Wednesday, 11 July 2012

"Easy" skirt - take one

As inspired by so many bloggers' elastic waist skirts, I've finally decided to make my own. Amongst all the very helpful tutorials, this was my favourite as it was inspiring on many levels for me:

Level #1 : it's called 20-minute skirt tutorial. The efficiency attracted my attention immediately; 
Level #2: it was an upcycle - I loooove upcycling!
Level #3: the fabric used reminded me of something I've had for ages... 

So this is what I ended up with - look at how much effort I was putting in to put this spin on? 



Do you see the resemblance in the fabric, as compared to Alli's skirt? I think both have a vintage feel, with floral prints, and the colours that sort of thing. I think you'll see what I mean. Funnily enough the fabric was from a oversized (for me) maxi dress that I bought from a Warehouse store that was closing down, for £5, with the view of unpicking it all and making it into something I'll like. I did do the unpicking part straight away, though waited over a year to actually refashion it. 

So I used 3 pieces of this lovely fabric from my stash (woohoo I still have quite a lot left!), one that was 105cm x 48cm, and two that were 52.5 x 48cm. I attached them together to form a long loop with French seams, and hemmed the bottom edge. 

I formed the elastic loop, and gathered the top of the skirt. 

And then the troublesome part came! I must admit that this took me much longer than 20 minutes... I was not having a good sewing day. I had great trouble with the elastic... Previously when I worked with elastic, I stretched as I sewed with a zigzag stitch, so I tried to do the same with the top of this gathered skirt. Unfortunately I lost control of it all, so the stitches were not a straight line, in fact, very far from it. 

Oh dear. After unpicking patiently, I started again, this time with my fiancĂ©e's help, who stretched one side whilst I kept hold of the other. Nope, still no control whatsoever. 

More unpicking, but this time less patiently... the time had come that I decided to risk the stitches breaking, but gaining more control by no longer stretching the elastic. Instead, I gathered the skirt some more. This time the stitches formed a lovely straight line,except that a lot of the stitches were skipped. 

This 20-minute skirt really became a test of my patience. After unpicking bitterly this time, I re-threaded my machine, and tried again. Skipped stitches again. It was only then I decided to refer to my sewing books (maybe I'll do some reviews of those at some point?). I don't know how I managed to sew with elastic without any issue before (pure luck?) but apparently what I should have used was a ball point needle which will "slide" better with the elastic without breaking and pulling all the elastic threads. As I didn't have any ball point needle at the time, and that I could not possibly let a 20-minute project drag on overnight, I zig zagged it a few more times to ensure that everything was attached securely, and was done with it. 

So this really was far from perfect, but now I can't wait to make another version to use what I've learned from this! After debating for ages with the perfectionist in me, we agreed that it wasn't terrible after all. Now I have a summery skirt that is light and comfy to wear, and who knows, it may just about make the cut to my mini-moon suitcase! 

More photos: 

My usual pose
I like the fullness!

Alice in action... not sure doing what!

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