Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Simple Gathered Skirt Sewing Project

I bought the Silver Diva Cowl Lamé Dress pattern way back in December, ruminated for a few months about what fabric to use for it, spent several days later February scouring local fabric stores for the perfect fabric, then an ungodly amount of time looking at fabric online when I couldn't find exactly what I wanted. I finally bought the fabric in early March and didn't finish it until late March. It took a lot of mental energy in the planning and execution (mind you, I hadn't really sewn with knits before), so about midway through the project, I also began work on a simple gathered skirt. Here's an in progress photo on Instagram from both the dress and the skirt:

It's a blindingly simple dirndl/ gathered skirt. It's about the easiest thing you can make with a zipper, and it was a nice, simple project that reaffirmed my belief in my abilities to sew. Contrary to the Instagram caption, I didn't hem it with horsehair, just some hem lace.

The fabric is a remnant from Sew Lo in Cambridge. It's a strange store with a weird mix of fabrics, quite disorganized, and with ~4 different radios scattered about the store and each on a different channel. God help the soul browsing in the middle of 2 radio sections. But you can sometimes find some excellent fabrics for excellent prices. They have a lot of 2-3 yard remnants of mostly home decorator fabric, and I think the fabric of the skirt is a home decorator cotton blend of some sort. It has a nice weave like a quilting cotton, but it's not soft, and, most conveniently, doesn't wrinkle like a quilting cotton! It was a bit sheer, so I underlined it with white muslin.

I drafted the skirt roughly according to the instructions in Gertie's New Book for Better Sewing, which is also posted on Gertie's Blog for Better Sewing (instructions part 1 and part 2). It's the sort of thing that I didn't really need a pattern for, but it's handy to have a guide. I tried out her method for gathering where you zig zag around a cord instead of sewing 2 gathering stitches. I really like this method as someone who frequently breaks one of the stitches in a row of gathers, and I will probably use this technique in the future.

I asked my friend Amanda to take a couple pictures of me. Somebody give this dame an Art Director job,  as once again, it turned into a glam photo shoot.

We went to Nahant, a little island on the North Shore of Massachusetts. We went about an hour before sunset, so it's gets a bit moody.

I bought a huge thing of ginger snaps from Trader Joe's and got a little hungry while there...

Of course I shared with the photographer.

Quick note, since a lot of people seem to ask recently: the trench coat in many of the photos is from Old Navy from 2005. It's traveled through 3 continents, most of high school, all of college, and going on strong through adulthood. It has some spots showing its age at the edge of the sleeves, but that's really the only sign of aging. The shirt is also from Old Navy from last summer, and it is already deteriorating faster than the 10 year old trench coat. Such a change in quality in RTW is among the reasons I sew...

As the sun set, I went into contemplative Disney Princess mode with the Boston skyline in the background.

Twas a fun afternoon and evening of exploring!

It's nice to sew something simple that goes easily and looks like you want it to. On to more complicated projects again!

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