Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Summertime Skirt // Skirt #15

Taking a cue from Antoinette, I have decided to number my creations to keep track of progress, and so I present: Skirt #15, The Summertime Skirt. I know summer is practically over but this skirt is so bright and fun and cheery, plus the quilting cottons I used are all very lightweight, which creates a nicely twirly, floaty skirt.

The picture in the last post was a little hard to see, so here's the front:

And back:

There's one more blue panel in front than in back, but amazingly it makes the entire front feel cooler and more subdued, somehow. Pardon the slightly wrinkled nature of these photos, I was so excited after finishing this that I've been wearing my new skirt non-stop.

This skirt was inspired by a similar one I saw walking around school last Fall ~ same colors, but solids and muted prints, and an elastic skirt with a solid aqua band at the bottom and the top. So I grabbed this stack of fabrics and started chopping before losing interest halfway through the chopping phase [not a good sign!]. When I finally rescued thsi project from the UFO pile I decided it needed some deeper value & darker colors, so I added in a bunch of Denyse Schmidt fabrics. Which is how this ended up being such a DS-heavy skirt; that certainly wasn't my intention when I started. But I think I like this combination even better than the original.


-There are 22 patchwork panels total, or 11 panels on each side. As usual, I wanted the bottom of my skirt to be slightly flared from the top, so so I cut each patchwork panel 3" wide on the bottom and 2.5" wide on the top.
-This skirt is about 18.5" long and hits me just above the knee. The yoke is 2.5" long and the skirt 16".
-This is self-drafted skirt pattern #10, I think, which is part of what took me so long to finish it. After I stitched together the patchwork skirt pieces, I put in small tucks in each panel then stitched the skirt to the yoke. Took a couple pinnings and re-pinnings to get it right, but the beauty of this style is that nobody will notice if your pleats are not perfectly balanced.

-I used felled seams on each patchwork panel for a clean finish inside, bound the yoke with self-made bias tape, and finished the bottom hem with self-made bias tape as well. I also double stitched the bottom hem to try to reproduce the twin needles finish, but I have to admit I did a very sloppy job of it. So much for trying for that professional touch of detail :-P.
-Used all stash buttons. Most people were in favor of keeping the buttons as is, so I'm not going to move them.
-Most importantly, though ...

A pocket! My first time making one. So exciting. So do not understand why I didn't do this earlier. So now I have a pocket full of tadpoles [hehehe], and that particular piece of Heather Ross is practically gone from my life. Oh, but I am happy about that pocket.

Reading your comments got me thinking about why I was feeling so aggravated in the final stretches of this project. I think it's because I tried to cram too many steps into too few sessions. I gave myself a rather silly self-imposed deadline of last Thursday to finish the skirt, and I kept running up against that plateau you hit in almost every project - you know, where you keep working on something, but you feel like no progress is made. So I'll take it a little slower from now on. And also cut myself some slack, because drafting your own patterns does take extra time, even if they're all variations on the same idea.

I've also been trying to be better about the detailing that goes into clothing and getting those right in the garments I make myself. That's one of the beauties of handmade. [I mean, another beauty is you could make yourself something totally janky and nobody would know, and I've definitely done it before, but let's pretend we live on the Non-Janky Planet right now, shall we?] But this has also helped me figure out which details I absolutely adore, and which I could, frankly, live without.

I want a good silhouette, so even if it means deconstructing and reconstructing the seams of a reconstructed outfit [instead of using the existing ones] by a couple inches to get it right, I'll invest the time. And I really like the felled seams in this skirt, so that's probably something I'll do again. But while I love bias tape to finish off a yoke, do I honestly care if it matches the skirt fabric? Um, not really. Same goes for the hem finishing. Now I know I can cut those little corners.

So. I'm not quite sure when skirt #16 is going to make an appearance, but for now I'll be dancing the last days of summer away in my bright, cheery Summertime Skirt ...


Antoinette said...

Love it, Jessica! No one can fault you for it being DS-heavy -- her prints are truly fabulous. All your finishing is lovely, and the bright blue waistband is probably my favorite attribute.

Jennifer Perkins - Naughty Secretary Club said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Your skirt gives me hope! I haven't done one of these, despite LOVING this type of design, because I'm always afraid it will look like a tie-skirt but yours so does not!

Super cute! Glad I found this post!

Re: Button said...

that skirt is just so pretty..love all the mix of patterns:)

Rita said...

ooooooooomigoodness! too much awesome cuteness! with pockets full of tadpoles! omg too cool! it's so so so cute and I love all those patchwork panels! I'm in awe of all the nifty things you did to customize this skirt! it's number one in my book! yaaaaaaaaay Jessica! you rock! and wow! you won an awesome awesome book! I've been meaning to buy Crochet Adorned! :) congrats all around on your sheer awesomeness!!