Week One…Success.

Woo – Hoo!  Starting off NOT behind…so far all the boring work is done and the pretty dress is hemmed.  Unfortunately, there was no time to snap a quick picture of the recipient but we’ve been promised some pictures ASAP –  it’s going to take a trip to St. Thomas (I’m not jealous, really. I’m not.).  And, we are not going to discuss the fact that this post is coming toward the end of week two.  That’s not important. I got the work done in the first week….promise. Totally did.

Just a giant pile of perfect.

So now I get to move onto some fun stuff… I found this fabulous fabulous pink tube of knit fabric – don’t know what it was intended for but I figured out very quickly what to do with it. It’s a rare occasion that I manage to make something for myself, but this was a quick and easy project and I will walk you through it so you can see how easy it is, and avoid some of my mistakes.  Cause Mama needs a skirt…Ready? Here we go…

The first step, of course, is to slip this baby on and see what I have to work with. Luckily, the fabric reaches from the floor to my armpits…so no problem there, except that I had a brief moment of weakness and considered making a maxi dress instead… talked myself out of that pretty quickly…I tend to lean toward jeans and skirts when I get dressed…AND there’s the added bonus that I just MIGHT have to go shopping to see if I can find just the right top to go with it ;).  Now, keep in mind, you can do this with a regular knit fabric – it doesn’t have to be a tube. You’ll just have a seam.  Just buy/find/acquire in whatever means necessary enough fabric to give you the length and width you want – and, yes, you can wrap it around your body at the fabric store ;).  The tube fit me closely (but not snug) at the hips and just fell straight down from there.  It has enough stretch in to look straight and fitted – not poofy or tapered or flowy – just a simple, comfortable, straight skirt.  Couldn’t love it more.

These are a few of my favorite things.

Ok…back to business…I stuck a pin in the fabric just above where I wanted the waist to fall…cutting a little length off, easy. Adding length, not so much. So I  just sliced off the extra fabric at the top, set the actual skirt aside and used that top piece to make a more fitted waistband.

Got all this cut out…didn’t use it all.
I’m thinkin’ headband?!?!

I cut about 8″ for the waistband which made the finished wasteland about 3.5″. If I had it to do over, I would probably cut it to about 6″, making it about 2-2.5″ finished.waistband, and maybe a couple of ruffles to go at the bottom.

After cutting the waistband, there was 9″ of remaining fabric. I cut these into six 1 1/2″ strips for the ruffles.  I ended up not adding the ruffles. May change my mind and add those later, we’ll see.  Would love your thoughts on the finished skirt – that might sway me.

I set the ruffle strips aside, and started on the waistband first.

Oops. Begin again.
This is the part where your iron might come in handy.

I folded the waistband strip in  half with the wrong sides together.  We don’t have to worry about hemming this because the knit won’t fray.  This is where you start to see the issues with cutting knit fabrics. Looks like it stretched a little while I was cutting so it’s a little uneven.  I just a trimmed off that uneven part with my ruler and rotary cutter so that it’s nice and straight.  Sometimes a little light pressing with an iron can help with this and with curling. Of course, I lost about half a half an inch or so of the waistband – not a big deal at all.

Here I just t basted the waistband  together at the open end so  I didn’t have to worry about all that moving around and keeping it straight through the rest of the process.  If you are not familiar with basting, all you’ll need to do is add a wide, straight stitch to the open edges to hold them together. This stitch can easily be removed later. If you really want to know more about basting, Sew 4 Home has a very detailed explanation, you can read up there. Or, for folks like me, Freshly Picked has a much shorter story for you…

The next step was to slip this over my waist and figure out where to stitch a seam. I made the mistake of making it a little loose to allow for shrinkage…and I am now wishing I had sewn a slightly snug seam to allow for stretching throughout the day. So, I would say the proper method would be to measure your waist where you would actually like the waistband to rest during wear and use this measurement to determine how long to make you waist band. I might even, in hindsight, make it a bout a1/2 to 1 inch smaller than this measurement.

Now that you have that figured out (without making the same mistake I made), make yourself a seam there and set your waistband aside.

Basted waistband and gathered skirt.

Time to move on to the skirt body. Mine is 45″ long. At this point, I had not cut it to the proper length. The skirt body is a little wider than the waistband, so I decided to gather it at the top so that it would fit into the waistband. There are lots of ways to gather and ruffle… I chose to do two basting stitches at the top because I find that simpler to gather than 1 stitch.  One of my favorite blogs for quick and easy to follow tutorials has a great one for gathering.  Expect multiple links to this site by years end.  Just saying. Probably wouldn’t be here at all if it weren’t for Jaime, Jacinda, and Colleen.  So, we have to give some shout outs.

Use as many pins as you feel like you need…just make sure everything is as evenly gathered as possible so you don’t have a wonky skirt at the end.

Now that the gathering is done, I will simply slip the waistband over the skirt body… Right sides together, and the top of the skirt lined up with the bottom of the waistband. Pin this together. This is where you can adjust your gathers as needed… You will want them to be as even as possible to ensure your skirt lays nicely.

Skirt and waistband attached – you can see the basting stitches. You’ll want to pull those out. Very carefully!

Sew the waistband to the skirt… And voila. You can see things taking shape. At this point, I pulled out all of my basting stitches with a seam ripper because I don’t want them to show. This is a petty simple task…the stitches are wide and loose…it took me maybe 10 minutes. Just be careful not to rip or snip your stitch connecting the skirt to the waistband.

Don’t worry – I’ll get you some better pictures of the finished product ASAP! Still learning the camera settings, and apparently no one in my house has any photography skills…

Now, at this point I am D-O-N-E, DONE! I like my skirt the way it is. You might need to cut some length off of yours. I decided not to because my knit is curling up and I like the extra length. Nothing rides up when I sit down.  And, well, imjust like things extra long. It’s a thing. I dunno. Whatever. And I decided to leave off the ruffle…again, I love the skirt the way it turned out… It’s fun, colorful, practical, and super comfy. I am afraid the ruffles will make it less versatile? Got any opinions on that?  And, no, I’m not interested in your opinions on my sadly overgrown giving up on hair color roots. thank you, though.

Anyway, if you’d like to know how to do the ruffle… Just let me know! I’d be more than happy to walk you through that… So what d’ya think? Do you love it enough to make one for yourself? And please do share if you do!

This week’s (Week 2) goals were pretty hefty, and, well…Didn’t work out so well.  Got in some more work work. Bittersweet, that little problem is.  So, we’ll just skip right over week 2 pretending that there was only one goal on that list complete; move goals 2 and 4 to week 3, and just give up on goal number 3. this makes me a little sad…and i’m still hoping I’ll be able to pull this one off…but the party is in, like, 2 days…and in my crazy little time warp, that may as well be 2 hours…

1. Of course I have some more work work to do…some patches to remove from jackets and put on other jackets.

2. Make a little birthday gift for my daughter’s BFF.

3. Make another birthday gift for one of my favorite girls in the whole wide world. Not sure that will be yet. She will be 10. Any thoughts?

4. Put some size tags on some clothes I made for my daughter so that MY BFFs daughter can wear them. That one has been waiting for me for about 4 months now. Sigh. Yes, I procrastinate; that’s why we are here.

5. Figure out if I can fix a comforter/bedskirt for my dad.

So, the official hope for week three will be to not get anymore work work (just kidding!!!) and to finish number 2 & 4 & 5.  I can do this, right?

Have great days!


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