There’s a conspiracy, I tell ya…

But conspiracy or no, I will prevail, albeit in a slightly modified fashion, and much, much later than expected.


Skirt detail

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!

Wrapping Up

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.

Can you hear it taunting me?

Can you hear it taunting me?

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!

13 thoughts on “There’s a conspiracy, I tell ya…

  1. I’ve just had the same ‘issue’ with my Mum visiting and, as you say, spending time together is much more important than finishing a project – especially a project that is being a pain. However, my Mum decided she wanted a sewing machine for her birthday last month so I bought her one and on this visit she came up to my workroom and i was helping her make some basic things while I cut a dress out over in the corner so I didn’t fall so far ‘behind’ this time.

    Don’t talk to me about zips 😦 They have a life of their own once they fall into my hands. Why do you think I make so many things in knit fabrics 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh that sounds delightful (and what a lucky mum)! My mom did have the “tour” of my new sewing machine and loved it. Her 1970s Bernina was the machine I learned to sew on and she still that machine, plus has vast knowledge. After taking a stretch and sew class, she sewed mostly knits, too…..hmmm. wonder if it secretly had anything to do with zippers? 😉


    • Thanks Kate, I’m glad you liked the “doodads”.. They are still in the bag waiting for a more appropriate skirt to embellish. I do like them, but not the buttons – they might not be best for sitting. HA! But I promise to use them. And oooh, can’t wait to see how you use yours!


  2. Oh, yes! I can’t wait to hear how this all works out in the end. Occassionally when I’ve put a project that is giving me problems ‘in time out’ (I mean walked a way for a while) I can’t believe that it had seemed such a problem when I return to it. Then I am challeged to try to remember the next time what really worked best. Oh well, I’ve always said that I love a good challenge.
    Enjoy your visit with your mom!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh my, this skirt has certainly been in time out, through no fault of its own! And it has certainly has been a challenge – a learning opportunity!! Right? And thank you, my visit with mom is over, and it was absolutely delightful! That little lady is a hoot. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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