Monday, November 11, 2013

It fits! It fits!

I've been facing a steep learning curve over the years trying to make myself clothing that actually fits. I'm great with children's clothes, but sewing for myself has been an abyssal disaster. Too big, too small, too big and too small, too unattractive. It's as though two completely different people have been using the sewing machine... the competent one who can match fabric and patterns together to make something nice and the clueless one who churns out item after item that lands in the trash. I had just about given up ever sewing something for myself that I would actually wear and admit to making.

Then two things happened that made me try one more time. An older friend at church gave me some old skirts that she no longer needed and I saw some really cute skirts in the LL Bean catalogue and I really, really wanted. The skirts were plaid and I was suddenly consumed with the need for plaid skirts. At least one of the skirts that was handed down to me was a very nice plaid, just in a style I knew I would never wear, but there was enough fabric to use to remake a new skirt. So I held my breath and decided to try one more time.

I knew that I have had no success using printed patterns, so decided to pull out a book I've had on my shelf for a while and try drafting one myself. It truly couldn't turn out any worse than my previous attempts. So I opened up the book, How to Make Sewing Patterns by Donald McCunn, and very carefully followed the directions step by step. Every single one of them. (It is very difficult to fit a muslin on your own body and I was heartily wishing for a dressmaker's dummy.) I ended up with a muslin that seemed as though it would work, held my breath and cut the fabric. Then I let the cut pattern sit for a few days, hardly daring to venture further.

Yesterday I decided to give it a try and put the skirt together. I was glad that I had lots of practice following skirt construction directions from sewing for my girls because when you draft your own pattern, there are no instructions for putting it together included. And when I finished it and put it on... IT FIT! And it fit well. Probably much better than if I had bought the skirt off the rack. I was so excited I walked around the house wearing the new skirt trolling the population for compliments. (D. will make a great husband. Right on cue he said, "I like it. It looks very nice.") Even better I had everything in my stash to make it and didn't need to buy anything. Free skirt.

Here it is.

I found a fun navy paisley fabric for the facing for the waist.

Here it is on. I'm not destined to be a clothes model. "Do something else with your hands," J. kept saying.
"Like what?" I kept replying.
"I don't know, but you are standing so stiffly it looks odd."
"I feel odd... I hate having my picture taken."

Now to pull all of the winter plaid fabric out of stash and make a whole bunch more.


c smith said...

It looks great! It's a nice length; and I love plaid in wintertime, so cozy.

Molly said...

Very Cute!

Shecki Grtlyblesd said...

That's awesome, congratulations!

Next time try a big grinning TADA!!! pose with hands out. :D

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