Tulip Skirt

I seem to suffer from a condition where I think that I am super-human and that I can achieve multiple tasks in a very short space of time: during the day at work I plan all these things to do in the evening, but end up achieving one if I’m lucky, and instead feeling completely exhausted and watching TV! I imagine lots of people suffer from this same issue, but it has meant that the skirt I made at the weekend is only just making its way onto the blog!

Very pleased with myself!

On a similar note, at the weekend I listened to a good podcast by Guardian long reads (https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/the-guardian-long-read/id587347784?mt=2). I am a huge fan of podcasts as I spend a lot of time running, and podcasts allow me to learn something interesting, or just keep up to date with ‘pop-culture’(!) at the same time as taking my mind off running! The podcast was called ‘why time management is ruining our lives’ and explored how we all spend time making efficiency savings at work, which was initially thought of as a way to make you work fewer hours, but in reality has only made us more ‘busy’ by us filling the gaps that we have created. A more obvious example being when the washing machine and the vacuum cleaner were invented, this surely saved housewives (and househusbands?!) at least a day a week, but alas, the standards of cleanliness were just heightened, and people expected cleaner clothes, carpets etc., creating more work. Probably better explained by the podcast than by me, but hopefully you get the gist! I found it interesting, anyway!

I have to say, I am suffering mixed emotions about this skirt: on one hand, I am thrilled to bits by the look, the fabric, the fit; on the other hand, I am furious with myself for a couple of small mistakes that I doubt are even noticeable, but I know they are there!

 I made the skirt in about a day, including the time taken to cut the pattern and the fabric, which I did during the week. I was suddenly realising that my plan of sewing 12 items in a year was going to be very tricky if I made nothing in January! Luckily, a very chilly and rainy weekend is the ideal for sewing.

The fabric and pattern are from a truly fab shop with two branches, one in Clapham and the other in Islington called Sew Over It (http://sewoverit.co.uk/). Even though I live very close to the Clapham shop, I generally buy their fabric online – they are excellent with posting – you generally receive it the following day and for a cost of about £2.

I love the fabric I chose for the skirt – it is a stretch cotton and I think the print is delightful – though it potentially does look a little like a clown print…not quite sure what I will do with the remainder, as a dress or trousers in this fabric may be a little OTT!  The pattern is called ‘Tulip Skirt’ and is the dream for me as it really suits my body shape. It is definitely an intermediate pattern – it is not as tricky as some patterns I have sewn, but the instructions assume you have a pretty good base level of knowledge. At this point I must apologise for the distinct lack of mid-sew photos, but I had terrible nail varnish at the time that just wasn’t becoming in photos! My Ma kindly gave me a manicure she won for some gel nails, which I used on Christmas Eve. They looked delightful at the time but after 2 weeks they started chipping, and you can’t use normal nail varnish remover to take them off and you have to pay in a salon to have them removed! I have now resorted to painting over a nice thick layer of black…

So my errors…well firstly, I ironed, and therefore sewed, the seam allowances of the side seam the wrong way. Therefore, I have effectively made myself a skirt with pockets that face to your bum! On a normal skirt pattern they would require flexi wrists for access…no problem for me…but, fortunately, due to the tulip shape of the skirt, it is actually fine as they are easily directed to the front and you cannot tell from the outside at all.

The dreaded backwards pockets!

The next thing is the invisible zip. I thought I would well and truly tackle this zip issue I seem to be facing and do it properly this time. This, therefore, involved me unpicking the entire zip following my first attempt. Great start. One side of the zip has worked beautifully, but the other really has not. It still looks fine to the untrained eye, but that black gap is definitely not supposed to be there! Very cross! I think I need to sign up to some form of lesson, as it is my nemesis at present. My final mistake is linked to the zip. Something messed up that meant that my waistband facing was short by about 1cm of fabric, and consequently the hand stitching around the zip top is not as perfect as I would have liked. Oh well. Hopefully one day I will learn!

My next challenge is going to be Sew Over It’s Nancy Dress – I am in need of something without zips!

Have a good weekend all – I think a Thursday evening drink is waiting for me somewhere! (Dry Jan, what?!)




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