Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Fat Quarter Skirts: two blue and an aqua/olive

More mixed-fabric, drawstring waist, A-line skirts, made from a set of Amy Butler FQs that I originally thought would be used for a different project, but which ended up in the stash. The one above is currently the most-loved, most-worn garment in my closet.

Here's the back view:

It's a good thing these are so quick and easy to make from fabric-on-hand, 'cuase at the rate I'm wearing and washing these they will be worn out in a year. Which is cool, because by then I'll have a whole new set of groovy FQs and large scraps in the stash (most likely) and will be ready to make more.

Same self-drafted pattern based on Sew What! Skirts instructions as the pink ones. As before, I seamed two or three fabric pieces together before cutting the skirt front and back.

Here's another one from the same set of dark blue Amy B. FQs, front (a bit fuzzy, sorry):

and back:

And I almost forgot about this one! Used up my last scraps of super-groovy aqua "daisy chain" -- love the big mod print. The little circle print I'm not so in love with, but this skirt used up a bunch of the big piece I had, so I'm happy about that. Front and back of this one are close to identical, so I'm only displaying one side:

Sunday, July 26, 2009

A-line skirt #2

Inspired by the success of my pink A-line skirt, but decidedly uninspired by the prospect of more darts and zippers on what was intended to be a super-quickie project, I decided to make the next one with a drawstring waist. This is the front:

And here's the back:

I used my "Sew What! Skirts" A-line pattern, and redrew the "A" angle to be about an inch narrower on each side at the hem. The challenge with a drawstring is that any skirt big enough to pull on over my hips would have way too much fabric bunched up around the waist by the time it's cinched in. So I compromised, drafting the waist to be several inches larger than the finished size for fitted waist, then left about 3" open at the top of the left side seam, with the drawstring ends coming out at that side instead of at the center front (which, conveniently, eliminated any need to make a buttonhole). The side-seam opening makes the skirt pull-on-able, and allows for a narrower waist to keep the gathers manageable.

Because I was working with fabric pieces from the stash (Amy Butler and Michael Miller), I didn't have enough length of the pink print to allow for a folded-down drawstring casing, so I used a separate strip of the green to make that part. Again, I pieced two fabrics together first before cutting the front, then pieced three more and cut the back. Much easier to do that way than to draft, cut, and seam precise pieces that add up to the desired front/back shape.

The drawstring is a long strip -- I think around 1.25" -- pressed lengthwise (wrong side in, raw edges matching), then raw edges folded in to the center and pressed again, (like double-fold bias tape, but not on the bias) edge-stitched to close.

Rather than make the drawstring casing and then thread the drawstring through it, I made the drawstring first. Then, with the casing piece sewn to the waist edge of the skirt, I pressed under about 1/2" of the raw edge. I lay the drawstring in place and folded the casing edge down over it to the inside, and stitched in place with the drawstring inside.

I also topstitched up and down over the casing and drawstring vertically at the right side seam (opposite the opening) to hold the drawstring in place so it won't pull out when I toss the skirt in the wash. I finished the drawstring ends by putting the skirt on and tying the drawstring to fit with a bow, long ends hanging down. Cut off to leave about 6-8" of each end, and tied each end with a knot.

As I wear it, the "waist" actually sits about an inch below my navel, which I find a comfortable fit for a casual skirt. I finished the open edges at the top of the left side seam with a very narrow double-fold edge. Yes, it leaves a couple inches of open slit below the waist at the side, but since I never, ever tuck in a shirt, it's hidden by whatever T, tank-top, or camisole I happen to be wearing on the top half.

A-line skirt #1 (pink)

This is the quickie project that began the skirt binge I've been so remiss about photographing.

It's self-drafted from the basic A-line instructions in the ever-so-clever "Sew What!: Skirts" book.

I pieced the fabric first: sewing a large piece of each print together, then pressed seam to one side, edge-stitched, and trimmed the SA with pinking shears. Then I cut the lotus print at an agle and seamed another piece of the main fabric to it, finished the same way. When I had two biggish pieces I used my pattern piece (drafted on freezer paper) to cut the front and back.

Fabrics are Michael Miller quilting cotton from the stash. I figured adding a strip of the lotus blossoms was so much more interesting than just a plain skirt all of the same fabric. There's another similar strip on the back side.

I put in a lapped side zip and some very slap-dashy darts to accommodate hippage. Waist is finished with a piece of packaged double-fold bias tape. Narrow double-turned hem. It's a few inches above the knee, comfy for sitting at my desk or running errands, but not so short as to be age-inappropriate.
The A-line angle turned out just a bit wider than perfect, but this is hardly haute couture and never meant to be, so I don't care.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Curtain #1

We love, love, love this new house, but man, does it need curtains.

Nice tall window above the "throne" in the second bath has a view of an empty lot and banana trees, but there are houses on the other side of that lot and at night it feels very exposed in there! Even though I doubt anyone can see in. Why the builder didn't use frosted glass is a mystery.

The room is all white, and in desperate need of COLOR, so I pieced this from several colorways of Kaffe Fassett "lake blossom" plus a couple of coordinates from the stash. It's roughly 20"x30", lined with plain white cotton sheeting from the stash.

I have grand plans for a shower-curtain to go with it (planned out already from KF stash fabric, but not a priority; I probably won't get to it for a while).

This weekend it's nice and rainy, so I plan to stay indoors and make some progress on curtains for my new home office. They're gonna be gorgeous. Here's a sneak peak:

(Anna Maria Horner fabric laid out on floor so I can play with motif placement and border width; color's a bit off, but you get the idea)

I hope to maybe cut fabric for bedroom curtains, too. Will be using Amy B's new colorway of "trailing blossoms". Nice that I had a piece in the stash for inspiration, but of course significant additional yardage was required. I have way blown my fabric budget this summer, that's for sure. And I cringe at the thought of updating the year-to-date yardage chart to see how far behind I've fallen.

BTW: Still haven't taken pics of all those FQ skirts I made just before the move. That's because at any given moment I'm usually wearing one, and another one or two are in the laundry basket. They are soooo comfy. A long way from haute couture, but they suit my personality and lifestyle and they are at the top of my (short) "sewing successes list. I'll show 'em off here one of these days.