As I have written before, my sewing skills are middling at best. I lack the time, and--quite honestly--the motivation, to make them much better.
Still, I'm grateful for them. They come in handy when I want to make an unusual garment for myself, to save some money by making my own curtains or pillows, or to do a quicky repair.
Today, the unusual garment in question is the fabulous Hustle Bustle Skirt by none other than Miss Twiss. I couldn't wait to get started on this project, because I was extremely curious to see how the skirt works.
I set up my machine in a convenient spot, retrieved the cut pieces of fabric, and prepared to work.
Before I could begin, there was a little prep work to do.
Make a bobbin:
Learn how to work the buttonhole feature on my sewing machine:
I have had this machine for a few years, and have yet to have a reason to make a buttonhole. There was a bit of fear connected with this. Would the feature be very fiddly, I wondered. Would I be a bundle of frustration after setting the machine?
The answer to both questions was, of course, no. I read the machine's instructions (twice) double checked all the settings, and then worked step by step to make my very first buttonhole. I made a few more practice buttonholes, and felt I was ready to begin.
I worked through Laura's instructions. I decided to eliminate the ruffle. In fact, I didn't cut the ruffle away from the skirt body when I prepared the pattern pieces. Instead, I incorporated its length into the body of the skirt.
I also added a simple lining of white muslin. I attached this lining to the skirt's waistband, and allowed it to hang freely inside. I think that this will give the skirt fabric more "oomph" without making it look heavy.
[Note to self: the next time that you cut out a skirt lining, cut it just a few inches shorter than the skirt body.]
I sewed the side seams, marked and created the buttonholes, then I folded and pressed the waistband. Sewing is all about pressing those lines into the fabric. Once I had the fold lines pressed down, it was simply a matter of topstitching the waistband:
I added the topstitching. It's not necessary, but I thought that it worked well with the fabric.
Then it came time for the tie. If, like me, you look at those tie-pulling instructions and think "Huh?" Relax. It's simply a way of pulling the tie rightside out as you sew, thus eliminating the challenge of turning it rightside out after it is sewn.
Eventually you will have pulled through enough of the tie so that you can begin pulling on the fabric and not that flimsy thread. One word of caution: be very careful that you don't sew the tie to itself as you pull it through. I had one close call, after which I made sure that the pulled-through tie was as far away as possible from the seam.
One other change I made was to double the length of the tie. I wanted a decent sized bow with which to tie the skirt, and the extra length was necessary. If you planned to use a square knot (or, let's be honest, had a teenier waist than mine) this would not be necessary. As I was sewing, I thought that a grosgrain ribbon would make a fantastic alternative to a matching tie.
Right about then, my patience was shot. It's not that the pattern was frustrating. (Quite the opposite. This is a very straightforward project.) It's that my patience is easily shootable. Thus, hemming and a modeling photo must wait until tomorrow.