The First Time

Green Miette front

Well, it’s still too hot to photograph sweaters, so I’ve decided to dig through some old photos and finally show you that skirt I made. You know, the one I promised to show you. A really long time ago.

Anyway.

Hey, look! It’s me! Wearing a skirt! THAT I MADE!!!

It’s difficult for me to know what to say about this wrap skirt because a) I finished it so long ago, and b) I am still very new to sewing and don’t have the vocabulary to discuss in any real detail what I did in the making of the skirt. Suffice to say that I’m happy it’s all over and that I still have a lot to learn. But since this is a forum in which I feel duty bound to talk about something, I suppose I could talk about the pattern itself.

Green Miette side(Pardon the wrinkles.)

Because I am both the very definition of novice and have little interest in sewing if it’s not going to be for the purpose of making things I can wear, I decided that I needed to make a garment that wouldn’t be too complicated to sew and that consisted of mostly straight lines. To this end, Tilly’s Miette pattern fit the bill nearly perfectly. The main part of the wrap skirt is composed of four large panels that are sewn together down the sides, while the waistband is made from several smaller pieces (6, I think) and the long ties. With the exception of the hem, there’s not a curve in sight, which makes this a pretty good project to get your feet wet with if you’re brand new to sewing, as I am (or, was, I guess).

Despite the easiness of this pattern, I most definitely didn’t enjoy every second of making this skirt. There are many, many steps between choosing the fabric (a poly-cotton twill at $9/yard from King Textiles) and wearing the finished item, and I found most of them frustrating because I didn’t really know what I was doing and because you can’t just dive into a sewing project in the same way you can with knitting. Things need to be measured carefully, preferably multiple times. Though many mistakes are not insurmountable, some, like cutting your fabric the wrong size or against the grain, can be fatal, and knowing this set me on edge for most of the process. As for the skirt itself, those long ties were difficult to maneuver through the machine, and I found myself swearing a lot more than usual (those who know me well will know that it must have been a fuck of a lot of swearing). On top of all that, it was more than frustrating to work with my second hand sewing machine, which I learned later was badly in need of a tune up and was on the verge of completely breaking down. Still, though, I ended up with a skirt that I can clearly wear, and that’s not nothing.

Green Miette front 2

So, the verdict: will I make this again? To be perfectly honest, I’m not sure that I will. Despite the fact that making the ties nearly killed my desire to sew full stop, I think I could work around that issue by copying Lauren’s idea to eliminate them altogether and replace with a button closure (which means I need to learn how to make button holes…). Aside from the construction, I find this skirt to be pretty uncomfortable to wear. The waistband is stiff and causes me to bulge in really unflattering places, especially when I sit. And though the skirt panels are wide and provide pretty good coverage when the air is still, the wrap has blown open and revealed my backside to the world on at least one occasion. Nonetheless, I have worn this skirt more than once, which I suppose makes in a success in all the ways that matter to a first timer. I can wear it out of the house and not be embarrassed! (until it blows open and shows my ass to the world, that is…)

In any case, I am now fully committed to sewing. The man I love and who loves me back had my machine fixed and bought me a sewing class for my birthday. I have begun making my second skirt, which will have a zipper closure and will not be a wrap. It will be red and lined with black pinstripes on white bemberg, and it will be glorious.

red fabric and lining

 

Sneak Preview

Hey! It’s me! Back after another looooong silence. Whoops. It’s clear that I have trouble keeping promises about writing more frequently, so I’m not going to make any promises today. I’m not even going to apologize. Instead, I’m going to start fresh. Because I’ve been keeping busy and I’ve got many, many new things to show you.

I guess I’ll begin with my latest project. As some of you are aware, I have a very large family. While growing up in cramped quarters with my three brothers and two sisters produced plenty of acrimony between us as kids, we’re all grown up now and, having gone our separate ways, we get along a lot better than we used to. Why, I’d even go so far as saying that we’ve become pretty good friends. So, because I like my brothers and sisters so much, and having reached the point in life where I have a job and can pay for things, I’ve decided that it’s high time I think about giving them birthday gifts. The gift, I’ve decided, will be handknit socks.

Why socks? Well, I’ve waxed poetic on the merits of handknit socks in the past, one of these being they are extremely warm. And, since my siblings live in Edmonton, where winter temperatures regularly plunge to -30 Celsius, I figure that even such a boring gift won’t be entirely unwelcome.

The first birthday is my sister Lara’s (which also happens to be my own birthday), and the socks pictured above are for her. They’re a basic 3×1 stitch rib over 64 stitches, and I managed to start and finish making these in 3 days. I’ve decided to stick to boring and plain socks because, otherwise, I know I’ll struggle to finish in time for the birthdays. This is, after all, my 3rd try at starting the birthday sock project–my attempt at making ankle socks for my brother, Bill, was an abject failure, and two pairs of fancy socks that ended up being comically too small for my Mom taught me that, when under the gun, simple is best.

Almost immediately after Lara’s and my birthday is Clifford’s, so I’ve begun a pair for him as well:

These will also be simple, a 2×2 broken rib stitch sock. The yarn is Fleece Artist Trail Sock, and I hear it’s pretty tough wearing. I love the autumnal colours of this yarn, and I especially love how masculine they are without being the standard issue dark blues and greys.

I’ll leave you now with more pictures because I’ve been holding out on you, dear readers… I have blog posts for weeks because of the confluence of rabid knitting and it being too hot to wear a sweater even for a picture. It won’t be hot forever, though, and I’ve been dying to show you what I’ve made… stay tuned!

P.S. Is anyone else as excited about the Summer Sweater Knit Along as I am!?!