Monday, March 8, 2010

Does this dog make me look fat?

As you can see in the sidebar, I'm gamely trying Kitschy Coo's Sew-Along where we draft patterns based on our own measurements and then sew grown-up garments for ourselves. The first project is a skirt (due March 20th!) I have mixed feelings about this project. I'm glad we're doing it first because it was pretty easy to draft and even easier to sew. But I'm bummed about it because I don't really wear that many skirts these days. It's too hard to sit on the ground in Kindermusik or chase around the park in a skirt. But then there's always Moms' Night Out! And so I soldier on.

I just finished the first "draft" (well, technically second draft since I chopped about 3 inches off the length) and like all my first drafts, I really hate it. I'm just trying to put my finger on WHY I hate it so much.

Here's a picture. It doesn't show the skirt well at all, because the only big mirrors in my house are a) on the closet doors b) a little old and warped and c) filthy. And also I suck. But this picture so perfectly captures my failed attempts at self-photography that I thought I would include it so you can laugh at me.

Please don't leave comments telling me you can't see the skirt. I know you can't. That's why I suck.

Lessons learned from this first/second draft.

1. Drafting patterns (so far) is super fun. Geeky domestic bliss.

2. I learned how to sew in an invisible zipper. It was a bad place for the book to say "see illustration" and then not have an illustration. But I got it on the 2nd attempt.

3. I think I got the sweep right. There was enough room for me to kneel down and change the horrifically epic diaper that Rylee was cooking up in the above picture.

4. I do like the length I have now. The first length would have suited Carolyn Ingalls on a saucy day. Way dowdy. I could have chopped off a bit more, but since I'm raising the waist I think I'll leave it as is.

5. I either bought the wrong kind of bias tape or the invisible zip had a bigger seam allowance than I had. The zipper doesn't go all the way to the top so there's about 1/4" gap at the waist closure. Next draft I'll measure both those things and adjust accordingly.

I think these are the reasons for hating it.

1. I did the waist too low. The author of the book said something about "this is where most of us wear our clothing" but I think she meant skinny people. I need the waist to be closer to my true waist. It looks like a tube on me. An hourglass figure, albeit it closer to the Wicked Witch's hourglass than an egg timer, is the best thing I've got going right now. So might as well work it.

2. Similarly I think I was too generous in the measurements. Again, the book author said to be sure to be generous so the clothing wouldn't pinch. But fat compresses comfortably a little bit. :-)

Happily, the twill I used for my "muslin" was only $2.99 at the cheapy fabric store. I used 2/3 a yard for the first (too long) draft. Throw in a 49c zipper and half a package of bias tape and this little bit of learning set me back only about $3.50.  I have a super pretty Amy Butler twill coming today that I will use once I get this right. Squeeeeeee!

Back to the drawing board.


Mary said...

I have LOTS of full skirts with room enough to move around and sit on the floor, from the days when my kids were Rylee's age. Not so many that work for office attire, which is what I need now. Maybe that's my project?
As far as the picture taking goes, rather than shooting straight at the mirror, angle the camera a bit. (Think banking a shot in pool- send the light bouncing off in another direction.)
My sewing goal for this year. . . buttonholes!
Since I don't expect I'll have that done in time for this deadline, I'll do a hidden snap or hook & eye closure, I guess.
And then there's the whole idea of buying fabric site unseen that I've got to work on, since I'm having issues with available selections. (Or I go visit Lee and hit Joann Superstore?) I'm just so finicky about the feel that I'm nervous about online shopping. Suggestions?

Kitschy Coo said...

Wow, you're waaaaaay ahead of me! I haven't even drafted the pattern yet. I'm stuck on what fabric to use too... Altogether, I'm setting a very bad example as supposed cult leader.

Although it's hard to tell what with the pooping, the dog and the flash, the first attempt looks pretty good to me! Incidently, what's your sweep?

auntninn said...

Amanda, I had to get a head start or I would never finish it. It's the same thought I had when I started a baby quilt at age 16 (no, it's not done). Plus, I had to pick up a few new skills where I'm sure you can just sew it right up while you're drinking tea or something. :)

I'm still not sure if the final fabric will make an appropriate skirt. I might just end up with my boring "muslin" in plain black twill. In which case I will applique the bottom a little, or something.

I did my first sweep at +8" to the hip measurement. When I cut the length (and redrafted the pattern like a good girl) I lost about 1/4" of it. It was still plenty. I think I'll keep it for the next draft.

Kitschy Coo said...

Yes, that's about what I thought. The other person I know who has made these skirts has used a 9" sweep.

auntninn said...

I could see anything between about 7 and 9 being perfect. I feel the need to clarify. Mine is down to 7; I lost 1/4" on the quarter pattern, so a total of one inch when I shortened it. It still works beautifully.