Friday, 24 March 2017

giving in to temptation (a tale of slapdashery and swearing)

So, every now and then I am struck with the temptation to make something to wear. Enough time has passed to allow the memory of the last bout of swearing and grinding of teeth to have dimmed and I succumb to the lure of a gorgeous fabric, like this barkcloth from the fabulous emporium that is the Eternal Maker:

Curse you, lovely shop, for being just half an hour away, and for your general fabulous-ness...

The problem with dressmaking is that the finished object has to actually fit, if only after a fashion. You can get away with a lot if you're making a bag or a purse, or even a 3D fabric sculpture of the Eiffel Tower, no doubt. But a skirt has to fit.

As barkcloth frays like the devil, I thought I'd add to the challenge by exhuming my overlocker. It has been gathering dust since I last switched it on months ago, found the tension was all up the swanny, and flung it back on the shelf where the cat has been using it as a climbing frame. Well, maybe it just needed a large black cat to tangle its threads because when I revved it up this time, away it went without a hitch!

Having decided on a very simple skirt, I then entered the seventh circle of hell that is 'How big is my stomach?' Am I the only person who can't decide whether its better to allow a little 'eating room' or to have a more snug fit? And will it be even more snug next week, or if I leave it slightly looser will the whole thing spin round during the day until the side seam is at the front? Aagh.

You wouldn't think a skirt with two seams and four darts could cause such mental agony. I've made this pattern before and actually achieved a skirt I really like and wear a lot so I made sure I used the same seam allowances as before…. and…. it came out too big. 

Aagh again. 

Back onto the overlocker, SO satisfying to chunter away, eating a nice further half an inch off those pesky seams. 

Time for a nice cup of tea.

Repeat all of the above with the lining.

Sew in the zip. Make a hash of sewing in the zip. Unpick stitching. Sew it in again.

More tea.

Getting there. Sew on a bias strip to finish the waist. (Liking the contrasting fabric). Realise I haven't caught in the skirt fabric to the waistband all the way round. Sew it round again. Topstitch.

Tea. BUNS. Swearing. Mr P goes out to his shed and stays there for the rest of the afternoon.

Hem! Button loop! BUTTON!

Finished! And a blind man would be glad to see it, to quote my late Mum.

I bought another piece of irresistible fabric too, so further slapdashery and swearing is on the cards but there will have to be a period of dressmaking cold turkey first…..


  1. Well it loogs great to me and even though I have had my eyes scraped and stitched etc I am not blind! I look forward to seeing it on the model when we manage to see each other again sometime once our mutual friend is on her feet again.

    1. eeek, hope your eyes are all fixed now? Will look forward to meeting up sometime soon!

  2. Oh joy! You are there!

    Every word read and your mug too...You Must wear your lovely skirt on Thursday. I too have memories of the waistband twisting the zip to the middle....these days I can't even do my skirts up, let alone have them twizzle round and round my waist! Xxxxx

  3. Full marks for perseverance Carol! X


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