A new skirt.

Sorry about the silence – I had a touch of the flu yesterday.  I wasn’t feeling great on Monday either, but I managed to distract myself by finishing the new skirt (I find working on a project vastly preferable to sitting around contemplating my aches and pains).  Here it is in front of the ol’ shower curtain.


About the fabric: I knew I wanted to use up the rest of the linen, but I decided at the last minute to save the green print for a nice spring top and came back from JoAnn’s with a piece of blue and brown vintage-y quilt fabric.  There’s a really nice quilt fabric & yarn store in Moscow (the Needle Nook) which has a collection of vintage reprints that are really, really cute.  Unfortunately, due to the nature of small h0metown businesses vs. giant corporations, the Needle Nook fabric is all $8/yard and the stuff at JoAnn’s was $2.50/yard.  When you do the broke-newlywed-mostlysingleincome math, you get…the giant corporation.  Sigh.


About the pattern: there wasn’t one.  Since Sew U is supposed to contain 2 basic skirt patterns, I was unwilling to invest in another one right before the book arrives.  Soooo, I flattened out an old Banana Republic skirt that fits pretty well, laid it on top of my fabric, and started snipping.  Surprisingly, the waistband and panels fit together pretty well and the overall affect is not bad (sorry I don’t have a full pic).  Some of the fit problems with the original skirt have been preserved (duh) and it would have save me some ripping out if I’d had instructions, but if I can do this without ever having sewn a skirt before then you probably can, too.


I ended up handsewing the zipper and pockets, which wasn’t really ideal.  I haven’t gotten the hang of the zipper-foot thingy on my sewing machine, and after trying to sew it four times with the regular foot I gave up and opted for control.  The pockets were also hard to machine sew because my Singer believes that it is a Thoroughbred and that all sewing should be done fast.  I am trying to convince it that you don’t always need to be the racehorse; sometimes it’s nice to be the fat pony that pulls the cart with the kids in it.  But until I find a way to change this (does anyone know if a machine’s sewing speed is manually adjustable??) I have resigned myself to speady but unsteady seams.


Finally, the hem was a cop-out.  I am afraid of curved hems and wasn’t sure that I could make the blue fabric perfectly even anyway.   So, I cut a long strip with my rotary cutter, did a flat hem on one side, and gathered it at the top.  It’s a little hard to see, but the gathering is done in little bunches that supposedly match the style of the pockets.

After spending a lot of time and energy making the skirt, I had a ridiculous little twinge this morning as to whether or not it would be painfully obvious that I was wearing something rather unprofessionally made.  But I’ve been at work all morning without comments (“That’s cute – did you, um, make it yourself?”), so I think I might be safe for now.

4 thoughts on “A new skirt.

  1. Congratulations!! It looks great. Wish I could say that sewing machines came with speed adjustments, but alas. My girls always struggled with the machine going so fast – just wait until you use a surger. Actually, my Viking machine has a “high power” gear designed for sewing upolstery (sp?) fabric or heavy denim layers, and it makes the machine run slow. The girls often used that setting just for that reason. Anyone who can sew clothing that fits without a pattern deserves high praise. Again, Congrats.

  2. I think it’s cute! Even if people can tell it’s handmade, it’s much more interesting than something from a chain store. I’ve been sewing for years and am still afraid of altering patterns (I’m hoping the tips in Sew U will help me with that) so way to go for starting out without even using a pattern.

  3. Paula! the skirt is SO adorable!! maybe we will have to have sisterly time sewing things sometime so that some of the talent will rub off on me :)

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