Not much sewing has been going on around here. We are hosting a baby shower for some dear friends in two weeks and have decided that we need to paint the front three rooms of our house. Currently, the whole house is a construction zone. Dust everywhere, patches on the walls and ceilings, no blinds or curtains up, door frames with paint partially scraped and sanded off ... In hindsight, we probably should have thought this through before we started. And yes, the shower is in two weeks. Wish us luck.
I did manage to get a little bit of sewing in today. I ordered this wool shirting from fabric.com a few months ago and hated it when it arrived. It was not what I was expecting. I didn't pay attention to that little ruler at the bottom that tells you the size of the print. I thought it was a small, skinny stripe. I also wasn't sure what exactly a wool shirting would feel like, but again, I wasn't expecting something as heavy as this. This is one of the strangest fabrics I've come across. It is very heavy weight. The weave is loose and it seems to stretch and recover even though I know there is no stretch. Anyway, when I finally had my hands on it I thought blech. I put it to the side and stared at it every so often wondering what I could do with it.
What do you do with a fabric like this? I decided to make use of the stripe and make up the skirt from Vogue 1132. I've been reading a little bit about working with bias and thought this would be a good introduction. There are only two pattern pieces for the skirt. The front/back piece (there is an extension you have to tape together) and a waistband piece. I cut the front/back piece in half and cut each piece of my skirt separately, lining up the grain line to make sure the bias was the right angle and that my stripe would match.
I thought I had it all planned perfectly. In fact, I sewed it up and put it on my dress form to hang before I hemmed it and didn't notice a thing. It was my husband that pointed out the sides. See how nice the front and back center seam look?
Not so much on the side seams. I factored everything in, even that the reverse of the fabric reversed the color scheme, except I cut my pieces top to bottom and bottom to top. I actually had to, to make it fit on the piece of fabric I had left (I made something else, unsuccessfully, with the fabric first- I'll post about it later). Humph. My conclusion is that you have to be on top of your game to match stripes on the bias.
If I were a perfectionist I would never wear this. Luckily, I'm not. In fact, I actually really like this skirt. I've read some bad reviews of this pattern but I was happy with it. I think I'll be able to use the skirt pattern over and over again. But it is a whole lotta skirt, definitely not proportioned for the short. I'm 5'9" and I cut about 3 inches off the bottom before I hemmed it so it would hit me mid calf. I think that's a good length to wear with boots. Speaking of which, check out my new boots :)
I'm happy with the end result. It's a little bit Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman, but in a good way. I've actually developed an affection for the huge stripe. I'm hoping to fix the other item I made with this fabric, but we'll see. On an exciting note, we are bracing for snowpocalypse here. (Can you tell we don't see snow very often around here?) There is a huge storm that is supposed to drop 6 inches of snow or more. We are prepared- stocked up on firewood and wine. Maybe I'll get a few days off school to paint...