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

 

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4 thoughts on “The First Time

  1. Great job, especially for a first effort! I don’t think I would’ve shown anyone my first sewing project! I wonder why so many people start with wrap skirts? It was one of my first too, back 40+ years ago! They look good when you stand still, if you’re lucky and can sew really straight really long lines (which few beginners can!), but try to move around in the real world and they gap and flap and cause no end of trouble. Much better to just dive in and learn to put in a zipper. It’s not that bad, and an important skill to master. Once you can do a zipper, you can do anything! Clearly you’re an accomplished knitter (completely baffling to me), so you can do this!

    • Thank you so much for your kind words! I’m feeling much more confident about sewing since I started my class and had my machine fixed. That thing purrs now, and it sews the most smooth, even stitches! Having a working machine definitely helps me feel more competent.

      • Good for you! I was thinking more about this. I actually think my first real clothing project was an elastic waist skirt (not the most elegant style for us grown ups, but hey, I was 7 years old!). I’m sure it was crooked and uneven but I thought I was pretty amazing. 🙂

  2. Pingback: 2014 In Review | Self Preservation

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