14 July 2008

where my wardrobe grows and grows...

This project was so easy, I almost feel bad blogging about it. Seriously. I'm not trying to brag, I'm just sayin'...this seems so very unexciting that there's not too much to say here. Except, well, I made a new skirt. I'm pretty sure I've mentioned that it's been quite hot here. And it's not going to be getting cooler anytime soon. I'm not so big on shorts, and I've been wearing lots of skirts this summer. I don't have to get dressed up for work, so I decided that I needed to increase the number of throw-it-on skirts. You know, those ones that are super comfy, cute, and just perfect for warm weather. Oh yeah, and easy to bike in. {Side note- I've come to realize that the only way to not feel self-conscious about potentially giving an unintended show while biking in a skirt is to just wear some spandex underneath. I know it's weird, but I've stopped getting looks, and for that, it's totally worth it}.

My further inspiration for this skirt, was that I got these amazing new shoes a couple weeks ago, and realized that I didn't have very many clothes that matched them. Naturally, I needed to make something. So I pulled out my trust SewU book and whipped this one out in about an hour and a half on Saturday night {I know, I'm so cool. Sewing on a Saturday night}. I just did a drawstring, so I didn't have to worry about the darts or zipper. I shortened it about seven inches so it's just a few inches above the knee, added some vintage lace as a trim on the bottom, and voila!

I bought this fabric as a remnant at JoAnn's last winter and immediately knew it would be a perfect summer skirt. I don't know exactly what it is, some kind of shirting I guess. Whatever it is, it's super lightweight, but not see through. I'm thinking it maybe needs a pocket. Any thoughts?

I think I talked about this last summer when I first got this book and started sewing clothing, but this really is the perfect book for a beginning garment sewer. Wendy explains how to read a pattern, choose the right fabric, cut the fabric, and all the details about sewing a garment, and modifying basic patterns to personalize them. I seriously don't know if I would have gotten over my fear of clothing patterns without this book. Also, my wardrobe would be about half as big. Melissa wrote a really great post on garment sewing, and how we decide if it's worth making certain things, or just buying them. I'm not really a big shopper, especially when it comes to clothing. Now that there are so many more beautiful handmade/socially responsible/environmentally responsible clothing options, it's a little easier. But my issue with clothing shopping is that I walk the fine line between being kind of cheap, and having a conscience that prevents me from shopping at places like The Gap. This combination is what really motivated me to start making my own clothing, and I'm pretty sure that my wardrobe would be just about where it was a year ago if I hadn't made myself sixteen articles of clothing in the last 12 months {yes, I just went into my closet and counted!}. I could go on and on about the costs of clothing and when it is or isn't "worth it" to make it yourself, but I think I'll save that for another post. In any case, I feel really proud of myself for all that I've learned and accomplished in this realm in the last year. And I'm also really excited about all the options that are out there now for those of us who don't sew/are afraid to sew clothes/want to support someone else's beautiful handiwork.


  1. I love the skirt -- that fabric is beautiful. I actually pulled out the same skirt pattern the other day. I hadn't thought of putting a drawstring in, but what a great idea! I may steal it!

    I've been thinking about the make/buy issue quite a bit. Last week I (foolishly!) went to a store called Winners (same company as T.J. Maxx, same idea) and after I left I felt so icky and sad. Nothing fit, nothing appealed, and I just felt like a big freak when I left! Like there was something wrong with me for not being into boring "brand name" clothing on clearance.

    In that way, making something for myself is so comforting -- it's the absolute opposite of shopping in certain stores. Shopping is such a hideous experience for me that it is almost always absolutely worth it to take some time to make something. In fact, the thing I'm looking forward to the most when I'm done my degree in a month is having more time to sew, and having friends over to sew with!

  2. Haha BUSTED! Quite the private eye skills you've got there. ;)

    I felt like DC residents needed a healthy dose of craftiness from my favorite crafty minx.

    How's Minneapolis treating you?

  3. Julia, you are too sweet! I'd love hanging out with you! virtually. :)

    p.s. CUTE shoes!! are those Toms? how do they fit? I've been wanting to order some, but I'm not sure what size to get.

  4. what a darling skirt! i almost feel inspired to make one (which means alot, because i cannot sew to save my life.) maybe this weekend i'll go fabric hunting