Friday, August 17, 2007

I Am Such a Cheater

I know. I'm supposed to be working on Retro Redux, Socks for Nieces, and the granny square blanket. And I am! But no one said I couldn't sew. Last night, when the house was quiet, I got a mind to make a skirt. So I did ... in about two hours. You have to love sewing for the instant gratification.
Missing: one waist. Reward offered.

Voici, my first attempt at an elastic-waist A-line skirt. I used the pattern from Sew U by Built by Wendy and I made the size medium. (I have big hips, what can I say?) The fabric is just quilting cotton from the big-box fabric store.

Mmmm... don't like a whole lot. It's a little too long. And the fabric was fine for practicing (I think I bought it for quilt/craft projects), but it looks a little too "1980s-Laura Ashley-Junior League" for me. Not that there's anything wrong with the 80s, Laura Ashley, or the Junior League.

Oh wait! There's my waist!

This morning, while S was at summer school and J with his grandma, I tried again. Much better!

This time, I used the directions from Sew What? Skirts. I like this book. I like drawing the pattern right on the fabric. I like that it teaches you what measurements to take and how to make a skirt that fits you just the way you want it to fit. So, obviously, I went shorter and I also made the angle from the waistline to the hemline pretty wide. In the future, I think I'll draw the side seams at a sharper angle, to make a narrower skirt. Also, I did not need to incorporate as much ease in the waist as I did. But it is fine; I can wear it lower on my hips if I like.

A word about the fabric: it's Zinnia by Alexander Henry. I don't know who Alexander Henry is, but I luff him. I bought the fabric at Sew Mama Sew, which I also luff.

I swear there will be knitting. If I can resist the siren song of the sewing machine and the promise of actual completed projects.



Blogger Ashley said...

Oh, SO much luff! Super-cheerful print, super-flattering shape--what's not to like?? Awesome!

1:16 PM  
Blogger Marin (AntiM) said...

Oh, Laura... you're already single-handedly responsible for my retirement fund being transfered directly to Cider Moon.

Now I feel a need to dig my sewing machine out, but only after exercising some non-restraint on Alexander Henry.

1:31 PM  
Blogger Kathryn Estelle said...

I will not buy a sewing machine. I WILL NOT BUY A SEWING MACHINE.

Why do I have to keep telling myself this? Hmmm...

1:35 PM  
Blogger knitography said...

Wow, nice! My mom tried to teach me to sew but I am sewing-mojo resistant. When I see something like that it almost makes me want to try again though.

1:37 PM  
Anonymous Ann said...

cute skirt #2!! love the fabric. and yes, it's very shapely!!

1:44 PM  
Blogger mary said...

The floral skirt is perfect! I'm about to start the retro redux shrug, and can't decide on what size to make. I have a size 34 bust and was going to make the 38. What size are you making

2:01 PM  
Anonymous Lisa said...

I like both skirts. Nice job. The second one is a very hip mamma kind of skirt and the other is very junior league. Great work. Thanks for the inspiration to use that sewing machine. Now if only I would win the free fabric friday contest!

2:25 PM  
Blogger Gena said...

Both are cute, I think! Making skirts that actually fit are one of my chief motivations to learn to sew well.

2:27 PM  
Blogger Mama Urchin said...

I love the quickness of sewing too. I luff Alexander Henry too, a lot!

2:35 PM  
Blogger Jenn said...

Very pretty!

2:56 PM  
Anonymous Tamara said...

What a fun skirt! The floral fabric is fantastic. I love that book too. It really has great information to make a great skirt that really fits well.

3:01 PM  
Blogger Karen said...

The first skirt is nice - but the second one is AWESOME!!!!! I love it. I got Sew What? Skirts for my birthday and started a skirt from it. Somehow it turned out way too big, so I redrew and re-cut the pattern, but ran out of matching thread. Thanks for reminding me about it - I should buy more thread this weekend and finish it up.

PS: Yes, I did type "yarn" instead of "thread" at first. LOL

3:19 PM  
Blogger Stella said...

You look like two different people! The first one is okay, but the second one is way, way cute. I love the print!

If I can dig the pedal for my sewing machine out of the many still-not-unpacked boxes in my shed, I may fall prey to that same siren call.

3:48 PM  
Blogger Sonya said...

I like 'em both! I just ordered the Sew What? Skirts book but it hasn't arrived yet. Seems like the sewing bug is sweeping through blogland. I just let the hem out of a pair of slacks last week. My first sewing project since jr high! I'm off to check out Sew Mama Sew.

4:10 PM  
Blogger Theresa said...

Lovely, both. But please tell me about your ballet t-shirt. Yarn? Size? (If I may be so bold) Any mods? How did you like it? Inquiring minds need to know, because yours looks very good and thus far I've been very skeptical.

4:35 PM  
Anonymous sulafaye said...

Wow! That Zinnia skirt is just fabulous! Maybe you could teach me to sew...

4:50 PM  
Blogger peaknits said...

rom Matronly to Hot Mama in one scroll of the screen. I really like how the second one shaped up - great job!

6:26 PM  
Blogger --Deb said...

What a difference! That second skirt looks just fabulous. The first one? Well, it's okay.... But, who wants a milk-toast "okay" when you can have "fabulous?"

6:32 PM  
Blogger The_Add_Knitter said...

You are a crafting maniac, so polymorphously talented...what CAN'T you do?? The skirts, esp. #2, are lovely.

7:02 PM  
Blogger Olga said...

Yay! You have come so far from that pincushion I remember you making! I have the Sew What? book too and although I haven't tried it, I also love that they empower you to make your own pattern, in a very non-threatening way.

Alexander Henry also designed the Brokeback Mountain Wrangler fabric that I used in one of my tote bags. He is a man of many talents. :-)

12:29 AM  
Anonymous jessie said...

Fantastic!!!! Compared to knitting, it is rather instant gratification, isn't it?

Looks great (the second one). The first one is okay but the Zinnia one is terrific.

6:53 AM  
Blogger PCR said...

Second skirt looks awesome! Love the fabric! I guess I'll have to forgive your knitting transgressions based on the cuteness of the skirt.

10:24 AM  
Anonymous amykatherine said...

I've been gathering the nerve to do precisely this project for myself after reading both the patterns you looked at. Your success just might pus me over the edge to make one today when the apartment will hit a lull. Thanks!

10:44 AM  
Blogger gray la gran said...

that's funny what you said about laura ashley and the 80's ... 'cause i was thinking gunne sax ! i had a couple of gunne sax dresses in the 80's.
skirt #2 is definitely the favorite ... the fit is more flattering, and the print is fun ... plus ... the hem length is just right :)
and in this heat, we need all we can to remain cute & sexy.

3:34 PM  
Blogger vera said...

I just love sewing for that. Whenever you want something, you can whip it up just like that. So great!
Your '2nd time lucky' skirt looks great. I love the print you used, very colourful. It looks great on you! :0)

9:48 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Very nice skirts!

10:48 PM  
Blogger Brandy said...

The skirts look great! I'm looking forward to this fall for learning to use a sewing machine - I can't wait to make the instant gratification projects! :)

7:20 PM  
Blogger Spastic Shepherd said...

I also gt the sewing machine out this week--to make an Amy Butler Frenchy bag. I Had forgotten how much I like sewing! I need to rediscover it--I've got quuite a lot of fabric sitting around!

9:22 PM  
Blogger Stacey said...

very, very cute!!!! love the mod flowers!

7:50 AM  
Blogger Meg said...

I luff your Zinnia skirt, too! Very nice. You're making me want to sew something!

8:27 AM  
Anonymous Mary said...

The Zinnia skirt looks great! I don't know who Alexander Henry is either, but I luff him too.

11:11 AM  
Anonymous Sandra said...


11:01 PM  
Blogger ali said...

Love, love, LOVE that fabric on that second skirt! I've been eyeing that book, me thinks it needs to be bumped higher up on the NEED TO BUY booklist...

12:58 PM  

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