Friday, May 3, 2013

Skirt Success and Skirt Fail


It's been a week. I'm terrible. But to be fair, I really haven't got a lot of sewing done this week. I don't know why, really. I just didn't feel much like sewing. I am going to blame the Events of Last Weekend. That sounds ominous, but really it was just some sewing mishaps...

First, the happy bit! I made another skirt :) AND actually used a Pinterest pin! What! Here is the result:

gathered high waisted skirt with zipper- success

It is a gathered high-waisted skirt. It poofs rather nicely. I am a little sad that I didn't read the directions carefully enough to realize the zipper would end up on the side instead of the back, but really, I should have known that. I made this in a couple of hours Saturday morning and it was GREAT.

So then later, possibly still riding that "I made a skirt and it's awesome" high, I decided to make another. I bought this brown argyle fabric online, not realizing it would be so sheer in person. My plan was to make a super awesome pencil skirt for work. But a sheer pencil skirt? No way that would work. So I revised my plan to be a high-low hem skirt. The sheer, flowy fabric would be the pretty outside and I would use some plain beige fabric for a lining. Simple, right?

I got the idea from Pinterest, but I couldn't find the pin again (I know... that's what Pinterest is for). So I decided I remembered enough about it that I could wing it. I knew it was high-waisted and that it used elastic. After the successes of the morning, I figured I was a pro (that may have been the wine talking). So! I set to work!

After several hours and numerous oversights and screw ups, this is where my skirt was:

high low hem skirt- fail, rage quit

Thrown unceremoniously on my cutting table after picking out a lot of stitches...

The first thing that went horribly wrong (and probably when I should have realized my brain wasn't in a math or logic kind of place and maaaaybe should have called it a night) was that I cut the lining as a tube... a tube the size of my waist. Now, I don't know about you, but my hips and butt are way bigger than my waist. SO. That turned to scrap.

Next, I cut the lining so it would fit over my butt and thought, "SUCCESS! Now the rest of the skirt will come together with ease!" But, alas, it was not to be. The next stupid thing I did was sew the outside to the lining without leaving any space for a casing for the elastic...
high low hem skirt- fail

See? Doesn't look so bad, but where will the elastic go?! AHHH! So then, even more stupidly, I tried to just fold over the top a couple of times to make the casing. MISTAKE. It not only looked horrible, but... the skirt wouldn't come on over my butt! AHHH! Again with the maths and the logics! Of course cutting the top of the skirt to fit my waist and then adding elastic wouldn't work unless maybe the fabric was super stretchy (which it isn't at all). 

I see all the stupid things I did wrong and have a pretty good idea how to avoid doing it again... But man, what a frustration. So, I threw it down on the table and rage quit my sewing room. I have been playing with yarn ever since. But I think I may be ready to give it another shot with two important modifications. 1. A different fabric for the lining. The one I chose is stiff and heavy and if I really was the waist to be elastic, that's going to have to go. And 2. I don't remember what this was going to be. Really. I just wrote that sentence about a minute ago and I already forgot what the second modification was going to be. See why I have trouble??

I am dedicating this post to Audrey of Hot Pink Quilts because she said I make skirt-making look easy ;) It isn't always easy. I just don't always tell you when I insert the elastic waistband and it ends up super twisted or when my skirt ends up so short it barely covers my butt or when I sew a zipper on backwards (true story...). Not to discourage anyone from making a skirt! As clothing goes, skirts aren't too bad to make, really. I just advise you to start with a PLAN. Have all your measurements written out or have a pattern ready to go... at the very least, don't make a tube the diameter of your waist and expect it to go over your butt ;)

Anyway. This is my one and only finish for the week  so I'll be linking up to Crazy Mom Quilts. Hopefully next week will be more successfull and sewing-full. If not, there will be lots of pictures of yarn :D 


  1. visiting from crazy mum quilts. I am so with you. Everyone says - "I just whipped this up" - well I don't!!! Things always take me longer.

  2. "Two out of three ain't bad" ... skirts, I mean. I read back a month of posts as I have apparently been missing your updates. This a one is well worth one more try. "Third time's the charm." Since I am typing clich├ęs and it is one in the morning here and I still have one side of a quilt to bind so I can mail it tomorrow, it is time to step away from the computer. I am now following on Bloglovin' too so hopefully I will not miss your posts again ... goodnight :) Pat

  3. You are too precious! I feel slightly better. (No really, I feel a lot better!) I put in a request at the library on that book you suggested, so hopefully I'll be able to take a looksie. The top skirt is super cute! I love the fabric! And I do hope you can fix the bottom one--when you're feeling up to it--as the fabric is lovely as well!

  4. Pictures of yarn!?! Tell me more. :) Really, I think people don't post all of their failures. I am always appreciative of a good "fail" post. Makes successes (like your super-cute top skirt) mean more, you know?


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