18 June 2009

I made a tulip skirt

So, I checked the archives. It turns out that the last time I sewed a garment was in August. Almost a year ago! I kind of find that hard to believe, but the archives don't lie (this is one of the many reasons why I love this blog- I never would have remembered this). Anyways, I have to admit, that I cut the fabric out for this skirt over a month ago. And it's just been sitting there. Seriously. I was hoping to have this done to take with me to San Francisco, but clearly that wasn't happening. And then when I got back, I kicked it into high gear getting ready for Johnstock.

The truth is, though, I was kind of putting this one off. You see, I've never been very good at making buttonholes. They always look sloppy and uneven and it really bugs me. The teacher at my recent sewing class told me it was probably a result of my machine (I do not have any kind of fancy machine), which made me feel a little bit less bad about myself, but then again, I'm not planning on getting a new sewing machine anytime soon, so it didn't really help the situation. And the buttons (and therefore, the buttonholes) are so front and center on this design that I really wanted them to look good. I finally got over myself and just went for it. You know what sometimes helps? Reading the manual again. I know, you'd never guess it. I had read the manual when I first got the machine, but apparently I'd never read the page about how to "balance" the buttonholes (like, how to fix it when the stitches aren't close enough on one side of the hole, which was the main problem I'd been having). Well that helped a ton, and I think these buttonholes came out looking pretty damn good.

So what did I make? It's the Tulip Skirt designed by the amazing Jenny Gordy of Wiksten. This pattern was published in the
first issue of Stitch Magazine, a wonderful new sewing magazine from our friends at Interweave Press. First, a couple of words about the magazine as a whole. I originally bought it because of the cover pattern-- the Asymmetrical Skirt designed by Martha (though, I'm definitely scared to make that one!), but by the time I read through the whole thing, I had bookmarked at least five patterns to make. I haven't gotten around to buying the second issue yet, but I know there's some good patterns in that one as well, so I'd better get on it before it's off the stands!

Aside from my buttonhole-phobia, this pattern was really a breeze. I've never managed to snag a piece of clothing from her shop, so I'm so excited to have something Jenny designed (even if I did make it myself!). She did a wonderful job with the instructions, they were very clear and easy to follow (be sure to check out the errata here, they are important!). There is a fair amount of hand-sewing involved in this, though I actually really enjoyed that (I'm mentally preparing myself for a project from The Alabama Stitch Book). I'm also really glad I checked out the flickr group for this pattern, I never would have thought to make this in a patterned fabric. In fact, I had some plain blueish-greyish chambray all picked out for this. But then, when I saw this one, and this one, I knew I had to try a pattern. And this thrifted Laura Ashley cotton was perfect. The buttons were thrifted (or maybe from my mom...) as well.

The only think I think I would change if I make this again (which I really think I will- I can totally see this in a fine wale corduroy for the fall...), is that I would add some in-seam pockets on the sides. I think that would be awesome, but then again, I pretty much always think pockets are awesome. Oh yeah, and if you're planning on riding your bike in this skirt, it's probably a good idea to wear something underneath it. I learned that the hard way today! In fact, I think I should just stock up on spandex shorts, just to be safe for the rest of the summer...


  1. were your ears burning on tuesday? just a little?

    you and your overall awesomeness were discussed.

  2. Ooh, I like it A LOT! I would totally wear that, if I had a waistline! And thanks for the buttonhole tips . . . I will have to look into that.

  3. Button holes kick me when ever I try to make them. I'll have to take a deep breath and try 'em again soon because I just love that skirt! It turned out great!

  4. high five!

    you really are something else lady.