Tuesday, October 05, 2010


I wrote a while ago about not liking patterned skirts with matching tops. But there is something to be said about having a 'guaranteed' matching top. I've had this sueded rayon fabric in my stash for awhile (bought it from Wal-Mart which stopped selling fabric long before we moved....so I probably bought it in 2008 after my initial "success" with sewing dresses...I guess that's not as long ago as I though!). It was a remnant...or maybe not....one end was very poorly cut and was quite a bit shorter than the opposite selvage. I did find another piece in the remnant bin and bought it too. I've been wanting to try skirts now, and picked up McCalls M5856 when McCall's patterns were on sale (side note---the regular price for this pattern is $15.95...the two views are different only by length, there are 3 pattern pieces plus facings....I couldn't believe it when I saw the regular price compared to some Simplicity patterns that give you six DIFFERENT garments...). I thought this skirt had a wide waist yoke similar to a skirt I bought from Wal-Mart and loved. I don't want pleats all the way up to my waist! However, this skirt does not have a yoke; the pleats are stitched down over the tummy. This is great for two reasons--no pleats to pop open, and the stitching helps to prevent the fabric from stretching out and acts sort of like a 'control top' garment, LOL!

I didn't really look at the envelope in the shop and when I got home, I realized that it would not be big enough! I carefully measured myself and added exactly what I needed to the pattern pieces. Then I went to lay them out and saw that the pieces got laid out sideways to what I had expected...instead of the waist up at the cut edge of the fabric, the waist/hem go parallel to the selvage. I was able to fit the pieces onto the largest of the fabric pieces, by skimping a little on the length and bottom width. The different layout actually worked for me as this fabric is a print, not woven, and there ended up being a faint vertical white pin stripe effect. If I had laid it out the way I would have thought it should go, those lines would have been horizontal. While laying out the pieces, I discovered that the second piece of fabric was rather blotchy looking...the blue wasn't even and dark. I wouldn't have been able to use both together for a dress, and I doubt I'll use that piece even for a matching shirt...as it won't be matching.

Of course, I didn't think about zippers in the store. Once sewing, I looked through my zipper collection. I had just re-organized all my sewing stuff so it's actually in my sewing desk instead ON my sewing desk. I had some bags of odd notions that I'd picked up at yardsales, etc. Inside one was a perfect blue zipper, the exact style and length needed!!The sewing went fine, I just followed the directions for sewing the pleats and the zipper (bit ripply the first time). Had no problems with the facing but handstitching the hook and eye drove me crazy as it was a tiny one and I can never get them lined up right. Did a nice job hemming. But all the while of doing the zipper and facing, I was thinking I should try it on. But how could anything be wrong? I measured myself, the pattern, added what I needed...
Well, I tried it on when finished. And it fell off. I tried it on again and pinned out the extra. EXACTLY the amount I had added!!!!!!!!!! I was ticked, to say the least. I wanted to wear it on the first day of school though, so I had to get back to work on it. It was no fun taking out all the stitching for the facings! Taking out the extra at the waist restored the original angle of the side seams and the second time around improved the zipper. It's still a little loose! The weather was cool on the first day, so I wore this very light knit top. Inside, the whites matched, but outside...not so much. I tried on the white gauzy top I had made long ago, and it was too full around the waist. I have two other white tops to try with it when I'm feeling a bit skinnier. Shoes are another issue. I wore some nice summery beige shoes, but they are not comfy! My other beige sandals are too clumpy, the next pair too flat/casual, the fourth (?! really?) pair are closed toe loafer heels with open backs that I'm just aren't sure are skirt shoes (I think they're pant shoes).

I'll probably make this skirt again. The width at the bottom balances out my bust and makes it feel very feminine. It moves nicely in the breeze, but doesn't fly up indecently. This fabric is surprisingly heavy, given the summery pattern, but it's not heavy as in thick. You wouldn't want to go too thick with sewing the pleats; I wonder if you can trim the bulk? I'm not too adventurous in my skirt styles and this design is very workable with different styles.

On another note....someone was having a bad day....I think this was after her first day at all-day day camp. She had a tantrum for an hour and twenty minutes. But, surprisingly, the return to school has actually been really good, with only one 'going home' tantrum!

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