works.
The lining had been made previously from stash, but I didn’t have enough of this batik style print cotton, so it ended up a half lining. I’m quite proud of my handstitching down of the waistband. (Not sure what came over me). I even remembered to add ribbon hanging loops this time. The handstitching of the hem isn’t too bad, but a little wonky as when shortening the skirt I don’t appear to have cut my seam allowances evenly.
Then my button hole on the machine stopped working. I thought I would have to put this back on hold until someone pointed out I could handstitch that. I had a quick search and found suggestions to use strong thick thread held double. Well, I think I should’ve gone with my instinct to use it single, as this vintage button thread was a bit thick double. So again, no prizes for my hand stitching, but at least it works.
And it fits! The fabric is so soft and drapey, it feels lovely.
I’m still not quite sure about the impulse pansy, but I think it works.
Of course, the photo session had to be supervised!
This is all I have of a back shot. I’m wearing my Dimpsy T from the naughty corner here. Thimberlina has made lovely versions and I’m sure part of the problem is my poor choice of fabric.
But though it would be less obvious in a drapier fabric, I still don’t like the excess here and have no idea how to fix it. I’m pretty sure that the issue is that whilst it’s drafted for a larger cup size than your average pattern, my cup size is larger still (F-G) so I should have chosen my size based on my upper bust measurement and done an FBA, but had no idea how with that unusual dart. So back on the naughty pile it has gone.
Anyway, half way through September and I have finished a skirt that doesn’t count towards the sew a long as I started it ages ago. Still, this is my hobby, so I don’t mind, the point is to have fun and I’ve been loving wearing my new skirt and the challenge got it finished for me.
Are you a challenge joiner-in-er or a do-your-own-thing-er?