But conspiracy or no, I will prevail, albeit in a slightly modified fashion, and much, much later than expected.
You may remember my project, which was to make my own version of this skirt from Anthropologie. I was thinking of something in purple or maroon tones, but with a less “fancy” feel.
I found a nice deep red double knit polyester and a really pretty vintage inspired pattern, see original post here. I was concerned about my chosen embellishments (black, gray, gold and cream bits of organza and chiffon and pearly button) – they seemed a bit “dainty” for the fabric.
That was the innocuous beginning, and here is how the conspiracy unfolded.
1. The plan. The skirt is lovely, and just what I hoped for. The little circular appliques however, immediately became an issue. I tried every combination imaginable. I liked the gold/gray/black, or even just the gold/gray (the cream was a loser in every combination). The little buttons looked silly. I worried about the edges fraying, or being smashed from sitting. And they just didn’t play well with the fabric. But the biggest obstacle was that the pattern really doesn’t lend itself to frivolous doodads. So I would make a lovely red skirt, sans embellishment.
2. The zipper. To start with, it is 9-inches, pattern required 7-inches. But I was able to shorten it with no problem (thanks, Linda for your tip). Now, this was to be my first zipper in over 40 years (yes, truly), and my first lapped zipper ever. First I watched a few tutorials. LLADYBIRD had the perfect one for me, see her lapped zipper tutorial, and I kept this onscreen as I began; trepidatious, but ready.
Switched to the zipper foot – that was easy enough. But you must know that easiness wouldn’t last. I forgot to move the needle over resulting in my first broken needle. It was rather late, so turned off my computer, put everything away and covered up my machine. Things would be better in the morning. Or would they……cue the mystery music.
Come morning, I made the first attempt to insert the zipper. On the first (bottom) side, my stitching was too far away from the zipper. Unpicked it, restitched it. Voila! All was well.
Second side, the lap. First shot, big fail. The stitching was fine, but too far away again and didn’t catch all the zipper and seam. Unpicked. Second attempt, (could it be true?) beautiful, straight stitching. Oh, I was so pleased. Reality check. I had caught up part of the waistband. This was seriously uncool. Unpicked again. Third attempt, looked better except….what in the world happened on that turn? Out of line stitching and a big bump at the corner. Curses. The zipper surely knew it had bested me. But one more try, and this time achieved success. (moderate success because of a couple of funky spots, but success none-the-less.)
3. The waistband. With the zipper finished I basted on the waistband. A total of 4-1/2 inches overlapping the still droopy skirt top. Holy moly, now what? Take a seam down the back? No, that might make it too narrow at the bottom. The pattern had two darts on the left back and one on right back, close to the zipper. Adding a third dart between the right two, and another next to the right. A grand total of five darts!
(Now you may wonder, why so droopy? Didn’t you make a muslin???? No, I did not. Please no flogging. I first pinned the pattern together to try on, ever so carefully. It was too big, so I moved to the next size down to cut out the fabric. Pinned it all together using 5/8-inch seams. Still a little loose, so basted it all together using 3/4-inch seams. That was better, so I proceeded to the waistband.)
4. Time. This is where the conspiracy gets devious. I am unable to sew for about a month. Why? For the most marvelous reason: my mother is visiting me for three weeks and then I’ll with her for another week! This visit is a really big deal as she is 89 years old, and lives across the country. And after all, not every woman my age still has her mother, and I feel so fortunate. To prepare for her visit, I’ve moved my sewing machine and all appurtenances from the dining room to a vacant room upstairs. She has difficulty with stairs, so I’d rather spend time with her downstairs than hide away while she is here. And oh, we are having a grand time!
There is so little to do to finish the skirt: add two darts, stitch waistband and hem. That’s it. My plan is to accomplish this the week I return. I the meantime, it is hanging front and center in the laundry room….reminding me of its unfinished status and taunting, “neener, neener, neener” on a daily basis.
Oh, you’ll probably notice that the seams are not pressed too well. Ugh. But that’s for another post. And oh, I have plans for another skirt from this pattern, and so many other projects….
Keep stitching, all!