A Near Miss

I decided to try going on my own for the first time – no pattern.

I don’t often sew clothes for myself.  As a matter of fact, I think I’ve tried one skirt and one shirt and didn’t like either.  I’m much more picky when it comes to the fit and the feel of the fabric than my daughter is.  It’s easy to just stick an elastic waist in anything for her and she loves it.  Doesn’t work for me.  So I thought I’d take a skirt that I love (in this case it happened to be a knit yoga skirt) and try to make my own pattern.

So I folded it in half and put a piece of parchment paper over it and traced.  For the waist I decided to try ribbed knit for the first time.

But as you may be able to see in the above photo, at the last minute I changed my mind and decided that instead of using knit fabric for the skirt that I would use this great Heather Ross Far Far Away II fabric – Sleeping Beauty in cotton canvas.  Now don’t ask me why I would risk using $17/yard fabric on my first time going it with no pattern.  It was impulsive and not very smart as you’ll see.

I went ahead and cut the white ribbed knit fabric for the waistband.  And cut and sewed together the two skirt pieces in the Heather Ross fabric.  And found my first mistake.  As you can see I cut the curve a little too curved on the folded fabric and ended up with this wonky edge:

Not the end of the world.  I figured I could fix it with a wider hem.  Then I got the two pieces together…

And not so bad, right?  Looks like a nice skirt.  But I’m sure many of you out there already see the train wreck that is coming… I luckily had the good sense to try it on before adding the ribbed knit waistband and guess what?  Cotton canvas doesn’t stretch the way knit does.  You can’t use a pattern for a stretchy yoga skirt for something as stiff as cotton canvas.  I couldn’t get the waist over my hips.  And I’m not very hippy.  But there was no way that was budging.  Now had I used a $6/yard fabric I would have likely tossed the mess aside and gone on to a new project.  But since I had just sunk about 20 bucks into this skirt I had to figure out a fix.  A zipper.  I’ve only done one zipper in my life and that was two years ago.  But I had no choice.  So I pulled out the seam on one side (I had surged it already) and added a zipper.  But since I had planned to have a few extra inches in length due to the waistband that I no longer had, the skirt was going to be a lot shorter than I had planned.  So I made the waist and bottom hems as narrow as possible and still ended up with a short skirt, but not quite as short.

(Please ignore the dirty laundry in the background.)  I’m actually glad it worked out this way because I would not have purposely made a skirt this short but I like it.  It’ll be a good summer skirt.

Here’s the zipper:

It could probably use a hook and eye at the top but I almost never tuck in my shirts so I’ll probably just leave it as is.

I’ll definitely try this again, just next time in a more forgiving (and less expensive) fabric.

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